Habitat - Indoor :: New Tank + Stand Build [Pic Heavy]

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:23 am   New Tank + Stand Build [Pic Heavy]

I got a couple RES hatchlings (Gryff and Puff) a few weeks ago and found a 30 gallon tank for them to live in while I started looking for something bigger. After a couple weeks I found a nice (cheap) used 150g tank (really only holds 140g, but was sold as 150g, so I still call it that).

Below is a running log of what I did to get the new tank set up and how long they take. Please let me know if you want additional details. I'm happy to post. I try to photodocument everything, so I expect this post to become quite picture heavy by the time I am done.


/////Tank Setup\\\\\
The previous owner used the tank for cichlids. It was in pretty dirty shape when I picked it up, but had no scratches or chips. It was coated with dirt and dust and had a couple moving bed bio filters built in that I wanted to remove:
Image
It also had a wall painted blue that I wanted to remove. A razor blade made easy work of that:
ImageImage

The previous owner was nice enough to include some high-quality fish tank sand that I will wash and add to the tank.

Future:
Background Poster (back)
Frosted Window Film (bottom and right side)
Decorations
Filters
Heaters
ATBA (I plan to build an 18"x18"x10" basking area on the right side with frosted window film on the back and right side and a clear pane on the front. I may end up building mirrored ATBAs on the left and right hand side to give them more options)


/////Stand Build\\\\\
Obviously for a 150g my current stand (patio table) won't work. So I looked in to building my own. First, take some measurements:
ImageImageImage

First I draw a diagram for a frame using a template I found online:
Image

I used some basic mathematics to determine the Center on Center values. I used this to make sure the center of the tank frame will land exactly in the center of the top 2"x6".
Materials Used:
Four 2"x4"x96" boards ($12)
Two 2"x6"x96" boards ($8)
Forty Eight 2.5" coarse thread screws ($6)
One bottle wood glue - Titebond II waterproof ($4)
Shims - 12 pack ($1.39)

Total cost: $31.39

Tools Used:
Tape measure
Chop saw (10" sliding compound miter)
Hammer
Framing square
7" and 12" Speed squares (Framing square did not fit between the short posts, so I used the 12" and the 7 was for marking up 2"x4"s)
Pencil - Mechanical works great here, no need to resharpen
18v Lithium ion screw gun w/two batteries (swapped them 3x during the building)
Drill bit 1/8" x 3" shank
#2 phillips bit
Paper towels dry and wet for wiping glue
Clamps I used two 12" and two 6" bar/speed clamps. I only used 2 at a time, but probably could have held things better with 3.



I'll skip boring pictures of 2x4's being cut, but it took a few hours to cut and assemble the frame:
Image

------
Small Update 08/01/2016

I made it to the store and purchased my plywood.
I went with 1/2" birch plywood for the sides and door panels and 3/4" birch plywood for the top, front, and door frames (this will make sense when you see it)
I build a rip cut jig for the circular saw after tons of trouble. I'll write it up and hopefully save someone else the effort and exhaustion that I spent building it. That being said, it cuts like dream. My cut boards at 96" length are within 1/64" all the way down. I'm sure I could improve it because I have still been eyeballing the 1/16" kerf width of the blade on each end, but I think 1/64" is plenty close for my needs. The last time I built a cabinet I used a straightedge clamped straight to the work piece without a jig and was coming up 1/16" off over a 96" cut, so this is a good improvement. (That's about 1.6mm off over 2438mm for you enlightened folk who get to use the metric system)

Total cost was $100.39


Future:
-Wrap frame in 1/2" plywood
-Apply veneer to plywood edges
-Build doors
-Prep, Stain, and Finish all plywood
Last edited by spork on Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:52 pm   Re: New Tank + Stand Build [Pic Heavy]

Awesome looking tank and stand! A center vertical brace might be a good idea, plus consider some built in shelving.
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steve
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 4:20 pm   Re: New Tank + Stand Build [Pic Heavy]

Thanks Steve! I hope to have it looking really nice by the time it is done.

The structural design is meant to be similar to an open floor plan house. The 2x6's act as load bearing beams and the corner 2x4s transfer all the weight down to the floor. I am considering adding two vertical 2x4 boards on the front side to hang the doors and use euro hinges, but not necessarily for added strength. I will add a bottom shelf, but I'm not sure about any additional shelving at this point. I want my filter(s) to be able to fit in there, as well as space for a power strip, food, siphon, etc.

Currently the plan is to leave the back open. I need power and plumbing to come in anyway, so I will have it backed up against the wall anyway.
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:38 am   Re: New Tank + Stand Build [Pic Heavy]

Can't wait to see the finished piece, I do like the look so far!
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:09 am   Re: New Tank + Stand Build [Pic Heavy]

I had some trouble sourcing wood this weekend, I was very surprised to find that neither my local Lowe's or Home Depot had 1/2"x4'x8' or 3/4"x4"x8" birch plywood.
I guess this weekend I will have take a trip to the candy store, I mean local hardwood store :D

This minor setback compounded with the fact that I can really only work on weekends during daylight hours when I won't disturb the neighbors means that I am probably a few weeks from finishing the stand. Then probably a weekend to clean, move, and set up the new tank. I would estimate that I will have the tank up and running by Labor Day weekend.
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