DIY Light Stand for a Metal Tube Aquarium Setup - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Light Stand for a Metal Tube Aquarium Setup

So I wanted to build myself a light stand that I could attach to the standard metal tube stand that I had. I did a little research and I have seen the ADA style ones but I could not find a pipe bender to bend the pipe myself.

I happen to have friend who is an electrician, so I mentioned it to him, and he said he could get me some 5/8" aluminum tubing and that we could bend that. I thought it would be a little unstable if I went with the ADA style (one length coming up from the back of the aquarium, 90 degree bend out, then 90 degree bend across the top of the aquarium). I figured that the 5/8" tubing just wouldn't hold in that set up, so I decided to go with two lengths of the tubing, with one 90 degree bend in it. The plan was to attach one length to both of the rear legs of the stand, and hang the light from that.

So here is the list of supplies that I used:

2 10ft lengths of 5/8" aluminum tubing
4 pipe clamps
2 3ft lengths of chain (3 ft was actually too much for my set up. Forgot to measure!)
2 3/4" bolt snaps
2 1/8" S hooks
4 3/4" plastic leg tips
Painters tape
Zip ties
Cardboard
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33 Gallon Community Tank, 9 Rummynose Tetras, 5 Neon Tetras, 5 Juvenile German Blue Rams (waiting for them to pair off before removing some), 3 Siamese Algae Eater, 1 Clown Pleco. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus), Watersprite (ceratopteris thalictroides), Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana gigantea)

Last edited by Lipticlear; 03-05-2011 at 07:52 PM. Reason: added info
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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So as my buddy was going to be "liberating" the pipe from his work site, I didn't want to make it too complicated for him, plus I wanted to make sure I had some flexibility once I saw the pipe with the aquarium. I just had him put a 90 bend in the pipe about 2 feet from one end, leaving about 8 feet for the other length. This would allow me to cut the pipe to the desired length once I saw how it looked/worked.

Once I had it in, I ended up cutting it to about 6 ft on the height and about 1ft 5" on the short part. See above for the cut pieces. I used a pipe cutter to make the cuts, but you could do this with a hacksaw fairly easily.

Next I needed to get the plastic leg tips onto the ends of the pipes. I decided I wanted to use these for a couple reasons:
1. The end of the pipe was fairly sharp, so I was worried about it cutting the carpet (the pipe will rotate when moving the light out of the way).
2. I thought it made the end of the pipe facing out look a lot better.
3. It stops the bolt snaps from sliding right off the end and thus dropping the light.

In order to make these leg tips fit snugly (couldn't find 5/8" ones so 3/4" ones were bought), I used some painters tape (what I had lying around) to make the diameter larger on the pipe.

A zip tie was used to stop the bolt snap from sliding down the back of the stands, and thus dropping the light into the water.
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33 Gallon Community Tank, 9 Rummynose Tetras, 5 Neon Tetras, 5 Juvenile German Blue Rams (waiting for them to pair off before removing some), 3 Siamese Algae Eater, 1 Clown Pleco. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus), Watersprite (ceratopteris thalictroides), Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana gigantea)
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Now that I had the light stand ready to go, I needed to attach the pipes to the aquarium stand. I used 4 pipe clamps, 4 doubled up pieces of cardboard and 4 single pieces of cardboard (see photos below).

My thoughts on this were as follows:
1. I wanted the pipe to be a little bit away from the stand, to allow for rotation, so that the light stand could swivel without the pipe rubbing on the stand.
2. I did not want the clamps to damage the stand and thus impact the stability of the legs or scratch the paint.

This is where the cardboard came in. The doubled up pieces were placed between the pipe and the leg of the stand to keep the pipe a little bit away from the stand and allow it to swivel easily. The pieces were just glued together. The single piece was places between the clamp and the leg to keep it from damaging the leg and the paint.
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33 Gallon Community Tank, 9 Rummynose Tetras, 5 Neon Tetras, 5 Juvenile German Blue Rams (waiting for them to pair off before removing some), 3 Siamese Algae Eater, 1 Clown Pleco. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus), Watersprite (ceratopteris thalictroides), Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana gigantea)
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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So all that was left was using the chain and the S hooks to hang the light from the stand. I was thinking about painting the pipe black, but I am impatient and wanted to put it together as soon as I had all the parts.

