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RollaJase

RollaJase's Trip Off the Deep End - Custom Rimless 55G

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RollaJase

flickr has always been my favorite

I use flickr for high res and album stuff but for a general upload everything account I have always used Image Shack, been so for over 10 years now. Think I definitely need to look at an alternative though, I might start using flickr exclusively now.

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JR!

imgur might be better for everyday use

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D Z

flickr has always been my favorite

Second that.

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RollaJase

Looks like 99% of my pictures are fixed. I'll continue to use image shack for now as I research more options. I have my pro membership until around February I think.

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RollaJase

As it turns out, primer and paint doesn't seem to like to adhere to the water proofing on the inside and the top of the stand. I'm contemplating just leaving the interior of the stand blue with a white exterior. This will go against the whole clean and clinical approach I was going for but would save me a lot of time and headaches trying to resolve it. I guess I could try spray paint on a small part of the interior and see how it goes. I have some white spray paint left over from another project so may as well give it a try. Worst case I just paint over the test spot with more water proofer.

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RollaJase

So the spray paint didn't work. I re-painted the entire interior once more with waterproofing to cover up my attempted painting. The exterior still needs a few more coats of white and the cladding still needs a bit of work but ultimately it is all looking pretty good. I have been lazy and haven't posted any updates because, to be honest not a lot has happened over the last few weeks. Life has been pretty rough the last few weeks and I just haven't wanted to spend the time on this project. Will definitely be spending some time in the shed this coming weekend though. Would like to try and get all the painting finished if possible.

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jack1978

Nice progress my friend!

Love your view from the shop!!

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RollaJase

Nice progress my friend!

Love your view from the shop!!

Thanks Jack! Yeah, the view isn't bad in spring/summer ;).

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brad908

Any updates?

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RollaJase

Any updates?

I have been doing bits and pieces here and there around painting the stand. The frame is now completely painted and the cladding is 50% painted. I have also sorted out 90% of my internal stand lighting solution.

 

I have been meaning to post a big update but my weekends have been getting away from me and to be honest, I have been a little lazy lately when it comes to this project. With a potential move interstate for a new job I may have to cancel the order on the tank and revive this at a later date. I'd like it not to come to that and I will know for sure in the next few weeks.

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justinfox

Do I need to break out the whip?

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RollaJase

Do I need to break out the whip?

You may be able to whip me in person if things go according to plan ;).

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RollaJase

So, I finally have a bit of free time on my hands so figured I would give you all a little update on how things are progressing. I have been doing bits and pieces here and there on the weekends and after work (we have daylight savings right now so it is light till around 8pm) but nothing of any real substance to warrant a big update.

 

Truth be told, I did have a big update planned but had some minor setbacks with the near perfectly painted cladding being knocked over in the shed and getting pretty badly scuffed up. The perfectionist in me wouldn't settle for simply painting over the damage on the front of the pieces so I sanded the paint back a bit (front and rear of the cladding), fixed the damage with filler, re-primed the cladding and I'm in the stages of re-painting the 3 pieces now. With me not wanting to break the chronological nature of my posts I don't want to skip ahead and then come back to the painting.

 

As it stands I have 75% of all painting done, 90% of the lighting done on the inside of the stand and have pretty much got the stand cooling sorted out. I have my display light hanging method complete and a nice detailed post about it. I have done a little more in terms of cable management and I am always adding to my stack of inspiration for the aquascape.

 

To throw another curve ball into the mix I have been considering a move interstate for work. I have had a number of calls and emails since the start of the year from companies interstate trying to poach me. Most of these attempts have been fruitless but a few of the ones more recently show real promise. I don't want to go dumping a whole pile of money into this build just to potentially pack it up by the end of the year and move interstate, the money would ultimately be better off used in the move. I'm still going to continue with the work I can do with what I have already purchased for this project but I am not going to go out of my way to spend a heap of money on it until I get an answer on the more recent interviews.

 

In a way, things are in limbo in terms of how this project will progress but with how close I am to finishing the stand entirely I really want to wrap it up while I do have some time at my disposal.

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aquakevem

I am pleased to see your progress with this tank.

 

Nice carpentry you're doing there.

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RollaJase

I am pleased to see your progress with this tank.

 

Nice carpentry you're doing there.

Thank you very much :). It has been a huge learning curve but I have learned a lot and it has all turned out quite well.

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joshky

That stand is looking brilliant, this should be an excellent build my friend. Keep up the good work. :)

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justinfox

My flat mate moves out soon, hint hint, lol!

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RollaJase

That stand is looking brilliant, this should be an excellent build my friend. Keep up the good work. :)

Thanks you! So far I am really happy with how things have turned out. I just nee to get motivated to finish the painting, I'm so close to have it all painted and ready for install.

 

My flat mate moves out soon, hint hint, lol!

I will have to keep that in mind ;) lol.

