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Thread: DIY Tank Conversion -Start to Finish

  1. #1
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    Talking DIY Tank Conversion -Start to Finish

    Everyone has old, well loved tanks in their basement or know someone who does. I wanted to document a "basement special" 10 gallon tank conversion from start to finish. This beloved tank is about 20 years old and needed some TLC. Here's the build!

    Stuff you need:
    Tank of choice
    Screen Making Kit and 8 extra corner pieces
    Screen
    Razor for scraping glass
    Silicon (black /brown)
    Caulking gun
    Gorilla Glue
    Hinges
    Cabinet Magents
    Wire Cutters
    Dremel or Hack saw (*get a dremel - best $40 - $ 60 investment for your crafty career)
    Handle
    Plexiglass (The Lowes near me will cut it for you)
    Plexiglass cutter (if you need to cut the plexi yourself)
    Balsa wood (about 1/2 inch sq piece)
    Acrylic paint
    Great stuff
    Coco Fiber


    Measure the inside dimensions of the lid of your tank. Cut two pieces of plexi. One piece is short in height and is just there to hold the substrate. The other piece is for the door. Use silicon to glue the tiny piece of plexi to the bottom of the lid.


    Cut the metal screen framing in order to make 3 "frames" Once frame is just there for "looks". It will be placed over the botton piece of plexi that holds in the substrate. The 2nd frame will cover the door. The last frame will actaully get screen put into it. This frame goes at the top of the tank. Make sure you leave room for the plastic corner pieces. I spray painted the frame black too.





    Use silicion to glue the fake frame over the little bottom piece of plexi. Use gorilla glue to glue the plexi to the back of the frame for the door. (I tried silicon in round one and it wasn't string enough). Add the screen to the last frame. Use silicion to glue the frame with the screen onto the lid.




    Using the wire cutters, cut 2 gaps into the lid so the magnets have a place to sit. Gorilla glue the magnets into place. (I needed to bend the metal "feet" of the magnets flat with some pliers.) Gorrilla glue the metal pieces (that come w/ the magnets) to the door. Then, tape it all up and let it dry.







    Gorrilla glue the hinges and handle on.




    Silicon in the 2 pieces of balasa wood (painted with black acrilic paint, and cut to size) to the under side of the tank lid and flush to the bottom frame and the top frame. This is so the door has a place to sit. I smeared some silicon on the top of the wood as well to help water proof.


    Since this tank was so well loved, I thought it needed a make over. I taped it off and added some copper spray paint. Then I used a plastic bag and some black spray paint to make a broken pattern. I was hoping to hide imperfections in the original lid.





    Time to make it pretty! Add the black silicon to the back of the tank. Place pots for plants and branches where you like them. I used all fake plants but I still like having pots in there so I can have a place to anchor them.


    Spray in the great stuff, wait for it to dry, and then paint it brown. Painting it brown helps hide imperfections in the coco fiber layer.


    Smear silicon all over the painted great stuff. Add the coco to the silicion and pat it down pretty hard. Let it all dry and then clean up the edges.




    Add fake plants and enjoy!

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Waterbear For This Useful Post:

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  3. #2
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    Woah! Holy crap. This looks aaallllooootttt better than when it began!
    1.0.0 Rose hair
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    0.2.0 Parakeet
    0.2.0 Ferrets

  4. #3
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    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing! It looks good.

  5. #4
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    Nice build!
    "Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it." -Henry David Thoreau

  6. #5
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    Your welcome! I'm thinking of doing this to an old 20 gallon and making a sweet Xmas gift for my dad.

  7. #6
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    WOW!! I'm impressed!! I now know what I'm going to be doing with the 3 10gal tanks I have sitting around my house! New gekker cages here we come!!!

  8. #7
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    at first it was a thought of .. o boy this is gunna look horrible .. but DANG! that thing is a thing of beauty .. might have to do that with one of my other tanks!
    --Jeff--
    1.0.0 E. Macularius - Ice (Super Snow) / 2.1.2 R. Ciliatus - Orion, Spidey, Pumpkin,Bernadette,Penny/0.1.0 R. auriculatus -(Red stripe) / 1.0.0 Testudo graeca / 0.1.0 Acanthosaura capra / 0.1.0 Pogona vitticeps

  9. #8
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    nice work

  10. #9
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    That looks so great! I read the instructions and still think I couldn't do it though because I'm a moron with DIY stuff. Sucks too because I have like five unused ten gallons.

    What is a screen making kit?
    "I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message."-Steve Irwin​

  11. #10
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    Love it!
    By 2030, a world where no reptile is abused, neglected, or viewed with prejudice.

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