120Gal with a 55Gal Refugium - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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120Gal with a 55Gal Refugium

So, I currently have my 55gal running and found a smoking deal on a 120gal (100$ on Castanet) that I want to make a planted and dirted tank. The refugium will also be dirted.
I have some clean up to do on the 120 as it had sat outside for quite a while. I am going to polish the glass with Cerium Oxide.
The trim is cracked in a few spots form sun damage, that I am going to custom make some 1/8th aluminum trim for it.
This project is going to be a few months ongoing as I am DIY almost everything. Stand & canopy, CO2 system, Lava Rock features and the refugium.
Right now I have a few lava rock pillars made.
I broke down larger rocks I had found on a really close by(and I mean, like 15min away) extinct volcano to the size I wanted. Drilled a hole in each. Used hot glue to build the pillars and then more hot glue to attach small chunks and shards in the seams between the layers. I am still playing around with a few more ideas in constructing them.
















And started on the stand and canopy. I really suggest to anyone who wants to DIY an aquarium stand to rent, buy or borrow a miter saw. It makes things soooooooo much easier. AND you get perfect square cuts on your wood.
First thing I did was measure (twice) and cut all my lengths for stand and canopy. Sand the edges and most of the dirt marks on the wood. As I am going to wrap everything in Maple, getting all the dirt off wasn't as critical. If I was going have it as an open stand, then all the wood would have gotten a once over with the orbital sander.
Next thing was to stain everything with a Minwax Polyshades. I don't know if this is needed, but because I am having a refugium and my 120 will not have a glass top or anything other than the canopy, I wanted to protect the wood from moisture inside the enclosed stand and canopy. I will down the road install fans, still I wanted the protection. Plus, I like the look of a somewhat finished inside.








So as of right now, all the wood is stained. I will let it sit for, probably a day. Then it's on to assembly.


Stay tuned for lots and lots more pics and posts.


Thank you in advance to all those who wish to comment or suggest. This is my first planted and dirted aquarium and welcome any feedback, as there are a lot of you out there that have tonnes more experience than I.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 04:39 PM
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Sounds great but the pictures at not showing up.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Why am I always having trouble with pics. Some times they work and then sometimes they don't. Will try again here soon.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 01:05 PM
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Those pillars are suuuuper weird to me! haha. They did show up for me though. I'm excited to see how bad your tank really is. I picked up a very similarly sized acrylic tank and I'm working on it now. Refurbishing a cheap used deal is a lot of fun as long as it holds water at the end!


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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I always cut out as much of the old silicon as I can when revamp a tank. If you're gonna do the work, might as well reseal at too.
The pillars will be covered in moss. Just not sure which one. I was thinking Christmas Tree Moss. On parts of the driftwood that form overhangs, I was going to have Weeping Moss.
Still in the panning stage of plants.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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This is what I've done for the stand.

The top box is made from 2X6 and all other wood is 2X4.

The top and bottom boxes, screw strips and legs
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...710226&thumb=1


https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...710234&thumb=1


https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...710242&thumb=1

I predrilled and countersunk all screws so when I wrap with 1/2" Aspen plywood, there are no raised screw heads
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...710250&thumb=1

The bottom where the 55gal refugium will go. This will also be sheeted with plywood
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...710258&thumb=1

The top with also will be sheeted with plywood
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...710266&thumb=1

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...710274&thumb=1

This 2X4 you see here and can also see in the previous 2 pics, that I have attached to the inside of the 2X6 is for
extra support on the 2X6. The reason being is that I am not using a center brace because there would be no way for me
to get the 55gal under the main tank if I have a center brace on my stand.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...710282&thumb=1

Here's the empty tank on the stand. Pretty good for a first time build.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...710290&thumb=1

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...710298&thumb=1

As you can see, there is a lot of water and weather marks to polish out. The trim will be coming off because it is cracked
in various spots from being left outside by the previous owner. A custom made 1/4" aluminum trim is being made and on the center
brace for the trim, in each of the four corners, I am designing a Celtic Knot corner motif that will be cut out of 1/4 aluminum with
a water jet.

And here is the canopy so. I wanted to finish it tonight, but getting a little late to be working with everyone else sleeping.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...710306&thumb=1

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...710314&thumb=1

More pics and details to come as I continue on.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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Here's the canopy frame finished

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For the sheeting I decided to go with 1/4 Aspen plywood.
I am using PolyShades from Minwax. A stain & polyurethane application. The color I wanted was a deep/dark brown but they don't really have that shade.
So I mixed, with the small cans, 2 Tudor color, 1 Black color and 2 Satin clears. To have enough of the same for all the wood.
The inside of all pieces are done and I went though about half of the mix. The color is dark enough so I am going to add 2 cans of clear so
I can do two coats to the outside of the Aspen.

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