#5 of 5’s Aquarium Project – Part 1

IMG_1560 When #5 of 5 expressed an interest in establishing an aquarium, I got pretty excited.  I have kept at least one aquarium running for 22 of the past 27 years.  With my current set up looking more swamp like, devoid of anything living (other than bacteria, and protozoa) I am hoping #5 of 5’s enthusiasm will rub off and will help inspire me to breath life back into my interest.  (Actual photo of the current condition the FOF Swamp is in.)

#3 of 5 was given an aquarium a number of years back, and has since lost most interest.  The aquarium has been sitting in “cold storage” for the past few years.  He has graciously agreed to allow his little sister to use the aquarium if she wanted (what a great big brother he can (sometimes) be).

The only problem was not having a stand for the aquarium.  We shopped around and shopped around and could not come up with a viable solution (that fit our budget) – so I started scouring craigslist.  I located the perfect stand (used) and at a perfect price. 

“Almost perfect” would be a better description.  #5 of 5 had one request – that the stand be white with pastel colored “splatter paint” on it.  What a perfect way to introduce her to the pleasures (and pains) of DIY!

We picked up the needed supplies and on a beautiful Saturday afternoon #5 of 5 and I started in on her project!  

First up - Sanding the existing finish.

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Now, before you admonish me for my faux pas, let me just say that I did catch my error which can be seen at the 1:50 second mark of the video.  Yeah, I did let her finish, but will next time be more careful about that.

With the sanding complete, it was time to put a primer coat on the stand.  I pained the first board of the door to show #5 of 5 how it’s done and what to look for – then handed her the brush and let her see what she could do.

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What was I doing while she was sanding and painting you ask? 

Well, SUPERVISING of course!







She finished the entire door and exterior of the whole stand before telling me that her “arm started hurting” from all the painting and asked if she could take a break.  I told her what a fantastic job she has done already and that yes, she could take a break.  I also asked her if I could “help” her paint.  She agreed and both her and her “tired arm” went running out into the yard to play with #4 of 5.


The next day it was time for our first coat of paint!  We donned our grubby paint clothes again and headed out.  She did an amazing job once again!

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Here you see the stand, with the first coat completely finished.  I have to trim a couple of drip edges off the corners, and want to give it one more final coat before it’s ready for the “splatter painting”! 

Stay Tuned!


  1. That's great! She is going to be so proud of her aquarium stand and have the confidence to try more things. Good dad!

    1. Thanks Barbara, I could not agree more! My sister is not afraid to try ANYTHING and I love the confidence she shows in her life. If my daughters have half her "chutzpah" - I will be a very happy papa!

  2. Lookin' good! I briefly had a 10 gallon when I had my first college apartment... just a basic yard sale tank. I have since re-yard saled it. I have wanted a nice set-up for many years, but there are issues of space, time, money... and currently, not Benny-friendly. Maybe one of these days...

    Anxious to see the finished product. 5 of 5 is doing a great job.

    When you're done "supervising", I think you need to go clean your swamp!

    1. Jeff, I hope helping her set up her first tank inspires me to re-establish my "Swamp"!!

  3. Great daddy/daughter project! And good job teaching her to be handy and letting the project be hers, can't wait to see the aquarium set up!

    And I love the supervisor pic!

    Mark L.

    1. Thanks Mark!! Gotta take advantage of those "beer and cigar moments" whenever you can!!

  4. My Dad's idea of quality father/son bonding time was dragging me along to the pet store with him while he hang out for sometimes hours (literally). I hated it, I wanted to do something fun like play Bball. But for some reason, I've never been able to shake the need of having an aquarium. Maybe it's the fact that growing up, there were always at least 5 in working order, idk. But to this day I'm all pro aquarium, so I'm glad that 5of5 is getting into the hobby. Can't wait to see the finished product.

    Sorry for the rant, lol

    1. DaddysFishBowl - At my peak I had three tanks running, and my sister had one. My parents "lived with" four working aquariums in their house (but three of the four were in my bedroom). They were not really into Aquaria, but went along for the ride.

      I have had a working tank running in my house for all but five of the past twenty-five years!


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