View Full Version : My Aquarium Evolution

04-25-2010, 08:50 PM
Hello all, :22:
Wanted to show what I am starting out with. I believe this is a 33 gallon tank that measures from the outside 48"L X 12"W X 12"H.
As you can see, I am testing for leaks. No leaks after 4 days, so far so good.
First order of business, I am building a custom stand and hood that will basically be a 48" wide book case, with a matching hood. (Woodworking is another hobby of mine) I will post my progress as things move along.
I have had some success with aquariums in the past, but as I have read many times on this and other web sights, there's always something new to learn. I have chosen this sight for my number one source of information, and looks like I will not be disappointed.
Thanks in advance , Gene

Edit- This thread was titled post #2-- the tank --post update #6. They have since been merged together and retitled.

Lady Hobbs
04-25-2010, 08:57 PM
You have indeed a 33 gallon long. You can clean the hard water spots easily with straight vinegar. Just let it sit or about 5 minutes and nearly all will come off easily.

04-25-2010, 09:57 PM
Nice tank, a little inegar and elbow grease and you should be good to go.

04-26-2010, 11:18 AM
Noticing the number of pipe clamps that you have hanging on the wall behind the tank says that you are into woodworking, looking forward to seeing your stand and canopy when you get it done.

04-26-2010, 06:01 PM
Should look nice thumbs2: . Always excited to see another person's project start from the ground up and watch it grow. Something else to try if you have it around the house for the hard water stains is lemon juice. Haven't tried it myself yet, but have heard good things.

05-08-2010, 01:00 PM
hello all, I had to change direction from my last post as I stated I was going to build my own stand and hood for my 33 g. long. Well, my wife did not like the idea of another chunk of oak in the living room, so we compromised on this black metal stand. However, I will still be making the canopy with lighting. I will also make a lower storage cabinet that will house all the supplies, tools, foods,ect. This will rest on the lower part of the stand. All this will be black to match the stand. Now for my question... Since I will be building my own top, I need to first figure out my lighting system. I would love to say "money was no object" but the truth is I need to come up with something I can buy at HOME DEPOT as I have gift cards I need to use. So for all you DIY'ers out there, can I put together a half way decent lighting system by using stuff from H.D.?
My goal is a well planted tank, but keeping in mind the tank is only 12 inches deep, so I don't want to over-do-it and grow more alge than plants. Does the 1 1/2 watts per gallon rule stand even for a shallower tank? Bottom line is, Does anyone have any good ideas for building a decent lighting system with using stuff from the big box store? Any advice/help would be appreciated! Once I figure this out I can design the top and build it.
Thanks and have a great weekend, Gene:22:

05-08-2010, 02:42 PM
A lot of people use standard shop lights over their tanks and do great with them. For most plants you'll want to be in the 1.5 to 2 wpg range and make sure it's in the 6500-6700k light range. That gives you the best spectrum to grow plants. Most companies have a fluorescent plant bulb. With a standard t12 or t8 bulb I don't think you'll have problems with the tank only being 12 inches deep.

With your tank style you might think of making a hanging light type system. I've seen people use pipe that runs up the back of the tank and then bends over. Looks very industrial/modern. If you're into that anyways. LOL

Make sure, with that style stand, that you get cups or pads to put under those feet. My 29g has a stand like that and even with the cups it tends to put a lot of pressure on the floor.

05-08-2010, 05:13 PM
Make a canopy with an adjustable shop light!
Its not difficult with threaded rod and nuts to raise and lower it.
Aeonflame made a nice one.

05-08-2010, 05:32 PM
Heres mine. Its not finished yet, I plan to make it into a full canopy with dual lids tomorrow. Just a matter of covering it with 1/4 inch ply and trim.


05-08-2010, 06:18 PM
With the metal stand i would put some wood underneath them becuase with all the weight of thge aquarium on it they legs might eventually rip through the carpet or slice through it. IME

05-09-2010, 01:26 PM
Happy moms day to all moms out there!
Please give me your opinion on how many watts of light you would use on this size tank if you where planning on having a planted tank (avoiding the most demanding plants) using florescent lighting.
t5? t8? t12?
NO (normal output) HO (high output)?
As I stated before, I will be building a custom top for my 33 gallon long and just need to decide on a lighting configuration so I can start the design process.
Thanks for any advise, Gene:22:

05-09-2010, 02:24 PM
I would go with a double T5 fixture around 5700 to 6700K and between 1 to 2 watts per gallon. That should give you a nicely lit tank and provide very good lighting for low demand plants. I would recommend the coralife fixture (link below). I really like them because they have a low profile making it a little easier to do a DYI top for your tank

I hope this helps


05-09-2010, 02:30 PM
I would go with a double T5 fixture around 5700 to 6700K and between 1 to 2 watts per gallon. That should give you a nicely lit tank and provide very good lighting for low demand plants. I would recommend the coralife fixture (link below). I really like them because they have a low profile making it a little easier to do a DYI top for your tank

I hope this helps


After thinking about this a little longer, I would actually stay a lot closer to 2 watts per gallon and 6700K. That would give you a lot more plant options

05-09-2010, 03:02 PM
I like the foot print of that tank,how tall is it?

