An 'organism of a paraphyletic group' tank

Post date: Mar 9, 2014 10:57:56 PM

Thankfully, the recovery instructions for my recent surgery contained no wording that covered either welding or power tools. In fact, the only stipulations were:

1) No lifting > 7KG

2) No driving

3) Mild exercise (if capable) like walking

Sounds to me that as long as I pace myself and take it easy then there are still quite a few things I can do. But what?

It turns out that the day of my surgery; the reason I was out for lunch, was because I was out shopping for a fish tank for the kids. I didn't get anything too crazy, a very basic 70 litre tank. However, when I bought it the wheels were already beginning to spin... where the heck am I going to put this thing?

I wanted a location that would be focal, that looked natural and that took up as little space as possible. Ideally, I would have loved to build it into a wall. The only problem with this is that unless preplanned this is an incredible amount of work and it will never look right without using up a lot of space. What if I hung it from the wall though? Sold.

Almost immediately I started thinking about weight. Water is heavy: 1 litre = 1 kilogram. This means that once the tank is filled it will ring in at roughly 70 kilograms or just over 154 pounds. Taking this into account I figured that the 2x6 exterior walls could easily support this with some decent brackets and 1/2" lags.

For the brackets I used a couple triangles and rectangles cut out of 1/4" plate. The rest was 3/16" square and round tubing.

If you ever want to test 'practice makes perfect' take up welding. I suck at it but find it very therapeutic. When doing stuff this big though it would be nice to have a stick welder. Using a MIG (what I have) works but takes a little more time and uses a lot of wire.

The shelving was done using simple 3/4" spruce plywood. I laminated two pieces together for the upper shelve to uniformly distribute the weight. After sanding the hell out of them they were coated with a dark stain and three coats of Varathane.

The lower shelve was added to hold the accoutrements. The back of it rests on two small brackets with the front supported by 3/8" threaded rod that passes through the upper shelve into two T-nuts.

Now I just need to find some fish.