DIY - Projects & Ideas • My Odyssey- Building a 100G Tank into my Living Room Wall

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Postby The King Crabb » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:00 pm

You could always paint the PVC the color of the sand? Or use clear piping?
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:07 pm

I have considered painting it, but I need to find a good krylon fusion match.
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Postby Clink51 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:10 pm

dont seel your self short... grab some silicone and with a plastic knife coat the tips like its peanutbutter or cream cheese or something and then sprinkle the sand (im assuming your using sand) onto it... it'll hide much better
10G - EMPTY
10G - EMPTY
29G - x8 Zebra Danios, Multi Colony (15 -/+ 2)
75G - x13 Cyp. Leptosoma (Utinta), x3 Alto. Comp, x6 Neo. Leleupi (Orange), x4 Tanganicodus Irsacae, x1 Albino Bristlenose
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Postby The King Crabb » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:29 am

Clink51 wrote:dont seel your self short... grab some silicone and with a plastic knife coat the tips like its peanutbutter or cream cheese or something and then sprinkle the sand (im assuming your using sand) onto it... it'll hide much better


That actually sounds like a very good idea! Would probably have to be dry sand though.
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:38 am

Clink51 wrote:dont seel your self short... grab some silicone and with a plastic knife coat the tips like its peanutbutter or cream cheese or something and then sprinkle the sand (im assuming your using sand) onto it... it'll hide much better

Thats a fantastic idea! i will definately give that a try.
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:38 am

Clink51 wrote:dont seel your self short... grab some silicone and with a plastic knife coat the tips like its peanutbutter or cream cheese or something and then sprinkle the sand (im assuming your using sand) onto it... it'll hide much better

Thats a fantastic idea! i will definately give that a try.
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Postby Guams » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:47 am

If I may bring in a different perspective...

I, too, thought sprinkling sand onto the USJ's was a great end to the battle of how to hide your jets. Unfortunately, one of the benefits of sand is that when it starts getting brown from algea, you can mix it up and it make it look normal. With the sand siliconed to the jets, you can't do this. Now, my USJ's are brown, instead of white... and there isn't a darn thing I can do unless I take them off and make more jets.

I should mention... I use white silica sandblasting sand... so the brown appearance is very apparent. I haven't used any other types of sand... so maybe play sand is different and won't be noticeable... I don't know. It's just something for you to keep in mind...
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:54 pm

Hmm, that is a good point, as well.

Does anyone know if acrylic or enamel model paints would work, my other nerdy hobby gives me a great selection and ability to mix a perfect shade, but I would not want to have anything leach into the tank.
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Postby The King Crabb » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:32 pm

I know for a fact that you can use 100% acrylic non-toxic paint and be totally safe. Not sure if it has to be 100% acrylic but it's not a challenge to find that, plus it'll only be about $2 a bottle.
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:31 pm

I got some additional information, basically that almost all spray can paint is identical in ingredients. I think the key is to let it cure so it is not gassing or otherwise letting chemicals out.

I plan to try to find some sand/buff colored paint, maybe something that has a bit of texture. I do not think I am going to be able to get an exact match, but it would ne nice to knock the WHITE!!!! off the PVC.

Some more progress on the TV side of the fireplace last night, i got the TV shelf mounted and started cutting the MDF for the box back and sides.

I ordered some additional cables today for that part of the project as well.

I hope to get the TV and components done this weekend, then next week, THE FISHROOM!!!!
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Postby Bradyk » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:40 am

Any progress? Did you get your background yet??? Can't wait to see how this turns out. I'm starting my in wall project this next weekend and I'm hoping I can get some good info from you along the way.

I just bought a 180 gallon tank and placed an order with the same company again who did my background. I'm thinking of selling the 55 gallon tank and background they just made me for some extra cash for the project. I've been sending them alot of business so hopefully I can get a good deal on the new background.

I'm curious if it's gonna be a pain to clean the tanks once they are in the wall? I'll be watching your thread! Good job so far :thumb:

Brady
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:02 pm

Hi Brady, no, no FISH progress yet. Part of the family green light for this project is that I also build our TV into the opposite wall, I should finish that early this week, then full speed ahead on the tank build. I have taken it as far as I can go before the background gets here. I finalized my order with the background guys late last week, thursday I think, and am expecting some photos as the work progresses, but nothing yet. I did mention you by name to them so maybe you can parlay that into some kind of frequent buyer discount?

I think I have all the PVC parts to run my sump and return, but I need to get it into the stand, which right now is just a pile of 2X4s in the garage.

