Aquarium Coffee table

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Aquarium Coffee table

Postby firefly on Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:05 pm

HI all. I am working on making a DIY aquarium coffee table, as shown here:
http://instructables.com/id/Aquarium-Coffee-Table/

I also plan to make a dining table using the same concept. These will be larger than the one here--I'm using a 50gallon (36X18X17) for the coffee table, and a 65 gallon (48X18X17) for the dining table. I found a place on line that sells industrial strength chrome shelves that hold 800lbs a shelf, and come in the right sizes for my project.

The coffee table might be a tad higher than typical, but that's o.k. I'm just grateful I didn't get rid of any of my larger aquariums during the time I had none set up.

I have a question/dilemma that maybe someone can help me with though. I plan on using the blue glass stones for one set up. This will allow me to light the tank from underneath just fine. I'm not sure I want to do the same with the other. Which would mean under tank lighting won't show up. Any ideas on how to maybe light it from the side? or the top? without it looking too odd?

I'm trying to creatively find space for tanks. I used to live in a studio apartment that was one giant fish room. Now, I live in a two bedroom apartment, and I have no fish room, and thus not much room for fish...

(I'm considering setting up my 125 as the headboard to my bed.....)

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Postby pbgroupie on Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:05 pm

What an awesome idea! I got lost in that site, BTW. I just love DIY projects. My solution/modification would be as follows:

Instead of lighting from underneath, where the middle and top shelves are, (where the instructions said to cut out the inner rungs of the middle shelf) place your lights there. If the lights were encased on three sides (from the back to leave the front open) with a [-shaped "reflector", the lights could easily be angled to point slightly toward the tank and not glaring back into the eyes of the beholder. If you made the reflector the color of the stand (black, chrome, etc) it wouldn't be as obvious. HTH or sparks an idea of your own.
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Postby firefly on Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:04 pm

pbgroupie wrote:What an awesome idea! I got lost in that site, BTW. I just love DIY projects. My solution/modification would be as follows:

Instead of lighting from underneath, where the middle and top shelves are, (where the instructions said to cut out the inner rungs of the middle shelf) place your lights there. If the lights were encased on three sides (from the back to leave the front open) with a [-shaped "reflector", the lights could easily be angled to point slightly toward the tank and not glaring back into the eyes of the beholder. If you made the reflector the color of the stand (black, chrome, etc) it wouldn't be as obvious. HTH or sparks an idea of your own.


I was thinking something kinda similar, just not sure if/how it would work. I may have to get out some chrome colored spray paint for the light fixture. I'm still not sure about the reflector thing. I know the main point of lighting from underneath is that the top of the tank is supposed to be as much viewing space as the sides, I think. I'm kinda hoping to get enough top light in one tank to do REAL plants. I've got a school of six roseline sharks (aka Torpedo barbs, aka denesoni barbs...), and they love a densely planted highly oxygenated tank. I plan to get more for my school as money allows. They are pricey, and not found locally. Here is a link to a picture of them: http://www.aquahobby.com/gallery/e_Punt ... isonii.php

Obviously not my pic, but the ones I have do look just like it. They are gorgeous, and I bet they look magnificent when they are grown. (they already do at 2"-3", when they are double or triple that size it will be even better). But, of course they will then need my largest tank!!


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Postby pbgroupie on Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:24 pm

At most you'd only have a 3-4" profile on the reflector as seen from the top of the table. And since it would be the same color, it would just look like part of the framework. You could double your lighting by placing the lamps on both of the long sides of the tank, then it would really look like part of the frame.
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Postby firefly on Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:39 pm

I think I get your idea. I'm still a bit confused on the reflector, but I've got lights with built in reflectors and will likely use those. The top of the tank will have glass or acrylic over it (as well as the table top) Roseline's are Barbs. I'll just pain my fixtures in chrome, and hang them mostly down from the top. I'll post pics etc. when I'm doing it and done.

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Postby pbgroupie on Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:53 pm

The person who created the plans used foamcore to hide the lights and I didn't know if you were buying lights that already came set up in a reflector or were DIY'ing it. When I made custom lights for one of my tanks I just bought the plain fixtures so I had to build a "shield" around them to direct the light where I wanted it. But since you already have the lights then painting the shields/reflectors would allow them to blend in. I can't wait to see what you come up with!
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Postby firefly on Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:42 am

I kept all my old aquarium supples, except anything 20g or less. (other than the 10g that currently houses my beta). I'm going to do a trial run with a 29g bedside table aquarium. (I've got all the parts for that right now). I'll steal some filter media from other tanks to cycle it, and it will house my new snails. And, whatever else decides to live nicely with them while they grow up. I still haven't decided who goes where once I get all my tanks up. I'll have about six or seven going, but then I'll stop. Really.

I've got to figure out what sort of paint I can use to hide the ballasts. I'm also not sure how to hide the cords... I'll probably tape them down a table leg, but they won't match color wise. Of course, there will be filter and heater cords to deal with as well...

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Postby firefly on Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:56 am

O.k., so I got my shelves for the table today, but of course they are the WRONG size. I ordered the 18"X36" shelves, because that is the exact dimension of my tank. Silly me. I forgot the posts will take up some space... (yeah I was kind of figuring this would happen after I'd placed the order, but I didn't think of it at the time, and then I thought, well we'll just see when they get here...).

So, now I have to order new shelves. (That's o.k., these will work for other things I have, like a 37g tall tank I just got for free.... (brand new, someone was moving, got rid of all their fish, had a back up in case of a leak, now doesn't need it!!)). So, not a table, but a good enough stand for sure.

But, I'm wondering how to go on size for my new shelves. I have a glass top that is 24"X42". I got this for free off of Craig's List. So, my dimensions have to be such that this top works. (I'm fine with some overhang, obviously the top can't be too small). I also like the black shelving look better than the chrome for my needs. (the tank is black trimmed, and the cords etc. will all be black. I'm going to do the lights underneath though so that won't matter as much, but they are also black). In the black I can get a shelf that is 24"X36". The tank would be exactly as long as the shelf, but fit between the poles on the width side. The next size black would be 24"X48"--too big for my top. OR, I could go chrome, and have a 24"X42" shelf. Exactly the size of my top. It would also have plenty of leeway on all sides of the tank.

Any thoughts? I'm leaning towards the black myself, I think just long enough is o.k., since it can slide between the poles. Unless someone thinks it will be more stable the other way?

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