Watching fish swim about in an aquarium calms the soul. The completeness of their lives is relaxing. The biggest problem with fish tanks is the room that they take up. This can be solved by turning a solid wall into an aquarium.
Design your room around the Aquarium
Plan the aquariums placement carefully. Stand in the center of the room ( the den ) that will have the fish tank. Look at the wall you would like it in. It will need a few things. The aquarium will need to have access in another room. A utility room works the best for this but a closet also will work. There will need to be electricity available in that room. It is best to have a water source close by.
The center of the wall sometimes will not work. If the closet wall lines up with the center then the aquarium will need to be moved to the side. Plumbing lines and electrical outlets will either need to be moved or avoided. The tank will need solid support under it. Smaller tanks will work with shelving but larger tanks will need solid construction underneath.
Materials and tools.
You will need an aquarium and all of its accessories.
Wood trim. Measure around the viewing area. This will be the inside measurement of the wood trim needed.
Support material. You will need a 1 X 12, two 2 X 4, three heavy gauge L brackets
1″ and 2″ drywall screws.
If there is plumbing or electrical to move then you will need the materials for that.
The tools you need will include;
electric drill with a Philip’s-head screw chuck and a 1/4″ drill bit that is more than 5″ long
pencil and straight edge
1) Measure the viewing area of your aquarium. Using these measurements lay out where the tank will be installed in the den. Use a pencil and straight edge to draw the placement on the wall. Transfer these measurements to the utility room. Add 2 inches to the measurements in the utility room. This will give you some extra room to work with.
2) Cut the drywall in the utility room with a razor knife. Carefully remove the drywall. Expect to see at least one wall stud. It is best to start work in here because if some unforeseen problem arises it is better to patch the drywall in here than in the den.
3) With a sawzall cut away the wall studs that are in the way. You will need to cut the wall studs the height of the tank plus the extra two inches. When cutting the studs do not go all the way through during the first cut. Instead cut the other side first. This will prevent the way stud from shaking and causing damage.
4) Move any plumbing lines or electrical wires that are in the way now. When you are done all that should be visible is the back side of the den wall.
5) Cut the 1 X 12 to fit across the bottom. This will be the shelf that the aquarium sets on. Use a bubble level to make sure that the shelf is level. Screw it to the wall studs with drywall screws. Screw the L brackets under the shelf to the wall studs. Larger fish tanks will require you to frame in the shelf. To do this measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of the shelf. Cut 2 legs this size from the 2 X 4s. Screw them in place. Measure and cut the distance between the wall and the legs and in between the legs. Install these three pieces. For a finished look drywall can be installed here.
6) With a razor knife cut the dens drywall. Make a small hole in the center. Go into the utility room to verify everything lines up. Once you are sure the hole will be in the right spot go ahead and cut the dens drywall.
7) Slide the aquarium into place. Check to make sure you have room for a light and filter equipment. If not the you must make any adjustments to the hole now.
8) Measure and cut the trim pieces to finish the den side. Use a mider saw for this. This wood trim will help hide any imperfections in your work.
Once you have filled your aquarium with water it is time to sit back and enjoy. The best part will be when you get to watch your friends stare at it. This tank will increase the WOW factor of any room.