Everything DIY build

Dogtemple

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Joined
22 Nov 2011
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38
Hi

I've not been on here in years and it is kind of a continuation from my very first post about 9 years ago - https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/diy-optiwhite-tank-build.18651/#post-189892

In the heady days of 2011 I made an optiwhite aquarium but never used it, largely down to cost of doing a tank properly and I pushed my luck on the glass thickness, or lack of... dimensions were 50x50square x 40cm tall and 4mm glass. it was at the limit of the safety factor I think of 4?

fast forward to 2020 and my circumstances are different, I can afford to do this properly and always intended to do a nice planted tank. So I filled the tank up with water to check for leaks with the intention of using it and remembered why I stopped. there was a bit of a bulge in the glass. back then I would have risked it but not now. This tank has been sitting in my spare room for ages but now is the time to do something with it. I did the sensible thing and took a razor blade to the silicone and pulled it apart. I used rtv108 silicone and that stuff is strong! even with a razorblade it was hard to split it apart.

Now I have 5 panes of 4mm glass and have cut these down to 31cm in height, which should be fine. I still have the jig I made for this so it will be dusted off again, I am yet to rebuild the tank though. as I have been working on everything else.

So that is where I was and this is the plan going forward... I have some criteria and I am kind of tight so I will be building almost all of it myself and using stuff I already have or reclaiming/recycling where possible for the sake of being good on the environment. but I will be building it as what I want doesn't necessarily exist in the shops. I have this tendency to want to design everything and build it myself and this thing is no-exception. despite me being a tight wad this is probably the most expensive way of going about it.......

with that in mind, I will be doing more than just the scape, the only thing I won't be building myself is the filter as I already have one and an external heater.

I don't want this to look messy, I want it to be purposeful and efficient. I will be loosely following the dieter rams principles of design which I try to use with such things (https://ifworlddesignguide.com/design-specials/dieter-rams-10-principles-for-good-design for reference) and the golden ratio is employed everywhere.

One of the big things about this is I don't want anything to touch the tank and I definitely don't want any suction cups, cables or visible hardware beyond the inflow/outflow pipes. it will just be the stand, the tank, the light and the pipes on show. if it can be hidden, then it will. Nothing will be an after thought, so no cable tied power cables, silicone hoses, suction cups, etc. It has been a lot of work to get it all sorted but I think I've cracked it.


This will be a bit of a slow burn build as I'm being pretty ambitious with certain aspects and only have a few hours a week I can dedicate to fabrication due to other crazy projects and work getting in the way. it will probably be a bit like a grand designs project; the build will look like a glass box, it will go over budget, my girlfriend will get pregnant at the worst time possible, Kevin Mcloud will ask if it was worth it and I'll say I'm never going to do a thing like this again etc


I don't have a lot to post other than the skeleton of the stand so far and some bits of glass. I have been working on something I have not seen anyone else do and hope to post that up soon, it's been a lot of work with various revisions but I'm nearly there.


I have been working on this since April and figured out almost all of it and bought most of the parts I need, so hopefully I can do updates with something tangible to show. up until now most of this has been stuck in my head and scribbled on bits of paper when I should have been working.


by doing this waffly first post I hope to keep up some momentum by posting on here
IMG_9504.JPG
IMG_9531.JPG
IMG_9659.JPG




the photos of the tank are before and after when stripped and cut to size.

up to this stage, the wood was reclaimed, stainless steel feet were £4, screws I already had and £5 to trim the glass at the glazers.

if you got this far, thanks!
 

rebel

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Joined
4 Aug 2015
Messages
2,184
Nice work! that 4mm looks a tad thin but I am sure the experts will comment.

That Singer machine brings back memories!
 

chrisfraser05

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Joined
12 Jun 2010
Messages
404
Following this with interest.

I'm in a similar situation as you, back into the hobby, after being on here last in 2011. This time round having the finances to do things properly.

Looking forward to seeing how much you can keep out of the display, I'm also not keen to have equipment on show, in the display at least.
I've hidden my spraybar inside rockwork and my intake behind a large stone which is itself behind some Stem plants. External heater etc.

I've ended up with a temp compromise having Seachem Alerts for PH and Ammo on the front glass where i can see them on my CCTV while I'm away. At least for the first few trips.

Have you got stocking in mind at this point?
 

Nick potts

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Joined
25 Sep 2014
Messages
258
Nice work! that 4mm looks a tad thin but I am sure the experts will comment.

That Singer machine brings back memories!
Nice write up, looking forward to see this progress.

For the glass, 4mm at 30cm height gives you a safety factor of 5, so should be fine from a technical standpoint.
 

Dogtemple

Member
Joined
22 Nov 2011
Messages
38
thanks for the comments.

I haven't fully planned the scape or stocking as such yet, I have an idea of what I want. it will be pretty standard, plants with some branchy wood extending out of the tank.

ill be having easier plants, java trident and Christmas moss will be in there and some cherry shrimp and dwarf corydoras.

will be using CO2 and ferts but not heavily.
 

alto

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Joined
24 Dec 2014
Messages
5,988
dwarf corydoras
Awesome journal to date
But please reconsider your fish choice - even Corydoras pygmaeus prefers more swimming space than a 30cm cube allows

(Seriously Fish is an excellent resource for fish profiles as well as blog and forum sections)

ETA tried to remove that shaded “dwarf corydoras” but no go :(
 

Dogtemple

Member
Joined
22 Nov 2011
Messages
38
Awesome journal to date
But please reconsider your fish choice - even Corydoras pygmaeus prefers more swimming space than a 30cm cube allows

(Seriously Fish is an excellent resource for fish profiles as well as blog and forum sections)

ETA tried to remove that shaded “dwarf corydoras” but no go :(

ok thanks for the advice. the height is 31cm but the length and width will be 50cm. I would have thought they would be ok as they're so small.

just had a quick look on seriously fish and they said the following about dwarf cory

Aquarium Size​

You could keep quite a large group of these in a tank measuring only 18″ x 12″ x 12″ (45cm x 30cm x 30cm) – 42.5 litres.

should be ok, my dimensions run at about 70ltr of the top of my head and I don't intend on having a huge amount
 

Filip Krupa

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Joined
13 Oct 2016
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585
Location
Liverpool
I have been working on this since April and figured out almost all of it and bought most of the parts I need, so hopefully I can do updates with something tangible to show. up until now most of this has been stuck in my head and scribbled on bits of paper when I should have been working.
🤣😂
I know the feeling. That was me when designing/building the 2000l beast.

Stand looks solid!
Following with interest
 

Dogtemple

Member
Joined
22 Nov 2011
Messages
38
Got a few hours work in on this earlier today. Just a couple of photos which will make absolutely no sense to anyone but this will be quite a big part of the tank design and something which should solve a problem. It will all make sense when I get a few more bits together. This idea developed from a seed of a thought I had when I was 7, around 1990, when my dad set up a tropical tank. One of those big old clear seal tanks with a stick on thermometer.
 

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noodlesuk

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Got a few hours work in on this earlier today. Just a couple of photos which will make absolutely no sense to anyone but this will be quite a big part of the tank design and something which should solve a problem. It will all make sense when I get a few more bits together. This idea developed from a seed of a thought I had when I was 7, around 1990, when my dad set up a tropical tank. One of those big old clear seal tanks with a stick on thermometer.
Following with interest, is it some sort of adjustable platform?
 

Dogtemple

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Joined
22 Nov 2011
Messages
38
Following with interest, is it some sort of adjustable platform?
It is indeed. This is the other side. Did a bit more work to it last night but nothing worth taking a photo for. Just a load of measuring, cutting, welding, fitting up, taking apart, measuring, cutting, welding, fitting up, taking apart, scratch head, etc etc
 

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Dogtemple

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22 Nov 2011
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Another minor update that won’t make much sense but it has a couple clues as to what this might be about
 

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Dogtemple

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22 Nov 2011
Messages
38
Will the tank lower into the cabinet for easier maintenance access to the top?

Good idea and the actuators can move a huge amount of weight, so that could be done. Although this is for something else, those two rails couldn’t hold the whole of the tank.
 

noodlesuk

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21 Jul 2020
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Location
Oxfordshire
Good idea and the actuators can move a huge amount of weight, so that could be done. Although this is for something else, those two rails couldn’t hold the whole of the tank.
Is it to lift up the person cleaning the tank, so they can reach the bottom? ;o) Or sump related?
 

Dogtemple

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Joined
22 Nov 2011
Messages
38
I’ve managed to get quite a bit done this week, been nipping over to my workshop after work and grabbing an hour or two.

Finished the fixture which was just a few cut up bits of galvanised angle iron and nyloc nuts welded together. Despite my first post saying everything has to look good and minimal, this is the opposite. But that’s ok, it’s inside the tank stand and purely functional.


Even so it’s hella ugly so gave it a coat of paint, just to tidy it up and protect the bare edges from rusting.
 

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