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-   -   Tank Build - 46 Bow (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=110133)

jesse7876 06-13-2010 02:53 PM

Tank Build - 46 Bow
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hello all, I'll start by introducing myself. I'm completely new to planted tanks, but had been into reef tanks for about 5 years. I took my reef tank down about a year ago due to time and money constraints.

I've decided to start a new tank, and the planted tanks have really caught my eye...I get to keep the delicateness and ecosystem of a reef tank, but with a lot less cost!

Anyway, I've bought a 46 gallon bow tank, and am building the stand from scratch. I've scoured threads online for ideas, and below is what I plan to build, from which I've combined others' ideas.

jesse7876 06-13-2010 02:57 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Below are a few pics of the start of the stand. The tank is somewhat offset from the base of the stand, which gives about 3.5 inches behind for all the cords and tubing to run through.

Noahma 06-13-2010 05:15 PM

This is one I am going to follow :)

Hoppy 06-14-2010 05:18 PM

This is looking very promising! What do you plan to skin it with? And, have you considered using a parallelogram linkage hidden inside the hood, spring loaded, so you can lift it easily to make maintenance easier, with the light still shining down into the tank?

ryndisher 06-14-2010 09:23 PM

I agree stand looks great so far. :)

jesse7876 06-15-2010 03:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoppy (Post 1088863)
This is looking very promising! What do you plan to skin it with? And, have you considered using a parallelogram linkage hidden inside the hood, spring loaded, so you can lift it easily to make maintenance easier, with the light still shining down into the tank?


Thanks for the comments! I'm going to skim the stand with a flexible thin plywood and paint it with a darker textured spraypaint. My goal is to capture the eye at the tank, and not at the stand.

I was considering using a spring-loaded stay hinge similar to what you would see on a toy chest.
I do really like your idea though! Is there anything like that available or pictures of something someone has done?
I could create a 4-bar linkage as you suggest that would lift out, up, and back so that it is raised directly above the tank when I need to do maintenance.

jesse7876 06-15-2010 03:15 AM

I took a class in college on designing four-bar linkages. Basically, you dictate the motion you desire, and go from there to create the specific links.
I may have to go look through my old material.

Hoppy 06-15-2010 09:14 PM

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...tml#post850931 is a photo of a parallelogram linkage I designed and tried. This fixture is 30 inches long. The problem I had was the difficulty in balancing it so it would stay up from friction on the locking knobs, plus keeping it from twisting as I lifted it.

You could solve the twisting problem with an axle connecting one of the rear pivots, so both linkages have to move together. In any case, it is a very interesting device to design and build, even if it doesn't work quite as well as you want. I hope you try it, because I want to see someone succeed with this better than I did.

jesse7876 06-21-2010 01:19 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoppy (Post 1089803)
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...tml#post850931 is a photo of a parallelogram linkage I designed and tried. This fixture is 30 inches long. The problem I had was the difficulty in balancing it so it would stay up from friction on the locking knobs, plus keeping it from twisting as I lifted it.

You could solve the twisting problem with an axle connecting one of the rear pivots, so both linkages have to move together. In any case, it is a very interesting device to design and build, even if it doesn't work quite as well as you want. I hope you try it, because I want to see someone succeed with this better than I did.

Great idea Hoppy! As I'm not real good with working on steel, and mostly have wood tools, I'm going to try to use parts available.

I'm thinking of having the back of the hood supported by slides (drawer slides) so that it can move vertically up and down. Then, I'll have two struts mounted at an angle from the back of the stand towards the center of the hood. This way, it would move vertically, but have the struts supporting the weight.

Of course, I need to do some tests to make sure something like this will work correctly.

jesse7876 06-21-2010 01:23 AM

5 Attachment(s)
I've got some more progress...

Added the vertical front support and put the two sides on. I also built one of the curved doors.
I think it's mostly self-explanatory from the pics.

Hoppy 06-21-2010 03:26 AM

It is still looking great!

Back to the light hood: If you give up having a complete hood that is the same dimensions as the tank top, you can use drawer slides to let the light slide back out of the way for maintenance. That doesn't let you easily raise and lower the light to adjust the light intensity, but it would be relatively easy to make.

WeedCali 06-22-2010 07:00 PM

Whoa thats sick! My dad wanted to do this with my stand when we built it.

jesse7876 06-23-2010 01:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoppy (Post 1093827)
It is still looking great!

Back to the light hood: If you give up having a complete hood that is the same dimensions as the tank top, you can use drawer slides to let the light slide back out of the way for maintenance. That doesn't let you easily raise and lower the light to adjust the light intensity, but it would be relatively easy to make.

Thanks!

That's a great idea, although I want to build a system that's very sleek, and looks basically like a curved box with a tank in the middle. Also, I want all the light contained so that it doesn't shine out the back or out the top during the evening. This way the tank itself will really glow.

I do appreciate your feedback, Hoppy. :icon_smil

jesse7876 06-23-2010 01:27 AM

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Well, I got the basics of the first door complete and got it to fitup correctly on the stand. I put a couple "stops" on the two bottom ribs so that they can be used as shelves for storage.

jesse7876 07-06-2010 02:15 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Latest update:

I got the "skins" put on the doors, and have started installing the trim. The outside of the doors is 1/4" birch plywood, as it seemed the most flexible of the plywoods, and I chose a couple pieces that were already slightly bowed.
I had to soak the trim boards for a while to get them a little more pliable to bend. Those pieces on the top are glued with liquid nails.


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