Hi! New Here :)

Dray

Valued Member
Messages
62
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Experience
More than 10 years
Hi!

I'm new to post on Fishlore, though I admit I've been reading the forum for advice for quite some time. I've kept community and semi-aggressive tropical fish for about 15 years. For the last three years, I've had a 90-gallon bow front. Until the center support bracket snapped off.

67197017_10219545452009814_7213190418769379328_n.jpg

This is actually the second time I've gone through this, but the first time I found a perfect match on Craigslist to replace the tank and was able to just transfer everything over in one day and continue on. This time, no such luck. Drained the tank before it exploded, rehomed all my fish, and let it sit there broken and sad for two months while I waffled about what to do next: Fix it somehow? Upgrade? Downgrade? Drop the hobby altogether??


Today, I took it out to the curb and brought home this 130-gallon monster instead!

67414129_10219546693840859_474296988003729408_o.jpg

It needs a bit of work before it's ready to fill:

- Repaint the stand and canopy (keeping it black)
- Paint the back of the tank
- Figure out if I can rig up my existing Fluval FX4 canister to the pre-cut holes in the bottom of the tank. (It came with a canister filter ready to rig up, but it looks pretty small and I just bought my FX4 like 6 months ago.) If not, I'll have to seal the holes and cut into the back of the stand to route the tubes the traditional way. Really hope I don't have to do that. I like the idea of making the filtration less conspicuous and keeping the tank nearly flush against the wall.
- Add a powerhead/wave maker to ensure adequate surface agitation
- Fit some glass or light diffuser to cover the open gap in the back of the canopy
- Swap out the fluorescent lighting for LED (sooner or later)

My husband really wants me to strip the caulk and reseal it, but I've never done that before and I'm worried I would be more likely to cause leaks than to prevent them from happening...


In addition to this tank, I'm fixing up a 47-gallon tank to put in my classroom. I'm going to paint the stand turquoise, add golden knobs, paint the back of the tank navy blue, and put in a good HOB filter.

IMG_20190512_112209.jpg



I want to keep fantail goldfish in both tanks. Probably 4-5 in the big tank and 2-3 in the classroom tank. (The classroom fish will need to come home for summer).

I definitely want live plants: Anubis and whatever else I can find at my LFS that can stand up to gold fish. Sand for substrate, but I am having a hard time deciding between black or white, or possibly even mixing them to make gray.

Thoughts/feedback are welcome
 

LynnwoodFishDad

Valued Member
Messages
303
Reaction score
187
Points
63
Experience
1 year
Welcome! I’m interested to see pictures once the tanks are up and running! I like black substrates personally. You may see if there is a local glass shop (windows) that can re-caulk it for you.

Are you thinking of running this with just the canister? I’ve never had a tank that large but I have seen several and they generally run the canister with 1 or 2 HOB’s or a set in filter as well. Just wondering.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3

Dray

Valued Member
Messages
62
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Experience
More than 10 years
...Are you thinking of running this with just the canister? I’ve never had a tank that large but I have seen several and they generally run the canister with 1 or 2 HOB’s or a set in filter as well. Just wondering.
I think I will run the Nu-Clear canister that came with the tank as a mechanical pre-filter and stuff the Fluval with as much biomedia as possible.
 

hanra85

Valued Member
Messages
221
Reaction score
149
Points
38
Experience
More than 10 years
Nice find, I was worried where this story was heading originally and now I'm truly a bit jealous... Been wanting a fancy goldfish setup for a long time (it's not right having to choose between a happy marriage and having more tanks). Anyways for plants, those guys are gonna constantly be digging through substrate unrooting and eating plants like it's their job so I'd just go with anubias and Java Fern on rocks and driftwood and pray it survives aha. Black sand looks amazing, but instead of choosing maybe white for the classroom and black for home or vice versa. Also for resealing, make sure it's 100% silicone, you don't want any mold resistance stuff in it. I use GE Silicone II on my tanks... I'm sure you'll need the larger ones, if you don't know how much to use and can't find some sort of calculator to estimate how much you're gonna need just buy way more than you think and return what you don't use, you can't let it set while you go out for more and try to pick up where you left off or you'll have leaks, there's a pic of the stuff I use below. If you're not comfortable doing it, someone who installs bathrooms and tub surrounds or stuff like nature that may do a good job of it...
 

