Custom Stand and Dirted 40gal Breeder - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Custom Stand and Dirted 40gal Breeder

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to share my recent experience with building my first custom stand for my first dirted planted tank. I have been working on this for roughly a month now and it feels really good to see it all come together.

I have learned alot with the building of the stand, so hopefully next time I will not make some of the same mistakes. There is some very good inspiration on this site, so I took bits and pieces from what I could tell and I think I came out very well.

To start I made the top and bottom of the stand and vertical pieces to get the height I wanted. I stated with 36 inches, but ended up cutting it down to 33 inches, due to make everything fit better.

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I attached additional support to the vertical members, which gave it the strength and weight. Some could be see this as overkill, but with the tank standing 3 feet tall I wanted to ensure a sturdy base. I did not take photos of that stage, but this photo of the back shows the frame.

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I found a cheap 1/4 inch sheet of plywood and covered the front and sides. I could have gone with something nicer, but I had the intention of painting it from the beginning so cost won out. If I had wanted to stain the wood, I wood have choosen Oak for both the plywood and the trim.

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I learned my lesson here with the paint. I should have painted the plywood and the trim seperately before attaching it to the frame, but it worked out ok. I had to tape off the each section twice to get the right coverage. Finally I finished it with a few layers of clear coat for durability.

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I was trying to figure out how to do the door, whether I wanted hinges, one door, two doors, but I thought that all too difficult. So what I ended up going with is a removable door with magnets. I think it really was the best decision.

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After moving everything into the house, I had to make sure the stand was level (crossing between hardwood and carpet (yikes)). I did put a 1/4 inch sheet of styrofoam between the tank and the stand to ease any stress on the tank from potential pressure points or leveling issues.

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I added one bag of MGOCPM mixed with 1 pound of Redart Clay and 1 pound of Dolomite. The drift wood has been soaking for roughly 6 months and it still doesn't sink. So I attached it to pieces of granite I had granite I had laying around.

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I attached some java fern to the wood as well as anubias nana. I also planted the larger plants before capping it with Pool Filter Sand. Plants include Melon Sword, Vallisneria, and a variety of Bacopa.

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I use a heavy duty plastic to fill without distrubing the sand.

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The remaining plants include Crypt Parva, Dwarf Pennywort, and Tiger Lotus. I wish I was better with scientific names. If you see something that doesn't look right, or if you can identify them, please let me know.

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Let me know what you all think!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 05:37 PM
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Looks very nice, you did a great job on the stand.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 05:39 PM
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Looks awesome! The stand came out looking great and I love that piece of driftwood.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 07:00 PM
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beautiful scape and stand work. The trim and skin really makes a visual impact.


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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrGonzo View Post
Looks awesome! The stand came out looking great and I love that piece of driftwood.
Thank you! The stand was quite a project, but a really fun one. There are actually two pieces of driftwood there. The front one is laying on the peak of the one behind it. Once they water log some more, I can remove the white twine and the zip ties.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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beautiful scape and stand work. The trim and skin really makes a visual impact.
Thank you! My wife liked the idea of white trim, but I think the light brown ties it together better. I still am looking for some small foreground plants, maybe chainsword.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Looks very nice, you did a great job on the stand.
Thank you very much. I learned a lot and will do a few things differently next time.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 08:14 PM
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Good call on the door with magnets. I built a 40b stand recently and I wish I went that route. I went with 2 hinged doors and it was tough and didn't come out perfect.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 08:30 PM
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using magnets for the door is a great idea! looks really clean without hinges and door knobs.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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using magnets for the door is a great idea! looks really clean without hinges and door knobs.
Thanks. I saw the idea from a post about a secret compartment in a tank stand once. All it took was getting the magnets in the right place for all four of them to grab.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bennyjam View Post
Good call on the door with magnets. I built a 40b stand recently and I wish I went that route. I went with 2 hinged doors and it was tough and didn't come out perfect.

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Yea, that was my fear. Plus this way I am able to work on the inside or move the stand without anything in the way. I will keep that in my future plans for sure.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-09-2014, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Trouble with stem plants

Hello everyone. I wanted to give everyone an update on the tank. I planted some chain sword I in the front which really looks nice. Everything is coming along nicely except the stem plants, the bacopa in the back right. The leaves keep falling off and the stems are melting.

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Can anyone give me any advise on keeping these healthy or maybe any recommendations of replacements. I would like to find a nice red stemmed plant of some sort.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Organized = Satisfaction

As an update to my journal, I have attached a photo of the way I organized my cabinet.

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I got my power strip on the left wall behind the CO2 tank and finally got a digital light timer set up (I do intend on getting an Arduino set up to control the CO2 and LED as well.) Also, I have been struggling with how to organize all of my food, ferts and test kit. Turns out I had that black wire shelf thing that fit the shoe boxes perfectly. I feel like I am happier than I should be about it, but organization is so satisfying.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2014, 02:12 AM
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That looks awesome!

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 12:56 AM
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What type of lighting are you using?
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40 gallon breeder, custom built stand, dirted tank

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