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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking for a while about building a Nano and I have been enjoying reading the tank journals people have been writing about their projects, so today I decided to start the Nano project and see if I can pull off keeping a journal on the project.

I have a 1 Gal hex that has been sitting around several years; it belonged to my grandmother before she died so I would like to turn it into something nice.


I found that the black trim just slips off so I decided to do a rimless open top tank.


My plan is to have some kind of circulation pump to stir the water, and I don't really want it in the tank, so I think I will mount it under the tank, plumb it through the bottom and hide it in a base that the tank sits on.

I had an idea to make the base out of a piece of a log for the look of driftwood; fortunately I had some scrap rafter tails from the house I'm building that should work.

I trued up one end of the log, and then cut a 4" section off of the end to make the base out of.


ThenI cut off a 4" peice to make the baseout of.


I then marked the outline of the tank on the end of the log and remarked it ½" inside the first mark for a line to hollow out the log, leaving enough material to cut a notch to sit the tank in.


I used a large drill bit to remove most of the material then cleaned up the edges with a chisel and gouge. At this point I decided to go ahead and cut out the entire center and not have a bottom in the base.





The log had a split in it so I had to epoxy it together. So that's it for tonight until the glue cures.
 

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Yes, very cool indeed... the tank itself looks just like my very first tank!... from way back in the day! Are you sure it's only 1 gal? Mine was 2, and the dimensions look similar. I could very well be wrong though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
raven_wilde said:
Yes, very cool indeed... the tank itself looks just like my very first tank!... from way back in the day! Are you sure it's only 1 gal? Mine was 2, and the dimensions look similar. I could very well be wrong though.
Thanks, now that you mention your old tank I don't think I have ever measured mine, I just assumed it was a 1 gal. I'll measure it today. Maybe I have twice the tank I thought I did:)

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
bpimm said:
Thanks, now that you mention your old tank I don't think I have ever measured mine, I just assumed it was a 1 gal. I'll measure it today. Maybe I have twice the tank I thought I did:)
It Measures out to 1.8 Gallons, Cool.
Brian
 

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Very interesting project you have going. I kinda like the rope look around the base. Do keep us updated :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
trenac said:
I kinda like the rope look around the base. :)
The rope was to clamp the log together while the epoxy cured.;) but now that you mention it that could be a good look.

Update:

This morning I cut the notch for the tank to sit in,


A little sanding and it is finished for now.


This thing might look ok when it's done.


Now it's on to equipment, I don't want anything showing inside the tank, so I could use any suggestions for a micro pump and some way to heat this thing.

until next time
Brian
 

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It looks almost like a blender! Just kidding...

This is one original project. We are sure staining the base a darker shade will make it look better. You will be able to run a hang-on filter on this comfortably.
 

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Do you live someplace that gets cold in the winter? Or are you keeping this 1 gallon tank someplace that has a warm steady temperature? Are you going to keep this someplace that has natural sunlight from a window or are you keeping this in your basement or someplace very dark? What type of tiny creatures or fish do you want to put in it?

Check out
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/el-natural/26390-6-gallon-hex-npt.html and let me know what you think of the ideas in it.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y130/DataGuru/Hex NPT/Hex060613a.jpg

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/gallery/files/5/8/5/1/100_1055_thumb.jpg

The last one has no filter, no heater and no light fixture. Just an idea.

But you are also very handy and very smart and could do anything 'high tech' that you wanted.

But they say with 'low tech' you can go on vacation and come back and everything still looks great. I am trying to learn how to do that myself.

I love what you have done with your project so far, and look forward to what is next!

:yo:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Aquaspot said:
It looks almost like a blender! Just kidding...

This is one original project. We are sure staining the base a darker shade will make it look better. You will be able to run a hang-on filter on this comfortably.
Wow you are right it does look like a blender, I just put some finish on the base to see if it will help with that problem, what do you think?

I think the powerhead in the bottom will handle the circulation needs.:pound:

I was thinking of staining it a washed out grey to look like driftwood.

I'm looking to hide all of the equipment so you can focus on the aquascape.
The plan is to go through the bottom with bulkhead fittings to a small powerhead in the base to keep all the plumbing out of sight.

Jimbo205 We do get cold in the winter, and the tank is going in a west facing window so I will need to heat it in the winter and watch the temp in the summer.

I love your hex, I just haven't got to the point I can go completely low tech, maybe someday....

Mine will be ok for vacations, that is one reason I don't use water column ferts. to much hassleing with the tank. My tanks are on a continous water change system so the water quality stays excelent even when I'm not here.

T-Bone said:
how about Taekwondodo's nano canister filter idea?
That is one cute little filter, but I can't hide it in the base and I don't really need any filtration.

I made a trip to the LFS and got some ideas for a small powerhead to do the job, they didn't have the little size and now that I'm home I can't even remember the brand:noidea:

I still need to figure out the heat issue but I have an idea on that, I will go into detail when I figure it out.

Until next time

Brian
 

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Since your "stand" is hollowed out, it would be interesting to run bulkheads from the bottom with a mini sump system using one of those tiny powerheads and some sort of container to act as the sump/filter. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
John P. said:
Since your "stand" is hollowed out, it would be interesting to run bulkheads from the bottom with a mini sump system using one of those tiny powerheads and some sort of container to act as the sump/filter. :)
I had been thinking along those lines but had given up on it, It has pro's and cons. but now....:rolleyes:

If I use a powerhead and no sump everything is tight and you could pick up the tank and it would stay dry and completely self contained, this is the direction I've been headed, but as with everything, ideas change over time and you got me thinking again.

With the sump it would be two less holes in the bottom of the tank, I would just need the outlet and return. I was going to have the outlet at the bottom with a strainer, that would change to an overflow stand pipe to set the water level.

Then I could have the wastewater drain and fill lines in the sump as opposed to two more lines in the tank bottom.

Instead of trying to find a container to fit in the base, I could lay up fiberglass in the base and just make it the container once I get all of the fitting done.

I had given up on this approach until you posted it again now I think I will revisit it again.

Anyone know of a 5" long mini heater to lay in the sump?

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
raven_wilde said:
You could lay one of these in the sump:
Mini Heater
I looked at those, I don't like the idea that it's not thermostatically controlled, I would have to remember to unplug it when it's warm.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well I decided to stop thinking and start building, I'm going for the sump in the base idea, Thanks John P. So to make that work I had to redesign the return line to the tank, I was going to have a vertical spray bar, but with the sump if the pump were shut off the tank would drain down to the bottom hole and flood the sump, and seeing that the smallest checkvalve is half the size of my sump I decided to run the return up to the surface and put a tee on it to divert it two directions. Now the goal was to not have any hardware showing in the tank I decided to make all of the in tank plumbing out of clear tubing, It should disappear when the tank is filled.

The first thing to do was to make a clear Tee out of Lee's 5/8" aquarium tubing.


After some cutting and fitting I got a pretty good fit.


A little acrylic cement (Thickened) and I have a Tee



The next item I needed was an overflow to drain the tank into the sump, I used the hard clear tubing again to make a standpipe, I notched the top for a strainer effect.


The reason I use the 5/8" tubing is that it fits a 1/2" CPVC fitting. I am making some small bulkhead fittings out of the following parts.


I went to the hardware store and brought home some 1/4" pipe hose barbs, 1/2" CPVC Couplings, Nylon washers and some Rubber washers. The nylon washer fits on the hose barb to give it a better shoulder then the rubber gasket is cut down to match the nylon washer and that is the outside half of the bulkhead fitting. For the inside half I use a 1/2" CPVC coupling and glue a short peice of 1/2" CPVC pipe in one end and cut off flush.


Once you have the coupling done clamp it in a vise so you can tap the double wall end out to 1/4" Pipe


Use alot of soapy water as you tap the plastic for lubracation.


The finished product looks like this.


The next thing to do is drill the tank to accept the bulkhead fittings, another advantage to the small fittings is a 5/8" hole insted of a 1 1/8" hole for the 1/2" bulkhead fitting you can buy. When drilling acrylic I like to use a step drill, I find they have less tendancy to crack the acrylic.


Here are the fittings installed.


and with the overflow and return installed. I will just use a little silicone grease to seal the clear tubes into the bulkhead fittings, this will leave me a little adjustment.

Well thats it for tonight, Pump and heater should be here this weekend.

As always comments, criticism, and ideas always welcome.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My heater and pump showed up over the weekend so it's time to get busy.
I pulled my 25 watt thermal compact 6" mini out and it didn't look like 6" to me, a moment later I measured it at 7.5". Maybe they use a rubber tape measure. :confused:



I measured the base out and deciced I can open it up some more to make room for the heater, it will leave about 1/4" on each side of the base, I used a 24 grit sander wheel on my angle grinder to open the base up.




Then I cut some fiberglass cloth to fit the inside of the base and to make a bottom. I used West system epoxy to lay up the glass.



here it is with the pump and heater in the sump. I will add a bulkhead on the left side and cut out part of the bottom so the hoses and cords can exit out the bottom.


Well that's it for tonight,

As always comments, criticism, and ideas always welcome.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update:

I laid up a couple layers of fiberglass cloth on a piece of wax paper and saturated it with epoxy resin to make the bulkhead out of.



after it cured I trimmed it to fit, drilled a hole in it for the overflow drain, and laid it in place with some glass strips and epoxy.




after the sump cured I drilled a hole in the bottom outside the sump and used a flush cutting trim router bit to remove the bottom outside the sump.




I assembled all the peices in the sump and filled it with water, its been running on the kitchen counter for a couple of hours with no leaks.:p




Now that it's mechanically complete I will tear it down and finish it cosmetically.

Now comes the tough part, at least for me, figuring out how to plant the thing.
after looking at a lot of scapes on this forum, I think I want to have a stone in the mid ground with Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis as a foreground carpet with a clump of Micranthemum Micranthemoides behind the rock and then a clump of a 6"-8" grass that grows in a clump.

I'm open to other ideas about how to plant this tank, when it comes to the planting I'm artistically challenged, so help me out.;)

Brian
 
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