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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I thought I'd post this here since the site's been an inspiration for many of the ideas I'm using in putting together a custom made 83 gallon (48 * 18 base) tank, stand and I'm going to use as much inline plumbing as possible (that means everything will be inline).

The stand, made from solid cherry except the sides, I'm still trying to find a stain/finish combo that I like. I nearly finished it this weekend, doors aren't done yet, but you get the idea. You'll note a closed back with access for power and plumbing via office furniture type cutouts. Doing so allows for a closed back cabinet pushed right up against the wall, I thought this would be a bit cleaner in terms of appearance. I'm now very committed to doing all my plumbing inline!



Heyco fittings from Mouser Electronics for plumbing in fertilizer injection, heater cord and pH probe.



My inline assembly not yet glued, but pretty much as I'll implement it. Keeners will see 3/4 barbs...I'm actually using 1 inch. Its made of 1.5 inch pvc and contains an Ebo-Jaeger heater sealed in via a Heyco fitting, injection site for ferts and a pH probe mounted via another Heyco fitting. I've changed one of the PVC sections to ensure that the pH probe is nearly vertical(as per manuf. specs).



Here's the general plumbing setup, the orange valve atop the FX5 is the outlet, the flow will be split into a main return and a side circuit which goes into the PVC inline assembly, exits bottom right of the assembly and heads to the bottom of the UV sterilizer. From the top of the sterilizer the flow will rejoin the main return line.



Any ideas and comments welcome, I'm presently all caught up in the hardware and plumbing game. Soon I'll get her up and running and jstart the real fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've updated them, how about now? My apologies, I now have some small pics linked, Picasa/google are a real pain to link to. Its been rocket science to get the small pics linked... If you're interested, the gallery is at:

Picasa Web Albums - Colin - Soilmaster

Also, if anyone knows the trick to linking Picasa galleries, please let me know.
 

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One problem.

Many people have reported problems plumbing or splitting the output on the FX5. Seems it messes with the computer control of the filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've questioned the forum on this and searched the web, as well as calling Hagen. I agree there's a chance of a problem, but I've only really found one person who had an issue. Rhinoman is in the second thread, he's the one that had the problem.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/e...nline-equipment-fluval-fx5.html?highlight=fx5

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/equipment/37251-new-fx5-installed.html?highlight=fx5

I'm open the possibility that this will mean spending the extra money on an Eheim...that's the backup plan for now. Thanks for pointing that out.
 

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It looks like the stand touches the floor on just the four legs, rather than the whole perimeter.

I'm in the process of designing a stand that is similar, and one of the things I'm struggling with is how much sag in the support to allow for. On the back side, the solid plywood is immensely stiff, and sagging is not a worry unless you put a bunch of big holes in the wrong place. Also, the sides aren't a problem, since the span is so short. The concern is on the front. In the pic here, ithe load is shared by two wood beams, both a few inches deep and a little less than 4 ft. long. We can calculate how much they'll sag from the weight of the tank, but how much can the tank tolerate? That's a tidbit of information I haven't been able to locate anywhere.

Especially with the recent "Catastrophe" post, I don't want to take any chances. So I'm planning on sistering a steel bar in place behind the top beam, to aid in carrying the load. That'll keep the top dead-level and straight, even with the weight of a loaded tank.
 

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My stand is custom built my moi and my dad and it was/is very similar to this stand but to keep from having to reinforce it with some steel bar or something we made two "boxes" so to speak and then bolted them together. Finally we added the trim and solid top. Doors are still up in the air, eventually there will be doors on it :hihi: ( the stand is a year old and we still haven't made doors lol)

So the "Two box" design works great. This is for my 55g tank and the stand is a bit more than 4 feet long.

-Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The top is two 3/4 inch cherry plywood sections glued together, the pieces are cross grain(not to mention the cross grain already present in the plywood), so any effects of sag should be reduced. The first top is screwed to the posts and the rails along the front and back, the second is glued to the first and screwed from the bottom. The reality is that there's no, and I believe zero stretch in plywood, especially cross grained and anchored on the the margins.