Attachments

Benfreshwater

Valued Member
Messages
217
Reaction score
158
Points
58
Experience
Just started
Welcome, please keep us all up to date on your renovation of the tanks. Super jealous as I think that 130 gal will look incredible when complete! Bigger is definitely better!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6

Dray

Valued Member
Messages
62
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Experience
More than 10 years
Also for resealing, make sure it's 100% silicone, you don't want any mold resistance stuff in it. I use GE Silicone II on my tanks... I'm sure you'll need the larger ones, if you don't know how much to use and can't find some sort of calculator to estimate how much you're gonna need just buy way more than you think and return what you don't use, you can't let it set while you go out for more and try to pick up where you left off or you'll have leaks, there's a pic of the stuff I use below. If you're not comfortable doing it, someone who installs bathrooms and tub surrounds or stuff like nature that may do a good job of it...
Yep, that is the silicone I got.

I've recaulked sinks and trim in the past, so I know I can do it if I need to. The 47 wouldn't be so bad, but the 130 will be in PITA because it's so tall and so heavy (takes 2-3 guys to pull it off the stand).

We had contacted a couple aquarium guys in the area via Thumbtack--two of them were too busy and the other one basically said it sounded like the tank wouldn't be worth trying to fix up and should just be replaced. I had not thought about getting a more general handyman to come do it, though. I will definitely look into that!

Anyways for plants, those guys are gonna constantly be digging through substrate unrooting and eating plants like it's their job so I'd just go with anubias and Java Fern on rocks and driftwood and pray it survives aha. Black sand looks amazing, but instead of choosing maybe white for the classroom and black for home or vice versa.
Exactly what I was thinking: attaching anubias and java fern to rocks.

I LOVE the scaping that King of DIY did to his old goldfish tank and would love to replicate this look in both the 130 and the 47.
hqdefault.jpg
I live 10 minutes from the beach and have access to tons of rocks. Would just need to acid test and scrub/sanitize them well. A light layer of pool filter sand. Clean, simple, with plenty of swimming room.


So--progress update. I got both stands painted. (A little bit of touchup still needed on the 47.) Here's some before/after:

130 before and after paint.jpg
47 before and after paint.jpg

With the start of the school year rapidly approaching, I'm going to focus most of my attention on the 47. I need to get it done and moved into my classroom so I can set it up and start cycling. I'm going to paint the bottom white (so it blends in if the sand gets pushed up) and back dark blue to match my classroom colors. Last night I ordered a Matten Filter kit from Swiss Tropicals. I only recently discovered these and am super curious to try it out. I'm going to cut the foam in half and set it up in the two back corners. I'm going to hide the foam behind something like this:
maxresdefault.jpg

He cut up a bucket, which is a lot harder to get straight and even when you've only got a razor blade. I'll probably use leftover pieces of light diffuser painted with black Plasti Dip instead.

Do you think it would look weird having the back be two-tone like that? If so, I could get some blue Krylon infusion instead, but that means waiting an extra 7 days for it to cure before I can leak test and start cycling the tank. Or I could paint the back black, but then it wouldn't match my classroom colors as well... Thoughts?
 

hanra85

Valued Member
Messages
221
Reaction score
149
Points
38
Experience
More than 10 years
Yep, that is the silicone I got.

I've recaulked sinks and trim in the past, so I know I can do it if I need to. The 47 wouldn't be so bad, but the 130 will be in PITA because it's so tall and so heavy (takes 2-3 guys to pull it off the stand).

We had contacted a couple aquarium guys in the area via Thumbtack--two of them were too busy and the other one basically said it sounded like the tank wouldn't be worth trying to fix up and should just be replaced. I had not thought about getting a more general handyman to come do it, though. I will definitely look into that!



Exactly what I was thinking: attaching anubias and java fern to rocks.

I LOVE the scaping that King of DIY did to his old goldfish tank and would love to replicate this look in both the 130 and the 47.
View attachment 574238
I live 10 minutes from the beach and have access to tons of rocks. Would just need to acid test and scrub/sanitize them well. A light layer of pool filter sand. Clean, simple, with plenty of swimming room.


So--progress update. I got both stands painted. (A little bit of touchup still needed on the 47.) Here's some before/after:

View attachment 574249
View attachment 574251

With the start of the school year rapidly approaching, I'm going to focus most of my attention on the 47. I need to get it done and moved into my classroom so I can set it up and start cycling. I'm going to paint the bottom white (so it blends in if the sand gets pushed up) and back dark blue to match my classroom colors. Last night I ordered a Matten Filter kit from Swiss Tropicals. I only recently discovered these and am super curious to try it out. I'm going to cut the foam in half and set it up in the two back corners. I'm going to hide the foam behind something like this:
View attachment 574254

He cut up a bucket, which is a lot harder to get straight and even when you've only got a razor blade. I'll probably use leftover pieces of light diffuser painted with black Plasti Dip instead.

