I'm building a fish tank coffee table for my final year design and tech project, I was wondering if anyone could give me suggestions about:
Thanks heaps, any help would be much appreciated.
I am a cabniet maker in a factory and I also am new to this forum. I can give you some finishing tips that will hopefully give you some ideas. Use sanding sealer after staining to the color you desire. Then I like to use just the regular Minwax polyurethane but you can also try marine varnish. The sanding sealer will give you an excellent finish and when adding the varnish will make the wood look like glass. As far as joints the regular mortise and tenon is good when built right. The top I would maybe recess the back side to add a piano hinge to open and close the tank. Hope I gave you some help if any at all. Send me a pic of it when you're finished. Good Luck
Good luck on your tank. I am an aquarists as well as a wood worker. First: to figure out the size of the tank, multiply the width, height, and depth and then devide by 231 and this will give you how many gallons. For weight, a good rule of thumb is 10 lbs. per gallon. This should cover the weight of the tank, water and gravel. Depending on how you want to build the tank, ie. all glass with a wood frame, all wood with a clear top, etc. will determine which design to use. You can build the basic tank out of glass and use silicon to seal it with. Be sure and use aquarium sicilon as it is different from the stuff you get at home depot. You can order it in large tubes from "That Pet Place" on line. That's the cheapiest place I've found it. If you want to use acrilic plastic, it works the same as using wood. You can cut it on your table saw, sand the edges, put it together with masking tape and then use an acrilic plastic glue that looks like water and will seep into the joints. Use a basic butt joint, nothing fancy needed. If you are building a large tank, it will need support across the top or it will bow out. Dosn't matter if its glass or plastic.
If you are building it all out of wood, use marine grade plywood and seal the inside with an epoxy type of paint. give the paint plenty of time to cure before putting in your fish.
Hope this helps you some. Send me an email if you have more questions and I will try to answer them.
Thanks heaps for the advice, I'm an Aussi so the hole galon, inch thing
dosnt apply but Ive got that pretty much worked out, It will hold about
227.5L of water so it weighs about 227.5Kg's, The table is 1300mm by 700mm
by 250 mm. The table is made in two bits, the top which is basicaly an
enclosed box, glass top and port wholes in the side and the bttom which is a
pretty standard table frame. Do you work in an aquarium shop? If so, have
you ever herd of somone running their tank of battery power of any sort, the
other message i posted is about this. The power chords are not very
atractive running along the floor and potencialy dangerous so I'm trying to
adapt somthing like a chordless drill to power it.
Thanks again for the help, any other suggestiong would be appreciated.
I have seen one of these and they were great. I would have liked to have had one, but it was more $ than I thought I wanted to pay. First you will have to build the fishtank so that it is free standing and then build the surround. The woodwork shouldn't be a problem, But, holy cow, how do you build an aquarium. I would think that would be the hardest part. Maybe check with aquarium suppliers. I am not much help, but it is a great idea.....
Interesting ideas here. Personally, I'd use a manufactured tank and build the coffee table around it.
A thought in regard to your electrical concern. Run the electrical cord under the carpet and pad. If this idea isn't practical, one might consider installing a receptical in the floor. Or perhaps a plastic line under the floor covering to a remote air pump. Even up through the floor for that matter. A hole the size of the tubing shouldn't be all that difficult to repair if/when the time came.
No I don't work in an aquarium shop, just been keeping them for about 30 years, both salt water and fresh water.
Glad some of my info helped. Saw a round bowl coffee table tank years ago but not for sure how they ran the pumps. They do make battery powered air pumps that you could use to run your filters. If you keep gold fish or koi in the tank, I don't think a heater will be necessary as these are cold water fish. Don't know what all you have available down under. Check with a local fish store and see if they can be of any help. As others have metioned, try and put an electrical outlet in the floor where you want the tank. Good luck and hope you enjoy your fish.