Since this is a fish site, I have bit my tongue and not posted any TV updates, but I am sure I will include photos of it in the progress shots because it's so close to the tank area. Basically I am ready to button up the bottom area for the TV as soon as I run electrical to that area, tonight, and the cables for the speakers arrived today, so I should be able to button up the top maybe tomorrow. After that it's ALL fish, all the time!

I hope I am far enough ahead of you that you can get some benefit, that's the awesomeness of the internet, we can do this like we are neighbors, even though we are a couple hundred miles apart.

For maintenance, I have enough room inside the hidden room to walk the full length of the back of the tank. With the jets, hopefully poo patrol will be minimized, my water changes will hopefully be super easy with the sump pump and valves, and the nearby drain. Basically, my setup is identical to a tank that's not in the wall, except instead of not being able to walk behind it, I will not be able to walk in front of it, at least from the back side. I will probably need a mag float for the front glass, the rest I can reach from the room, I hope!
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:45 am

OK, what are Monday nights for if not hurrying home from work and trying to get some fish room building in. When we left off, I had spent about 8 hours Sunday trying to get the TV side completed, but I ran out of daylight, steam, and needed to make a Depot run for electrical and I pulled the plug.

Tonight, I was going to get the junction boxes set up for my wiring for both sides. I am fine on the TV side, but on the fish room side, will this be enough outlets??

I am putting an outlet somewhere above the tank for lighting, which leaves and extra outlet there, probably for a small flouro for me when I am in the room working, and a quad outlet somewhere under the tank for the Mag 24, the heater/controller, and two extras for whatever I need. I was going to put the heater on a switch, but I figured I would just forget to turn it on again after water changes. It's titanium, so I should be fine for water changes, right?

Anyway, best laid plans. I decided to first open up the wall to close to final dimensions, but that basically took all night, what with trimming studs and the various fit tissues. I got no eletrical done today.

I did snap some pictures of the now larger hole, it's still not final dimensions, but as you can see from the blue tape, it's getting pretty close. Hopefully tomorrow ot Weds I will get the stand built. I am using the wall studs as the front legs, I will cap the 2X4 rail that is already in place with an on edge 2 x 4, mostly to bring it up to where I need to tank bottom to be. Then I will close the rectangle of the top with 3 more on edge 2x 4s.

This will be my first tank stand, my plan is to have a dead square and level 2x4 frame around the perimiter of the top, then I will put on a plywood top. My understanding is the plywood isn't necessary, as the edge of the tank is all it rests on. I will use 2x 4 legs at the back corners and I will add one more in the middle of the back, after I slip the sump into its shelf.

It's going to be a cozy little room, I figure I have about 20 inches of room behind the tank to do maintenance inside the fish room. Not as big as I would have liked, but it's the biggest dedicated fish room I have ever had!

Here are some photos of the nelwy bigger hole in the wall, as well as a couple looking into the hole:

Image

Closer, sorry about the dark pictures, it's DARK when I finish, that's why I am so excited about a tank in there like a night light when we are in there.
Image

Here is a close up looking into the room from the tank location, the fireplace to the left as you face the tank:
Image

I am going to take off the bottom wood along the top of the rocks and replace that with precision cut wood I kept from the TV side once the tank is in place. The right portion is about where the tank bottom will be framed, the left side is with that wood removed for now.

Finally, the same shot but facing the right rear of the tank location, you can just see the water supply I put in with the TV cables draped around it so I don't trip on them.

Image

Not a lot to take pictures of yet, but I am getting prettty close to actual stand construction, so if anything doesn't seem right, please let me know what you think. I am pretty comfortable with the planned stand construction, as the 2 x 4s are pretty much overkill, and I have 4 legs across the front of the tank. The stand I got with the tank has only 5 2 x 4 legs, at the corners and one in the center back, and it seems like I could park my car on it. My plan is to just make certain it's square and level.

Thanks for following along, cichlid lovers. I'm starting to get pretty excited with this project, the hole in the wall is pretty huge, so I told my wife there is no going back now.

FOREWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby quentin8 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:56 am

Looks really good.. Im confused.....How do you get behind the tank after its in place? form what I see in the pictures there doesnt look like there is anyway to get into the fish room.
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Postby PfunMo » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:13 am

A point to consider? I would not want to let the heater go out of the water while turned on. In theory it may have contacts to open an shut down but what the fail to mention is that doing this may distort the spring contacts so that they a funky from then on. I find a cheap strip of oulets like for computers to be a cheap easy way to get the large number of outlets as well as a switch. It helps to be able to turn off heaters,powerhead and filters with one move. It also helps remind me when nothing is running. DUH!

That drain pipe makes it look like an ideal time to tap in to add a drain for water changes! There are clamp on fittings that allow tapping into a pipe without cutting it. Any water supply lines nearby as well?
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