Originally Posted by FLdesign
Thank you for this, great work.
What kind of lighting did you use?
How do you determine if you have enough support for the size thank. ie; 55gal? Have you done any stands with multiple tanks?
Do you seal the hood with something special because of the condensation?
The light is a 30" Coralife High Output Dual T5 fixture. In the picture, it 's running a full actinic blue and a 10000K Super Daylight. The inside of the canopy is painted with flat white alkyd enamel because I've been told it's the best finish to reflect back more of the wasted light. The back of the canopy is wide open, so condensation is not really an issue. After this was delivered to the young lady I built it for, I fitted it with a glass top because the water top-ups were driving her father nuts.
As for strength, if you've ever looked closely at the crap they sell you at your local pet shop, you'll see that it's extremely easy to overbuild these. I'm looking at a store-bought right now that relies on the edge compression strength of four panels of 1/2" particle board to support a 5' long, 60g tank. The one in the picture is built with 2 X 4 spruce lumber. The frame directly under the tank is made with the lumber standing on edge and lap jointed onto the legs so that all the weight is borne by the compression strength of the legs. You could park a truck on that stand. There is a trimmer frame around the 2 x 4 frame at the top made of 1 X 3 pine to neaten it up a bit, with an identical frame about 6" off the floor. It has a bottom shelf supported by cleats. The whole thing is faced in beadboard wainscoting panels glued in place with PL Premium. It has a nice factory finish, almost like melamine, that takes paint beautifully. The trim around the doors is 3/4" X 3/4" PVC corner moulding but the corner moulding around the stand and canopy is wood because I couldn't get the size I wanted in PVC. That's why all the nail holes and filling.
I'm just about finished a similar build for another young person who wants into the hobby. No wood mouldings on this one. The birthday boy wanted it all in bright red, but his mom put the kibosh on that and decided on black. In the end, we decided on a compromise; it's all painted in semi-gloss black with all the trim painted with Painter's Touch gloss Apple Red. I've discovered that it's very difficult to find very bright colours in semi-gloss. Same red was used on the door and canopy hardware. There's about $225.00 worth of materials in it and the white one was about the same. The PVC trim and the paint are the wallet killers; I think each project took about 7 cans of paint.
I haven't tried one for mutiple tanks yet, but I don't see it being a great deal more complicated.
I'll post some pics of the new one as soon as it's done.