First Nano - 10 Gallon DIY (Light Finished!) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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First Nano - 10 Gallon DIY (Light Finished!)

I haven't kept fish in quite a while; however, I used to have a planted high tech 50 gallon which I kept going for a few years. Most of the equipment has been sitting in the basement for quite a while but I decided to get back into the hobby.

This journal is going to start off with a fair amount of DIY before going into a typical planted tank log. I figure that splitting it into a bunch of threads is a pain and this way everyone can follow the entire project. Plus I feel more at home in the nano forum since you guys are the ones who convinced me to pick up a 10 gallon to begin with.

First step is ripping the rim off a cheap 10 gallon.


Guided by a tutorial whose location I cannot remember, the rim came off pretty easily but the glass underneath is a little rough and slightly chipped. Also, the glass panes don't quite line up but I live in Canada and getting an ADA tank up here would be too expensive (Plus I'm hoping to DIY almost every component of the tank in some way).


Anyways, onwards to the bottom rim. The tank was built a little weirdly where the bottom pane is raised but it doesn't seem to impact the strength of the tank. I was pretty nervous loosening up the silicone since I wasn't sure if one unlucky scrape would turn the tempered(?) bottom pane into sand.


After the rims come off it took a metric crapload of scraping to fix up the sillicone. Was it worth the work? Perhaps, but I wouldn't do it again.


Finally I stuck it in the bathtub with some non toxic washable markers to make sure it doesn't explode all over the floor. Looking good for now, I'll paint it tomorrow and then stick it downstairs while the rest of the project comes together.

Pretty typical start but I've got some tricks up my sleeve. LEDs, glass and microcontrollers to come. I'll keep regular updates going.

Last edited by 691175002; 06-19-2009 at 12:14 AM.
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post #2 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Time to do something a little more exciting. I am going to be running your generic aquaclear 20 on this tank but the intake tube is really ugly. I've been drooling over all the glassware canister filters have, why no love for HOB?


Looks like we are going to have to correct this somehow... The picture is pyrex tubing from 4mm upwards.


I was hoping to have a diameter of tubing that would fit without modification, but this is slightly too thin.


Take it over to the torch...



A rim and a small bulge later, it makes an airtight pressfit with the U piece.


I didn't want to set up a full jig to cut the slits precisely, but I also wanted the cuts to at least look ok so I stuck a few pieces of wax to the tube and clamped some wood down.


Ideally one would want a lapidary saw for this kind of work, but this tile saw did an ok job.


All done.

Works perfectly and looks great. I've already got a lot of pictures in this post and it looks lonely in the tank so that's all for today.
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post #3 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 03:16 AM
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Awesome job on the HOB intake, thats really cool and I have never seen it done to a HOB. This journal should definitely be interesting, especially since we have already seen your DIY savviness!
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post #4 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 03:22 AM
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So far, this is an awesome journal. Keep it up.

Please.
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post #5 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 03:42 AM
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are those glass pipes? This is pretty awesome. Are the markers to help detect a leak? I would be careful with the bathtub- not all of them have completely flat bottoms.

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post #6 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 03:56 AM
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Very nice, job on the pipes, i'm thinking of doing a pair of acrylics for my tank.
An alternative to ADA tanks : Aquarium Illusions in Edmonton: Great quality and they offer starphire, very nice stuff.
Nice start though - that flaming picture doesn't look too safe.
Intuitive idea with the HOB - i don't know why people on this forum are obsessed with canisters - sure they're really nice and all but , on a nano a HOB will do damn well as well.


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post #7 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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The intake is glass. I have about 5 years of soft glass lampworking experience (Basically solid shapes) but I am picking up a little scientific glassblowing for the aquarium. When I work I use a much smaller flame, but it looks more impressive all the way open :p

All the glassware you see in aquariums is borosilicate (pyrex) "hard" glass which I don't normally use. This intake was pretty simple since most of the work was done on a saw but I am working on some more complex stuff for the CO2 system and if I ever upgrade to a canister I will have another project .

The markers were to detect a leak since the bathtub got wet despite my best efforts. I laid out a few inches of pink foam to even out the pressure on the tank, you can see it just peeking out from underneath.

I'll check out aquarium illusions, I'm in Calgary so it is pretty close too. I've also got a bunch of 1/2" scrap acrylic taking up space so if this tank goes well I was thinking of trying to build a nano with grotesquely thick sides.
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post #8 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 04:16 AM
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If you're in Calgary i think it was Golds that builds tanks - which i heard are pretty good.
By the way nice job on the pipes, i might consider persuading you to sell me some in the future ;p .
As for 1/2" it isn't THAT thick, but it would be thick enough to detract from the tank, but hey it's acrylic.


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post #9 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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I'll take a look at golds. Since I already have this tank I'll do what I can with it but I have a feeling that the aquariums are going to multiply in the future.

Again back to something more traditional, black paint on the back of the tank.


Because of the rather peculiar positioning of the glass panes the bottom is raised about half an inch. I decided to take advantage of this and paint the bottom which gives it pretty sharp looking "rim" along the bottom.


I had some clear sticker paper and I was going to print out a logo or something to go along the bottom until I realized printers don't have white ink...


And finally downstairs where it will live for the next little while. Its on concrete and near a drain should things make a turn for the worst. The front and back panes bow out about 1.5mm each but it still appears pretty solid. I have a few ideas to brace the tank without ruining the look.

Next up is the light. It will be powered by 11 3W LEDs and 60 5mm LEDs of varying colors for a total of around 36W of light with a microcontroller to orchestrate it all. I also have a somewhat unorthodox plan for the enclosure.

Stay tuned.
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post #10 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 05:31 AM
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Go pink styrofoam!!!

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post #11 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 12:04 PM
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I'd spotted your thread the other day when i was looking at rimless setups.
I like how this is progressing, good job with the glass work!
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post #12 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 02:20 PM
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Great work. I was definitely impressed with the glass work, but I have a feeling that when all the technicalities of the LED and microcontroller are posted I will be blown away haha.
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post #13 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 691175002 View Post
The front and back panes bow out about 1.5mm each but it still appears pretty solid.
My AGA 10 gallon bows out the same with both top and bottom rim in place.
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post #14 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 04:54 PM
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Looks good. I love the intake idea!

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post #15 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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Great DIY...subscribed!
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