The Monitor Aquarium

Completed September 1995

This tank made me nervous. Even though the monitor was heavy before the conversion, it is considerably heavier as an aquarium. The tilt/swivel stand is made entirely of plastic and nylon and would be asked to support over 100 pounds.

My inner reptile was telling me to go for it, that the stand would take the punishment. So I did...

Construction Notes

Case preparation is important to both the appearance of the final product and its success as an aquatic habitat. In the pictures above the four main pieces of the case are ready for assembly. They are:

The hardest part of designing most of my tanks has been placement of adequate lighting. This monitor had enough room for an eight watt flourescent fixture on each side of the bezel. While this provided excellent light it also added to the complexity of the tank shape and made changing the bulbs a major task.

First, enough water must be removed to allow sliding the tank a few inches forward. The back case is held on by four screws. Before removing this piece all of the air hoses and electric cords must be moved out of the way.

The front bezel is held in place by four screws that can only be reached after the back case is removed. After removing about 3/4 of the water the tank can be moved foreward enough to allow access to the light fixtures.

The light fixtures themselves are standard hardware store issue stuff and are glued in place with aquarium sealant. They are absolutely not waterproof and must be placed where they can never get wet. Aquarium spectrum bulbs are available in this size but aren't cheap. Buy 'em anyway - daylight spectrum bulbs are too harsh and don't bring out the colors of the fish.

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