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4ft Native biotope build...

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On the back end of building a custom cabinet & hood for my wife's new 3ft marine tank over the past 6 weeks, I've decided it's now high time to utilise the 4ft tank I received for Christmas...which has meant further trips to Bunnings for building materials (such a bummer :eyebrows: ), & copious use of power tools. At the end of the process, I'm planning on turning out a 4ft native biotope tank with plants & fish endemic to my local area on the northside of Brisbane.

My wife's new marine pride & joy:



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Today's progress...fitted internal floor in cabinet (will eventually be carpeted), & tank bed above - recess is about 3cm, so with foam should allow the tank to sit about 2cm below the lip which will conceal the bulk of the substrate.

Will be coming inside soon to have the tank dropped in to ensure a snug fit...


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Another look before it heads inside until next weekend...


And absolutely perfect fit!


Still a truckload of work to do enclosing the cabinet beneath & custom-fitting with all the bells & whistles (have some grand plans for underneath), custom hood & plumbing...

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Has been a little bit in between powertools, but have managed to squeeze in a few hours on the build this afternoon...cabinet sides, back & mock-up front are now all done, & now almost at the point where the staining/varnishing can begin on the outer...

View from the back, but still need to cut the holes for ventilation panels and plumbing on left & right sides:


View from front with the mock-up front panel in place - this needs to be tidied up a little still & door apetures cut, but will act as a lockable doored front to the cabinet that can be completely removed for major work below if necessary:


Looking good inside (although the contrast on the mobile pic at night is a bit deceiving), with plenty of room to play with - looking forward to fitting this section under the main tank out with twin canisters, dual quarantine tanks, airation system, CO2 sytem, & plumbing galore...amongst a handful of other special touches!


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Finally found a little extra time in between shifts this afternoon to get some more work done on my cabinet:

Rear venilation ports cut high in the back of the cabinet to exhaust hot air, which will eventually be capped with brushed aluminium grills - air intake ports still to be cut at base level in the sides for grill/intake fan ports, & bulkead holes left & right to accomodate the twin canister filters:


Front cabinet panel sitting in place with door apertures cut - this one's going to sit to one side & will probably be the last component completed as it'll be the least functional (apart from the attachments planned):


Cabinet's now in the garage on blocks ready for varnishing externally & waterproofing internally, tonight...

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10 months & a change of company later (barely remember where the last 6 months went!?), & my pet project has collected considerable dust in the garage...as has the 4 foot tank sitting dormant in the living room reminiscent of Christmas 2013. A few extra ventilation ports were cut into the case prior to applying the first few coats of stain/varnish, & then the project was laid up...until now...



New year, new tank...after some prodding, it's time to pick up where I left off & get the 4 foot up & running, as I plan on overhauling the long-standing 2 foot native I have, & have been dreaming of the mods possible for a bigger tank :boink:

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