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Christine's New 20L Coffee Table Aquarium


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Hey all,


It's been awhile since I've posted, but that's because I've been quite busy working on a new project! I posted elsewhere but figured that since this will be a new tank, and thus a new journey, I would move the discussion here. My boyfriend recently surprised me with two 10Gs and a 2.5G tank. Thank you, PetCo sale! The 2.5G has been fishless cycling for almost a week (started at 5 ppm NH3) and is currently at 2 ppm NH3, 0-0.25 ppm NO2, and 20 ppm NO3. (I wonder how much longer it'd be...) I have no idea what I want to keep in such a small tank (Maybe Neos? Or breeder tank for TB? Who knows?), and I have only just begun installing the HMF filters for the two 10Gs. I was thinking of using one as a CRS tank and the other as a Mischling/cull tank.


Anyway, moving on to the exciting part. I have had a 20L sitting around for some time because I had convinced my boyfriend that I was going to start on a coffee table aquarium last month. I didn't. After being quoted $1,600 for just the table (no tank or glass top), I finally decided to do it myself and get started. You'd think said boyfriend would help me with construction, but he made it clear I was on my own since he already purchased the tanks for me. No worries. I'm a perfectionist anyway, and he'd only slow me down. =P


This is my first time working with wood (or even building something), but I got right to work drawing blueprints, purchasing supplies, sawing, sanding (by hand), drilling, and painting. As of earlier today, the table looked like this:




I finished attaching the rest of the trim and painting the first coat of semi-black paint just a couple of hours ago and expect the project to be complete by Wednesday this week.


My total costs so far are as follows:

     - Wood/Supplies: $135 (I quoted $120 earlier, but I just purchased the rubber stoppers for the glass top, which was about $15.)

     - Tank & Equipment: $175 (I quoted $155 earlier, but I will be purchasing an air pump for the HMF, which will be about $20.)

     - Glass Table Top (Expected): $100-$150


     TOTAL EXPECTED COST: $410-$460


This is much cheaper than if I were to purchase the tank outright since I would have had to make adjustments anyway to make the tank safe for shrimp. Retail price for a coffee table aquarium is about $700-$1,000 (including shipping), and apparently, just the frame is $1,600 to build from a local contractor.


The following equipment/items will be used for the tank:

     - Corner HMF Filter

     - Jager Thermostat Heater 100W

    - Finnex Stingray 30" LED

    - Large piece of driftwood

    - Buces. Lots of buces.


If I'm missing anything, please let me know. Reveal will be coming soon. ^^

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Thanks, everyone! I'll repost when it's done, which should be very soon! ^^

And to answer your question in the other thread, Soothing Shrimp, I had the rubber stoppers sitting in my Amazon cart for about a week. I had accidentally put it on my Save For Later list with all my school textbooks. I got around to purchasing them last night. =P

Now I just have to find someone local that sells glass table tops...

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You know, I never thought of this, but I didn't put anything under the base for cushion. I have hardwood floors. Is wood on wood okay or should I dump the tank and put something underneath? o.o

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I have hardwood floors and use those precut felt tabs under all my furniture. Makes moving things around a lot easier.

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I have hardwood floors and use those precut felt tabs under all my furniture. Makes moving things around a lot easier.


+1 Those are great for moving heavy objects and protecting the hardwood! 

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Okay, so I took out all the water and put some felt at the bottom of the frame. Here's a sneak peek at the 20L. It is just hardscape and buces, but I am looking to get some nice foreground plants around Pride Rock. Any suggestions?















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I decided to go with dwarf sag on the carpet. I was thinking DHG, but that would require so much trimming.


looks good. Is the tank on top of the coffee table or incorporated into it?


The tank is inside of the coffee table. I'll be doing the reveal on it tomorrow or Thursday. =)

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Lighting: Finnex Stingray LED (30")

Filter: Corner Hamburg Matten Filter

     - Air Pump: Tetra Whisper 40

Substrate: Brightwell Aquatics FlorinVolcanit XF (Black)

Flora: Dwarf Sag and various bucephalandra

Other Accessories: Borneo Wild Minerock, Cholla Wood (3" and 6"), Alder Cones


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