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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
nik
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tips and ideas wanted

So, I have this small wooden tank I built. It's about 6 gallons, and originallt I was planning plants only or maybe cold water, with no equipment. But now I want it tropical, and that means filter, heater, co2...

Problem is, I hate equipment being visible in the tank. So I have decided to make a new back wall out of thin plywood. I figure I could set it about 1 1/2" in front of the "old" back wall. So this "compartement" will hold all the equipment.

For now, the plan is to have a 1 1/2 x 1" hole for draining in the top right corner with a strainer, and a small hole in the top left corner for output from a small submersible pump. Maybe even attach a spraybar here.

I plan on dividing the new space in two, about 4" from the right side of the tank with a divider that stops 1 1/2" from the bottom. That leaves 12" on the left side. The small space will be room for filter media, and the larger will hold the heater and pump.

So, to the questions:

Will this work?
If so, what color should I paint the plywood? Black? Blue? leave it as is? maybe stain it darker?
Any good ideas to get som DIY CO2 into this?
Any other ideas / improvements?

Remember, I'm doing this because I'm on a very tight budget, and because I like making things myself But I could really use some help from more experienced people...

Oh, and let me know if this was too confusing. I could try to draw a picture or something...
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 03:38 PM
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What did you/ were you gonna use to seal the inside of the wood ? I am asking cause i am confused by what you asked about painting or staining the plywood. Do you mean the outside or the inside (wet side) ?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
nik
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Alright, I guess I was'nt clear Both sides of the plywood will be wet. I'm using epoxy, which I already got (that's really why I'm using plywood). I can either paint or stain the wood before sealing (any kind of paint is usable), or I can mix color in the epoxy (limited choises, but a better option). The rest of the tank is pine coated with epoxy (perfectly safe for a small tank).

Hope this makes more sense...

EDIT: btw, the epoxy is clear if not mixed with color. Kind of like colorless varnish.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 03:51 PM
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I personally prefer black backgrounds - but thats one of those things. I'd look at a lot of tank pics and see what looks best to you.

I see your from norway - have you looked into the HMF (hamburg matten filter) to hide your equipment and create a very efficient filter at the same time ? Its a fairly common filter concept for smaller tanks in europe.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 04:06 PM
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My best advice is not to do this. Once you do it you are stuck with having the fish tank in that location, in that size, with that equipment. I have found that no matter how sure I have been that the tank I have is what I want, the location is where I want it, and it is equipped as I desire, I always end up changing my mind. Far better is a tank stand that hides all of the equipment under the tank, or even beside the tank. Then you can easily move it, change it, replace it, etc. Incidentally, I wonder if that wood tank will last as long as you want it to.

Hoppy
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Guess I'm still not clear This new wall would go inside the tank, so I could still move it werever I want. Equipment would be kind of stuck though... I'm not worried about the expiration date on this one. I have been building boats of this stuff, it lasts forever. In fact, it's a lot safer than glass. Only thing that could ruin it is if the epoxy gets scratched all the way through (will never happen), and even then you would just get a small leak at first. And easily fixable.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 05:22 PM
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To come back to your original question - yes i don't see why it wouldn't work. The extra compartment with filter media(s) and one for heater and pump is done in glass tanks - so why not in plywood.

The only issue i'd have is the tank size. 6 Gallons is small to begin with and won't give you much choice when it comes to fish - especially when you take some of the room away for the "equipment compartment".

The HMF would work good in a corner and would use a lot less space than an extra compartment. Just an idea.

And i think you shouldn't have any problems with DIY Co2 in such a small tank. I'd just let the CO2 be sucked into the pump and then sprayed into the tank.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Looked at the HMF plans, and I agree, a lot easier and less space. If I can find a heater that's less than 8" long... So, I'll probably go for this, and then plan a bit more ahead before building a new tank

Thanks
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 06:00 PM
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No problem.
Let us see some pics when its all done and set up.
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