this is an update with some recent pictures. i include several views to demonstrate specifics of stand build.
here is the whole shebang with tank and green salad on top. all of the tank system components and stand--less the Teklight--were easy to find and pretty economical.
flower spike is reaching way out into room. the other plants still need to grow in some more. i used Riparium Supply stuff to plant all of the emergent plants. the underwater plants are planted into pool filter sand. they get bi-weekly ferts and Excel every day. the underwater plants do more or less ok like this because the water is mostly shaded by the emergent stuff.
the aquarium is an Aqueon 65G with the top rim popped off. well, it didn't exactly pop off. i wrestled with it for the better part of an afternoon and i was lucky not to slice my hand wide open.
this is view under stand with Filstar, houseplants, electrical and chicken.
...more detail. the only equipment under here is the filter, a powerstrip and timer. the shelf is a simple rectangle--note gap on each end. i used "sanded" plywood for shelf, using primer as sanding sealer, then a layer of paint and finally several coats of oil-based polyurethane. this gave me a nice finish
this shot is from beneath shelf. four of these brackets hold it up.