Do you think it would look weird having the back be two-tone like that? If so, I could get some blue Krylon infusion instead, but that means waiting an extra 7 days for it to cure before I can leak test and start cycling the tank. Or I could paint the back black, but then it wouldn't match my classroom colors as well... Thoughts?
I like the black backgrounds best personally, makes the plants and fish really stand out.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8

Dray

Valued Member
Messages
62
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Experience
More than 10 years
The 47-gallon is dead. I stupidly tried to lift it by myself. Sliced up my hands a bit, too.

IMG_20190802_141353.jpg

All that work to clean, reseal, paint... The custom filter with homemade corner weirs I was getting ready to install...

I thought maybe I could get a new piece of glass, but my aquarium guy says it won't hold unless the top frame comes off and gets replaced as well.

Petco is coincidentally having their $1/gallon sale, but my stand is too wide to support the standard 48x13 tanks.

So bummed.
 

LynnwoodFishDad

Valued Member
Messages
303
Reaction score
187
Points
63
Experience
1 year
So sorry! I did see at Petco that most of the larger or odd size tanks that weren’t on the $1/gallon sale were 50% off. Any chance one of those fits?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10

Dray

Valued Member
Messages
62
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Experience
More than 10 years
So sorry! I did see at Petco that most of the larger or odd size tanks that weren’t on the $1/gallon sale were 50% off. Any chance one of those fits?
I had the same thought. My stand is an odd ball size to fit a 48x16x16 tank. The standard 55-gallon is 48x13x21--so it wouldn't fit. I pulled out the broken glass and am offering both the tank and stand to other teachers on campus to use as a terrarium.

The good news is that I found a teacher grant that will reimburse up to $150 for classroom pet supplies. With that, I can purchase a new 40-gallon tank, stand, and glass canopy through the Petco sale. While it's a bit smaller overall, it should fit the weirs and Matten filters I made for the last tank and be adequate for 2-3 goldfish.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #11

Dray

Valued Member
Messages
62
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Experience
More than 10 years
Classroom fish tank dilemma solved! And at very little overall cost when I factor in the grant rebate.

I was able to keep my current stand by getting a 3/4" piece of MDF to put on top ($15 at Home Depot). I picked up a standard 55-gallon from Petco for $66. Oh, and win-win: my friend who helped me move in the new tank took the old broken tank home with her for her baby Russian tortoises.

Yesterday I painted the back and sides of the tank with 3 coats of Multi-Surface acrylic paint: (Took 3 tubes at $0.87 each)
Screen Shot 2019-08-08 at 11.14.04 PM.png

Today I installed my homemade weirs. They are made out of a sheet of plexiglass that I cut using a plexiglass cutter, drilled with a step drill bit (finally found a use for the drill press my husband gave me for Christmas a couple years ago!), then painted with black PlastiDip about a week ago. If I hadn't been in such a hurry and just picked up what was available in stores, I would have skipped that step by ordering a sheet of black acrylic from Amazon. Whatever.
IMG_20190808_124305.jpg

(Do you like how I MacGyvered up a jig with stuff I had laying around my classroom since I didn't have any clamps?)

The weirs are too short, but from a practical standpoint it doesn't really matter. The foam goes all the way to the top of the tank and is doing all the work--the weirs just need to hold them in place.

I will need to wait until Monday before filling the tank to give that silicone enough time to dry. In the meantime, I'll see if my friend will let me throw my filter foam into her tank over the weekend, then steal some of her dirty filter media to jumpstart the cycle.

The first day of school is Thursday and I'm really hoping to get one or two little fish in there by then!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12

Dray

Valued Member
Messages
62
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Experience
More than 10 years
Big update! I ended up deciding that the 130 needed too much work, sold it for about what I paid for it, and bought a 220-gallon acrylic tank instead. Fast forward about 7 weeks later--now it is scaped with pool filter sand, grape wood, beach rocks, and green foxtail. Now it is finished cycled and I added in 4 golden dojo loaches today.

I've got an order coming in on Tuesday from livekoiforsale.com with the following:
- Calico ryukin
- Tricolor ryukin
- Blue oranda
- Black and red oranda
- Panda oranda

I'm still in the market for a neat pleco (a gold nugget would be my first choice, but a leopard or a clown would be fine, too.) And I've left myself room to add some fantails as I come across some that I fall in love with.

Made the big change this morning:
IMG_20190922_122052.jpg


My new dojos (had to go to four different stores to find them):
IMG_20190922_180525.jpg


TA-DA!
IMG_20190922_185042.jpg


The classroom tank, on the other hand, was still cycling and now has been put completely on hold. They found some mold/water damage in the classroom (completely unrelated to the fish tank!) Sooo I've been temporarily relocated and will probably need to start over once the repairs are finished and I can move back in.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom