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Old 07-23-2014, 11:29 AM   #1
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65 Gallon Oak Aquarium/Cabinet Combo

While I am new to constructing aquariums I have spent a majority of my life keeping fish and for several years worked part time at fish store while I was in the Navy. For the past 10 years or so I have spent most of my "off" time building custom hollow core wooden Surfboards, Paipo, and Stand Up Paddle Boards, so I decided to give a "plywood" tank a shot.

On this thread I will post pics on the progress and hopefully get some good constructive advice on improvements or recommendations that will help in providing my fish the best environment possible.

Please feel free to share your opinions, advice or recommendations. I did a lot of reading on the forums to help in the development and preconstruction phase and feel that "life experience" can help considerably for others who might want to take on a project like this in the future.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:34 AM   #2
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:36 AM   #3
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Frame complete, starting to add 3/4" Oak plywood that will form the aquarium
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The section beneath the tank will be a display case for a piece of artwork that I created a few years back
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Dry fitting the hood, this will be a "dual action" hood as it will have a smaller access door for feeding.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:43 AM   #4
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Dual action lid with both full top and access doors propped open
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Just access door propped open
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:46 AM   #5
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Installed the door that I made to hide the biological filter, light controls and junction boxes for all the electrical wiring
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Sliding access door for the lower display case
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:51 AM   #6
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I wanted a decorative molding to give the cabinet a more refined appearance, to purchase an Oak dental molding of this size would have ran around $175... I made if for $35 and 2 hours worth of work

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I use 2" pvc pieces that I cut a slit into to apply pressure to the 1 1/4" blocks that form the dental molding
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Attaching the Dental molding to the lid
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:55 AM   #7
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Molding attached .... very pleased with the way it turned out
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:57 AM   #8
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Access door open
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Lid open
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Checking to make sure "The Minnow" fits in the display portion. "The Minnow" is an exact 1/2 scale model of a classic "fish" surfboard that is mounted on a piece of driftwood I found in Kilmarnock, VA
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:06 PM   #9
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And this is where we stand.... (excuse the pun)... I just ordered 1/2 gallon of 635 Epoxy Resin System from US Composites. I will "Glass" all of the seams to add durability and then cover the rest of the plywood with just the epoxy resin. I debated on how I would waterproof the aquarium and read several hundred posts on the pros and cons of using products like "Pond Shield", "Liquid Rubber", and different brands of epoxy paints. I decided to go with the more expensive route and use 2 part epoxy with 100% solids for the strength, reliability and safety of the fish. I am only a few hundred dollars into this build and do not want to risk the damage that can occur from a leak or the loss of my fish due to toxic chemicals over a $25-$30 price savings.....just isn't worth it to me.
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