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The Tale Of The Tank

crash274

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Hello everyone! Thanks for the interest, and I hope to make this a fun journey for all of us.
 
First, since I'm new to this forum let me provide a little back story  The desire to keep and maintain an Aquarium has been with me most of my life. Grew up in a fishing family, been fishing all my life basically. Been lucky enough to even make a living off of it. Always had smaller tanks, 20-40 gal. that I kept happy, and clean, grew some big fish, would bring in "rescues" and get them back in shape. Enjoyed the challenge and enjoy seeing some of my handy work years later in proper tanks and living happy. Severums, Cats, Plecos of all types, and gouromies have all come and gone to new homes. Some weirdos like elephant noses, and once, even an arowana that still had its egg sack attached, have come through my tanks. Sometimes, I would have 10 tanks, doing different things. Put them in the right conditions, feed them the right foods, give them the right treatment, and find them a new home. Well, after a while I stopped, just having a 29gal in the house, and a 10 gal "hospital" tank set up and going. I kept very few fish, a featherfin cat, and two australian rainbows, and a group of 4 red and blue tetras that no one wanted. It was just the cat and tetras for years, before I added the rainbows last summer.
 
Then I found Mack.
 
The clown knife was wedged behind a heater with a large wound behind his gill plate, infection had set in, and he was obviously not in good shape. I came home and started searching the interweb for anything I could find about these fish, as I never had one.  I was never interested in knives, or ran across one like this in bad shape. Guess what forum gave me, first off, the correct species and information about him,  second, gave me the knowledge to be able to help him. BINGO! TFF
 
 I paid $15.00us and brought him home, originally thinking if he made it, he'd like my brothers 150 as a new home.
 
Then I fell in love. He healed up nice, is frisky as ever, and now I have to upgrade to keep him.
 
So back to TFF.
 
So many questions, as I'm the type that has just as much fun planning, as the actual doing. What do I need to set up a LARGE tank? Any different then the small eco-systems I'm used to? You bettcha, and oh so many options to boot!!
Thanks TFF!!!

 
Since I had a delema on what to do, I decided to drag you all along with me. That stupid sized 1000 gal home away from home thread and the DIY200+ plywood tank sent me into a tissy of activity and measuring. Heck, at one point I had drawn out a two-tier, hand laid river rock, trout pond, with a connecting stream and wooded bridge. Something you could almost fly fish out of. The misses stopped me as I was heading towards the rose garden with a shovel. The DIY thread had me really going, as I have the skills and tools, to do the carpentry and fiberglass work. Most of the frame material I already have too.
 
So here we go, 200+ gallon DIY plywood freshwater tank. Design it and go........ 
 
Common sense then finnally kicked in.....
 
Never had anything bigger then a 40, so as a stepping stone, I'm setteling on a 100 gallon tank. Everyone in my existing tank will be happy. Picked up a couple clown loaches already, to go in it when ready. Other then more loaches, as time goes by, and a pleco thats all that I'm stocking in it. The 29 will turn into a small fish tank, and be re-scaped from the bottom up. When I do finnaly get the DIY tank done I'll have two large tanks and I can start over with the 100gal if I want to.
 
In fact, leaving here in a couple hours to go pick up a used 100gal that I'm getting for $80.
 
If you looking for quick satisfaction and a tank thats going to be done in days, this is not the thread for you, as I hope to have the 100 gallon build go right into the BIG DIY tank build, and if the misses turns her back for a weekend the trout pond/stream build.

 
I'll post pics of the "new to me" tank when I get it home.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

meandmykribs

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Sounds fantastic!!! I am already on the edge of my seat as mine has come to a halt at the min the hubby says he wants the back wall doing before I go putting  water into it haha
 

Ch4rlie

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Sounds good to me!
 
Keep posting pics and updates as you go along. This is gonna be a good story once completed. 
 
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Good on you for rescuing and rehoming all those poor fish :good:

This will be a great project for you, one that you will get many years of joy from :)

Can't wait to see pics :D
 
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crash274

crash274

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Battled my way through the rush hour traffic and picked up the "new to me" 100. Its got some scratches as it held a lizard and all its stuff.
 
tankintruck.jpg
 
Worst part was the heating pad that melted itself to the bottom.
 
tank1.jpg
 
Nice surprise was that most of the top was there. Didn't expect to get any of it, let alone to be only missing one piece of easy-to replace glass.
 
tankcovers.jpg
 
Its filthy, and of course, stickers of all sorts, including the one that made me sure this was the one.....
 
tanksticker.jpg
 
Filled it, watched for leaks for a couple of hours, nothing, no drips, no wetness. There is a couple suspect spots that looked repaired, but I've seen new all glass, that look like they've been repaired too, so who knows. Made dinner while I waited.
 
tankfilltest.jpg
 
Dumped a pound of kosher salt in it, scrubbed the inside down. Got all of the stickers off, had to use a razor blade to scrape the melted heating pad off. This was the only area I was worried about as I couldn't tell if the glass had been stained or damaged under it. Hooked up my syphon vac and ran a hose out to the back. It took only an hour to drain.
 
tankdrain.jpg
 
Dragged it inside, to get at the final cleaning. Turned on the Tiger game, popped open a cold one, and went at it.
 
tankclean.jpg
 
Its measurements: 48Lx18Wx26H. Makes my 55" TV look small in the background.

