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

This is for do-it-yourself projects and inventions.

Moderators: Deeda, Kanorin

Postby Agridion » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:36 am

I first have to say that once the tank is completed it will look great being built into the wall. :thumb:

CITADELGRAD87 wrote: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!!!!!!!!!!!!!


If you ever want to give your wife a mild heart attack you could always tell her that you changed your mind about the tank, that you figured you could leave the hole as is and decided to use the spot to store wood for the fire place. :lol:

But really, Make sure you have room to service the tank like others pointed out. Keep up the good work! :popcorn:
User avatar
Agridion
 
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:24 pm
Location: Chicago

Share On:

Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter

Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:54 pm

Eagle eyed observers, you are correct. As of right now, the only way into that room is to ball up and crawl through the tank opening. See the studs to the rear of the wall? That is the back side of the formal living room wall. It is about 20 inches from the back side of the tank stand when it is in place to the studs on that wall. The wall is only wood paneling nailed to those studs. So while it will be tight, I will have side to side access to the back of the tank for maintenance. 20 inches worth of width.

The master plan is to have a hidden (AWSEOME, right?!?!?) door into the room from that back wall. Because of the dimensions of the room, it will have to open outward into the living room, and I am considering hiding the door even further with some shelves that will swing with the wall. I just haven't cut the door yet, and after I cut the witness hole, I saw a gas line I needed to move, the drain line you see there, etc. I want to be darned sure that I cut that door in the correct area. I I had cut that door first, I would have bracketed that drain line and would have to go backwards, that wasn't planning on my part, just lucky I went the other way, but it did give me pause to take a breath and really think things through before I cut holes in the wall.

As for the drain, Pfunmo, excellent idea, I already had my plumber out to look at it, he told me to call him when he can get in there, and we will set up a removable drain plug that I can use during water changes. I forgot to mention that, but excellent catch. I was very happy to learn that my days of toting 5g buckets will be OVER once this is up and running. I will have a 1" line running off the main return pump that will be long enough to reach across and into that drain, and I can then just close the main tank valve, and BOOM the sump will be emptied at 2400 GPH velocity. No muss not fuss. Then I put the hose back in the sump, and I take the supply hose and fill to the line, adding chemicals and heating it with the aid of the circulation from the diverted pump.

Is it wrong that I appear to fantasize about how easy maintenance is going to be for this tank?

I think you are right about the single switched receptacle or a power strip, I will have the heater controller on a switch, but I need the pump on for water changes. Otherwise, does that sound like enough receptacles?

Here is something I would like input on:

I do not mind going into the room to feed the fish, but there are times when my wife or daughter like to feed them and see them go brilliant when they are feeding. Plus sometimes life gets in the way of this wonderful hobby and I need to feed on my way out the door.

What do you think about a small opening, a chute or something, to allow feeding from the front side? How could I disguise that so it sort of disappears unless you are looking for it?
CITADELGRAD87
 
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:28 pm
Location: ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Postby Agridion » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:38 pm

CITADELGRAD87 wrote:I do not mind going into the room to feed the fish, but there are times when my wife or daughter like to feed them and see them go brilliant when they are feeding. Plus sometimes life gets in the way of this wonderful hobby and I need to feed on my way out the door.

What do you think about a small opening, a chute or something, to allow feeding from the front side? How could I disguise that so it sort of disappears unless you are looking for it?


How about a decorative piece of (wide) trim, say around 8â€Â
User avatar
Agridion
 
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:24 pm
Location: Chicago

Postby PfunMo » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:54 pm

I was restricted by space in front of this tank so that a swinging door was out.
Image

As an alternate, I used an access panel held in with magnetic catchs.
Image
Other than the handles, one doesn't see the door.
Image

Might this work for the room access, too? Two smaller panels with trim to blend them in with the rest of the room??? Two small panels are easier to move around than one larger one.
Any space left inside that twenty inches for a water storage for treated water and bringing up to room temp?

Big +++ on getting lucky when cutting holes!
PfunMo
 
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:41 pm
Location: Pflugerville, Tx

Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:15 pm

Hmmm, I like the idea of the movable trim. I wonder if that will work with the glass tops? I will have to figure that out.

