I thought I would share some information and pictures of the my process of building my 135g tank that will house some Kansas natives.
My goal is to inspire folks who may think they don't have the skills required for a project like this. Trust me. You do. I am a computer nerd by trade with relatively no prior construction experience. Just a passion for aquariums and research coupled with a lack of fear and common sense.
I purchased the aquarium a few years ago from a craigslist ad in Greeley, CO. It is a Oceanic Dual Overflow 72" x 18" x 25" 135 gallon. The price ( $90 ) justified the 12+ hour round trip from north-central Kansas. The midwest can be a desert for large aquariums, but every once in a while a deal will pop up. The pictures in the ad looked good, the previous owner said there were no issues with it, but for that price I was expecting the aquarium to be pretty rough. Turned out it was nearly pristine, the only work it needed was new silicone seal on the left overflow. Turned out the owner had a stand for the 135 and a 90 gallon aquarium that myself and my father respectively purchased happily.
135 Start.jpg 275.55KB 1 downloads
The tank has sat in the basement of my old house, waiting for my family and I to move into our new home, which we did July of last year.
This project started on Jan 5th. I decided since I didn't have a lid/canopy for the tank and would be building one myself, I should paint the stand black, since it would be easier to match the canopy to it.
I removed the doors from the stand and hit them with 3-4 coats of satin black Krylon Dual Superbond.
Stand and Doors (before):
StandStart.jpg 90.71KB 2 downloads
StandDoorsPrepaint.jpg 212.17KB 1 downloads
standfinished.jpg 291.76KB 1 downloads
Pro Tip: Even with 2 open egress windows and a box fan, 3-4 coats of spray paint is enough to make your whole house smell like spray paint for a couple days. This may or may not displease your spouse.
The next step was building the canopy. I did a bunch of researching online different designs. My build is nowhere near perfect. I used 1x2s for the frame, and wrapped it in walnut veneer with some trim that matched the stand as best I could. Thank goodness orbital sanders and trim, with them you can hide alot of poor craftsmanship.
The canopy is about 14" tall, and covers the top trim of the aquarium (about 1 1/2"). The entire front is attached via two 10" full hinges, I still need to find a method of keeping the door propped open as of this writing.
canopydoor.jpg 98.74KB 1 downloads
CanopyPrePaint.jpg 220.7KB 1 downloads
I painted the canopy (outside this time) with the same Krylon Dual. All together I think I used 5 cans for the stand and canopy.
Stand and Canopy finsished:
BothDone.jpg 186.71KB 1 downloads