I have been wanting to make a newt tank for a long time now. I grew up catching newts in a pond on my parents property so there is a lot of nostalgia in getting them now as an adult and 'doing it right' as it were.
In order to get a new tank though an old tank has to go. The Wife simply will not tolerate MORE tanks in the house ;P Sadly the tank that's getting the axe is my Walstad Fish Bowl. Its been up and running for a year and a half now but its also spent the last 7 or so months with near constant algae growth I haven't been able to shake. Its also in my kitchen and The Wife wants to limit the tanks on the main floor.
Enter my plan, newts need cold water (under 70 degrees ideally) so it makes sense to keep them in the basement. The newt tank will thus go in my basement office space. Step one for this build is the stand.
While I could build this stand from scratch, I've had an idea floating around for improving a petco Brooklyn Metal stand for a while and this was the perfect time to implement it. I purchased the 40 gallon version even though the tank I plan for will be closer to 20 gallons. I figured I rather have a stand that is a little too big then one that is a little too small.
Step one was to build a shelf.
I did this by drilling and taping holes in the bottom part of the stand for 18 gauge metal 2x4 brackets:
The shelf itself is made from 1/2 plywood reinforced with some scrap oak on the bottom.
I then cut panels for the sides from 1/2 birch plywood:
These panels provide no structural support, they are there simply to enclose the cabinet. Each one is held in place by a single screw that was drilled and taped into the metal frame of the stand.
The door is made from a 1/2 plywood with two cabinet handles. I attached magnets to the wooden side panels and magnets to the door panel. This provides just enough force to hold the door in place. It does not do a thing to stop my children from opening the panel but they are not allowed in this space unattended anyway so hopefully it will be fine.
All wooden pieces got a rub down with a tung oil like finish.
Next up I will post how I made the top from poured concrete.