 
Going to clean what tops came with it in the morning. Also heading to my pops place to look over his cedar pile, as I'm pretty sure the 2x4 base I'm going to build for it will be finished in cedar.
 
Next up will be building the base and getting a replacement piece cut for the top.
 

meandmykribs

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It looks mahoosive!!! Hahaha congrats hope to see the pics of the base soon :)
 
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crash274

crash274

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Just a quick update.
 
Got just a portion of the 2x4's needed so far, and the 2 2x6's I'm making the footing out of. My brother said I can have his pile of cultured stone and we'll have the stonework wrapped around the whole base once its together. Very excited as I will also do this to the DIY 200 gal.
 
Been messing around with ideas for the back of the tank. Decided I liked the painted look. Went shopping and found faux stone spray paint. Got a can, moved everybody and everything out of the 29 to see how it looks before I do the 100. Covered everything up with paper and tape that wasn't being painted. I used Rust-oleum American Accents, stone textured paint. It comes in a few different colors and I decided on seinna.
 
painttank29.jpg
 
Had to use a second coat of just plain old paint to get all of the light blocked out, but that was the only hassle I had with it. Probally didn't have too but out in the sun it didn't look right
 
painted29done.jpg
 
Now to break your heart.
 
Mack the clown knife passed last night. Don't know how. Went to bed last night, fed him his nightly meal of shrimp and blackworms. He was happily swimming around and eating. Woke up to him floating in the plants dead. Checked levels, checked for spots he could of gotten wedged into. The heater was at a weird angle but thats nothing new as the cat likes to knock it around. Possibly lost a fight with the big cat, but I really don't know. Very upset after all the time and work to get him back to health in the first place.
 

meandmykribs

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Aww god love him so sorry to hear that
 
On the other hand though the tank looks fantastic are you doing the 100 the same or are you thinking something different?
 
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crash274

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Thanks for the messages about Mack, still has me shaken about it.
 
Yes, I will do the same to the 100, but a darker shade, as I'm planning on using LEDs instead of the old tube set up. The lighter sand like background really brightened up the 29 considerably.
 
Playing around with Co2 parts and getting headaches about filtration. Have not decided if I'm going to go DIY with a fire bottle, or just go with a pre-packaged set up. Same with the filter set up. Would like to drill the tank, and go with a clean look with a canister, but probally will just get some glass work for intake and outflow. Go with the over the rail set up as I'll be able to adjust and re-scape with ease. Will be going with a 75% sand / 25% gravel substrate in lighter natural color. I already have lots of lava rock and will start getting moss growing on them soon. Will also do a medium level of plant stocking hence the need for a Co2 system. How does a canister rated for a 200 gal sound? Probally overkill but it seems like doubling what the manufactures suggest has always done me right in the past. I can always dial down the flow if too much. Been doing a ton of reading here and around the web to figure out what would be the best set up. Thanks again to all of you that have posted your experences here at TFF
 
I put a sheild over the heater as after doing an autopsy on Mack, I'm 99% sure that he picked the wrong resting spot. There was a half inch wide area of damaged tissue right behind the internal cavity on only the one side of him. The swelling probally increased the pressure on his internals and led to his circulation system shutting down. Yes, it bothered me that bad that I disected him. Learned somthing new, Knife's have large sickel like teeth on their tounge.
 
After doing the math, I don't have enough cultured stone to do the whole base so instead of completly covering it, it will have a lower and upper area of stone work, with cedar making up the rest. Also working out having a door that swings up and locks so it becomes an light duty work shelf. Here's a crude scetch of what my brother and I came up with:
 
basescetch.jpg
 
Tomarrows plans are to get the paint for the 100 background, and heading out on the lake to do some diving for non-invasive plant samples and pull out some driftwood. If I make it out on the lake (possible rough weather in the area, and I don't mess with lightning) I'll post what I drag up. Still collecting the lumber needed as a friend building a deck got most of the lumber I needed from my brothers pile. I do have all the cedar, stone needed, and a portion of 2x4's and 2x6's. All for free. Kinda backwords, but thats how things go in my world most of the time....
 

Ninjouzata

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Sorry can't really help much with anything, the background looks nice.
I'm sorry for your loss, was really looking forward to seeing him grow up in your tank.
I imagine I will sound like a total weirdo, but did you take any pics when you dissected him?
The sickel like teeth on the tongue sound really interesting >_< I'm trying to learn anything about knife fish that I can.
The hatch is a neat idea :)
 
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crash274

crash274

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 yeah I do have pics, lol, welcome to the morbid club I guess.
 
Its a crap image from my phone. I tried to blow it up but it looses its detail.
 
Not worth posting and upsetting the queasy. I'll PM it to you when I get a sec.
 
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