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RollaJase

Stand Build - Lighting and Ventilation:

I made contact with the tank builder last week. Some bits and pieces on their end had come up causing my tank to be pushed down the list considerably. It would have been nice to have been notified but I'm just glad that the family issues that arose on their end are coming to a close. An impromptu visit to the same LFS today with a a friend resulted in me being told that my tank will be ready Wednesday. Looks like I might be waiting a little longer though, I have a family wedding this coming weekend so no chance of collection the tank then, I'll have to wait until the following weekend.

 

As I have been neglecting this thread lately I think it's time I filed you all in on some of the bits and pieces I have been working on lately.

 

Having a discreet lighting solution within the stand was a must for me. I installed some waterproof LED strips into the stand on my 30G and the low profile, high output design made it really easy to work in the stand during the evening or when the room was darker than normal.

 

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I started off with a little project box that I picked up on eBay. On the base of the box I mounted a flat piece of aluminum and some termination strip to make it easy to connect everything together. The terminal strip also makes it easy to replace faulty LEDs if I ever had to, something that soldering would make a bit more difficult.

 

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I started off with some aluminium strip that I cut to my required length before priming and painting a matte black. The waterproofed strips I am using a pre-made 30cm lengths so I aimed to try and maximise coverage without having to start cutting up the strips.

 

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After I was happy with how the aluminum strips were sitting I screwed them down and attached the LED strips. The strips came with adhesive pre-applied but I also used some zip ties on either end to make sure the strips didn't start to lift off their mounts.

 

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Next up I simply attached all the positive and negative ends of the LEDs to one side of the terminal strip and attached another cable to the other side. I then sealed up the box and mounted it.

 

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The project box is a little larger than it needed to be but it doesn't really matter. The LEDs at the minute aren't hooked up to a power source but I did test them and they work fine. I'll finish the cabling for this when the final run of cable management goes in.

 

 

I have also pulled out the fans from my current stand and got to cleaning them and mounting them into this new stand.

 

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Here you can see all the bits and pieces that go into my fan solution. We have the fan mount, a rubber anti-vibration gasket, the wire grill (Jason has been stupid enough to stick his finger in a spinning fan before), the fan itself (standard 120mm PC fan) and some self tapping screws.

 

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Here you can see the finished 'intake' fan. The intake and exhaust are essentially the same (besides the orientation for the fan) with the intake also having a mesh dust filter on the rear of the fan to help with unwanted dust in the stand.

 

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Both the intake and exhaust fans assembled and ready to go in.

 

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Both fans installed and ready to go. While I was at it I also installed the rear vents back into the stand, it looks much nicer than having two gaping holes back there lol. I need to remove the fans again and clean the threads on the mounts and they got gummed up a bit with the water proofing paint. The top left thread on the left fan is so bad I couldn't even get the bolt in. Glad I found this now instead of when a tank full of water is on top of the stand.

 

Both the lighting and the two fans share the same power source which can be switched on and off via a little control box that I made for my current stand. The power source is a 12v 2a wall wart that goes directly into a project box which splits the power into two switched channels. One channel is for the lighting, the other is for the fans. There are two 1a toggle switches on the project box that allows me to turn the lights and fans on or off at will.

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Here is a picture that I dug up from my 30G thread. The box on the far right controls the lights and the fans and I will be using it again for this build.

 

 

In regards to other parts of the stand. I have 1 more coat of paint to do on the final piece of cladding and then I am done! No more painting to do after that! Once that is all done I can post up some nice pictures of how the stand turned out as a whole. Once I pick up some M6 bolts, nuts and washers I can finally reveal my light mounting solution to you also ;). I am hoping things start moving at a faster pace now considering I have a date for the delivery of the tank. I am thinking I may have to put the new tank in sans the sump just so I can get it in as I really don't have the space to have the new tank and stand just sitting there

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RollaJase

Light hanging kit complete! Final coat of paint went on my final piece of cladding tonight also. The doser shelf just needs to be touched up paint wise and then all the painting is done!

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RollaJase

Stand Build - Painting and Display Lighting Mount:

Painting is now complete!!! So time for a somewhat large update.

 

As I mentioned previously, I had a bit of a set back with the painting side of things. The cladding was almost completely painted when the panels got knocked over in the shed causing me to start again. On top of this the paint I had selected didn't want to play nice with my water proofing so after a few different attempts I re-painted most of the interior with the blue waterproofing to mask my internal painting failure. After this I took my time with the painting, trying to do at least 2-3 coats on things a week. I have limited painting space so this took some time.

 

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Priming was an easy step and a 1L tin was enough to prime the exterior of the stand, the interior of the cladding and two coats on the cladding exterior. I'm glad I went ahead and primed as the MDF would have just sucked up the paint otherwise.

 

I don't really have any 'during' shots of the painting so lets just jump to some final shots. Please forgive the horrible cell phone pictures.

