WP's 250 gal Plywood Starphire Tank - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 03:08 AM
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I already have a question. You had mentioned the you had some moisture/leaking issue with the plywood tank in the garage. Have you figured out what the problem is? Would be great to be able to incorporate the lessons learned from that into the new tank, seeing as that will be placed on the wall-to-wall carpet in the living (or was it dining) room

Are you planing on using fiber glass layup this time? Or are you not using rocks again

Some of these may already have been answered in your references threads. I didn't go back and re-read them all. I apologize for any repeat questions.

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post #32 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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I think the problems are caused by the little compartments that I built to hide filtration and such. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but made it very difficult to apply epoxy. I think I might have missed some corners. Perhaps when draining the tank I will be able to tell for sure.

This tank will be simpler... just a box. Plus covering it with another layer of epoxy paint should seal it securely.

I am not going to use fiberglass. The Coat-It epoxy is really too syrupy to allow laying down the glass mats, and yes, I will avoid large rocks. Thinking of getting some dead Manzanita tree from the mountains.

Planning to do two layers of Coat-It (or maybe just one thick one) and then two or so layers of Sweetwater epoxy paint.
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post #33 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-14-2009, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Trying to keep track of costs, since that is always a point of interest.



Prices include shipping and taxes where applicable. Note that I am re-using some materials and many accessories from my discontinued 100gal tank, and I have some things on hand that are not mentioned here. Also, this isn't final, just what I have sunk into this so far.

Other than that - the viewing panel is connected, need to cut the sides and glue/screw them, and double them up with more plywood. Then add some 2x2's to reinforce the corners, sand the whole thing, and then it is almost time to get started with some epoxy. Hoping to get to that point sometimes this coming Sunday.
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post #34 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Manzanita

Went off to the mountains last weekend for some Manzanita hunting!



Found some nice pieces. Manzanitas grow very unique, each branch comes out in a different angle. It is a very hard wood, breaking it with your hands can lead to the sharp branches stabbing through skin. Ouch.



Still haven't had time to ponder the best wood arrangement. Also need to find a way to anchor them. Some suggested slate, just afraid to break it when drilling. I wonder if regular tiles could work as a base too.
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post #35 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 11:26 PM
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Still haven't had time to ponder the best wood arrangement. Also need to find a way to anchor them. Some suggested slate, just afraid to break it when drilling. I wonder if regular tiles could work as a base too.
Great manzy! I really like what you found. I just ordered some from Tom Barr and he says to use a ceramic bit and drill through the slate, then use stainless steel screws. I asked him if you could use slate tiles and he said yes. I'll be anchoring mine in this way right after I get it.

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post #36 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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This was one of the very few times when I wished I'd own a little pickup. Stuffing that branchy wood into the trunk of a Jetta wasn't that much fun.

I am pounding away on the tank construction. There just need to be more hours in a day.

Here's another view from the bottom:



And here is the tank back being glued to the rest of the box:

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post #37 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 12:08 AM
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Cute toes! I used a regular 1/8" drill bit and simply didn't push down. I let the drill do the work for me.

How did you manage to fit the wood in the Jetta? My husband can't seem to fit anything in his Jetta wider than 2 feet.

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post #38 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I figured my size 10 toes give a perspective of the dimensions.

You'd faint if you would see what I have carried in (and on ) my Jetta. The trunk is relatively large, so I slowly fiddled all the branches in there. Was a bear to get out without breaking them...

I can fit up to 3 ft wide sheets of wood, up to 10ft long, or longer with the trunk half-open. The worst was a pallet of EasyBoard... don't ask. Poor car.
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post #39 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 12:40 AM
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Haha. He would probably faint if I told him. He hates to put a box of nails in his Jetta.

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post #40 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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The Front

To make the front panel bow-proof, I sandwiched a 1 1/4" metal angle between the front and the sides.



I will use epoxy to glue the metal & wood. Behind the angle I will glue/screw another 2x2. (not there yet)



A threaded rod across the center will further prevent any bowing. Here is a picture of the 1/2" glass. Looking forward to silicone... but it will be a while longer. I am planning to glue/screw the front panel tonight, and tomorrow and Sunday start sanding, more corner supports, and epoxy.

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post #41 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 04:58 AM
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That Manzanita is going to look awesome!
Oh and you have large toes!
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post #42 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 06:12 AM
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After reading your previous DIY progect I am very excited to see how this will turn out
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post #43 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments guys!



It has been (and still is) a good weekend, got lots of stuff done. Front is attached, corners are almost finished, and I might even apply some epoxy today.



Lifting that thing up alone was a killer... it is now heavy enough to require two ppl to stand it up or lay it down.
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post #44 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 10:44 PM
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Why are you making the tank and stand one single unit? It would certainly be a lot easier to move around if it were separate units. And, it looks like the end panels of the tank continue on up above the tank another 4 feet or so. Why? One last question: how will you move this into position when it is ready to do so?

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post #45 of 495 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Good questions Hoppy...

Being a plywood tank, I believe it will be stronger and more resistant to bowing, contortion, etc if the tank and stand are not only connected, but actually the same pieces. Simpler too... Rather than dealing with a "stand plywood sheet" and a "tank plywood sheet" there are just single panels for the sides and back. The tank bottom is the stand ceiling. If I had two pieces, yes, easier to move around, but I would have to line up holes and so on.

The plywood continues all 96in to the top. Like I mentioned earlier, this is supposed to be a single piece of furniture, and I will extend it all the way to the ceiling. That way it will look more "built in", and if I put doors both on the stand and above the aquarium, the actual depth will be hidden. Just thinking it might look interesting, with regular bookshelves around 12", but in this case it contains a 30" tank. I will create shelves and such above the tank to store office things out of sight... some folders, a printer, etc.

My theory for moving it into place (without glass!!!) is to attach a pair of 2x4's to one of the sides, and slide the whole thing from the garage to the inside of the house. Yes, I measured my doors and they are 36x80, so the 30x70 box should fit through... I hope.

Once inside, I will need to stand it up, slide it into place, mark where the overflow to the adjacent garage will go, then slide it forward, lay it down, silicone the glass, let it dry, ask a bunch of neighbors to help lifting it vertical again, and then slide it into place.

Well... that's the theory.
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