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Old 07-24-2005, 07:56 PM   #1
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Stand and Canopy for 2.5 Gallon

I've got a Standard 2.5 Gallon that's just sitting and gathering dust. I'd like to set it up as a planted paradise for a betta. To really make this a center piece, I'd like to build a canopy and stand for it.

I've seen some really get setups that others have built for this size tank, but never any plans. What I have in mind would be a tabletop stand to balance out the canopy. The canopy would need to accomodate lighting, and I'd like it to be open in the back for ventilation and have a hinged front for maintenance and feeding.

I'm fairly certain that I will pick up either the Red Sea Nano Filter or the Azoo Palm filter and a 25 watt heater by visitherm for when it gets cooler. I haven't quite decided on the lighting yet.

I'm seriously considering the Coralife Mini-Freshwater Aqualight, which would give me 18 watts. If I got this fixture I would need to figure out how to mount it in the canopy and what to do about the fact that it is supposed to be used over glass. I'm afraid that the glass would trap to much heat if place directly on the tank. Perhaps I could find a way to mount the glass in the canopy and put the light directly on that, leaving the water open.

Another option is called a bookworm light. I found a thread where alot of people where using a pair of these lights over a 2.5 gallon tank a few years ago. They are encased in a tube that is waterproof (or very close to it) and mounting looked to be extremely simple. Two of these lights would give a total of 26 watts. Part of the decision will depend on whether or not this light is still available.

Anybody out there have plans for this size tank or know where to find them? I haven't completely decided whether I am going to build this my self or try to talk someone into building it for me. I've got some tools, but may not have everything that would be necessary to get a truly nice looking end result.

Thanks in Advance!

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Old 10-06-2005, 04:28 PM   #2
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Well the tank is set up and doing a great job of growing both plants and algae 8O. If I can ever get the algae under control, I still want to build a stand and canopy. Searching the web I've seen pics of a variety stands and canopies for a 2.5 Gal Tank, but never any plans.

So I'm still looking for plans.

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Old 10-06-2005, 05:23 PM   #3
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What kind of lighting did you wind up using? Do you have pics of your setup? I just set up a 2.5 gallon bowl and am using a lamp with a screw-in fluoro bulb that seems to be working, but it is too early to determine whether I will be growing algae or not.

I am thinking that you will have to construct your own plans, which would basically be a scaled-down typical hinged hood. A stand for something that small needs to be much wider and deeper than the tank, like a stand for a 10gal, because otherwise it will be too top-heavy and prone to tipping, with the small footprint of a tiny tank.
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Old 10-06-2005, 05:50 PM   #4
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I'm not much good at DIY projects, which is why I bought a Hagen CO2 system!

I have the Coralife Mini Aqualight over my 5 (actually 5.5) gallon tanks. I'm only using one tube on each tank, for 9 watts over 5 gallons. I've got lots of algae, and hopefully the Hagen system will kick in soon. I tried both Aqualights - the 6700K and the 10000K. The 10000K grew more algae than the 6700K. The closer you get to the blue spectrum, the more algae you'll get, as I'm sure you know.

I saw a conversion somewhere that said the PC lights have more lumens than their NO counterparts, and that's why the wpg rule breaks down a bit for PC lights. For example, I thought I was getting 1.8 wpg with my light, and I wouldn't need CO2. But with the conversion table I saw somewhere (still can't find it) I realized I was at about 2.5wpg with my 9-watt PC tube and definitely needed CO2.

I think I would try one or two bookworm lights. I think I saw them recently on DrsFosterSmith.com.

A 25 watt heater is fine - I use one on my 2 gallon Minibow QT tank. I use the Visitherm Deluxe, the older, glass one. The Visitherm Stealth is too big. I use that one in my 5 gallon tanks.

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Old 10-06-2005, 06:16 PM   #5
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TankGirl - Lighting an some pics are available in this thread. It's a very workable setup right now... I just want something that looks nicer. Thanks for the advice on the stand.

Current setup is:
Two 13watts 6500K Compact Flourescent Lights (1st light on for 12 hours, 2nd light on for 8 hours turning on 2 hours after the 1st)
DIY CO2 (two 20oz bottles with Red Sea CO2 Reactor 200)
25watt Visitherm Stealth Heater
Azoo Palm filter

Ghost Shrimp (though the Betta may have made a snack of them, it's been awhile since I've seen any)

Pygmy Chain Sword (Already had to take out over half after the first couple months they'd multiplied so much)
Cryptocoryne Lucen (Neither thriving or failing)
Riccia (Doing very well, finally had enough to try making a Riccia Mat)

I'm thinking about replacing the Pygmy Chain Sword with some Dwarf Hairgrass. Hopefully it won't spread quite so fast and will look more inscale with the tank. Haven't decide yet though... I'll probably wait until I see how the Riccia Mat does.

I've been playing with my fert dosing and have gotten some improvement as far as the algae goes, but definately haven't won the battle yet.
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Old 10-07-2005, 03:20 PM   #6
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I want to do something like this for my boyfriend for Christmas. I know he would love a betta at work. A beautiful little habitat would be great. I don't think I'd build the stand for him though, and make it desktop instead. Keep us updated with photos
Holly ~

I love the fishes cause they're so delicious.
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:21 PM   #7
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Well I'm revisiting the idea of making a stand and canopy for my tank. I recently spotted that Dremel makes a Router table which would work with my Dremel. This should allow me to do what I would need in order to make my these myself. I've put together some plans, and I'd appreciate some feed back as to whether these should work, I've miscalculated something, or I need to rethink any of it.

Here is a copy of what I've drawn up. Plans assume 1 X something boards and thus would have actual dimensions of 3/4 X something. All views are from the interior. Grey is recessed wood that has been cut away to for tung and groove fittings or the lip to slip over the tank and hide the trim. Hash marks represent where wood is completely cut away.

When assembled the canopy will be in two sections (front and back) which will be hinged in the middle. This will allow me to flip the front half back for feeding and minor maintenance. I'll probably also add some routed trim and use matching routed trim on the bottom to hide the tank trim.

Once I get the overall plans finalized, I'll still need to figure out how I'm going to mount the lights. Might be nice to mount some fans too.
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2.5 gallon, 5 gallon, canopy, stand, tan

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