The benefits of this set up are:
1. You can easily adjust the height of the light by connecting to a different point on the chain.
2. The light can be swiveled to the side (swing both arms and the light goes flat against the wall).
3. You can adjust the position of the light easily from front to back of the aquarium by sliding the bolt snap on the arm. This allows you to get the look that you want!

Anyway, this was a pretty easy project. In total it cost me about 20 dollars. Would have been a bit more if I had to buy the pipe. All the supplies were bought at Home Depot excluding the pipe. See below for the finished product. Hopefully this helps someone out there with similar projects. Let me know what you think!!!

Cheers... Mike
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33 Gallon Community Tank, 9 Rummynose Tetras, 5 Neon Tetras, 5 Juvenile German Blue Rams (waiting for them to pair off before removing some), 3 Siamese Algae Eater, 1 Clown Pleco. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus), Watersprite (ceratopteris thalictroides), Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana gigantea)
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 08:25 PM
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I think that is galvanized steel, not aluminum. Aluminum would be really expensive stuff....


Why so tall? And why not cut off some of the horizontal part?

Looks good.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah you are probably right on the galvanized steel... wasn't too sure. As for the height... I could have gone with less... I still may... Just wanted to have some play when I set it up. This way I can also just lift the lights right up to get it out of the way. As for the horizontal, was thinking I could cut some of that off as well... but with it being longer... it can swing more to the side to get it out of the way a little more.

33 Gallon Community Tank, 9 Rummynose Tetras, 5 Neon Tetras, 5 Juvenile German Blue Rams (waiting for them to pair off before removing some), 3 Siamese Algae Eater, 1 Clown Pleco. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus), Watersprite (ceratopteris thalictroides), Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana gigantea)
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post
I think that is galvanized steel, not aluminum. Aluminum would be really expensive stuff....
Why so tall? And why not cut off some of the horizontal part?
Looks good.
Lipticlear, cool hanger ,, form and function being able to swivel the light for tank access. I'm betting you'll tweak things a bit over time. (we all have our own ideas) over_stocked, you seem so tough on the DIY, fair maybe,,, but tough.

OP, once you get everything adjusted to where your happy with the fit and distance from the tank for height I would suggest painting the tubing to match the stand as you mentioned.

I haven't posted about it yet because it isn't completed, been working on the same idea. Using 1/2" high pressure 316 stainless steel tubing here's expensive stuff for over_stocked.



Going for the same effect, suspend the light and be able to swivel it out of the way for maintenance. All stainless construction for a two tank stand.


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Last edited by wkndracer; 03-06-2011 at 01:39 AM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Okay... so the comment about height and length on the tubing started to bug me cause I agree with it. So I just took it all apart, cut the tubing, and put it back together. Looks much better I think! I really don't mind the look of it without paint. Not sure I will go spend the money and time to paint it. Cheers!
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33 Gallon Community Tank, 9 Rummynose Tetras, 5 Neon Tetras, 5 Juvenile German Blue Rams (waiting for them to pair off before removing some), 3 Siamese Algae Eater, 1 Clown Pleco. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus), Watersprite (ceratopteris thalictroides), Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana gigantea)
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 05:36 PM
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paint makes it look much more "complete" imo:
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 07:42 PM
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Where did you get the little caps to cover the end of the pipe? What section of the store are they in?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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The end caps were labelled as plastic leg tips. I found them in with all the door hanging stuff and right next to those little fuzzy things that you put onto the legs of chairs to protect your hardwood.

33 Gallon Community Tank, 9 Rummynose Tetras, 5 Neon Tetras, 5 Juvenile German Blue Rams (waiting for them to pair off before removing some), 3 Siamese Algae Eater, 1 Clown Pleco. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus), Watersprite (ceratopteris thalictroides), Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana gigantea)
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 10:50 PM
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Looks pretty sharp Lipticlear!

"an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure"
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