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oosurfin 10-22-2011 02:57 AM

40g Breeder HI-Tech Firt attempt'ish - 56k beware Pic heavy
Hey everyone I figured I would start a build log for my tank since I've never done one before so here we go.

Quick history I spent quite a few years doing the salt water reef bit and when I made my move to Las Vegas I had to tear it down and have been basically tank less for like 4 years. Reef Tank pic's for those of you that are interested. Ive had a little 12g nano cube with some shrimp and plants but nothing special. But now its on to the fun stuff.

So like the title says I am doing a 40 gallon Breeder sized tank 36"Lx18"Wx16"H. This really is an awesome size for a tank, simply because you have a lot of options as far as scape goes. I Got the tank from A big box store during one of the 1$ per gallon sales at the end of September. It took me some time but I found an awesome local guy from the vegas reef club that was willing to build me a custom stand for this bad boy. It took about 3 weeks to get everything finished and get it home but it was worth the wait, no questions asked. I did want some fairly specific things after dealing with my 135g reef tank. I wanted a canopy that would fold in half back onto itself, I wanted the tank stand to sit flush with the wall and I wanted 1 large door into the stand. Another thing I wanted was a tall stand, the stand is 37 1/2" tall including trim to cover the tanks black trim. I really wanted the tanks trim to be hidden by the stand and canopy also Greg(my build guy) was able to mount a switched power center underneath the stand so I don't have a power strip sitting in there that has the wire Medusa coming out of it. Now the best part is always the pictures in these kinds of threads so I wont keep you waiting.

I Painted the back of the tank with Krylon fusion gloss black

From the rear.

And from the front

Here is the start of the stand frame.

Getting the stand paneled.

Stand skinned and door cut for mounting.

More to come

oosurfin 10-22-2011 02:59 AM

Here is the stand, canopy and tank while finishing the canopy

Here are some pictures of Greg(my builder) testing for light leaks

This is the canopy opened during the light leak test.

Greg and I sizing up the trim for the stand with some hardware installed

More to come

oosurfin 10-22-2011 03:02 AM

Some of you may have noticed that the stand and canopy was slightly deeper on the rear side of the tank and that is fully intended because I want to push the stand up against the wall to hide all the junk that will be running from top to bottom. so here are the pictures of the tank and canopy finished with side panels to hide the junk!! In the pictures below you can also see the continuous hinge we used to make it possible for the canopy to fold back onto itself.

Finished build pics of the stand and canopy.

And one more

For the build we used pine 2x4's to build the frame, red oak 1/2" plywood for the paneling, 1/2" corner guard on the corners and to hide the cut marks, quarter round oak on the bottom edge of the stand and the trim is the big orange box standard trim made from rose wood.

oosurfin 10-22-2011 03:04 AM

I wanted to protect this stand from water damage on the inside so I did 3 coats of kilz 2 on the inside of the stand an canopy. I also used silicone caulk in all the corners and seams to help water proof the wood a little bit.

Stand from the back side.

Stand from the front with my power center installed.

here is the inside of the canopy as well

oosurfin 10-22-2011 03:07 AM

For lighting in this tank I went with 2x39watt t5ho's with tek II reflectors and a phillips advanced ballast. I picked up the package at with 2 6500k GE bulbs and waterproof end caps. I picked up a 2 foot LED strip, from amazon, that can be dimmed and has 15 different colors as well as white that is controlled by remote. The LED strip will be used as moon lighting and to add shimmer with the white light(hopefully).

Here was the first trial mount of the T5's

Here are the lights installed and wired with the LED strip. Dont mind the wire splices a few wires were too short and one wire I missed while stapling it down and cut it in half

Lit up with no reflectors, LEDS not lit. Ill have to get a pic of that up here.

oosurfin 10-22-2011 03:09 AM

I have had the stand and canopy about a week at this point and I started to do the paint job on it. I decided to do rustoleum cabinet restore on it instead of doing a standard black or doing a stain on it. decided to go with a chocolate color and once the gloss and protective coat is on it should look really nice. Now for more pics because there isn't enough yet. BTW yes I'm doing this in the kitchen of my apartment

Here we have the first coat on the stand.

The back side of the door

The stand/canopy connections

And the canopy

NWehrman 10-22-2011 03:10 AM

Nice build - nice stand!

oosurfin 10-22-2011 03:17 AM

finished up the painting tonight and plan to to do the glaze and top coat in the next few days. I also had a change of heart about painting the mount for the power center so now it will match everything.

Stand with final paint coat.

Front of the door and stand/canopy connectors.

oosurfin 10-22-2011 03:19 AM


Originally Posted by NWehrman (Post 1562137)
Nice build - nice stand!

Thanks if you have any questions just let me know. I didn't expect to get a reply so fast.

oosurfin 10-22-2011 04:00 AM

Took a few pics of the main colors on the LED strip in a dark room. They are pretty impressive for the $38 shipped i got them for. The best part is.... it has a remote!!

Here is the white looks kinda pink in the picture though, not sure why.


Blue that will be used for the moon lights, it can be dimmed as well


The sweet remote that came with it

oosurfin 10-23-2011 07:33 AM

Did All of the glazing last night and took some pics of it. Ill finish up the protective top coat tonight hopefully then its 24 hours before I can put it all together and start setting this beast up!

Center of stand

Corner of stand

Front of canopy

Door on top of stand drying

Capsaicin_MFK 10-23-2011 09:40 AM

Very nice DIY skills. Can't wait to see the progression!

oosurfin 10-23-2011 09:53 AM


Originally Posted by Capsaicin_MFK (Post 1563568)
Very nice DIY skills. Can't wait to see the progression!

Thanks I appreciate it! I wish I could take credit for building the stand but that was all Greg, I supplied a few cigars and some beer but not much beyond that. The paint job I'm not overly thrilled about but it looks alright, gotta try something different every now and then. I really wanted to stain it a dark color but the deed is done.

oosurfin 10-23-2011 10:07 AM

I think the biggest challenge I'm going to face is aquascaping this tank since Ive never really done plants before I am having some trouble picking plants and seeing the design in my head. I'm thinking I want to do some kind of sand path that wraps around into some kinda like rock cave. I plan on using some kind of flexible plastic to separate the play sand and the eco complete then i want to line the edges of that with some kind of smooth rock standing up, almost like fence posts, to help keep stuff from mixing together. I have a nice piece of drift wood that I picked up online that should stick up out of the water just a little bit. I've had the wood curing in a 35g brute trash can that I used to mix salt water in for almost a month now. Looks like most of the tannins are out of it and it doesn't seem to be producing any smell in the water any more. Ive probably used a pound or two of carbon while curing it, But I have 2 5 gallon buckets left over from a group buy I did in so cal for 50lb bags back when I was reefing. Here are a few pictures of the manzanita wood that will be going in the tank.

From the front

From the top

devlyyn 10-23-2011 11:58 AM

I love that piece of driftwood! Do you have any ideas for stocking yet?

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