Nat's Evolving 75 Gallon
So if anyone has been following my other posts, I was working on a background for my established 55 gallon freshwater tank. However I recently noticed my 2nd hand press-board stand had begun to tilt, causing a slight fluctuation in the water level of my tank. Thanks to the knowledgeable prompting from the Aquatic Community I have emptied my tank into 3-plastic storage totes, one with plants/plecos the other with my corys and loaches and the 3rd with my substrate...each one has a canister filter attached and the two with fish are heated and lit as well.
So I decided to do a brief journal on my Goodwill find's transformation from TV stand to aquarium stand.
I purchased this Sunday, as I knew that sooner-rather than later I would have to move the tank...I was hoping to wait a week or two, but need dictated I cut that timeline to: ASAP.
So this is what I got for $24.99. It is solid wood base with 2" MDF sides, doors, and top with some type of thick (cement board?) backing. It was/is wired for electricity (haven't check it to see if it works, neat feature but not selling point-lol) and cable on the inside with 2 outlets on each side, and has a center division that is supported underneath by a solid wood "foot" to help with the weight. As you can see the majority of it has a nice thick coat of hunter green paint...I kinda like it. I will be dry brushing a lighter green (sage) color on the top/sides/door/shelves as well as priming/painting the inside of the cabinet this lighter color. I will give it 2 days to dry and then I will paint the whole stand inside/out with polycrylic to waterproof it, and give that the 48-72 hours of cure time it needs. The stand is just 48" long, so I am going to purchase a piece of wood that is at least 24' wide and 52" lond to anchor on the top of the piece. I will be staining this and then sealing it. The shelves will go back into the right side of the cabinet (right side the photo), however the left side (with the nice cutout on top) will be where my canister filters sit so the hoses can come right out. I have some time yet until this is done but will be rushing it as much as I can. Thankfully the weather here is fall 70-76, low humidity, sunny and breezy so it should help with the dry time.
Tonight is priming the inside once I get home from work...
Nice find. It looks a lot more well made than a lot of aquarium stands that I've seen at some of the box stores. That center brace should be helpful too.
Will you be routing out an opening on the wood piece you plan on buying for the top to match the opening that is already there?
No, the piece that I am going to buy will not be as wide as the stand The stand is about 28" wide, 48" long. The wood will will cover about 3/4 of the top, leaving the back and that opening uncovered. The main purpose of it is to extend the length as my fish-tank is 48" long and I wanted a lip for it to rest on, not on for it to sit right at the very edge of the cabinet.
It is very well made, and I was so happy to find it. It is so heavy it took 3 people to lift it into the van at Goodwill.
Last edited by Boundava; 09-24-2014 at 03:23 PM.
When I looked at the first picture I said to myself Boy that needs a center support and I hate to tell her that! Then the next picture showed it. Good Find check the glue joints for being tight and your good to go.
Well was stuck at work later than I should have been last night, got home so late I was just able to prime the inside. So I will need to stop at the store on my way home today for the paint I am going to use to dry brush and for the interior.
It nicely opens the inside up, and will make it easier to see my supplies than the green was.
Last edited by Boundava; 09-25-2014 at 12:45 PM.
Nice job! It is hard painting the inside of a cabnet I know I made about 40 ft of them for my Daughters walls inside her bedroom. They were all full of shelves to be painted with several coats of paint on and under each shelf. Then I had to build her a matching bed with 2 big shelves under it. Things you do for your kids. I wish I had a place under my Aquarium to put my pump and filter in. Mine is on the Bar between the kitchen and dinning room.
Well my last stand had three compartments underneath, I took the shelves out of the two compartments on the ends and left them in the middle so I could get the canisters hidden away, but I have 3 filters set up right now so one was on the side as well.
This was my old stand, it was used off craigslist and it was in poor condition so I painted the veneered pressboard and thought about painting the bottom edge, but just never got around to it. Thankfully this one is solid wood on the bottom and I would like to seal it as well with the polycrylic-but may not happen (it is so heavy and I don't want to damage it leaving it for a day on its back to paint and dry)-but the wood won't expand like a dry sponge like the pressboard did.
Well I spend most of this weekend on my stand and the background I have been wanting to do for months...I figured now is the best time to get the background done and in, as all of my fish are displaced anyway. So this is what I did this weekend;
I finished painting the cabinet, and dry brushing it...really like the outcome. I also sealed the inside with the poly-crylic as well as the back which is some type of pressed cardboard, very hard and about 1/2" thick...not sure what it is but it is sealed now just in case of contact with any water. I will be adding a Formica top to the cabinet, as I said before it is exactly 48" long (as is my tank) so I needed to add a little bit lengthwise so I bought a piece a bit longer that my father is going to cut and attach for me. It isn't as wide, which is good cause then I can leave the nice opening in the back which drew me to this cabinet in the first place.
I also cut out the background and the "rocks" ledges and "planters". I then filed them with a wood file to get them to look more like rocks and arranges them on my 3-piece background. Once I liked how it looked I siliconed them in and they have been curing now since late Saturday, that vinegar smell is gone so I can start painting the pieces with drylok.
The 3 pieces I tested to fit inside the tank
This is how they fit together. When its painted I hope the seam is less obvious, I still have to add the slate tiles to the bottom with silicone as a weight and I am not sure if I should do this before or after I paint it with the drylok...Does anyone know if silicone sticks to drylok?
I also bought some fine plastic screens to silicone to the rings within the background. Those will hold a bit of substrate and an Anubis.
My fish seem do be doing very well in their temporary homes, I do a 1/4 water change daily and feed them sparingly (except the bamboo shrimp that are fed nightly). I am planing on getting this 100% by this weekend, so that everyone can go back home.
That background looks amazing, even without being painted yet! I am very impressed by your skills. And I really like the idea of your leaving the rings for adding plants. Very creative!