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Old 09-11-2009, 04:37 AM   #1
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DIY 50G Tank Restoration & DIY Stand

Hello folks,

The good news: A while ago i managed to get a 50G Tank for free.
The bad news: It was in awful condition

So i decided to completely restore it, a project which cost me a lot of money already (could have bought a new one), BUT in the end i will have a nice looking tank exactly how i want to look like.

Before the restoration would begin, i decided to make a DIY stand - my first one - as i had nothing to put the aquarium on.

Enough talking, here are the pictures!


DIY Stand

Pre assembly


Filling the gaps


What a mess!


First layer of paint


Final layer


Finished product with the "ugly" aquarium


Another angle


This was the first time that i worked so intensively with wood and here is my experience:

-PLAN AHEAD EVERYTHING!!!
I started with a rough idea and sketch and went along.
-Plan even more if planning to stain. Buy a wood that will look nice when stained and buy a good quality oil based paint (water based worked very bad for me)
-Please do make a shopping list. Thank god the DIY store is about 5minutes from here but i went there about 100 times;D
-Screw everything from inside if you can (the outer panels etc).
The less holes you have to make the less filler, the less work and the nicer it will look! I tried staining the wood and the filler made it look horrible.
-Take your time.
I was patient at first but when i got around the end i got to unpatient and messed up with painting
-Lay off sanding machines.
I used a round sanding machine and although its fast it can easily lead to uneven surfaces if you dont do it properly (my case...thank you wood filler again LOL). I eventually went with simple hand sanding along the grain which proved nicer and more effective..
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:43 AM   #2
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Restoring the aquarium!

1st i removed the wooden frame on top


Removal of the silicone
I tried doing this with a Filling knife which did work but went slow. I then used Bison silicone remover which virtually did nothing. Today i got a cheap glass scraping knife and it worked really well and i was able to completely remove the silicone (no picture of this yet, the picture below is after using the scraping knife)


New wood for the frame cut in shape and sanded


First layer of paint!


Wood after 3 layers of paint


After a while i asked myself "where will the filter tubing go through?
So i drilled some holes with a 32mm spade bit. After 5-10 tries on a scrap wood i got the hang of it. Keeping the wood very steady and taking my time was the key to a perfect round hole;D


Angle profiles on the base!


Attaching the wood on the glass
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:49 AM   #3
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I did the left side and rear a few hours later as i was out of clamps


All corner profiles installed!


UGLY CORNER (one out of 4 bleh)


Another one (after removing the glass)


Support reinstalled and sealed properly!



THE CANOPY
The canopy will hold 4 bulbs so i thought it was necessary to have some ventilation slots for cooling. After searching a while in the local DIY shop i found some nice wooden vents.
Also the canopy will have profiles on the side (matching the stand) and will be painted white

QUICK Pre-Assembly


Carving out the ventilation slots


Vent in
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:59 AM   #4
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Wood filler!


1st layer of paint


2nd layer


Tank sitting on top of DIY stand!




NOW Another issue. The tank was full of scratches. I bought a buffing pad for my battery powered drill and tried to buff the scratches with toothpaste.
Result: lots of time wasted!

I then did some good research and found that some fellow aquarist had some good luck with cerium oxide. This compound is often used for mirror polishing and for stone polishing by jewelers.

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Old 09-11-2009, 05:09 AM   #5
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Because i was polishing the scratches with a battery powered drill, i found myself having to wait for the battery to reload very often. So i kept myself busy with the canopy and the electrics

Canopy

Pre assembly


Thats 2x Scythe S-Flex F fans which i had lying in my basement, which will be wired to a AC/DC converter with adjustable output voltages.

Bulbs:
1x Philips TL5 Master HO 840 39W
1x Philips TL5 Master HO 860 39W
1x Philips TL5 Master HO 840 24W
1x Philips TL5 Master HO 860 24W
Total of about 126W of lighting.
All bulbs will be wired to Phillips E-ballasts

Ballasts mounted in stand, along with a fan to blow air across them


Wiring in the closet!


Ballasts connected to mains via a timer


Talento 472 Timer


Painting the inside of the canopy!



Today or tomorrow my TL5 caps will arrive (after a long wait of more than a week! )
So i will finally be able to put the bulb wiring together..

UPDATES SOON!
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:54 AM   #6
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Awesome job !
you may have spent as much or more than buying a new tank but it wouldn't look that good. really great job on it.

is the talento timer hard wired like a circuit breaker?

how many different controller/programs does it have?

will the tank be salt or fresh water?
looks like you're an electrician by day. cant wait to see more updates.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:40 AM   #7
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the costs for the tank itself were not that bad actually. its the lighting that cost the most. I think that if i add all costs up i could have bought a new one indeed but it wouldnt have Tl5 lighting let alone 4 bulbs.

The diy stand did cost a lot of money though. But it is unique in a way.
Anyway the feeling that you get when making these things exceeds all costs i believe^^

the talento 472 timer came along with the tank so i was quite lucky. that thing costs ~90 euros new..

anyway it is hardwired as a circuit indeed, it has 2 channels both programmable seperately. i dont remember how many programs it can handle but i think it was about 30 if not more..i will check the manual and let you know. at the moment i already programmed it to switch on 2bulbs and after 30m the other 2. the same thing goes for turning off the bulbs. hopefully this will reduce stress of the fish

the tank will be freshwater. i will put my 23 baby black moor goldfish fry (check the breeding section for my thread). once they grow a bit more i will give most of them away and keep 5

for the record, im no electrician but i surely do enjoy playing around with electric appliances and wiring
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:47 AM   #8
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That light system you made is great, are you going to have a planted tank? The hours and money you have spent on it is well worth it.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:04 AM   #9
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it is going to be a planted aquarium indeed.
it might take a while until the inside is complete though. my first concern is to finish the basic setup so that my goldfish can grow properly..in the meantime i will be constructing the background, terraces and decide on the plants to keep

time consuming process but in the end it will all be worth it ^^
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:09 AM   #10
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You will have to update with pictures. Choosing plants that goldfish won't eat is going to be difficult.

Goldfish and Aquarium Board Article-Goldfish and Plants: The Low-Tech Approach
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