300 gal. Saltwater Aquarium
By Sascha Gast

Here we go now, the framework done!

It's the stand and it will get a Mahagony face on front and the sides.
The tank goes on top.

Tonight, I milled the pieces for the front face, Honduras Mahogany.

Joinery; just glue and pocket screws.
I love that CMT pocket jig,
even though this is the first large project I am using it on.

The sides of the stand will be covered with
3/4" Honduras Mahogany ply.

Finish will be natural, but the trim and door frames will be stained with potassium dichromate (get it here) for contrast.

I'll make a few sample pieces tonight.
Well, almost anyway.

The stand for my 300 gallon saltwater tank.

Faced with honduras mahogany, first coat of tung oil.
It will get about another 5 coats of
The inside another 5 coats of poly.

I buffed between coats with 000 steel wool.
About 6 coats for water resistance.

Time to order the tank and filtration.
Front View...

I have a concrete floor.
Any other type of floor must be reinforced.

The wheels are only there so I can move it around.
Since I have to move it by myself.
Once finished the wheels come off.

I still need to build the doors and add trim around the edges.
I'll offset the colors by staining the Mahogany with   potassium dichromate. (get it here)

Last night, I put on another coat of  
Arm-R-Seal, siliconed all the corners on the inside, and another coat of poly.

It will still be weeks before I'm done, but it should be great for my fish.

Actually, this system will replace two tanks that are back to back, one is 125 gal. and the other is 200 gal.

I am just tired of having to service two systems. even though they are plumbed together, it's too hard too keep nice.

Also, the stands they sit on are store bought and frankly, just painted mdf.   Ever since I got into woodworking I realized how crappy they are built.

This one will be flawless to maintain.   The stands inside are oversized for easy access.   I can't wait to show you guys pictures when it's all done and filled.

Ok, so the stand is done!

I just ordered the acrylic for my 300 gallon tank, the filtration, pumps, light and so on.
It should take the guys about 2-3 weeks to deliver the aquarium.

The light canopy is also almost done, but it will have to wait just a little since I am going to Germany on vacation (where I'm from).

The last project today was installing the doors and 3 cup hinges for each door.
As soon as I get back, I will finish the canopy.
Once the tank is here, endless plumbing.

Waren sind Sie von in Deutschland?
Ich gebe von 1986 thru 1990 in Heidelberg aus.
Sie werden mein Deutsch entschuldigen müssen.
Ich habe es in über 15 Jahren jetzt nicht gesprochen!

Nice looking stand by the way!

I was born and raised in germany, until I was 25.
I've been in Los Angeles now for 9 years.
By the way, I was able to read everything you wrote. Good job.

Take care,

That is a very nice base!

Are you going to buy the strips of acrylic and glue them all together to form your TANK?!

That sounds scary to me... especially after 300 gal's would be in it... I have seen how they can literally explode due to the very high pressure.

If you are going to build it yourself, I'd sure like to know some of the key points... I'd like to slap a small
(12" x 12" x 24") tank for some guppies.

Have a nice vacation!!

Thank you & have fun,
Joe Lyddon
Nah, there is no sense to build the acrylic myself, it's actually cheaper just to buy it, all the forms and jigs I'd need... with overflows, it will cost me about $1700.   It's made out of 3/4 inch acrylic.   A 4x8 sheet cost already $600, plus the time and the sheer weight.

But I will do all the plumbing.   That's the fun part.

Also, your 12x12x24 is not more than $50-80 and you would get it with rounded corners.

I'll be finished hopefully in about 3 weeks, no more than a month if they deliver on time.   I'll post a picture with inhabitants.

Oh, by the way Joe, you never got my post about potassium dichromate, (get it here)   The darker trim and door frames are stained with it.

Oh by the way are you making your own filters?
I remember helping one of my friends make to the filter system for their salt water tank.
It was interesting and they said it saved them a bunch.

I have the filter custom made.
Even though I love working with acrylic, I love the real polished look you get buying it vs. making it.

Frankly, I just don't have the patience to polish everything to perfection.
Plus, I got a good deal on a 42x20x18 wet-dry filter, almost not worth building it myself.

Thats great Sascha...
I truly enjoy seeing photos of creations that I will never build...   it just fires me up to realize all the other great WW that is going on...   and I must admit that a 300 gallon salt-water tank is not on my immediate plan list.

But yours is just great and I can't wait to see the photos of the swimmers hanging out in there.


Finally, this morning, 6-10-04, I got the 300 gallon tank delivered.

This Saturday I should get the filtration.

If everything comes on time I should be done in about 2 weeks or so.

I'll keep you guys posted.

By the way, I can't tell you how much I missed working in my shop while I was in Germany, good to be back!

The canopy is about halfway done, then I install lights and electric.

Sorry I have been in the hiding, but I was plumbing the filtration and the 2 pumps.   I enjoy working with acrylic very much too, but this stuff I didn't build.   But I had to drill the overflows, returns and all other plumbing into the tank and filter.   Again, these 2 pumps deliver 2000 gallons/hour each, so 4000 gallons an hour.   I filled it on Monday, added sand, then on Tuesday added the live rock and now I am wiring the lights.   I will keep you posted, but first I'll have to finish the light canopy.

Tank full with water.

Ok, it's been a few weeks, but besides the size of the tank and it's weight, I had to wait for parts that I had custom made.   But sunday I finally finished it.   It's all done, even the canopy doors.

It's the largest project I have ever built, but it was worth it.   It's very rewarding.   Saltwater tanks are my other big addiction.

The fish are loving it and I bought a few new ones.   It's very relaxing just to watch.

But now I'll start making smaller things again.   Things I can actually carry around.

But I can't tell you how much fun I had and to some of you, thank you for following the progress through my posts.

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