As far as the panels, that also may work, I like the idea actually, I think if I set it up with planning, I can still do shelves above the door area?

I am not sure if I can fit a water storage tank. I plan to do about 35-45 gallon water changes, I will have to get the stand in place and measure what I have in terms of space to work with. It would be nice to treat the water and heat it with a spare heater a day or two before the changes. Pretty tight space, but now you have me thinking about building up and having a storage tank above the top of the tank. It would be tough to see in there, more thinking needed on my part.
CITADELGRAD87
 
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:28 pm
Location: ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Postby Clink51 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:19 pm

What do you think about a small opening, a chute or something, to allow feeding from the front side? How could I disguise that so it sort of disappears unless you are looking for it?


figh guy did this during his 1200 gallon indoor pool, er i mean tank. he had some frames with his awards on top and it was just a swinging hatch to feed. def look into it if youd like

:popcorn:
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
Clink51
 
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:55 pm
Location: Queens, NY

Postby PfunMo » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:43 pm

Seems like a good time to award yourself with a nice gold framed certificate for DIY. Hang it over the feeding hole. :D

Don't pay too much attention to our suggestions. We might like to have you work too hard!
PfunMo
 
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:41 pm
Location: Pflugerville, Tx

Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:22 pm

PfunMo wrote:Seems like a good time to award yourself with a nice gold framed certificate for DIY. Hang it over the feeding hole. :D

Don't pay too much attention to our suggestions. We might like to have you work too hard!


Not at all, I am happy to have any input. Thinking about changing what I plan to do is WAY easier than doing it twice. As far as a water tank, I have right around 15-16 inches between the tank back and the far wall. I will say that I can fit in that space and leave it at that, but I do not know if I can get usable water storage in such a small space. Maybe.

Got some stuff done today, I built the frame for the stand top. I am using a combination of the wall framing and two additonal legs for the front, and two two by four legs for the back. I am running a 2 x 4 on edge between those legs, do you think I can eliminate the center back leg if I do it this way? I will have back corner legs, the on edge 2 x 4, and the 3/4 plywood for strength. 100G, 5 foot tank?

Here's the top of the stand frame in place, I haven't cut the back legs, but I did run the back frame long and ran it over a 2 x 4 lagged to the wall studs.

Image

Image

Image

Even though I still have to add some legs, everything is very level side to side and front to back, and seems very sturdy at this point. I plan to screw the frame to the house framing wherever I can.

Here's a couple shots showing the room that will be left after the tank goes in, that 2 x 4 is about 16 inches, so there's a bit of room to move in there after I cut the door.

Image

Here's that same 2 x 4 from the side, about 16 inches wiggle room.

Image

Seriously, comments, suggestions, etc are welcome.

One question for the tradesmen, there is a metal wire, about 1/8 in diameter, uninsulated, that seems to run from somewhere above to somewhere below, my uneducated guess is that its a lighting rod ground. In the 21 years I have lived in SouCal, I have seen maybe 3 electrical storms in the nearby mountains, in any event, of course it runs DIRECTLY through where the tank will sit, si I need to move this wire, and am not sure what to do with it.

Thanks for following this build, I appreciate the company and extra eyes.
CITADELGRAD87
 
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:28 pm
Location: ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:22 pm

Mini update, I got the left side rear leg in place, and started building the sump shelf.

Pictures:
Image

Bottom shelf

Image

Shot from outside the room with a poor simulation of the aquarium lit up at night

Image

There is 14 inches of space between the aquarium back and the back wall, so I can easily stand and move side to side the entire distance of the closet.

Below, because of the double front wall framing of the house, the lower shelf sticks out 3 inches, so I have to contend with less room below, but I have skinny legs, and I am going to put my valves, etc where I can easliy reach them. THEORETICALLY, water changes should be very easy and very quick for a 40 g change. Turn two valves, open the Y fitting, dump the sump and refill.

Does anyone know if a 1965 era house would have some kind of main ground or lighting rod ground on the chimney? There is a single strand, grey, uninsulated wire, about 1/8 inch diameter, that seems to run from up above to the outside wall. Any guesses what that is, and if it would be a problem to cut it and splice in additional length so that it does not cut across the aquarium space? I can't imagine that it would be a problem to do it, but it never hurts to ask and frankly I am hoping that someone will tell me I can just cut it and forget it, but I doubt that.

