180G progress

psalm18.2

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That's so cute, the dog in the cupboard! Your fish are so lucky to have that home. Very nice!
 

Everythingzen

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Your driftwood is gorgeous! Your tank is awesome! I adore your plants. You've done a fantastic job on this tank

I really need to find something better than petbarn...
 
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bubblynutter

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Thank you Psalm & Everythingzen for the compliments!

The cabinet currently has 2 coats of primer on. I was going to have the third done, but the extreme heat (40C or 104F) yesterday meant I did absolutely nothing all day.
It's supposed to reach 39C (102F) again today, so unless I stay up late I doubt I'll get the final coat done until mid-week.

I have a dilemma - a friend has offered up an air compressor and spray gun for use on the weekend. The dilemma is I have already purchased 8x cans of spray paint. Should I
a) Try and return the spray cans and purchase a tin of acrylic paint, and have someone else paint my cabinet. Or
b) Keep the cans, politely turn down the offer and continue to do this project the painstaking (but rewarding) way of DIY?

Advice please!
 

Everythingzen

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Id use the cans of paint you've already bought if I were you. Are you keeping it white? It looks great in white, more like furniture. The compressor might be awkward on a large cabinet like this, the gun not an maneuverable as a can of paint.

All these huge tanks are making my 38g look so small! And I was only thinking last week how awesome it is lol.
 
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bubblynutter

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Id use the cans of paint you've already bought if I were you. Are you keeping it white? It looks great in white, more like furniture. The compressor might be awkward on a large cabinet like this, the gun not an maneuverable as a can of paint.

All these huge tanks are making my 38g look so small! And I was only thinking last week how awesome it is lol.
Thanks zen, I hadn't considered the maneuverability of the gun.
The white is just the primer. The cabinet will be painted semi-gloss black.
 

Everythingzen

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Ooh, black is nice! I just painted the trim on my big tank in semi gloss black. It's a handmade job, lol. It was an awful peach coloured aluminium before. Not aure why I brought that up, it's not relevant at all!

I'm Anna by the way. Sorry to keep jumping into your blog here!
 
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bubblynutter

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Hi Anna, don't be sorry! It's not a closed discussion...

My cabinet will be a handmade job as well, but that is where a lot of pride and satisfaction comes from - doing it yourself! I'm excited at the prospect of getting this cabinet finished, but it's been 38C (100F+) and upwards for the last 3 days, so I haven't been able to make any headway.

Plus today I had 3 packages of plants arrive, so I will be busy tonight planting away!
The packages contained the following:
Glosso
Pennywort
Blyxa
Anubias v. barteri, coffeefolia
Lileaopsis
Needle leaf java fern
Dino dung (root tabs, they are da bomb!)

So yeah, I will be a bit busy tonight!
Plus my cool new light stand arrived yesterday, so I have to figure out if I can attach direct to the wood frame or if I need to purchase some spacers/support wood from the hardware store tonight.

Things are coming together!
Oh, and the rebuild day has been scheduled for Sunday 13th, with a total of 6 helpers. Gotta love forums!!
 
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bubblynutter

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Update time - first coat of paint went down tonight!

I have also siliconed anywhere that may have drips from the tank, to prevent any water getting into the wood. You may notice I haven't sprayed those areas yet; waiting for them to cure for a couple of days.
I also haven't started on the cupboard doors yet, so they will be tomorrow night's job along with a wet sanding of the first coat.

Hope you like it so far!
 
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bubblynutter

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And while I was outside working my butt off, I came inside to find this:

Nice to know my girls feel at home.
 
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bubblynutter

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Thanks Anna! That's just the first coat though; it's pretty rough! At least it gives me a good idea of what it's going to look like when completed though.

Good part is hubby came into the shed and grudgingly admitted "it's going to look pretty good"! Awesome - that means when I run out of spray paint I can hassle him for more money!
 
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bubblynutter

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Turns out my house does not like deluges. There are a few buckets and bins at my back door catching the rain coming out of the ceiling.
And to make matters that little bit better, I had a sudden thought and ran out to the shed and sure enough, the cabinet is sitting in 3" of water. Yep - the shed flooded.

The cabinet is now sitting on top of 2 chairs, drying out. The one bit that I hadn't primed was the bottom of it.
Hoping because it's pine, it should be alright. I consulted another aquarist who said that pine is more resistant to absorbing water. Will see how it pulls up tomorrow...
 
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bubblynutter

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I did my best with what I had, and I'm pretty happy with the results! I wouldn't be paid much if I were trying to do it for a living, but considering it's the first time since primary school I've been anywhere near anything that smells like paint or requires sanding, I'm VERY happy with the outcome.

That's all for now - next step is... well, everything! Sunday 13th people, mark it in your diaries! Although I wouldn't expect photos until Monday at the earliest. I will probably spend the rest of Sunday drooling over my tank.
 

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Hello Bubbly,

Everything is looking wonderful. Such a beautiful tank! Can't wait to see it all set up and finished.

Ken
 
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bubblynutter

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Tragedy!!

i was tearing down the tank last night, and everything was fine. The tank was stripped and the fish in the 50L bin with heater and powerhead directed to create surface movement.

I check on the fish about 45min later, and every single tetra is DEAD! Total 41 fish, including cardinals, glowlights and my beautiful congos. :*(

All the loaches and the 2 gouramis were ok, as were 3 SAEs. They were all fished out and dumped uncerimoniously into one of my 3fts.

The utter speed that wiped out these fish suggested a contaminant. I'm thinking something with the bucket, and a friend suggested petroleum residue. Almost all fish were still showing good colouring, no washing out.

Having a stiff drink and going to bed. Really hoping tomorrow turns out to be a better day.

FOLLOW ON:
this morning was NOT better. 13 loaches dead, 2 almost, 1 may pull thru and 3 MIA. Plus another 3 SAEs dead.
The 2 gold gouramis are fine.

This points to something has slicked their gills, and all but the anabantoids couldn't breathe.
Right now I am just utterly devastated. It took me so long to build up this community, and I was rescuing them from bad homes. A few of my loaches were 7".

If none pull through I don't know if I'll be able to keep a loach community again. There is far too much emotion invested.
The alpha seems to indicate she will make it; she's made a marked improvement in recovery this morning. There are another couple that I can see, that are just sitting on the bottom respiring rapidly. Gouramis are still fine, and I found two SAEs that seem fine.

Total losses so far - 63 fish. :''''(
Some friends on an Australian forum suggested that the hardware store fumigated their shelves, and that could well be the contaminant that wiped out my beautiful friends.
 

djbrist

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How sad... so sorry for the loss. I would suspect residual contminant from the 50L tub as well. Perhaps there may have been contaminant introduced installing the heater and powerhead, from the hands? mineral spirits, soaps, thinner? My thoughts and sentiment.

Dave
 
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bubblynutter

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thanks Dave. No contaminant entered via my hands. The water was used from the 180G, and I was working in there all night ripping out plants and hardscape. I would have noticed at least some stress in the fish if that were the case.

A small spark of joy - just found the alpha and 4 little ones tumbling up and down the side of the tank doing their "loachy dance". Looking like they are out of danger for now at least!

One more unaccounted for - hopefully he will turn up tomorrow when we try to catch them again to put them back in their revamped home.
The 180G will now have 5 loaches, 2 gold gouramis (with an identity complex - they are convinced they are loaches) and 2 SAEs. One of the forum members coming over has kindly offered to donate 20-30 cardinal tetras to restock the tank.

About 16 hours and it all gets underway.
I have removed all the gravel substrate, and the tank is sitting empty waiting on some helping hands. Cabinet is inside now too!
 
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