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Fish Tank Forum • View topic - Building an aquarium!
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Building an aquarium!

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Building an aquarium!

Postby fishymike » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:47 pm

Hi everyone,

Im new here and looking to learn a few things, I am currently keeping Malawi Cichlids and everything seems to be going fine, Im looking to build a new tank to go in my lounge, im a heating engineer by trade so pretty good with my hands.

My problem i have is i want to have my new tank underneath my new LED tv (probably 150mm away), I have attached a photo to help try to give a better feel to what im looking for,



This is my current tank:



This is my current filtration, I know its way too much for the tank i currently have but im told you can never have too much filtration?



Now going back to the tank,the unit is measured at 1800mm x 400mm, so i wanted the tank to be 1775mm(Long) x 375mm(Wide) x 350mm(High)to allow for beading to cover the bottom of the tank, I was going to use crome corner beading to hide the edges of the glass on the verticle edges. Does this sound too shallow for a fish tank? what options do i have for a canopy and lighting without it being too high and taking your eye off the tv, Ideally i would like to have a gloss white flat lid and have the led lighting etc inside that.

Sorry if this is seeming a bit vaige, i know what i want in my head but its putting it into reality that seems like its going to take more planning than i thought lol.

Many thanks in advance to anyone who can help,

Regards

Mike
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Re: Building an aquarium!

Postby Big Den » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:27 am

I can see what your trying to achieve but placing an aquarium below a tv is a bit dodgy. Whatever lid you fit will allow a certain amount of condensation to escape and rise up, I would be concerned for the tv's electrics.
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Re: Building an aquarium!

Postby fishymike » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:38 am

:( I was thinking someone would say that, the tank I have now I have the back section to the lid propped open as the pipes from the two filters are too big. Where this is open there is also 2 air pumps bubbling up the water in this section of the tank but I don't really get much humidity or spray coming out if the tank. Looks like I have some investigating to do. What if I put a seal on the lid so when it's shut it def can't leave moisture?

Thanks for your reply.
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Re: Building an aquarium!

Postby malakye » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:37 pm

there will be always water evaporating from a tank so having a tv above it is as Den said asking for trouble. If you seal it you dont allow an air exchange but water will still find a way to escape.
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Re: Building an aquarium!

Postby Big Den » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:06 pm

Condensation is always going to be a problem. If I leave my bedroom windows closed over night they get covered in moisture, and thats just from me breathing. What I'm trying to say is, when the tv is turned off at night, it's going to get cold and that will attract any moisture in the air, no matter where it comes from. Sealing the tank wont make any difference. But saying all that, I don't know to what degree a tv can be damaged by moisture, may be worth doing a bit of research before you go ahead.
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Re: Building an aquarium!

Postby POS_miniracer » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:28 pm

I'm not sure I'd want my tank directly under my TV either. Just seems potentially messy & risky in general to be honest.

I've never had one directly over a tank but I have had one surrounded by nearly 200 gallons worth of tanks for a couple years and that TV is still going strong. But it's an old CRT model. Even with all those tanks evaporating I don't think it put off as much moisture as say a room humidifier might. Still, one look at that white crust that forms along the edges of everything near the top of my tank and I don't think I'd risk it.

I will say this much though, it is distracting.
I can't tell you how many times I've had the words "fast forward" barked at me during the commercials on something we've pre recorded because I've zoned out on the fish rather than whatever it is we're watching.

The only concern I had was the sound since all I have is the speakers in the TV itself so in keeping with the old "don't tap on glass" theory I thought maybe the thumping from the speakers might effect things but I see no signs my fish know any difference.
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Re: Building an aquarium!

Postby fishymike » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:15 pm

Hi all,

Right firstly I'd like to thank all of you for the interest you have shown in your posts. I have done a bit more research into the moisture problem and found a solution. Behind the tv I have put small pc type fans (quiet fans) to push any evapouration away from it. I have also purchasd a hydrometre to measure humidity (I'm in Portsmouth, England). I really wanted to build my first tank and had the perfect unit I wanted it plonked onto. Lol. I have taken pictures of every step of the way from strengthening the unit to filling the tank to installing the lights and trim etc so you can see. For my first tank I am really pleased with the outcome and already have plans for a second. Lol. (The wife doesn't yet know about these plans). I'll try pop on my pc tonight and get some pictures on here.

Speak soon and thanks again for your posts.

Mike
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Re: Building an aquarium!

Postby fishymike » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:40 pm

Hi again,

As mentioned above i thought it would be nice to share the build of my first tank with you all. I think i could do this as a job, i actually really enjoyed building it and cant wait to plan ideas for the next one.

Heres my wife holding up a sheet so i can get a feel for the height its going to be:



The tank is then assembled, I didnt have time to take pics of the tank as i put the glass together, I was too keen to get the thing stuck :)



I added a couple of straps, dont think ive installed them 100% correct, i think i should of put strips all along the length and then bridged those to make the straps :S Its all a learning curve for me.



As the unit was not built for a fishtank i thought it would be safe to remove the legs and build a stronger base to take the weight!



Between the unit and the tank i have used two layes of 3mm foam sheet to take out any imperfections in the unit to save it from cracking when the weight is added.



I then purchased some cornice for a gloss white kitchen and mitred the edges and used silicone instead of mitre fix glue to reduce and water ingress and swelling of the timber. I also popped to a local double glazing shop and purchsed various fillet strips, (Not the KFC style) :)



Ive used duct tape to hold things together,







When installing the strips i flooded them with silicone to give an extra bond and seal to the tank, I the squeezed out the black silicone so that if you look from the inside of the tank it just looks like a black band rather than have messy silicone on a white trim. I then trimmed off excess silicone after it dried.



I then went to my local electrical wholesaler and purchased some LED strip lighting, I ensured the LEDs had a Kelvin rating of 10000k which was advised to me through a little research (not sure if this is correct). I then used the self adhesive strip to adhear them to the cornice, I also used silicone after on the top and bottom of the strip to ensure the water will not damage the glue.









To build the lids i was initially going to have hinged lids but thought that condensed water may run down the back of the tank, there was ways around it but instead i made 3 that are on magnetic catches.They are made from a gloss white end panel for a kitchen larder unit, as this material is chip board i used a black trim which was siliconed to all the edges ensuring that water cannot get to the bare timber inside.I dont know what went wrong with hosting the image but it wouldnt rotate :S



I then added some kitchen cupboard handles to finish them off, also i siliconed screw head to ensure water cannot penetrate through.



And that is the tank pretty much finished, I have run pipes through the lid also so that both flow pipes are at one end of the tank and the return pipes are at the other, I will send updates of these in time but for now this is as far as i can show you, Hope you like the tank and any feedback is appreciated in advance :)





Nice little place to store the chemicals and food etc :) Please ignore the brown lighting, the unit and everything else is gloss white, (Crappy iPhone cameras)







I also added holes at either end of the tank to encourage any evapouration to emit here rather than under the TV, its been up and runnin now for around a week and havent seen a drip of moisture/condensation on the tv so fingers crossed the idea works.



Last but not least, i used the stand from my old tank and trimmed it up a little to house my pumps etc.

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Re: Building an aquarium!

Postby POS_miniracer » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:36 am

Very nice job. Looks fantastic.
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Re: Building an aquarium!

Postby fishymike » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:17 am

Thanks POS_miniracer, I wish I had a work shop. I think I could do this and try to sell some. Someone I know has already asked me to build them one. I need to find a cheaper source for the glass. Any ideas? Or cheaper acrylic? I paid £180 which is a bit steep in my opinion I could of had the tank built for that and delivered.
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