DIY 55 Gallon Tank Stand. WIP

Jonez
Member
Well, I made some quick work out of this one. Took about an hours worth of planning on paper, 2 hours to cut and sand all the wood, and another 2 hours or so to put it all together.

**Updated**
Items used:
Cordless Drill
Corded Drill
1/8", 3/16" Drill bit for pilot holes
2 1/2" #8 Deck screws
Tack nails
Eight 2x4's
2 Sheets of ply wood (48x25) ripped to 48x13 for hood and tank rest, and 48x12(ish) leftovers for shelving
Six 1x3's
Two 3/4" thick solid pine Ply for doors.
8 hinges (4 for hood, 4 for doors)
3 Cabinet knobs
1 gallon of rustoleum satin black enamel paint (or 6 rattlecans)

Total Cost:
Around $85-90.

Here's the basic frame put together. I was going to use 5 tank supports initially, but oped to only use 3, as that will be plenty sufficient for an acrylic tank.


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And the finished frame with the vertical reinforcement beams and bottom shelf (5 gallon buckets are being used to weight shelf down while wood glue along the seam dries).


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The ripped piece of plywood sits on top, and the rest of it I cut out with my Dremmel trio to fit nicely in the bottom to act as a bottom shelf.
I have since fabricated two braces that will be attached to the front-bottom left and right side of the stand to prevent it from tipping over forward, in the event it gets bumped. I won't put those on until I get the frame wrapped.

edit: Consolidating the pictures into Post #1.

Hood Frame Built:

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Hinged Lid put on hood frame, and light semi-installed (light will be attached by bracer-bars on final assembly):

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TrI'm wrap tacked to stand top and bottom (only top is visible). This will hide the bottom 1/4" of tank:

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Stand wrapped and shelves installed:

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After Prime and Paint.

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After lighting installed in hood/canopy.

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TayJay76
Member
Nice! I should have you build a 55 gallon stand for me hehe
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
If you're willing to pay shipping from OR to KA, then sure. hehe
 
TayJay76
Member
lol nah, but you seem to be quite handy with some wood and tools, I bet its cheaper to build a stand than buy one, walmart has them for 100 bucks.
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Couple of pics of my hood WIP. Should be getting the rest of the pieces this week. Going to be a slI'm 2 1/2" hood (dont like the looks of the tall chunky hoods) with two 36" Coralife Aqualight T5 fixtures mounted to the lid (once the lid is installed, that is). The lid overlaps all sides of the tank by 1/4". 2 notched out areas on L/R end for outake and intake tubes. 1 Notch out area in the center for all hood and tank wiring (airline tubing, power lines, etc...). Will probably wrap it all in smooth pressboard and trI'm out with quarter round, then paint.


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cichlidmac
Member
Jonez said:
If you're willing to pay shipping from OR to KA, then sure. hehe
I'm in Oregon! Just outside of Salem
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
cichlidmac said:
I'm in Oregon! Just outside of Salem
Hah! Silverton here m8. Greetings!
 
troyvsc
Member
Nice work. Cant wait to see the finished product
 
JustKeepSwimming
Member
I <3 DIY!

Great work. Looks wonderful!
 
Aquarist
Member
Good morning,

It's looking great Jonez!

Ken
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Another update. Got the lid made for the tank now. I decided against wrapping the sides and top, because I can sand it smooth, then just use some bonding primer and paint it -- filling any imperfections in with glazing compound as I coat.

4 hinges, 1/2" plywood top (searched for 30 minutes to find a piece w/a nice enough grain to work with) and 3/4" quarter round on the front/left/right sides. I kept the quarter round off the backside for clearance reasons when the hood is open.
I'll be installing a simple raising wooden stick to prop the lid up when doing maintenance -- most likely a couple of painters stir sticks cut to fit and fastened to the inner L/R side of the lid base.
All it needs now is a final sanding, calk, primer and paint. Then I can install the light fixtures.
I'll most likely be putting some 1/4" 1-sided sticky tap foam around the perimeter of the lid, to keep any excess light from shining through between the lid and base.


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I _had_ to hook up my one Coralife to the lid, just to see what I'd be dealing with. I'm pretty impressed so far with how adequate the lighting is from just the one fixture. 72 watts total.