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I think it turned out pretty well :). The cladding isn't as square as I would have liked and things have warped a bit but for something homemade I am definitely happy with how it all turned out. You can also see a bit of a sneak peak of the light hanging kit in the pictures above ;).

 

Now that the painting is completed I also cut to size the thin foam I am using for under the tank and sump.

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Nothing fancy, just some 10mm foam to help absorb vibration and level the tank. With this thickness factored in and the 10mm base of the tank the additional height of the cladding will clear the foam and glass by about 2-3mm which is exactly what I wanted. When the tank is seated and the cladding is on you will see done of the base glass which will be greenish, standard glass.

 

 

Now onto my light hanging kit. After considering a few options I opted to use 8020 extruded aluminum profiles. I was going to make a DIY bent conduit mount or even hang the fixture from the ceiling but to be honest I was worried due to what I had planned for the lighting. I originally got inspiration for this hanging method after I saw a member on this forum pull it off (JDNels). For those of you in America and Canada this stuff is easy to fine, 8020 have an eBay store where they sell off-cuts, mounting hardware and anything else you may need in various different colours and finishes. Luckily for me 8020 have an Australian branch and I got in touch with them to see if they could help me out. This is when things got a little tricky. 8020 have a full metric and imperial line with different threads and measurements to suit. All the information I had gathered was imperial but with the help of their online catalog (literally thousand upon thousands of items) and the helpful guys in Australia I had put together quite a shopping list. I settled on a clear anodized finish (looks like a silver Ai fixture of a Mac product), finalised the lengths I needed for custom cut pieces and then placed my order.

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Within 3 days this arrived for me at work. Everything beautifully cut, finished and packaged well. Not to mention the fast delivery.

 

For those unfamiliar with 8020 I'll run through how it all works. Its a pretty ingenious system that allows you to quickly assemble large, strong structures using nothing but an Allen key. Its kinda like Ikea or Meccano for adults. The entire system revolves around their 'T-Slot' design of mounting things together and the line of educational videos they have on their website makes it really easy to grasp the concept and what type of bolt of fitting you may need for your application.

 

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Here you can see one of the mounting tabs I intend to use to mount this system to the stand. I have already 'pre-loaded' a double nut and two bolts onto the mounting holes on the bracket.

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This entire assembly simply slides into the main body of my lighting stand and tightens down with an allen key.

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The 4 brackets mounted the way they should be.

 

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Here you can see how the vertical and horizontal bars mate together. This reinforced right angle takes most of the weight of the hanging light and transfers that strain to the main upright which will be bolted directly to the stand.

 

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Here is another interesting plate which I used to fix a second horizontal bar. This bar runs horizontal across the tank and is aligned to run directly across the center. This bar is what the light will actually mount to.

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You can see here how this all mounts back to the main upright.

 

8020 also make some neat accessories for their T-Slot system.

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They make these cool twist in cable tie mounts to help with cable management as well as some blanking caps for the end of the bars.

 

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This is how it all mounts to the stand.Out of the 8 available mounting points I was able to use 6 in total as the two closest to the top were too close to the edge of the wood. I only had 90mm of wood width to play with in terms of mounting so decided to work with 6 mountain points instead of putting the edge of the wood closes t to the tank under any unnecessary strain. It was a simple matter of measuring, drilling and then bolting the mounts into place. Thanks to the design I am easily able to remove the light tree for transportation without worrying about damaging the mounting point by threading screws or anything like that. For mounting hardware I used standard M6 bolts, nuts and washers, all stainless steel of course.

 

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And finally, here is how it looks all finished and in place. I still need to sort out how the light actually hangs from the bar (got a few ideas) but besides that this mount is ready to go. I'm really happy with how it turned out and think it adds to the modern look I was trying to go for. It's also super strong so it should have no problem handling the light I'm going to throw at it.

 

If anyone is interested in what parts I used to pull this all together I am happy to send through a list.

 

Next up I just have the cable management and power side of things to sort out before the plumbing can begin. The plumbing will most likely just take place once the tank arrives and I am able to get it on the stand. Speaking of the tank, I should get a call tomorrow to say that it is all done and ready for collection ;).

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Mikeymikemike

awesome build skills you have! Keep the updates coming

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RollaJase

awesome build skills you have! Keep the updates coming

Thanks :). Glad you like it.

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HarryPotter

Looks great! I like that stand lighting/fan combo with the toggles; I made something similar (albeit uglier) in my last tank's stand for the fans.

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RollaJase

Looks great! I like that stand lighting/fan combo with the toggles; I made something similar (albeit uglier) in my last tank's stand for the fans.

Thanks Harry. I was happy with how it worked out. Was a pretty simple project and saved me needing to waste another power point haha.

Here is a shot of how the internals look if you want to copy it, I think I switched the switches out shortly after this though.

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