05-10-2010, 08:07 PM
I like the foot print of that tank,how tall is it?
It's like 13 inches high.:22:

05-15-2010, 03:11 AM
Hello all:22:
Heres the top so far. I will be adding the light fixture this weekend. 2x40watt
I need to figure out the best way to hinge the two lids.I will post again after the lights are in. See ya then, gene
ps, I've got a chance to buy a Eheim 2215 canister filter for 40 bucks, hoses and spray bar included. 2 years old but he says it works fine. What do you think? opinion please.

Lady Hobbs
05-15-2010, 03:18 AM
Good price on that filter. Grab it. Are you leaving an opening in the back for hoses and heat to escape? Looks really good.

05-15-2010, 03:55 AM
Thats a nice canopy!
What type of finish are you putting on it?

05-15-2010, 11:50 AM
I'll 2nd on getting that filter for that price. Top is looking good, are you planning on banding the edges of the plywood lids ? Veneer trim, the type that comes in a roll and you iron on would work well.

05-15-2010, 12:13 PM
Hello, I will answer the best I can for now, as this is a build-as-you-go project.
Yes, I will include open areas for hoses, cords, and heat to escape, but will add these once I have a better idea of what equipment I will be using. I might add a cooling fan to one end if need be.
I probably should band the edges of the lids, wasn't planning on it, but that is a good idea.
As far as the finish, I am planning on painting the inside with a good flat white to aid in the lights reflection, and the out side will be a satin/flat black to match the metal stand. Will post again this weekend. Gene

Plant Man
05-15-2010, 02:48 PM
That's a very nicely built canopy, to bad you didn't start with already veneered sheets.

Still, great job.

05-15-2010, 04:07 PM
You could also cut some thin strips of wood that are wide enough to cover the plywood edge.Use some fine nails and glue to put it on.It looks better then that iron stuff and lasts a lot longer.Finish it the same color or even a different color for a nice effect.
What type of hinges did you get?They are easy enough to install just be patient.lol

05-17-2010, 01:59 AM
Hello all, :22: Just posting the progress on the woodworking end of my tank set up. Got the light fixture in and the lids made and mounted. I will add some more trim around the bottom to complete it.
I am starting on the lower storage section and will have pics of that soon.
One question... I missed out on buying the Eheim 2215 filter:scry: But have a chance at a magnum350 for 30 bucks. Can I please get you opinion on this filter? I really want to go with a canister rather than something that hangs outside the tank. I have very little room between tank and wall.
Thanks, Gene

05-17-2010, 02:42 AM
keep the 30 bucks and keep looking for a canister filter

great job on the canopythumbs2:

05-17-2010, 03:17 AM
I thought the Magnum was a canister filter?

05-17-2010, 04:56 AM
Thats a great looking canopy.

I have never owned one of those filters (I prefer the Rena xp3 )and there is no review on it here.
Start a thread in the General section and ask peoples thoughts on that filter.I am sure some members here own them.

I sent you a pm.

05-17-2010, 05:00 AM
Looks like that's going to be a great canopy when your done.

Please post some pics went you have everything completed, I would love to see the finished product

05-17-2010, 11:32 AM
Canopy coming along great. thumbs2:

I have an older magnum 350 that I don't use because even though it works great it was always a pain when it came to cleaning it. It uses rubber o-rings as clamps to connect the hoses to it and they aways wanted to leak. You had shutoffs in-line in the hoses and they were hard to shutoff and also wanted to leak.

Trapped air was also a problem until I installed a schrader valve in top of it to bleed it out.

Mine is over 20 years old and maybe newer models they corrected some of these issues.

05-29-2010, 02:46 AM
got the bottom storage bin made. and tested the lights. I am going to split the top of the storage lid in 3rds, for easier function. The middle third will be fixed.
see you next post, Gene

06-01-2010, 12:51 AM
got the lower storage bin done and ready for color.

06-01-2010, 01:48 AM
Really great work so far on everything. Really looking to forward to seeing your tank when it's all up and running thumbs2: