The Planted Tank Forum - Reply to Topic
Thread: DIY Hood, stand, LED lights Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-20-2011 08:21 PM
moonshinetheslacker Heh, I guess you didn't bother to.. um.. look? At the top? It IS covered in trim. I am considering putting trim around the bottom... but I sort of like the straight angles. I might put something very flat around it, just to cover the black... maybe... we'll see.

Short of perfection? I think I'll take that as a compliment. Thank you!
10-19-2011 06:17 PM
silvawispa *cough* trim around bottom(and top maybe) of tank *cough*

Why fall just short of perfection?

Great job.
10-18-2011 12:00 PM
moonshinetheslacker Hhhhmmmmmm... I'm not sure whether I like it tall, or short. My original plan was to have the stand about 6 inches shorter. I wanted something very squat looking. Which is probably why it doesn't quite look right. It should either have a shorter stand, or a taller tank. Maybe when I move I'll sell the 75 gallon, and pick up a 90. They're about 4 inches taller, yeah?

And thanks for the complements. They are very appreciated. I'm thinking about making a similar stand for the first 5 tanks listed on this page:
But I want to make it out of two 8 foot 2x12s. Maybe do a how-to on it. Something small, easy to make, but still look different.

But that will be much later. AFTER I fix the roof, the window sills which have rotted due to the roof leaking for years, leveling the curtain rods, finishing the trimwork on all the base boards on the first floor, along with all the windows. re-painting the second floor, and finish painting the third floor... etc... etc... etc...
10-18-2011 02:14 AM
Hoppy My wife just walked by and saw this. She was very impressed! That is quite an accomplishment. So, I just did some "redesign" and decided I think the proportions would be better with a taller tank.

I think the only imperfection is the low tank - otherwise a very good looking furniture quality tank setup.
10-18-2011 12:40 AM
moonshinetheslacker I totally laughed at the "2x4 madness!" comment! Thanks for that! Here are a few pics of the stand and hood, at 95% complete. I just need to build the caps for the legs. But that's about it.

I used three switches for the 6 LED flood lights, so I can turn on either the outer two, middle two, or two most center. It makes for a very dramatic scene, when the sides are lit up, but the center is dark. When I get the chance, and maybe after the water clears up again, I'll put up some pics of the tank with just the side lights, or just the center lights on.

The water is all yellow, I think due to the tannins leaking out of the mineralized topsoil... at least, I hope that's what the problem is. If anyone knows, feel free to let me know.

10-01-2011 04:22 PM
sns26 Very nice. Kudos on doing something different than "ADA knockoff" or "2x4 madness"!
10-01-2011 04:27 AM
Calmia22 It looks awesome! Although I will be very curious about how well fish do in your tank with that substrate lol.
09-27-2011 07:44 PM
moonshinetheslacker Reybie, thank you for all your complements thus far. I really like how well folks on TPT are ready to give out complements, or advice, as needed.

Hoppy, I think you'll like it much more once all the finishing touches are complete.

Dogfish, if you look on page 1, you will see something that looks like a picture frame, made out of 1.5 inch crown moulding. I still need to stain it, but that's going to be what covers up the black frame on top. And as far as it fitting the space, I can scan the prototype pics that I drew up at work (if I can find them) and I measured, checked aquarium sizes, and re-measured, to figure out exactly how big of a tank and stand I could have. The limiting factors being the light switch on the left hand side, and the bathroom door on the right. That door doesn't open all the way as it is, so I didn't want to make it too much of a squeeze to get through. But thank you very much on the complements, I greatly appreciate it.

Dragonfish, The LEDs are pretty awesome, but I don't think they produce much PAR for the plants. We'll see how things grow. So far I know it's enough to keep crypt parva, java fern, and some stem plant alive. But none have done much growing. I'm going to put at least one more 10w LED in there, and possibly two more after that (one on each side of the hood) The shimmer effect is awesome, and without the front of the hood attached, the shimmering on the ceiling is beautiful. If I ever build another stand (what am I saying? Of course I will!), I'm going to make one that is a lot more industrial looking, and juse use conduit with the LED flood lights, so you can see the entire light, and the ceiling shimmer. It looks like I have a swimming pool in my dining room! It will pain me somewhat to finish the hood, and close it all up.
A note on the 20W floods. The only place I could find them online was through, or I paid $75 for the two 20W floods, with free shipping. But then the bill for customs tax came about a month later, for 30 dollars. So they were approx. a dollar per watt. Also, the emitters on those 20W LEDs are HUGE!! Like, a full square inch!

Also, I'm going to need a TON of aquascaping advice. I have EXTREMELY limited knowledge on aquatic plants (come on, I threw a bloody banana peel and multi vitamins into my dirt!) so I don't know what will look right, how fast it will grow, how big things will get, etc. All I know about is the really long grass that grows in the northernmost portion of the chesapeake bay, anubias nana, and crypt parva. Oh, and I also know that I can't keep glosso alive to save my life. I'll get some pics of the way I laid the substrate out once the tannins clear up a bit. I'll need knowledge on rocks, driftwood, etc. I'll make a new thread in the aquascaping forum, and link to it from here. In the mean time, where would be a good place to research rocks? It seems like there aren't too many great rocks around me, but maybe I'm not looking in the right places?
09-27-2011 05:44 PM
Dragonfish I also REALLY dig it! How do you like the 20w LEDs? I was thinking about a pair for my 55 gallon low-light.
09-27-2011 04:59 PM
Originally Posted by moonshinetheslacker View Post
.... 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?
I think you've accomplished your goal. Normally I don't care for design like this however you have done such an OUTSTANDING job, I really like it. It also fits that space very well.

Well Done!
09-27-2011 03:44 PM
Originally Posted by moonshinetheslacker View Post
One more pic... I call this my ark of the covenant!
I was trying to figure out what it looks like before I read your comment... I like it!
09-27-2011 06:21 AM
Hoppy Very interesting looking stand! (I'm sure you aren't looking for comments about the substrate, so I will pass on that for now. Bananas?) I'm trying to figure out what would make the stand look better to my eyes, but I'm not there yet. Maybe a bigger tank???
09-27-2011 02:06 AM
moonshinetheslacker Alright folks, here is the completed stand. Still working on the hood (obviously) but here are some pics.
Before laying down the MTS, some folk get all this dolomite and potash, and stuff that can be a real PITA to find. I'm a bit more of a risk taker, and am willing to put a couple guppies lives in danger to ensure my tank isn't going to poison my fish. So I first covered the bottom with steel wool. 6 pieces, which were stretched out a bit to cover the tank. These will rust in a matter of days, and will continue to produce plenty of iron oxide for the plants. There are certainly some bad chemicals on this stuff, but by the time it leaches into the water, it won't be any worse then the chesapeake bay. I also threw in a few tablets of TUMS. I hear there is some magnesium in them, and they are mostly calcium, so the plants will have plenty of that.
A few expired multi vitamins were also thrown in there. I'm sure there's stuff in there that plants will like, right? I also tossed in probably over 100 egg shells which had been dried, smashed, and ran through a coffee grinder. Again, calcium carbonate. I was also eating a banana. What the heck? Plants might like the peal. So I tossed that in also. Some no-salt was thrown in there for a replacement to the dolomite. So all my bases should be covered. We'll see how it works.
Attachment 35298

I'm planning on sticking a black ghost knife fish in here eventually, so I figured he should have a nice big cave. I made this out of a 2 litre soda bottle.
Attachment 35300

After the mineralized topsoil was in, it was capped in washed playsand. I found some really grey playsand at home depot that I liked a lot, so I tossed out the yellow stuff I already had, and got the grey stuff. This next pic shows my LED flood lights. The wiring isn't currently the safest, but it'll be fine as long as the front isn't on the hood. Once the hood is completed, the wiring connections will be made inside of sealed boxes, so moisture can't accumulate on them, and there will be an extra layer of insulation between the connections and wooden hood.
Attachment 35301

And without further ado, here is the completed stand!
Attachment 35302

I still have a couple finishing touches, but I learned a really good trick from Hoppy. It's a secret that he posted on the forums. Stand far enough away, so people can't see your mistakes!

And I will post pics of the hood, and top rim cover once they are complete.

One more pic... I call this my ark of the covenant!
Attachment 35303

I suppose I should probably put a pic of the stand over on the official sticky stand thread as well.
09-26-2011 11:55 AM
moonshinetheslacker Reybie, thank you very much! I am almost finished with it as of last night (up past midnight finishing everything, makes for a real early 5 AM) I just have a few small things to do. I need to stain a couple places that got rubbed a little too much, or had to be filed down to be just the right size. And I have one or two pieces of trim to put on in select locations, etc.

Calmia, are you referring to the habitat for humanity re-stores? Because those places ROCK!! Talk about some cheap stuff! I replaced 12 windows in a house of mine a while back for about 300 dollars with re-store windows.

A note on little touches, trim will do you wonders! Even cheap vinyl trim has it's place, in my opinion. And a lot of the time with the vinyl stuff, you don't even have to nail it. Just use super glue!
09-25-2011 06:54 PM
reybie Now that is one sweet looking stand!
This thread has more than 15 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome