My wife has wanted a table top aquarium for a long time now. Then I remembered I love instructables and this would be a great idea to save money and build! total cost to build was $250 including tank and accessories.
Brand new just the table top tank without the pumps etc run over $700
We saved ourselves $450 and got it our way. Cant beat that!
If you are interested and are located near St Pete FL contact me at 415-935-9053 If you would like any tips or help building one.
WOW, did not expect such response. Let me answer some questions.
2. Table top is from a thrift store cost was $30 for the whole table threw out the table part LOL.
3. we currently feed the fish by spoon lol there is about 3/4" gap that we use.
4. I was going to add a removable part but for structural integrity for the glass top did not.
5. Other thoughts, were going to add rope light to the top and underneath thinking it will create a great ambience.
Step 1: Stuff I Needed
Ok... so this was not an exact science but i will list what I used to make it.
1. Tank ( We went to about 20 different pet stores and the most ideal we found was a 20 gallon tank that was 1 foot high)
2. Wood ( Home Depot was a great help, we mentioned what we wanted to do and the guy was so excited he didn't charge us for cuts ) Great time saver!
a. 1/2" MDF board base of the table
b. 2" x 2" x 8'. I needed about 3 of these
c. 2" x 4" x 12'. I needed only 1 of these
NOTE: Wood dimensions are stupid and are not exactly 2" x 2" just remember that for later
3. Wood Filler. This will make the appearance of 1 solid piece of wood.
4. Paint, Mini roller, edger
6. Screws 1 1/4" and 2 1/2"
7. Stuff i sure i missed like tank decor etc. That was the wife's dept lol
Step 2: The Base
The base is what everything is built off of.
1. 1/2" MDF board that I had cut to the exact base dimentions of the outside of the tank
2. 2" x 2" make a border on the inside of the base board, mark where they will be
3. 2" x 4" place them on the inside of the lines along the width and mark their location
4. PRE DRILL the mdf board where you have marked
5. Attach all boards making sure that the frame of the 2" x 2" boards fit evenly with the outside of the mdf, this will be important for the rest of the frame.
6. Base complete, take a look at the pics to see all the steps in order.
I added the 2 x 4 strips to give the table the appearence of floating. worked out well
Step 3: The Corners
Ok so the corners ended being a little tricky and if i was to do this again I would not put on the 2 x 4 legs untill after the frame was built.
1. take the 2 x 4 and 2 x 2 strips you should have 4 of each. the height of the tank was 12 " so i made the sides 15" to accomodate for mounting space.
2. PRE DRILL the 2 x 4 and attach the 2 x 2 creating an L shape as in the pictures below.
Step 4: Mount the Corners
Look at the pics to get a better view
1. Pre drill 1 hole at the bottom on each side to attach to the base made earlier
2. attach while holding even with the bottom of the base. ( again on hind sight i would not have put the feet on to make this easier
Step 5: Add the Top Frame
This will give everything structure and support
1. place the frame of 2 x 2 for the top structure on by pre drilling and mounting to the top of your frame i recommend doing this with the TANK IN. to make sure everything is aligned
2. look at the pictures
3. after the top frame is in then remove the tank.
Step 6: Wood Filler Time
Time to add the wood filler.
1. Find any gap hole where you put a nail and cover it.
2. along the sides where you joined any wood fill the gap with filler to give the appearence of no join
3. the more filler you use everywhere the neater it will look after.
4. Let the filler dry, then sand all spots smooth
Step 7: Paint, Paint, Paint
Ok this part needs no real detail, just make sure to get all corners with a corner brush so that no wood shows through.
We put on 3 coats to make sure it was nice and bold.
Step 8: Finishing Touches
Final things that we added on.
we placed little rubber cushions for the glas tops on the 4 corners, and also placed medallions on for a nice finishing touch.
I mounted a 6 outlet adaptor to one of the feet underneath to supply the pump and filter with power, we ran the wires out a corner at the top of the tank and hid it by running down the inside of one of the edges, running the cords under the table and plugging it in.
Place the glass on top and voila. table top tank.
Total cost $250. If bought new over $700. With the savings we went to the casino :)