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CatfishJack
Member
Wow.. lookin' good!
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Thank man.
I also added a top and bottom "rim" to the stand section as well. You can see the top rI'm in the pics. Mostly for a finished look, but also to hide the first 1/2" of the bottom of the tank. The rI'm is set up off the base 1" and I have some 1" styrofoam between the stand and the tank -- thinking it would compress to 1/2", leaving a 1/2" reveal. The styrofoam didnt compress but 2/16", so I'll have to go get some 1/2" styrofoam instead so the tank sits further down the reveal.

On an edit: I think there will be enough room in the hood itself, eliminating the need for venting due to heat from the lights. There's about a 1/8"-1/4" gap on the backside of the lid where the hinges rest, and I think that's going to be adequate for ventilation. If anything I may just stick a small fan inside the lid just to move air around, if I find that its getting too warm under there once its all finished.

I forgot to add pricing on the hood.
Cost about $26 including all the hinges and the wood for the stand top and bottom bump outs, so the tally is about $50 so far.
I'll probably spend another $20 in paneling and 1x1's to wrap the stand and make the doors and another $20 in paint.

Will update once I've got the thing wrapped and painted.

A quick update. No pics, sorry.
Just picked up a couple pieces of 3/4" Pine for the cabinet doors. I've cut them to fit, and rounded the edges and corners. They will be double-doors on the front-side measuring 27 1/4"H x 19"W -- centered to the stand. That will leave a 5" reveal on the far left and right side, which I will be covering with some kind of thin press board so the doors bump-out. I will also be using the same press-board on the sides. Then I'll be getting some three-quarter round trimming to put vertically on the left and right corners (front and back) to hide the press-board edge, giving it a nice finished look. Hopefully I can get the trI'm and press-board this weekend to be assembled and calked for paint next week
Almost done!!
 
CatfishJack
Member
When you're done, come build one for me. I have beer.
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
If you've got the plane ticket, and the sedatives for my wife, lets do this.. ^^

Found some nice backer-board -- 96x48 for $11. Got all my side and front pieces cut to fit and still had leftover for the backing (which I was going to leave open, but figured ****). I have yet to secure the backing because I had the corner pieces clamped to dry. I split the backing, so there will be a gap in the center of 8" for piping and such to go to the tank.
Doors aren't on yet -- still floating out the flaws (there were a couple of knots that were gnarly looking) with glazing compound and need to drill holes for the door knobs, then size it up for hinges. Then I can start painting it. I was going to use a paint sprayer, but for as little paint as this will take, its not worth buying a whole gallon of paint, only to use 2 quarts then have to buy thinner to clean out the pump. So I opted for rattlecans. Will be a Black Satin finish. Hopefully I'll get it done this weekend.


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troyvsc
Member
Good job. I like the shelves in the sides. I might go back and steal tour idea and do that on mine.

Almost done. Going to look great
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
troyvsc said:
Good job. I like the shelves in the sides. I might go back and steal tour idea and do that on mine.

Almost done. Going to look great
Thanks!

The shelves use to be a shelf. But my canister filter wasn't going to fit cleanly in the bottom shelf without having to tilt it to put it in or get it out, so I took it off, cut 13" from the center to make 2 shelves, and just "T" braced them from underneath so they would be free floating (since I'm not going to have anything super heavy on them anyhow). Seem to be very stable so far, but if they sag, I've got some 1x3 braces I can stick underneath them. Hopefully they will not sag, I like the open concept.
 
FishieFishie
Member
Wow! That looks great!
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Huzzah... On the dry. Now onto finishing touches.


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M0T0
Member
looks Great Very nice job!
 
troyvsc
Member
Jonez said:
Thanks!

The shelves use to be a shelf. But my canister filter wasn't going to fit cleanly in the bottom shelf without having to tilt it to put it in or get it out, so I took it off, cut 13" from the center to make 2 shelves, and just "T" braced them from underneath so they would be free floating (since I'm not going to have anything super heavy on them anyhow). Seem to be very stable so far, but if they sag, I've got some 1x3 braces I can stick underneath them. Hopefully they will not sag, I like the open concept.
I was going to do a shelf to all the way across but my Fluval 306 was to tall. I liked your improvising
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Thanks all!

