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Old 01-08-2004, 01:10 AM   #1
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Used 125 Gallon... I'm DIY'ing Stand, Hood, and Sump!

This is the unofficial journal for my new 125 gallon tank. First, I'll give you a little background:

- I've been running a 55 gallon with South American Cichlids for about a year. I never really liked the stand on it, and as soon as I got it set up I wanted a bigger tank. (Don't we all?)

- I found an irresistible deal on a 125 gallon All Glass. I paid $325 and got the tank, stand, 2 light systems, 1 Magnum 350 (and a spare base), a 300w heater, and 4 Penguin 1140 powerheads (none work).

- After getting it home, I decided I don't like the stand. It's too short, and very 70's decor... plywood covered with very old laminate.

- After much consideration, I realized that I'm not truly happy unless I'm obsessing over some major project. SO... I'm building a stand, starting tomorrow. I got the plans from the DIY section here on AA.com.

I'll post "current state" pictures, and update costs and progress with pictures as I go. Please let me know if you're interested - if nobody cares, then I'm just typing to myself and that's no fun!

When I finish the stand, I'm planning on making my own sump for extra filtration. One thing at a time...
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Old 01-08-2004, 02:11 AM   #2
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When I finish the stand, I'm planning on making my own sump for extra filtration. One thing at a time...
Take that sump into consideration NOW! if you know you plan on the sump, be sure to consider that when designing your stand. Consider plumbing and if you plan on putting the sump in the stand under the tank. make sure you leave enough room to take it in and out and to work on the sump under the stand.

Looking forward to updates!
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Old 01-08-2004, 12:28 PM   #3
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Day 2: Good news, Bad news, and Good news.

First off, BillyZ - I'll take your advice and plan the sump before I make anything firm on the stand. I'll do some measurements before building tonight.

Good News - The other day I saw a really neat tank landscaping idea at the LFS, using gravel and slate. I'll get pictures when I do this so you'll know what I mean. Anyways, slate is prohibitively expensive at the LFS, but my buddy brought me about 100 lbs of assorted pieces last night, for free!

Bad News - I can't get the stupid glass clean in my new (used) 125 gallon. I've used bleach and water, vinegar, steel wool, green scrubbies, all of the previous in every combination, and diluted CLR with a green scrubby pad. The last made a dent in the stains, but that's it. Very frustrating. I'm going to start a thread in SW asking advice because this was previously a salt water tank. I'm thinking straight CLR with a razor blade tonight.

Mediocre News - I was going to skip re-sealing the joints, but can't do that now. The acid mentioned above killed my seals, so I'll be re-doing the silicone too.

Good News - I'll be starting construction on my stand tonight. I can't wait!

Pics to come, I'm having trouble with my web site right now but they'll be up soon!
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Old 01-08-2004, 05:34 PM   #4
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there is no problem with using straight CLR to clean the hardwater and mineral stains off of the glass. i was always afraid to use chemicals with my power head and power filter, and they were really crusty from years of useless cleaning. i used straight CLR in a bucket and they all came out looking brand new. i soaked them for about 2-3 minutes then used a toothbrush to clean it up. when it would foam a little, i'd dunk it back into the bucket and repeat. after that RINSE RINSE RINSE!
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Old 01-09-2004, 02:35 PM   #5
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Progress...

Alright... I'm going to do 3 posts here. This one is my current 55 gallon tank, so you can see what I've got today. Here's some pics:
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Old 01-09-2004, 02:37 PM   #6
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One picture posted twice... oops...
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Old 01-09-2004, 02:40 PM   #7
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As I received it...

Here are a couple pictures of my 125 gallon tank and the stand it came with. I did a little cleaning, but there is still some bad film around the top of the glass. The film is from saltwater evaporation, which sat for about 3 years... Hopefully I can get that cleaned tonight or tomorrow.

The stand is plywood with a laminate cover. The edges are warped and frayed from saltwater which is evident in at least one picture. The stand is 24" high, too low for my taste, and in the latest 70's vintage style...
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Old 01-09-2004, 02:45 PM   #8
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New stand!

Now that I've got the background pictures posted, we finally get to...

Day 3: More good news/bad news. I spent last night working on a new stand with a good buddy of mine. He needs a stand for his 29 gallon (high) tank, me for my 125. We bought the wood, made the cuts, and put the frames together last night. Including the HD run, it took just under 4 hours for both frames. I've included pictures of the 125 frame below. I will be updating this with pictures and exact pricing as I make further progress as well.

The stand is super solid as it sits. I figured the middle portion is the weakest point, so I straddled it last night with one foot on each side and jumped up and down. I weigh just under 200 lbs, and it didn't even squeak!

Bad news: No time to clean my glass last night... I will this weekend, and let you know how it goes.

Let me know what you think of the pictures! Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2004, 12:30 PM   #9
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More progress to report!

I spent a while working on the stand and glass last night, and got pretty far. Nothing good to take pics of yet, but they're coming.

On the stand, I got the plywood top put on. I'm cutting inside shelves tonight and putting them in (have to borrow a jigsaw, you'll see what I mean). I'm using 1/2" oak ply to skin it, and working on a solution for trim and doors. I should know more tomorrow, and have pics!

On the glass - It's getting pretty clean, but there's still some saltwater scaling on it. I'm debating using a glass polish on the scaling - everything else I've used has failed. I did get all the silicone scraped off last night, and will re-seal it when I know what I'm going to do with the rest of the glass.

More soon!
Mike
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Old 01-13-2004, 11:02 PM   #10
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Stand looks good.
I'm about to start one for the 180gal I have in layaway.
That should be fun because the tank weighs 2,100lbs full...lol
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