DIY Aquarium + Filter System - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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Lightbulb DIY Aquarium + Filter System

Hello everyone,

I'm new to the entire aquarium fish keeping experience and after alot of reading around on forums and watching youtube video's i've decided to start my own aquarium DIY project.
PS: English is not my first language so excuse me for any errors in my grammar.. thanks

I personally feel alot more satisfied if i create something myself from the ground up than to buy something (which is usually overpriced) already made, from the store.

I bought myself a completely made from glass, table.. which looks like this (for 60$)

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It's hardened glass and has the right thickness for the amount of water that's going to be going in.

I like the curves of the table and i'm going to be turning it on it's side so it serves as the front and sides of the tank.

For the back and bottom of the tank i'm going to be using some kind of wood and paint it black with liquid pond paint (don't know it's exact name)
I've made some sketches so you have an idea of what i'm trying to do.

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The tank is going to be sitting on the ground and i'm planning to place the filtration on top of the aquarium, i want the water to be drained up through simple PVC piping attached to an inline waterpump that is sitting above the water level.. The filter itself is going to be a simple trickle system made from a rubbermaid storage drawer (something like this)

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with holes on the bottom of each drawer
the filter will have 3 types of filter media, mechanical, biological and chemical..
and the filtered water will drop back into the aquarium
details about the contents of the future aquarium:

Freshwater planted aquarium with driftwood and some rocks..
5 or 6 Discus
X Clown loaches (not certain how many yet)
X Neon Tetra's (not certain how many yet)
Perhaps some other species in the future depending on how i do with these first

my question is.. what type of pump is best to use for this type of setup?
any link's and any advice at all would be greatly appreciated..

thank you for your time..
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 05:21 AM
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Wow what a great idea! My first concern is how are you going to get the back panel attached to the glass table? You might need something on the top so that the panels don't split at the seam.
Why not just buy a Hob filter. They don't cost much anyways

Last edited by stealthypotatoes; 06-17-2013 at 05:23 AM. Reason: Revise
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 05:39 AM
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This look like an awesome idea. I don't have enough experience to suggest a pump, but I am sure someone will have the answer you are looking for. Good Luck with the project! I can't wait to see your progress!

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 01:38 PM
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Yea I a HOB would be a good idea, I think that'll save time. This is my first time seeing this! Wow just wow. You must be really imaginative to do this aquarium. Good luck, I hope it's gonna turn out great!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 02:24 PM
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Might I suggest an acrylic back or glass back..? The wooden back seems like a bad idea to me..

I like the look of that table though, it's very slick!
And that's a very cool filter idea. It's like a diy canister/sump thing. Cool.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 03:00 PM
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i have made some small tanks with ease,,,, using just one piece of wood for the back will
be difficult to make it hold and probably wont work. yo need to get another piece of glass.
with that being said the other problem that i see might be the black rim,, definately needs to be cleaned/scraped off as the silicone will not bond to this... if you like using this table i would suggest trying to get in touch with the manufacturer and see if you can get an unfinished version.. meaning no black on the rim plus the glass needs to be square.. i do not mean the corners i mean the edges.. see where the black is? on the parts above it and below it they are sanded smooth/rounded and should be square
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 03:18 PM
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You need to make an ADA style cabinet with matching curved corners and run it rimless - would look really cool imho.

Keep it up. I just love diy-projects.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flukekiller View Post
i have made some small tanks with ease,,,, using just one piece of wood for the back will
be difficult to make it hold and probably wont work. yo need to get another piece of glass.
with that being said the other problem that i see might be the black rim,, definately needs to be cleaned/scraped off as the silicone will not bond to this... if you like using this table i would suggest trying to get in touch with the manufacturer and see if you can get an unfinished version.. meaning no black on the rim plus the glass needs to be square.. i do not mean the corners i mean the edges.. see where the black is? on the parts above it and below it they are sanded smooth/rounded and should be square
I'm planning to place some black stainless steel L-profiles and just fill it up with silicone on both sides.. (perhaps i might use (SS) screws + silicone to attach those L-profiles onto the wood)

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Thanks for the advice though, i'm glad someone else thought about that problem aswell.. Also read some stuff about Stainless Steel in an aquarium.. In freshwater aquariums it doesn't seem like a problem.. just going to try it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsnork View Post
You need to make an ADA style cabinet with matching curved corners and run it rimless - would look really cool imho.

Keep it up. I just love diy-projects.
I'm going to be placing the tank on the ground and create a curved cabinet on top of the aquarium, so it won't be rimless but the cabinet will be smooth like the table and not stick out.... and i'm definitely going to go for a glossy finish..

Thanks guys for your comments btw.. keep the ideas coming! <3
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 06:47 PM
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Don't listen to the doubting Thomas' here. A plywood back will work just fine. I think you have a great DIY project ahead of you. Can't wait to see further developments!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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If need be i could create a metal frame against the wooden back to reinforce it... or just use a thicker type of wood.. i'l see what i'l do..
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 06:58 PM
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not trying to be negative,,, when i built tanks i looked at all the things that could go wrong so i could prevent them from happening,,, nothing like walking home to a tank that the seems have split with xxx amount of gallons of water all over the floor and all your fish dead. been there done that do not want to see that happen to others.

as for the build i hope you can get it to work,,, a few more suggestions,,,
when filling the tank, fill half way , wait a few hours and fill the rest of the way.
also do it outside to save time with the clean up if things go bad..
as for the ss angle not sure about how safe as i havent looking into that.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 06:59 PM
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also to add i would put some sort of cross brace across the back of the wood to help prevent any warping

i would go with 3/4 ply wood at minimal
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 07:04 PM
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Great project, looking forward to seeing it come together. Love the DIY filter using the drawers.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flukekiller View Post
not trying to be negative,,, when i built tanks i looked at all the things that could go wrong so i could prevent them from happening,,, nothing like walking home to a tank that the seems have split with xxx amount of gallons of water all over the floor and all your fish dead. been there done that do not want to see that happen to others.

as for the build i hope you can get it to work,,, a few more suggestions,,,
when filling the tank, fill half way , wait a few hours and fill the rest of the way.
also do it outside to save time with the clean up if things go bad..
as for the ss angle not sure about how safe as i havent looking into that.
i really appreciate you for pointing out potential flaws and risks in this build! i'm going to be placing it some place safe and follow your advice on filling it up half way. thanks again

Quote:
Originally Posted by flukekiller View Post
also to add i would put some sort of cross brace across the back of the wood to help prevent any warping

i would go with 3/4 ply wood at minimal
yes i was thinking of doing something of the sort aswell.. or some kind of metal frame..
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETK View Post
Great project, looking forward to seeing it come together. Love the DIY filter using the drawers.
Thank's mate.. i might change it up a bit with the filter..
I'm not entirely sure if i'm going for that idea.. but it will probably look alot like it.
Also, i saw 2 people mention the HOB filter to be a good idea..
but i disagree with this because i don't like the visible water in-take pipe of the filter to be seen, i like it to be as subtle as possible when it comes to filtering..
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