Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fish tank fix and canopy

A couple of weeks ago, we struck a deal on Craigslist. $100 for a 54gal corner tank with stand was too good to pass. When we brought the sucker back home, we found that it had some chips in the back corner. I decided to fix it in the best way I knew. Here's what I came up with. I had structural epoxy laying around in my shed; a result of fixing my row boat a few months ago (that blog entry may come in the near future). So I went to the hardware store and bought the thickest and widest aluminum angle I could find. It turned out to be a 2" x 2" x 1/4" piece. I cut it to fit the height of the tank (minus a bit, as I was off). I taped the tank to protect it. Then, I sanded the inside of the aluminum piece (as aluminum forms oxide that protects it from further corrosion, but also would hinder the epoxy to attach well), I washed both the aluminum and glass to prevent any oil to get in the way of the bond and then proceeded to mix my 1 to 1 epoxy mix. Then, I applied a generous layer of epoxy on top of the glass and taped the piece of aluminum on top. I was expecting some dripping epoxy, but I got more than expected. All in all, the fix looks neat and it held water (on the patio) for a week. Now, I feel more comfortable to move it indoors.

My plan is to plant this tank heavily, so the aluminum should not show much, if at all. That's all for the fix.

I also started building a canopy. As this blog was not started at that time, I did not take many pictures. I applied the first coat of paint on the inside today, and these pictures are pretty much all I have to show. So, here are the pictures:

I love how the paint reflects the sunlight, as this is what I want it to do to reflect all the light from the light bulbs back into the tank.

I have wired two 26W (or 23... not sure) CFL lights to attach onto the canopy. I will caulk the sockets and apply tape to keep the water condensation away from the electrical components. I also have a piece of plexiglass to make a barrier out of it. I will add more pictures once all these things are in place.

As for the steps to make the canopy, I will soon build another canopy for my rectangular 55gal tank. I will take many pictures of each stage then.

Now, it is time to go get a box filter, some Eco-complete substrate, a few snails and start cycling the tank... maybe a dehumidifier would also help. I have to let the paint cure for a week or two, so no fish or plants yet.  

Happy building!

No comments:

Post a Comment