I'm probably going to replace the doors at some point with some kind of MDF board. The reason being, is that its extremely hard to fine 3/4" wooden boards that are not warped. With MDF, you're almost guaranteed a straight and true board.
My doors now have bowed a little (or maybe they already were bowed and I just didnt notice). I am also not liking the grain of the doors, compared to the smooth finish on the tank stand wrap. But it will suffice for now til I can find the right MDF. Hoping to get out today to grab some 1/4" one-sided sticky insulation foam to put on the underside of the lid, that will close the small gap in the opening, and prevent light from escaping and creating a visual distraction.
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Tank all filled up with gravel in it.
I haven't put the hood on, because I'm running my Magnum HOT chalk full of carbon, so the hood won't fit on til I swap my SunSun over to it.
I stuck in the gravel that came with the tank when I bought it. It was super dirty, so about an hour was spent washing out all 5 gallons worth (about 35lbs by my est.). Not the substrate I want (want black sand really), but hey, it was free.. And I haven't done gravel since 2010, so I figured ****, may as well give it a whirl. Black gravel would have been better? Yep... I'll just end up swapping it out at a later date. Once my wife gets tired of looking at the brown gravel she probably won't be so angry when I come home with 40Lbs of black pre-fertilized sand.


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  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member

IMAGE00221.jpg


I think once I've got my 55 cycled and planted and fish transferred over, I'll be taking down the 40 gallon, and using it for plant propagation. I've got some good 6700 and 8000k shop lights out in my garage -- I think I'll set it up out there for the summer.

edit: At the moment, I'm just carbon cycling the tank to remove any toxins from the Novus and Brillianize (even though both stated non toxic and safe to use in aquariums). Better safe then sorry. Will probably cycle for at least a week or 2 (wiping down the inside of the tank every couple days with a micro fiber cloth) before draining and refilling for nitrogen cycling.
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Well, I've revised my hood a little. In addition to the Coralife Aqualight, I will be running 2 48" T8 bulbs as well. I retrofit the hood with the connectors, wired it all up, and will be putting a ballast on the backside of the hood (facing the wall) to connect it all. Should provide better "edge-to-edge" lighting than the dual 36" x2 I was initially planning.



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  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Heres the finished canopy/hood with ballast and lights installed. The middle portion will be for my 36" coralife aqualight fixture (which is currently running on my 40G atm).


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  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Finally got around to hooking up my Coralife fixture to the hood. Fits like a glove.
In time, once I get a ballast capable of handling 4 CFL's, I'll be adding 2 more 48" lights in place of the coralife fixture, but for now it works and looks great! I'll have to take some pictures with my good camera, instead of my phone -- it looks a lot better than the pics are showing. lol

I'm heading out today to price out black gravel and/or sand. I just can't stand the look of that gravel I currently have, and neither can my wife.


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Sora
Member
Wow very nice, if you were in my area I would hire you to make me one haha. Its hard finding a stand around here
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Well, 6 years ago I use to live in Windsor, so I probably wasn't far away from you. lol
 
Sora
Member
Oh wow ya that would have been fairly close, I'm in sarnia. But back then I lived in Vancouver. Still. Very nice job on the stand
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Wow, BC to ON? I have to ask, what brought you there? Usually people are itching to move from ON _to_ BC! lol I was born in London, and moved to Windsor at a young age, then here to Oregon to be with my Wife in '06.
 
goofster
Member
Fantastic job! Thanks for sharing! Looks nice!
 
Sora
Member
Jonez said:
Wow, BC to ON? I have to ask, what brought you there? Usually people are itching to move from ON _to_ BC! lol I was born in London, and moved to Windsor at a young age, then here to Oregon to be with my Wife in '06.
PM'd ya =)
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member

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Still the same gravel -- should be getting some new stuff next weekend. Put a couple fake plants and driftwood in there because I wanted to see how my lighting would accentuate things.
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
An update.
I decided to finally put the finishing touches on my canopy. I ended up re-doing the lighting -- swapping out the 2 lamp ballast for a 4 lamp ballast -- that way I can still keep my 36" Coralife fixture on my 40T. Also painted the underside of the tank hood gloss white. Pretty snazzy naow.

Before

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After

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Almost looks like _too_ much light. lol

edit: Lights are (top to bottom) 1x Soft White (not sure of the K -- probably below 4000), 1x 6000K Daylight, 1x 4300k ZooMed Max Plant Growth, 1x 6000K Daylight.
 
cichlidmac
Member
Nice dude! Wish I had the patience to do something like that!
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Methodical tendencies moreover patience. Lol :-D
 
cichlidmac
Member
You live close to me right? Maybe we can work something out for the 90 gallon I'm going to build
 
  • Thread Starter
Jonez
Member
Hehe
I'm listening? ;-)
 

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