When I build a tank I design it to run for at least 5 years, for that reason I like things to be reliable and easy to maintain. This was meant to be a tank I took to work before the move took my 75G tank from me. After the move it ended up at home and I setup a smaller 3 Gallon at work. I will setup a separate page for that one soon.
I wanted the tank to look really nice, I wanted a single wire and a single topoff hose coming out of it, and for everything else to be self contained. It turned out really well. This was designed as a desktop system.
This is the drawing I made at first. This will cover the entire tank, but give an area to mount the Apex behind the tank, and give full access to the filtration in the back.
The intention was for this to sit on a desktop, where there was access to the back. Now that it's in my living room this isn't the ideal design, but it still works very well I just need to finish the base I'm making for it to sit on.
Building the Frame
This stand was built using 3/4x3/4 Popular spars to build out a frame. It was all covered in Oak Ply, and the trim was used to cover the Oak end grain. This was the first time I've tried something like this, and I was pleased with how it came out.
If I were to do it again I would have bought long pieces of 1/2" popular and cut the spars to save money.
I built a drawer under the system for storage of food and other little items like that. This gave me a perfect spot to hide all the wires, but leave them easily accessible. The drawer pops out of the front easily, giving me access to the wires stored underneath.
The Apex gear mounts in the back, and the panel that covers it is attached by magnets. It holds the cooling fans and pushes air across the top of the water and out a slit in the top.
The whole top will clamshell open for full access to the filters and flow sensors and such up top.
Final Back Section
This is after the system is complete and ready to start up. This is what the Apex section currently looks like, you can see the EB8 on the lower level. The wires run down the side and under the drawer for easy access and keeping them neat. Some of those flow sensors and such have 12 foot cords, and I only need about 1 foot of it.
This is how it looks completed. Like I said it was made to sit on a desk, but my new place doesn't have one. I'm making a base now which will replace the ugly towel table I have.
This is the base I'm building to replace the ugly towel table. It will all be made out of Red Oak, but I'm making it in the style of a cabinet because I have a feeling I'll be building cabinetry soon and wanted the practice. The tank will sit on top of this, and it will be stained and finished to match. The sides will have doors, and the front will have drawers, plus it will hold my auto top off container.
The Apex will also move down to a panel on the left here, this will make access easier, and it fits the new location better.