Wall-Mounted Nano Build

BiggTexx

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I have been tossing around an idea for a DIY wall-mounted nano tank for a few days and I decided to I either needed to start on it, or I would end up driving myself mad.  

 
So, with that said - that time is now!  Since this will be my first nano build (I have been involved in larger builds) I decided that a bit of research was in order.  After reading around, determining the pros and cons, I have decided to go with an acrylic tank.  The next step is trying to determine the exact measurements...
 
These are the dimensions I am currently looking at:
  • 20" L x 8" D x 13" H     ~8gal
  • 20" L x 8" D X 10" H    ~6gal
  • 20" L x 10" D x 10" H   ~8gal
  • 12" L x 8" D x 10" H     ~4gal
Right now I am leaning more towards the last two sets of dimensions.  While the 4gal is more along the lines of what I had originally wanted; however, I found a beautiful EE (dumbo) Half Moon Betta (not sure if this is the correct name) and while one may thrive in a 12x8x10, they 20x10x10 is probably preferred. Then again, I can stick with an invert setup in the smaller tank...
  Decisions, decisions!
 
I guess it is time I get to sketching!  If I have any luck, I can have a few basic sketches done up in a couple hours, decide on one, and possibly even purchase some acrylic today (I found a local supplier of 1/4" OPTIX Acrylic).  Does anyone have any opinions or suggestions for the dimensions listed?
 
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BiggTexx

BiggTexx

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[SIZE=10.5pt]After some further research and sketches yesterday, I wound up going for the [/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt]20" L x 10" D x 10" H.  This is roughly the size of a 10gal (45 L?) commonly sold, and in the event that I ran out of options, could just buy a tank and modify from there (yes, I had cheating as a contingency plan).  
[/SIZE]
 
 
[SIZE=10.5pt]After looking around a bit, I called up my favorite LFS and low and behold they carry emergency replacement glass for some common tank sizes!  I went to pick up the glass and was able to walk away with 5 decent pieces of used glass (from old broken down tanks) for around $10!  I added in a tube of [/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt]American Sealants Silicone and a bottle of Liquid Cure and of course picked up a few other various supplies while I was there.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt]And now the fun can begin!  I started on the build last night but didn't manage to get any pictures during the initial build process. I will try to get better about that moving forward. I did notice that one piece of glass had a slight chip in a corner, but I managed to place it in area that I think will have no effect on the overall design.  If all goes well, I can start leak testing in a few days. [/SIZE]While I am waiting on the silicone to cure, I am starting out on the wall placement.  Since my home office is actually a converted shed, I can do just about anything I want with it.  My wall cavities are only 3” deep, but I have decided to remove some paneling and use the extra space to help run wires and possibly hide some equipment.  To give you an idea of what I am working with, here is a section of the wall. 
 

 
[SIZE=10.5pt]The panels are 1” x 4” x 8’ pine furring (actual ¾” x 3 ½” x 8’), strung across 2” x 3” studs, 24” on center.  Gutting the wall will allow me to build a brace capable of holding the weight of the tank, while also hiding a few inches of the tank.[/SIZE]
 
[SIZE=10.5pt]
[/SIZE]
 
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BiggTexx

BiggTexx

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Ran into a few snags so far, mostly with available time, so this project is going to take a bit longer than recently planned for. Oh well, if everything I did ran on-time and on-budget that would worry me even more! 

 
Since last update, I have started on the 'shelving' that will extend from between the rafters and support the tank.  It is very crude at the moment, but is going to have extra reinforcement (hopefully some of that support hidden) to hold the weight of the tank.  I have planned on being able to support 250 lbs, which should be more than enough.
 
I also started leak testing the tank, and low and behold there was a leak!  It took almost 24 hours to manifest, but I am sure I can fix it relatively easy.  I broke down the rig that I had supporting the glass so I could investigate further and noticed there was an air pocket that had burst within the silicone, thus creating a hole and letting small amounts of water to pass through.  I went over the area with some more silicone and Liquid Cure Monday night, and I am in hour 4 of leak testing already today.  So far so good, so I am crossing my fingers this holds up.  I am aiming for 48 hour leak test, but it may run longer if the support shelving is not finished yet.
 
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BiggTexx

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So, I am back at it today, but first a bit of depressing news...
 
After fixing the first leak I had found earlier in the week, I had some repairs and setup another leak test.  During the first 24 hours (happened sometime overnight) the tank ended up on the floor, in pieces.  While cleaning up, I found that a raccoon had managed a way into my garage and had apparently tried to play or drink from the tank.  I will spare the graphic details, but that was the end of him and my tank both (he was DOA, no need to alert PETA). 
 I found a used tank from a local garage sale after I had already started building my tank, and decided to grab it just in case.  Well, I must have jinxed myself!  At any rate, this used tank will be easier to manage rather than spending another few weeks building and leak testing another tank.  Sometimes you just have to suck it up and go with the flow right?
 
Now I am back into the shelving aspect and have switched from my original plan for a completely hidden support system into a bracketed and more reliable solution. I ran across a pair of stylish (I think they are for cast pieces anyways) shelf brackets that are designed to hold up to 100 lbs on their own.  I have used better mounting practices, as well as 18mm (~3/4") PureBond C3 (composite hardwood plywood) base and additional hidden support.  First test was 180 lbs of weights, and after 24 hours there was no sag or sign of stress. For once this project may actually be coming together! 

 
Here is a glimpse of the shelf in place, leveled and after testing. What you can't see at this point is how unlevel the wall studs are from original office construction...  We'll just pretend that isn't noticeable in the future!
 

 
Now I am on tho the next phase of dry mounting the tank, getting some measurements for framing and adding substrate, plants and water.  The tank looks a lot bigger in the pic than it really is, and I forgot to account for the trim that is included on the commercial tanks, but it so slim that I should be okay for framing.
 
No "Hey bald guy!" comments...
 
 

LyraGuppi

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I like it. If you're not liking the backround, you could paint (the outside, of course) black.
 
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BiggTexx

BiggTexx

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LyraGuppi said:
I like it. If you're not liking the backround, you could paint (the outside, of course) black.
 
You know, I never really thought about the background.  I am making the 'canopy' from hardwood and bought some low-tox, fast drying paint for that, so I may just try it!  But, before I run off and try it, would you happen to know if there is any particular paint that should be used, or will any paint work since it is on the outside only?
 

LyraGuppi

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Lyra I just painted the back of my tank black, Might be worthwhile considering before you set it all up, I just used some water based flat black and a paint roller.
-From NickAu, on one of my threads
 
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BiggTexx

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Moving along slow but everything seems to be coming together.  Call me paranoid, but after moving this tank around over the last few days I decided to leak test again last night. This time it is sitting in place instead of sitting around in the shop, so hopefully I wouldn't wake up to an office full of water this morning.
 
Well, everything held up fine!  I tried grabbing a few pics, but with no light on the tank yet, the tank glass acts more like a mirror than anything.  I will try to get some better pics later on this morning.
 
Things still left to do:
  1. Frame out around bottom of tank/shelving
  2. Dedicated electrical outlet
  3. Tank Lighting
  4. Internal Filter
  5. Heater
  6. Substrate
  7. Plants
  8. Mopani driftwood
  9. Fast-cycle
  10. Get a Betta! 
 

LyraGuppi

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I'll warn you, Mopani never stops leeching tannins. Lovely wood, though. :)
 
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BiggTexx

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Funny thing, I read somewhere one time that you should "boil and soak mopani wood until you're no longer interested in the hobby, then throw it out."  
 
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