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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This will be the journal for my new 125 gallon planted aquarium. The tank will be an Aqueon (because that's the brand I'm able to acquire locally) with outside dimensions of 72 1/2"L x 18 1/2" W x 23 3/8" H. I've wanted a 6' long tank for a while, and I finally have the time and space to make it happen. So here we go!

The build is a work in progress. I started planning back in April of this year thinking about how to build the cabinet. This will be a Dutch style stand and enclosure, so the only view will be from the front, with the sides fully covered and a face frame to hide the substrate line, waterline and about an inch and a half on each side of the front glass.

I wanted the cabinet to be simple to build with a clean but natural look. With that in mind I started drawing up some plans in Sketchup and eventually arrived at the design below. The supporting frame (hidden from sight in the renderings below) is constructed of standard 2x4s (using this tried and true method). The skin will be white oak plywood and solid white oak with a natural finish.

Dutch Aquarium Cabinet v10 front closed.PNG

Dutch Aquarium Cabinet v10 side closed.PNG

Dutch Aquarium Cabinet v10 front open.PNG
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Why the **** are so many people so ******* gifted with carpentry here lol
It already looks amazing and it's a half finished stand

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I'm hardly gifted when it comes to carpentry. Actually, a lot of thought in the planning process went into making sure it wouldn't be a complicated build, so that I'd be able to do it with my skill set and available tools. I appreciate the kind words though!

Great stand build mate, looking amazing!!!
Thank you! More to come.
 

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Well done @LRJ. Solid substructure and nice and clean finish wood work
 
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Hi LRJ I followed your old thread. Here for the new beginnings.
@iamaloner I'm in the same boat. If it isn't a pre built aquarium and cabinet then it's not for me. So it's always interesting (Sometimes fascinating) to watch the more talented create theirs from scratch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Enclosure and Doors

The top enclosure is constructed from oak plywood with a solid oak face frame, held together with pocket screws and glue. It slips over the supporting frame that protrudes one inch from the top of the base of the stand and then rests on and attaches to the base’s outer lip. This lets the enclosure sit flush with the outer skin of the base. The back is left open for ventilation.

Unfortunately, I did not take many photos of building the enclosure, but here is a picture of gluing on the face frame.

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I added a top lip to the enclosure - 2x2 furring strip painted white - to eventually support the lid.

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For the cabinet doors I used oak plywood slabs. The hinges are Blum – edge mount 110 deg face frame Euro hinges with a 1/2" Overlay. I drilled the hinge cups with a 35 mm Forstner bit using a Kreg hinge jig.

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This brings back memories of when I built my stand.

Hours and hours of planning.

Every single thing measured out and calculated over and over again.

Yet the first time I set the tank on it, I was relieved when it fit!!!:grin2::grin2:

Great job and looking forward to seeing it finished.

And 125G in your hands.........I am expecting great things!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lid

Since this is intended to be a Dutch style enclosure and lids seem to be more common than canopies in that style from what I’ve seen, I chose to go with an actual lid. Beyond that reason, I also like the slightly lower profile and the fact that the lid can open all the way to almost 90 degrees, allowing for lots of room during scaping and maintenance. But the down side is that the lid will end up being over 50 lbs, and the entire thing will have to be lifted any time I want to access the tank. To help with this, I will be adding a pair of 134 N pneumatic springs, which should be plenty to provide lift assist and lid stay.

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Here’s the lid being constructed. It’s a half inch sheet of sande plywood (supposedly good for marine applications) sandwiched between furring strip frames. One side will contain the lighting, the other the ballasts and wiring.

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Here’s the top of the lid, marked up and drilled. The standoffs will support a wiring cover.

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Painted and wired. The paint is Behr Ultra Pure White Semi-Gloss Enamel, the same used on the inside of the stand and the lip of the enclosure. For lights I have installed three LET Miro-4 dimmable T5 HO retrofit kits, which gives me six staggered 54 W bulbs over the tank.

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I glued a decorative solid oak face piece to the front and sides of the lid that will also serve as a handle. There's about a 1/4" gap between this piece and the top rim of the enclosure for finger hold.

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And that brings the thread up-to-date. There’s still a lot to be done before this tank gets wet. I’ll continue updating progress in the coming weeks/months. Thanks for following along!

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This brings back memories of when I built my stand.

Hours and hours of planning.

Every single thing measured out and calculated over and over again.

Yet the first time I set the tank on it, I was relieved when it fit!!!:grin2::grin2:

Great job and looking forward to seeing it finished.

And 125G in your hands.........I am expecting great things!
Thanks! And LOL at this part: "Yet the first time I set the tank on it, I was relieved when it fit!!!" That is a real concern on my mind that won't be gone until the moment of truth. I know it should fit, but what if...:surprise:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How are those dimmable ballast controlled?
Good question. I'll be using a GHL ProfiLux mini WiFi controller. Not cheap but at the same time not too bad as far as controllers go and will also allow me to monitor and control temperature and pH as well as do auto top off and auto water change if I decide to that at some point.

Love your tank, btw! One of my favorites.

Sweet build man. That is very nice. Cant wait to see what you do with the plants!
Thanks! Probably will be a while before I get around to planting, but when it's time no doubt I will be visiting your for sale thread!
 

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Beautiful work! If the tank is half as good as the stand it will be a showstopper! How much room is between the top is the tank and bottom of the lights?


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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Beautiful work! If the tank is half as good as the stand it will be a showstopper! How much room is between the top is the tank and bottom of the lights?


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Hi fftfk, thanks for the compliment!!! There will be 1.75" between the lowest part of the lights (tops of the end caps) and the top of the tank.
 

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Nice build! I'm pretty sure I made my stand more complicated than it needed to be when I built mine. Your stand looks awesome! Keep up the good work, can't wait to see how it all turns out!
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Nice build! I'm pretty sure I made my stand more complicated than it needed to be when I built mine. Your stand looks awesome! Keep up the good work, can't wait to see how it all turns out!
Thanks, man! Yours was a great build with a beautiful end result. I will be really happy if this even comes close to turning out that nice.
 
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