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Old 11-13-2008, 02:49 AM   #16
customdrumfinishes
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tank looks great. always wanted to build one but cost to much for me.if your worried about it blowing out or leakin i would fill it to the top with water for sure if you already havent, cant tell in pic. i understand your extra caulk on bottom since they say most failures are in the bottom on any tank ada or walmmart brand.
id leave it up for a few days and if your really worried put your hand in it and slosh the water around. i would think thats more pressure than it will ever get sitting on a stand anyway.
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Old 11-13-2008, 04:01 AM   #17
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tank looks great. always wanted to build one but cost to much for me.if your worried about it blowing out or leakin i would fill it to the top with water for sure if you already havent, cant tell in pic. i understand your extra caulk on bottom since they say most failures are in the bottom on any tank ada or walmmart brand.
id leave it up for a few days and if your really worried put your hand in it and slosh the water around. i would think thats more pressure than it will ever get sitting on a stand anyway.
Thanks a lot. That's exactly what I plan to do...wait about 5 days to see how it does. Did not think about sloshing the water but may be in the last day of testing. However in order to stress test one side that has most air bubbles in a side seem I induced a slight tilt on that side to increase the pressure on that side.

As for the bottom seem I'll trim only one side (which will be the front side) to give it a cleaner look. Other sides will be hidden by substrate.

And yes, tank is full to the brim right now.

As for building your own tank, a similar sized ADA cube garden (60-H, 45-C etc.) can cost 200-250+tax+shipping. My tank costs about 150, so it is definitely worth the try (according to me).
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Old 11-13-2008, 04:33 PM   #18
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Did you put the sides on top of the base or are they attached to the edges? From the dimensions that you supplied it appears that the sides must be resting on the bottom.

The thread that is stickied at the top of the DIY forum discusses this point at length.
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Old 11-13-2008, 04:42 PM   #19
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Did you put the sides on top of the base or are they attached to the edges?
Yes all sides are on top of the base and 2 side walls (18" X 15") are in between the front and back walls (24" X 18")
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:49 PM   #20
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Default Testing results after 24 hours

The first day of testing went well. No leaks so far. Water level is same as yesterday. 4 more days to go
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:44 PM   #21
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Default Early bird picks of my stand plan

While my tanks sits...here's some pics of my stand plan. Overall 24" L X 18" W X 28" H.

I decided to keep it 18" wide while my tank is 15" so that I have 3" at the back to arrange background lights

The pieces I need are

Top - 24" X 18"
Bottom - 24 " X 17 1/4"
Sides (X 2) - 26 1/2" X 17 1/4"
Back (X 2) - 26 1/2" X 9"
Front Upper - 24" X 4"
Front Lower (Door) - 24" X 23 1/4"
Front & Back Frames (X4) = 21" X 2"
Side Frames (X4) = 16.5" X 2"

All 3/4" thick. Here are a few pics of the model and how a 4' X 8' can be cut out in all these pieces. A plank this size costs average $20-60 depending upon material. No idea what cutting charges they might apply.

The last picture is how I visualize both stands side by side with the "light bars" behind (light bar design is incomplete though )
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:52 PM   #22
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You will thank yourself if you use levelers, http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID=3986 under this. That makes leveling the tank very easy, and not too expensive either. What material are you planning for the stand? If it is plywood, don't forget to get something to cover the raw edges of the plywood.
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:58 PM   #23
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You will thank yourself if you use levelers, http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID=3986 under this. That makes leveling the tank very easy, and not too expensive either. What material are you planning for the stand? If it is plywood, don't forget to get something to cover the raw edges of the plywood.
Levelers. Did not think about them, but sounds like a good idea. I have a question though - I planned for a flat bottom surface to evenly spread the weight. Won't that be redundant if I fix levelers on the 4 bottom corners?

I am planning MDF and then cover it with laminate sheet.
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:04 AM   #24
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You would have to recess the bottom allowing room under it for the levelers, so the bottom piece is 1.5" shorter than the top piece. The back piece would stiffen it and help carry the weight without warping the bottom, but in front it might warp unless you had a vertical piece behind the door on both sides. Your design is certainly simpler and less apt to warp over the months the tank sits on it. But, you might have to do a lot of shimming to level the top, but if the shims are just under the vertical side pieces no warping should occur. That is one problem with MDF, and to a lesser extent any other form of wood that you have to consider when you plan to keep a heavy load on it for a long time.
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:35 AM   #25
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You would have to recess the bottom allowing room under it for the levelers, so the bottom piece is 1.5" shorter than the top piece. The back piece would stiffen it and help carry the weight without warping the bottom, but in front it might warp unless you had a vertical piece behind the door on both sides. Your design is certainly simpler and less apt to warp over the months the tank sits on it. But, you might have to do a lot of shimming to level the top, but if the shims are just under the vertical side pieces no warping should occur. That is one problem with MDF, and to a lesser extent any other form of wood that you have to consider when you plan to keep a heavy load on it for a long time.
Thank you for explaining it. The 8 2" pieces I have for the framework are the shims which will form tie all the sides. As far as the vertical pieces are concerned behind the door, I thought that the 2 side pieces would do that job. Would that not suffice?

As far as material is concerned, I have a MDF stand for a 80 gallon right now, so I preferred that material. But I have also read about MDF being more vulnerable to moisture. That's why my plan to cover it with laminate. However is that any other material that you would consider over MDF?
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:20 AM   #26
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MDF isn't very vulnerable to moisture. Ordinary particle board is vulnerable and swells badly when wet. The only disadvantage of MDF is that it isn't very strong in bending. So, if the leveler or other foot is under the bottom and not under the side piece, the weight of the tank tries to bend the bottom, to bow it upwards. But, if the leveler is attached to the side and not to the under side of the bottom it should work fine. (I don't remember how the ones I used are attached.)

Plywood is stronger than MDF, and lighter in weight, but to use it you have to cover the raw edges of the plywood, which can be a nuisance. Also, most plywood we can buy without paying a big price is warped before we ever get it. Even if it isn't I always found it nearly impossible to keep it from warping after I cut pieces to size. To coin a phrase - they don't make it like they used to.
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:25 AM   #27
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That's a great build Very well done
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:03 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
MDF isn't very vulnerable to moisture. Ordinary particle board is vulnerable and swells badly when wet. The only disadvantage of MDF is that it isn't very strong in bending. So, if the leveler or other foot is under the bottom and not under the side piece, the weight of the tank tries to bend the bottom, to bow it upwards. But, if the leveler is attached to the side and not to the under side of the bottom it should work fine. (I don't remember how the ones I used are attached.)

Plywood is stronger than MDF, and lighter in weight, but to use it you have to cover the raw edges of the plywood, which can be a nuisance. Also, most plywood we can buy without paying a big price is warped before we ever get it. Even if it isn't I always found it nearly impossible to keep it from warping after I cut pieces to size. To coin a phrase - they don't make it like they used to.
Alright then MDF it is . It should be ok for a 24" X 18" surface with 3/4" inch thickness, given my 48" X 18" MDF stand holding my 80 gallon is doing perfectly ok for so long. Thanks again!!
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:11 AM   #29
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That's a great build Very well done
Thank you very much. I saw one of your earlier posts with 2 tanks side by side. That's similar to what I have in mind setup wise, although my scape plans are different.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:28 AM   #30
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While I wait for my first tank test to continue....I played around with my models to kill some of the boredom. Here is the product...a visual of how the 2 tanks and stands would probably look like.

Of course not the same substrate layouts...much more beautiful I guess

But this did help in one way. I did not realize that the light bars will show behind the tank background. That's not done. I have to reposition them.
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