ChrisX 75g SA Community (slow build) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 307 (permalink) Old 02-25-2018, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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ChrisX 75g SA Community (slow build)

This project has been in the works since last fall's DPG sale! With the warmer weather, I was able to make some progress on the stand.

The current plan is for a SA cichlid community with easy plants. I have had my eye on a pair of Red Head Tapajos as the centerpiece, but they are diggers. I'm considering using water column feeders, sand substrate, and maybe some potted stems for color. OTH, I might dirt this one and go with Angels, but I've also been thinking T-bars or a single severum...

I'd like to eventually make this a high tech tank because.. killing two birds. Almost guarantees good plant growth, and the fish like soft/acidic water.

Still much work to do; this is all I have:

* 75g Aqueon
* Maple stand and canopy (in progress)
* 300w heater
* SunSun 304b
* Tetra Whisper 60
* Various DIY led stars and parts for lighting

Still need to design the light. I've been thinking about a Lumiled SunPlus build. Hopefully I will have more updates in the near future.
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Last edited by ChrisX; 02-25-2018 at 11:48 PM. Reason: more
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post #2 of 307 (permalink) Old 02-25-2018, 08:22 PM
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Stand looks REALLY nice!
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Twin high tech 75's -
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post #3 of 307 (permalink) Old 02-25-2018, 09:00 PM
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Nice!


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post #4 of 307 (permalink) Old 02-26-2018, 11:50 PM
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yeah that stands looks sweet. great job!
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post #5 of 307 (permalink) Old 02-27-2018, 12:07 AM
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Great looking start on the stand. Really like working with Maple - much smoother grain than the Oak that I typically use.
Staining or painting?


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post #6 of 307 (permalink) Old 02-27-2018, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Great looking start on the stand. Really like working with Maple - much smoother grain than the Oak that I typically use.
Staining or painting?
Will be staining it. I have been planning on a clear/light natural maple finish. It may not even need stain, just acrylic clear coat.
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post #7 of 307 (permalink) Old 02-27-2018, 12:16 AM
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Yep, just a clear finish if the various wood colors match up close enough. Have used stain to even out slightly different wood colors but from what I can see you should not need to do that.


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post #8 of 307 (permalink) Old 03-03-2018, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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The stand construction is mostly done, next is the canopy.

Still deciding whether to go with a clear poly finish or tung oil. The clear is more modern, but the tung oil will give it some character.
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post #9 of 307 (permalink) Old 03-03-2018, 07:15 PM
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Wow dude... you really took to the woodworking. Did you give up and get some nice stuff?? Might as well... you obviously have some talent. Did you decide on what you may stock?? Are you going to go with a full size reg and tank? Will the Neons be going in here?

Twin high tech 75's -
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post #10 of 307 (permalink) Old 03-03-2018, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Wow dude... you really took to the woodworking. Did you give up and get some nice stuff?? Might as well... you obviously have some talent. Did you decide on what you may stock?? Are you going to go with a full size reg and tank? Will the Neons be going in here?
Thanks! No, I still barely have any tools. The reason I was able to build this was the $50 DIY table saw I built last fall. All the cuts were made with the table saw. Oh, and a plastic mitre box to cut the edge pieces.

This table was built with all "culled" wood from Home Depot and a discounted sheet of melamine. (The rail is made from a precut MDF shelf) Best thing I did was make the top 4x4' so I can make big cuts and also use it as a work bench.




Still not sure the inhabitants of tank.
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post #11 of 307 (permalink) Old 03-03-2018, 08:59 PM
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That is pretty awesome!


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post #12 of 307 (permalink) Old 03-03-2018, 10:48 PM
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Thanks! No, I still barely have any tools. The reason I was able to build this was the $50 DIY table saw I built last fall. All the cuts were made with the table saw. Oh, and a plastic mitre box to cut the edge pieces.

This table was built with all "culled" wood from Home Depot and a discounted sheet of melamine. (The rail is made from a precut MDF shelf) Best thing I did was make the top 4x4' so I can make big cuts and also use it as a work bench.




Still not sure the inhabitants of tank.
yeah that DIY table saw is sweet! got the plans just in case I want to build one??
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post #13 of 307 (permalink) Old 03-03-2018, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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yeah that DIY table saw is sweet! got the plans just in case I want to build one??
I just made it up. Have Home Depot cut the melamine board in half. Use one half as the top, then cut the other half into 8" strips that are used as sides for the table and a center support. Go to the throwaway wood bin and get some 2x8s for the legs and cross supports. Bolt these to the sides of the table.

The rail is just an mdf shelf screwed/glued to a piece of pine at 90*. Use a C-clamp to bolt it to the side of the table. That's it pretty much. Lots of people building DIY table saws on youtube. Lots of people building fancy rail and locking bolt, but the big C-clamp works just fine.
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post #14 of 307 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 12:27 AM
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The stand construction is mostly done, next is the canopy.

Still deciding whether to go with a clear poly finish or tung oil. The clear is more modern, but the tung oil will give it some character.
Great looking stand!! Guess I will throw my vote in for the tung oil - its all about the character :-)

Pretty impressed with the DIY table saw as well.
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post #15 of 307 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Canopy Frame

They say when you go camping, to leave the campsite nicer than when you found it. I had the same idea with the canopy design...Start with a common design and make it a little nicer.

One of the common designs has a split top where the whole front flips up. I like this because it gives good clearance over the tank for cleaning and maintenance. The thing I never liked about these designs was the visible hinge on top (with a large gap). Instead of using a visible metal hinge, I used dowel pins in the frame. This will also allow me to install stops so the that top can rest in a more vertical position.

I also wanted to keep the frame as light as possible. The frame was made with leftover 2x4s cut into 1" strips. The frame weighs less than a 2x4x8.

The final improvement is that this design doesn't require a front cross beam. I didn't want it to have anything across the front that would reduce clearance.

Next step will be to skin it with maple.
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