Its hard to communicate, but virtually every joint in the stand is rabbeted into the posts or piece it connects to, if my car was able to fit on the top I'm absolutely certain that it would hold it. I know thats an unproveable statement, but my point is that the stand is very, very strong and immensely well glued compared to every piece of commercial furniture I've seen.

I detailed in a post while I was planning the stand that the weight per square inch of footing is less than a fully loaded fridge. I'm happy to hear that you're thinking the same way.

Pdx, in my mind the weight of the tank stands on the posts, the remainder of the stand's job is to keep it from collapsing either left/right or forward/back. A top of the stands job is to effectively distribute the weight of the tank to the posts. Given the double thickness I've used (which is my overkill) and the absolute 0 sag of the sides and front/back I'm very very confident. Ask this, how much weight would it take to bow a piece of 45*26.5 inch plywood vertically? And also consider that the entire length is constrained fore and aft into a load bearing post.

I should also mention that the floor is biscuit jointed and very tight in its final resting place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also, a vertical support 1/2 way along the stand running from cabinet bottom to top would distribute a great deal (I can't calculate that amount) if not all of of the 'sagging' force to the corner posts. I'd argue that building the stand to be purely square is at least as important as supporting the top...

FYI, I've previously reinforced the top of an MDF stand I built with a piece of angle iron. It worked well and I can't discourage it, but based on the apparent strength of the stand I didn't see it as necessary.
 

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And it looks beautiful too! I'd love to see more pictures of the stand after finishing. Looks yellowish in the pic, just the white balance setting of the camera I suppose. I'm enjoying coveting this set up. Look forward to more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It'll be a while till its finished...I've some canopy ideas to test out...

You're right the camera was confused by the mix of incandescent and fluoro...its a bad quick pic...there'll be more...
 

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It's really beautiful. No offense to anybody with an aquarium stand, but you have a darn nice piece of furniture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks very much, that was precisely the goal: build something that I'll be proud to have in my home for a very long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
slight progress

Well, I made it back to the shop to get some more work done, here are some images of the cabinet with the doors on as well as the curved section of the canopy on its form. The form isn't a portion of a canopy rather its used to shape the steamed wood onto so that it will take on the shape. The remainder of the canopy is yet to be built.

I'll be sliding a Tek fixture into the canopy (I know...) and have yet to finalize the venting that'll ensure the fixture stays cool...





 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I should mention that the design I'm working on for the canopy involves essentially one solid 'clamshell' that opens to allow me to get in all the way up to my elbows!
 

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Clam shell, I picture it opening from the middle under the jug. won't the front of the hood be in your way when you are working inside the tank? Nice stand, I like the use of cherry and a curved top that's just brilliant!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Mmm, in this case the clams mouth would face you and the hinge will run along the back of the tank. the two pieces in the photo will be glued/joined together. The idea with the curve is to not make the canopy look so massive like most wooden canopies with any clearance do. Thanks for the kind words!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've finally gotten back to working on the stand and canopy, here are some photos of the cabinet and canopy before and after their first sealing coat of shellac, next is a couple coats of dye, followed by some finishing coats of wipe on poly.

This is more about carpentry than plants but what the hell...

Notice the curved wooden canopy?











 

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You've addressed my biggest complaint about DIY canopies via the rounded front. I've a question about the hinging/opening. Your canopy is
1. hinged from the wall?
2. has a frame around the top of the tank and hinges off of that?
3. other?

I've built the canopy for the 29 in the pic that is hinged at the rear and opens completely as you describe but it is hinged on a bracket that rises behind the tank (sort of a false wall). If the tank were not located in a niche that limits the view of it from the sides, I don't think I'd like the look, but I very much like the ability to get the canopy completely out of the way to work in the tank.

I'm interested in alternative build/hinging scenarios because at present, I'm in the design/prebuild stage for a 120+/- gal stand/plyglass-tank/canopy to fill the space now occupied by the 29 in the picture. The available space is 54.5"L x 28"D and will be an extension of the entertainment center you can see the left edge of in the picture.



Any additional information/pictures about the mechanics/hinging of your canopy would be appreciated.

And, BTW you do really, really nice work. :thumbsup:

Keep Smilin'
John :)
 
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