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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a couple of pictures of the stand and hood and set-up i'm doing. Just wanted to get some sound input before I start it next week. I think it's good, but just wanted to get a few more eyes on it. And i'll keep this thread going with pictures as I progress in putting it together. The pictures here don't have the borders and stuff for the stand and hood, because they are to hard for me to draw in this program, but it will be nice I hope.



 

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All the bridging at the bottom and even the single bridging at the top contribute nothing to the structure. The four vertical scabs inside the corners are also superfluous. I would erase them all from the drawing.

The connecting trim from the stand up to the canopy is an interesting idea, but one that would be hard to bring off sucessfully since it blocks some of the view of the tank. Now if it were at the back, and actually supported the canopy while creating a background behind the tank with optional space for a diorama, it might be easier to justify.

Canopies are a lot easier if you install wiring and fixtures for power compact twist bulbs and produce a more versatile lighting array since you can change the bulbs for different wattages and spectrums fast and the lights don't block access to the tank nearly as much as long tube lights and their fixtures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The bridging at the bottom is to support my wet/dry that will be underneath and well as a Canister filter that I will probably go with also. I plan on having a pretty big wet/dry that is the reason for the supports.

I used the four vertical scabs inside the corners to connect the corners easier and to give a little more support for the tank.

The connecting trim from the stand to the canopy is my ideal and I like it :) It's not going away, it's just a personal touch of mine to hide the corners where algae seems to build up at times and hard to remove without getting in there to get it. Also, I just like the cabinet look of the whole thing. I'll probably do the back also, but I was debating on doing it since you wouldn't see it.

I do plan on putting the lighting inside the canopy top. I was going to try and find a fixture at Home Depot or Lowes that already has the twist bulbs on it and just mount it to the inside of the canopy. I also want to mount a moonlight inside also.

The drawing isn't to the "T" because of my limitations to using it. But, I thought it was pretty good considering I just started using it yesterday :p I will be doing some things that you don't see on the drawing. I was mainly looking to get some input on the structure of the stand and making sure it would support the 180.
 

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Paulbearer said:
I do plan on putting the lighting inside the canopy top. I was going to try and find a fixture at Home Depot or Lowes that already has the twist bulbs on it and just mount it to the inside of the canopy. I also want to mount a moonlight inside also.
HD has some fixtures that are two feet long and hold 4 bulbs apiece if I recall correctly. Something like $8 apiece I think. I looked on their website, and couldn't find it. It was in the ceiling fan/lighting section of my HD. Good luck.
 

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A few things. Make your hood open like a piano, where atleast half of the lid opens up (use a "piano hinge"). You will hate yourself trying to aquascape or the like if you have to take the hood off every time, and doing it so about half or 3/4 opens keeps one or two lights pointing down giving you light in the tank still.

Don't use a fixture with compact flourescents?!?! I would look into a ahsupply.com kit, or see what hd has--remember, a tank this long, this deep is going to need a good amount of lighting. To Help with lighting, you can paint the framing around tank white.

Some things to think about--IF that is going to cover the sides of the tank, use silicone to seal it off from the outside world. When water gets down there, you'll hate it(or, paint all 3 sides of the tank so that water spots mean nothing). That would will need to be sealed really, really well. It's going to hold a lot of moisture in. I would definately put a ventilation fan or 3 in that hood(computer fans work great)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What do you mean seal off the sides of the tank? The brown your see on the front sides it just going to be a piece of molding that I can remove very easy. I plan on just sticking it on the corner with double sided tape that way I can remove it anytime I want. If it does get really wet for some reason, I can just replace that piece :)

And the hood, I see what you all are saying, I'll remove the piece on the back side of the hood that is running side to side to keep ventilation more open. As for the hood, yes I plan on making a hinge....like I said it's hard to draw that stuff lol.
 

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First of all I think it looks fine. Second of all I give little credibility to my opinion.

If anything people might comment on the two short yellow pieces on the top. But I am guessing that is why you have the 4 vertical blue pieces in the corner? Other than that you might say those blue pieces are not necessary.

Other than those two points its very similar to my stand - except all of my 2x4's are opposite. When I say opposite I mean that if you turned all of the 2x4's such that the 4" side became the 2" side and vice versa. For instance the light orange pieces on my stand have the 2" side facing the front instead of the 4" side, and then the dark orange pieces have the 2" side facing the front instead of the 4" side. The only disadvantage to what I did is that the inside of the tank becomes smaller. Normally I wouldn't mention it, and I have no real reason to believe what I did is any better, but I will say that the reason I did it that way is because thats how wood frames for houses are constructed, for what thats worth. I think it also makes its a little easier to assemble in terms of nailing/screwing the pieces together because in almost all cases you are nailing into the 4" side and through the 2" side instead of the other way around (unless you are going to use braces - in which case thats a moot point).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
boredatwork I see what you are saying. Yes, the blue pieces are really there for added support and to also make it easier to put the corners together. I'm also adding a top to this stand and the blue pieces in the corner will give that a little more support in the corners where most of the pressure points on a tank are anyways.

Thanks for the input and i'm picking up the wood tomorrow hopefully and get started on it. I'll take some pictures as I assemble to try and give some ideals. To be honest you can build this stand several ways and it's just a matter of personal taste in how to build it. I just wanted to make sure it looked good by someone that has better knowledge in this than myself. I've never done one of these before so i'm new to this.

I went to home depot today to price everything and make sure they would cut it for me, which they will. I don't even own a tool and will have to borrow an electric screwdriver from the neighbor to even do this lol. But, wish me luck :thumb:
 

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Paulbearer said:
Here is a pic with colors...maybe that will give a better ideal of the stand. My only concern is the stability of the stand really. Does it look sound for the 180 tank?

The "2" thick approach of this stand is like a specialty kind of house framing -- around pocket doors, tight closets, and soffits. These are all areas where strength and stability are compromised for other goals. So the stand is not as sound as one built on the "4" model but if well braced with plywood, it should be adequate. You could leave the verticals on the 2" mode and set the top and bottom boards flat. Instead of the short bridges on the bottom, run one flat rail longways on the bottom. If HD is charging you $.50 per cut for each extra cut, you have a savings right there. This flat base would give you a rim to support a plywood floor under the sump. The corner scabs will still get in the way a bit. Having them between the flat top and bottom rails lets them actually reinforce the butt joints the lap over.

http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~janets/practice4.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I see what you are saying about the bottom, turn the 2 X 4's long ways and just lay a piece down there for the sump. Do I really need the blue 2 X 4's on my diagram? I was thinking of taking them off and just bracing the corners together instead, then I could just lay the bottom flat if you know what I mean. Comments on taking away the blue boards?
 

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It does look a lot "cleaner" now. It will still need support from the plywood shell to keep the wood from eventually leaning or twisting under load. Be sure to use either wood screws (best), or reinforced shank deck screws, and never use drywall screws. Drywall screw heads are meant for flimsy stuff, and pop right off when they go home into something as hard as softwood.

http://www.irs.gov/irs/article/0,,id=180250,00.html

Good luck with your "stimulus check"! It looks like many people won't get it until after the recession is over. However many people spent it as soon as they heard they were going to get it.
http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~janets/practice4.htm

Here's an interesting quiz for self-testing.
 
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