The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - DIY Hood, stand, LED lights
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: havre de grace, MD
Posts: 333
DIY Hood, stand, LED lights

This whole plan got started because my wife wanted to throw out a bunch of scrap bamboo flooring we had sitting around for the past couple of years. I know I want to do a project with it, but I wasn't sure what... So as she was loading my truck up with bamboo, it came to me! An aquarium stand! Not to mention, we already have a bunch of lumber so it will be super cheap!

heh... that's how it started that is. So far I haven't touched the stand, but have spent over 200 on the hood.

The tank is a 75 gallon that I got off craigslist (I paid WAY too much, since I'm not going to need the stand or hood it came with) I'm going for an asian theme for the whole tank. I'll try to put a basic outline of what the stand will look like online tomorrow.

I've began the hood and have finished 90% of the assembly. I need to add a spring hinge somewhere inside it, or maybe a couple small gas pistons. I have two 20 watt LED flood lights on order right now, and I have a 10 Watt already. If it's not enough light, there will be plenty of room to add in more. I'm also going to get a couple computer fans to blow along the lights. After running the 10 Watt for 12 hours a day, it's pretty warm to the touch. Certainly wouldn't burn you, but it would be uncomfortable to hold in your bare hands for more than 10 seconds.

The stand is going to be mainly made out of reclaimed lumber, and will cost FAR less than the hood is going to end up costing me. The legs for the stand are going to be made out of 3x12's which I am cutting with a band saw to have them slope along the sides. The ends, and doors of the stand will be made out of scrap bamboo flooring that I have laying around. There will also be a piece of bamboo inlay going around the top of the 3x12's. And the aquarium will sit directly on a large DIY butcher board made out of 2x6's. My original plan was to pour a concrete counter top (Just got done building a concrete mantel) but I decided the butcher board will be less time consuming, and a LOT more forgiving.

Oh, the oak! Yeah, there will be some oak thrown in there in a couple places. But the oak is reclaimed as well. I dismantled a few old palettes at work, and sanded down the oak pieces. And the 3x12's came from an old dock that got torn down near my house. They're pressure treated, so I'm going to do a bit of practice staining on some scrap pieces, to see how the wood will turn out. I don't know what effect that green will have on the stains, other than make them a whole lot darker, and probably a little... um... green. But hey, on the upside, if my tank leaks while I'm on a 6 month vacation, and nobody notices, then my floors might rot out, but the feet for my stand will be in great shape!

The wood will be three tones. Very dark brown on the legs, and the hood. Yellow (the bamboo) and my own concoction of mixed reds to make the butcher board and a couple pieces of oak look like antique cherry.

I ran into a bit of a problem with the hood, when I discovered that my miter saw is just a hair too small to cut very large crown moulding. I was able to hold the pieces in place, but just barely, and wasn't able to keep everything perfectly in line. The result... a hood which is less than square. Most people won't notice, but the people with an eye for detain certainly will.

Nonetheless, I do have the proper tools for everything else...

I think...

In any event, here are the beginnings of the hood.

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This piece is going to be glued on to the black rim that goes around the tank. I know a lot of people like rimless, or de-rimmed tanks, but I got to thinking. Why not show off the rim, instead of get rid of it?
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Click image for larger version

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Click image for larger version

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Sorry about the mess behind the aquarium. That's my son's "I love me" wall. I figured a refrigerator can only keep so much junk magneted to it. So I gave him a wall. I think he's forgiven me for sticking an aquarium in front of it, since I told him it was only temporary.

Plus I bribed him with a snickers. That probably helped too!
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More pics will come, hopefully after this weekend. Let me know what y'all think!
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