My Freshwater Aquarium

Tank Setup

I have a 29gal tank filled with 40lbs of Super Naturals Tahitian Moon black sand and using a standard 17w T8 light, which I plan to upgrade in the future for my plants. A Fluval U2 submersible filter and 100w submersible heater to keep my fishies warm. I wanted to go with only natural decor, so real plants and driftwood only.

Building the Stand

I've had this tank for roughly 15 years, but never had a stand for it. It always just sat on my dresser but now after sitting in the basement for many years, I decided to set it up in the family room. For a simple stand, they seemed to cost a lot more than I was expecting for a block of wood. And so like most things I do, I built one myself.


frame 1
The frame
frame 2
The Frame
The paneling, or wainscot
stain 2
finish 1
Finished product
finish 2
The final results

The Fish & Plants

The Aquarium!

I had this tank up for about a year before taking it down after setting up 75gal I had aquired. Unfortunately, I do not believe I ever took any pictures of it while it was filled so please excuse the mess in these final pics as it now sits in my basement. While the 29gal tank sat outside on my back porch after cleaning it out, the bottom glass had formed a huge crack somehow.


With door closed
door 2
With door open

The New Aquarium!

I got my hands on a large 75gal aquarium for about $100. After a few weeks of getting the water ready, I moved everything over from the smaller 29gal. However, I did not use the same fine sand substrate. I used 8 bags of CaribSea Eco-Complete for planted aquariums, which is 160lbs. Sounds like a lot, but it gives me a nice 4" of substrate. Obviously, I would need a new filtration system as the old one won't cut it for this size. I decided on the Eheim Classic 2217 canister filter as well as an Eheim 200w heater. The filter is almost dead silent, when it's not jammed up with tiny snail shells that have snuck into the tank from plants I've bought at the local store.

Like my first aquarium, this one also had no stand and thus I had to build a new one. Now, a 75gal glass tank full of water and 160lbs of rock is heavy. About 1,000 lbs heavy! I tend to over-engineer things, making them incredibly more durable than they need to be. For instance, my 29 gal stand with a full tank on it was sturdy and rigid enough that I could pull it across a carpeted floor without a single fear it would twist or break. I took the same approach for this monstrous stand, even though I could never hope to push 1000 lbs across my living room. I didn't take a lot of photos, if any, during the construction process, but I did build a 3D digital model of what I wanted. With a bi-folding front door incorporating shelves (primarily housing my bluray collection) the frame is constructed of 4x4 posts and lag screws. This stand is heavy! After building the frame in my basement, I carried it upstairs and finished construction in the living room.


3D model rendering
finished stand
finished product without doors