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Old 01/05/2008, 10:12 PM   #1
fishguyrob
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Coffee table aquarium

I'm looking to do a coffee table aquarium that can be viewed from the top. If anyone has ideas on how they've done one or know of one. I would be interested in hearing.
Rob S.


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Old 01/05/2008, 10:16 PM   #2
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You will have to have a still water surface to see anything clearly. Try looking at a tank from the top and you'll see what I mean. Just due to this reason I would avoid this.


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Old 01/05/2008, 10:29 PM   #3
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theres a build thread somwhere where a guy put a tank out doors, and had it so that the water surface was touching the glass..if you have it like that then it is very clear.
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...=out+door+reef

hope that helps and gives some ideas..


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Old 01/05/2008, 10:38 PM   #4
fishguyrob
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I understand that to see it clear the water has to be up to the glass. I'm wondering if anyone can help with the best way to do this.


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Old 01/05/2008, 10:41 PM   #5
fishguyrob
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MAthu,
Thanks a lot, that link is very helpful

Rob S.


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Old 01/05/2008, 10:57 PM   #6
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It would not be hard at all. Here is my 5 second first thought. Build a aquarium rimless just like any other 5 sided tank. The top would be expensive. Use 2" acrylic for the top. Cut a rabbit on all 4 side so that 1.5" sits down in the tank on top of the water. This way the water level would be 1.5" below the top and the top does not need to be sealed and can be lifted off for service.

Plumb it under the floor and your set.

Don


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Old 01/05/2008, 11:03 PM   #7
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no problem im here to help! good luck with the build should look cool when its done.

matt


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Old 01/05/2008, 11:22 PM   #8
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How will you keep it clean? I suppose you could mag float it daily. You will also need a way to remove air bubbles from the surface, as the will tend to collect there.


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Old 01/06/2008, 12:02 AM   #9
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If they can put goldfish in platform shoes, you can build a coffee table tank.


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Old 01/06/2008, 12:22 AM   #10
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I saw a good picture of a coffee table aquarium in the clam forum about 2 or 3 months ago. You might try posting there and see if anyone knows anything about it.


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Old 01/06/2008, 05:42 AM   #11
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I've thought of a few clever ways to do a coffie table tank (must have room below floor for clever plumbing and pumps). Lighting always stumps me. If you've ever been in a room with a MH pendant hanging above the level of your eyes, you know exactly how optically fatiguing it is. Kinda like working on your tank with the canopy doors open and the lights on. Not quite as bad with T5 as with MH, but this would require the projection ability of MH to keep the lights up above the surface an not just be illuminating a huge area of the floor around the table. I think a single 400w short arc bulb with a projection lens assembly recessed into the ceiling a couple feet would be the best way to do it, but it wouldn't be easy.

Going fish only of course would be cake, but pointless.


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Old 01/06/2008, 06:15 AM   #12
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Here is a link to somebody to did an alternate method of table tank featuring internal lighting, which I hadn't thought of doing.

All of my thoughts on this sort of tank were like DonW was thinking with an entirely clear top and water very close.


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Old 01/06/2008, 07:45 AM   #13
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You can check out http://aquavim.com/prod04.htm for some ideas...http://aquavim.com/prod04.htm


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Old 01/06/2008, 10:35 AM   #14
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the only flaw tht i see in this build is if you kept the top like the ones in the link then if you ever had any kids or had kids come over that are young they are bound to put something in the water tht you dont want JMO
but good luck with the build


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Old 01/06/2008, 11:08 AM   #15
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you should ask in the clam forum. someone built one and used it to view all of his clams


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Old 01/06/2008, 11:15 AM   #16
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I think you could put halides or T5s in a dry horizontal overflow with a custom built reflector that concentrates the light to keep it on th ereef and out of your eyes.


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Old 01/06/2008, 11:58 AM   #17
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http://www.instructables.com/id/Aquarium-Coffee-Table/

Cheers


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Old 01/06/2008, 12:08 PM   #18
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go to petsmarts site, they sell them. You could at least get some ideas (ps I hate their shape of the tank!)


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Old 01/06/2008, 06:09 PM   #19
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Have a center tube and light from the center out similar to some uv lights.


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Old 01/06/2008, 09:16 PM   #20
fishguyrob
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MAthu,
If I get it to work out, I'll send you a pic.

Liveforphysics,
The link didn't show up, if you could send that again, I'd appreciate it.


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Old 01/07/2008, 09:52 AM   #21
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I would be more worried about the constant banging of feet, cups, plates, kids on the table where it would stress the inhabitants.

I would build it where the top would have a box that protrudes into the water just enough to make it viewable. I would take some thought to create over flows and what not so the thing would not make a mess.


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Old 01/07/2008, 10:33 AM   #22
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You could make a pendant into a decrative ornament that sits in the middle on top of the tank to light it; or if you are not worried about seeing in from the sides, you could light it from 2 sides with T5's or VHO's. As for the top, most people want the edges to overhang. You could have someone cut a dado into the 1.5" acrylic about half way that would perfectly mate with the table section. then bring the water level up to this. I think it would be pretty hard to get the overflow working correctly and at a consistant level doing it this way. You are also going to need some serious surface agitation in the sump to make up for the lack of it inside the table. Good luck and I hope to see it built asap.


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Old 01/07/2008, 10:39 AM   #23
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Some good ideas have been made about surface and lighting. Just an observation. None of the tanks shown in the above links appear to be saltwater. Lighting, circulation, surface clarity, and most important is tank maintenance. Where is the sump, the top off, the skimmer, the calcium reactor? Sure you can put all of that in the basement, or build a trough in the floor to run plumbing to another location, but then you may as well have an installed tank.

I think a nice rimless tank with a viewing box next to it would be nice... the danger is if the kids think its a wishing well and start throwing pennies in... right DonW?


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Old 01/09/2008, 08:01 PM   #24
ipodhommie
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what if you had a lip around the aquarium and drilled holes into it then had the top meet with the flange and then lower into the aquarium?


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Old 01/09/2008, 08:53 PM   #25
Donw
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Quote:
Originally posted by hebygb
I think a nice rimless tank with a viewing box next to it would be nice... the danger is if the kids think its a wishing well and start throwing pennies in... right DonW?
That I have to agree with. Now if you could find a shock collar for them thats another story, then go for it.

Don


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