Tonight, the plumber is tapping in a capped Y fitting to that drain line for water changes, and I will complete the electrical, maybe finish up the bottom shelf but doubtful.

Comments and questions are always welcome.
CITADELGRAD87
 
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:28 pm
Location: ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Postby PfunMo » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:07 pm

Glad to see the prop directly under the end of the stand/shelf. I like to have the weight suppored directly on wood .
The grey wire sounds like aluminum, maybe?? If you scrape it, it should show up shiny bright. Maybe what is called #6 ground wire. Some things it might be are a ground to a satallite dish, ground to the electrical panel. Not as likely for the panel to be above, though they could have run it through over the ceiling. Not likely, though as it normally will take the shortest route to ground. Satallite dish grounding is not likely to have been built in in '65. Not sure how much aluminum wire was being used yet in '65. Any chance of it being added later? In my experience, lightning rod grounds were not often built in on original but more often add ons. Good idea to try to chase it to either end to find what is there. Logic says it may go through the wall to a ground rod. Possibly buried a few inches and hard to spot. Any signs of a lightning rod on the roof? Look for an old dish up there? Any ham operators lived there that might have had an antenna grounded? Some places grounded TV antennas. Have you pulled it to see if it is cut off and just pulls out? Not hard enough to break something but just in case you might get lucky!!

If you can't ID the wire, it can be cut and spliced. The big thing would be to use basicly same wire and get connectors designed for that to try to avoid corrosion at the joints some time in the future.
PfunMo
 
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:41 pm
Location: Pflugerville, Tx

Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:17 pm

I will scrape it tonight, it almost looks like its galvanized? It may have been added when the external conventional TV antenna was set up to ground that, there was an old, flat antenna wire that I just cut out of my way, but hard to tell. The Dish was put up when we moved in, it's not nearby and all the wiring in here looks original. I think it was sealed upon completion unitl the day I cut that hole. The roof on the back of the house is so high that you can't see the rooof from our yard.

It goes into the exterior wall low down, that's why I thought it was a ground wire of some type. As long as I splice in with proper connectors, though, sounds OK to cut it and get it out of the way.

Affirmative on the legs/supports, every place I can use wood on wood, I do so, even if it means ridiculously overengineering with 2 2x4s when one would do.
CITADELGRAD87
 
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:28 pm
Location: ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Postby The King Crabb » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:39 pm

Sorry I can't help with the wiring, but I'd just like to say that I'm loving this build! :popcorn:
User avatar
The King Crabb
 
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:00 pm
Location: Orem, Utah

Postby PfunMo » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:42 pm

Suspect you will find it is aluminum that has corroded. That leaves it kind of speckled that might look much like galvanised. Since it goes out near the floor, it does really sound like the ground for an old rooftop antenna or maybe a dish. Copper is considered the really good item for wiring but aluminum is cheaper and it was used a lot for all wiring but then they found it had some problems that copper doesn't. Still good enough for grounding the dish and such, probably. One of those things that indicate how much of our natural resources are just gone.
PfunMo
 
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:41 pm
Location: Pflugerville, Tx

Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:38 pm

Hmm. Copper wiring throughout the house, but this is probably aluminum. I will scrape it tonight and see what happens, Home Depot should have a splice kit, some clamps or something to lengthen it, correct?
CITADELGRAD87
 
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:28 pm
Location: ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:43 am

The King Crabb wrote:Sorry I can't help with the wiring, but I'd just like to say that I'm loving this build! :popcorn:


Glad to have you along, King. If you see anything that seems hinky, don't be bashful and sing out. Your build experience is welcome here.

I got the drain Y fitting installed today. Now for water changes I just need to remove the cap and insert the 1 inch line and open the ball valve, boom, one empty sump.

I figure that's right at 40 gallons of a total of around 130 or so. Right around a 25% change. If I did that twice a week, the fish should be happy, right? Especially if I run some plants.

Im starting to get excited now.
CITADELGRAD87
 
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:28 pm
Location: ORANGE COUNTY, CA

PreviousNext

Return to DIY - Projects & Ideas

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests