Journal: Restoring a 15 year old 55 gallon tank

MaddieLynn

Member
Remember ? The one I ?

Yeah. I figured out why it was free.

Besides the usual (filter, heater, tank. stand, etc.) I have inherited the following:

157,000 Malaysian Trumpet Snails
An... ahem... interesting, and different, resealing job
157,000 Malaysian Trumpet Snails
A generous quantity of rust
An equal quantity of dirt & algae
157,000 Malaysian Trumpet Snails
Several large shells and a "No Fishing" sign
And did I mention the 157,000 Malaysian Trumpet Snails?

Apparently, someone had attempted to reseal the tank before, and they used a VERY generous ammount of silicone.

On the outside of the tank.

P.S. What do I do about the snails? I SURE don't want them in my tank, and it's illegal to release them... and I don't want to squish them...
 

SIRHC

Member
My god I feel for you, I remember years ago my family tank was overtaken by snails, lucky we brother had a friend that wanted a lot of them, but sadly we ended up killing a lot of them, nowhere to put them and they were multiplying like crazy
 

Shawnie

Member
put a piece of lettuce in the tank and capture them...maybe your LFS wants them...explain they are great food for some fish...
 

Angela_96

Member
The resealing job could have been me... u should see my 10 gallon right now where I thought it was leaking lol..

See a snail...... puffer eat the snail???
Id get a few fish that liked to eat snails....
And post pics..
 

bettafish2816

Member
sell them on aquabid or on here, i'm sure you'd get plenty of people that want some.

as far as the tank, i'd put it outside and fill it with the bleach/water mixture for at least 24 hours, 48 if you don't mind waiting. you'll probably be doing lots of scrubbing, so i'd invest in an algae scraper if you don't have one.
 

≈ D ≈

Member
Got any pictures? Especially of the MTSnails and the 'bad' resealing job.

As agabr123 said, there are plenty of people that want Malaysian Trumpet Snails (myself included in the near future ) because of the benefit they bring to any freshwater tank's substrate. Most sellers just ask the buyer to pay for shipping costs btw.

As for resealing the tank, get off as much of the old sealant - best with razor blades and/or a caulk removal tool. Clean out the tank; best done outside (I use CLR and a nonscratch pad then rinse off very well with a garden hose).

Reseal the leaking area with new silicone and use a glove over your fingers when pressing in the silicone or a caulking tool. Let it cure for about 5 days outside (make sure it doesn't get wet). Then a quick refill to test and you should be good to go if there are no leaks.
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
Ok... PICTURES!!!!

The tank in the condition we brought it home in:



The overly-siliconed outside corner after I worked on it a little:



The snails:





Yes. Those are all snails.

You may say "Eeeewwww" now.

The algae:



The tank after I stripped the silicone and scrubbed it:



The corner with generous silicone on the outside AFTER my brother got at it with his pocket knife. Still a ways to go, but at least it's way better. And at least it won't keep me from re-sealing the inside. It actually doesn't interfere with the tank at all.

It's just ugly.



 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
The stand:



Oh joy.



My new rust collection.



It's... er.... an antique. Yeah, that's it, an antique! Maybe I can sell it to a collector for $700 and buy a 200 gallon tank off of Craigslist PLUS get a wooden stand for the 55 gallon!

Or else get it sand blasted and paint it with Rustolium.

Here is where most of the snails are now:



I salvaged as many as I could. The rest perished in The Great Purging Of The Tank.

OK... here is a short story of what's happened:

Before:



After:



Before:



After:



Before:



After:

 

Amanda

Member
YEah....those snails just sitting in the tank...kind of nasty.
I have hundreds if MTS, but you would never guess that.
 

bettafish2816

Member
wow you weren't kidding about the snails!!!!!!
 

≈ D ≈

Member
Looks like you are doing good with the silicone problem too By chance, have you used a glass scraper on it? I find they help a bunch as long as you change the blade often. Once you get to the 'haze' of silicone that you can't seem to get off, use acetone (carefully and adhering to all safety recommendations) and that will make it look like it was never there

As for the stand, well if it were me, I'd get rid of it and just build a 2x4 wooden one; considering the antiquity and condition of it - but that's your call ;D

Regarding the snails in the blue tote, are they definitely MTS ??? I only ask as I couldn't make them out that well in the picture ops:

If they are, what are you going to do with them (those that are still alive that is > )
 

navyscuba

Member
OMG and I thought my 55 had silicone and more stuff to seal it when I got it. Good Luck.
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
Yes, they're MTS. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them... I've been sort f trying to sell them, but it's not going well. I could always get more puffers though!
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
Hmmm.... I tried the acetone thing (fingernail polish remover) and it didn't seem to work... any more suggestions to get silicone residue off?
 

navyscuba

Member
The only thing I use to take silicone off is a razor blade. Is going to take some time but it will take it off.
 

Amanda

Member
Are you sure the nail polish remover actually has acetone in it? Many are made minus the acetone since it's a poison.
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
It listed acetone in the ingredients.
 

Amanda

Member
You can buy pure acetone, that would probably work better. Not watered down with perfumes & dyes.
 

≈ D ≈

Member
Pure acetone is what you need - available in the paint section of Walmart, Ace Hardware, Lowes & Home Depot. Get the small can.

You have to get off as much as you can though with a razor blade or glass scraper (makes things a bit easier); the acetone will remove the really really thin layer that the blade cannot.
 

TedsTank

Member
Does anyone here know where I might be able to get 157,000 snails?...lol

you could tickle them to death....they hate it....use a feather.
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
OK... I'm going to (try to) reseal it today. I'll try to give updates!
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
Ugghhhhh! I spent forever making sure all of the dust & stuff was out, and taping it, etc. I got covered in silicone trying to reseal it. After I finally got everything done, I went and tried to pull up the tape that I had around the seams, like all of the tutorials said to, and IT PULLED UP MY NEW SILICONE!!!!!!!! I'm pretty sure that ruined it.... Now I'm going to have to do it all over...
 

≈ D ≈

Member
Don't bother with the tape. All you need is the silicone, a steady hand for a nice bead and a few plastic spoons to 'push' the silicone in with. You'll get a much better seal this way that will last longer than ones that are done with tape.
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
Wow - this is so weird! After the tape started pulling up my silicone, I quit taking off the tape. This morning, I went and took the rest of it off. It didn't pull up my silicone and it wasn't siliconed to the glass like the tutorials said it would be, either! I wish I had just forgotten about ot last night!
 

Aquarist

Member
There is a tool that is used when you place caulking around a tub or sink. I'm sorry I can't think of the name of it but maybe someone will by the description. It's a small square piece and at each corner it has a different type of or size of edge. It's used to go over the bead of caulk pushing it into the crack. It gives a really smooth, clean looking seal. I think it would work great for resealing a tank with aquarium safe silicone. Good luck. You've already come along way. Hang in there!
 

Fishies-for-me

Member
TedsTank said:
Does anyone here know where I might be able to get 157,000 snails?...lol

you could tickle them to death....they hate it....use a feather.
Well I could give you about 150,000 of them ...the rest you would have to look elsewears...lol I added two microscopic ones to a 29 gallon tank one time and when that tank was overrun I looked at my 36 gallon bowfront and thought gee a few would be nice in there...DOH!!! Now I have about 75,ooo in each tank...come get em...lol.

Make sure when you silicone that the glass is super squeaky clean...or the silicone will not stick well.
 

≈ D ≈

Member
aquarist48 said:
There is a tool that is used when you place caulking around a tub or sink. I'm sorry I can't think of the name of it but maybe someone will by the description. It's a small square piece and at each corner it has a different type of or size of edge. It's used to go over the bead of caulk pushing it into the crack. It gives a really smooth, clean looking seal. I think it would work great for resealing a tank with aquarium safe silicone. Good luck. You've already come along way. Hang in there!
I believe aquarist is talking about the Pro Caulk tool

The are other 'versions' available also but a plastic spoon (teaspoon for smaller beads and tablespoon for larger beads) works just as good and you can get a few of them from your local dollar store for a lot less than that 'tool'. With each bead you smooth over, just switch to a clean spoon and chuck the used one.

I have always done tanks this way - bar one - and they were still holding water after 7 years before I sold them. The one that did leak was a 20gL that I did using the tape method. That lasted just under 2 years before it sprung water. It is still sitting outside waiting for my attention
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
Update:

I re-resealed the 3-4 seams that the tape pulled up and let it cure for 3 days. Then I hauled it out of the garage and filled it with water and let it sit overnight. When I checked on it this morning, it appeared to have a leak of some type, but an extremely, extremely small one. As in there was no running water or even drips. The concrete underneath the tank was damp, though, and I don't want to take any chances with it leaking all over creation when I bring it in. I pulled the silicone off of one top corner that looked like a good suspect and put new on, and I also stripped and re-siliconed the tank on the outside where the black trimming on the bottom meets the glass. I know, I know! I'm not supposed to do it on the outside, but it had been done that way when I got it AND there is no way I'm strippinf the whole tank and re-doing it AGAIN!!!
 

Fishies-for-me

Member
Are you sure it wasn't just condensation that had ran down the glass and onto the concrete??
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
I don't think so - the oustide of the glass wasn't wet.
 

Fishies-for-me

Member
The thing is that you let it sit overnight...the condensation may of dried on the tank where there is good air flow and what ran down would of soaked into the concrete leaving the wet spot...but anyhow good luck with the next test run...lol
 

≈ D ≈

Member
Any further news on the tank?
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
I've resealed the leaky side for - what is this - the 4th time? This afternoon it will have been curing for 48 hours. I'm going to let it go for 72 hours total before I test it again.
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
OK, bad news and good news.

First, the bad. The tank leaked.

Now, the good. I completely stripped and resealed it again. It's been holding water for close to 12 hours now with no leaks!
 

navyscuba

Member
yay.
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's now been about 23 hours and there are still no leaks! FINALLY!!!
 

navyscuba

Member
Make sure you carry the tank with 2 people. I did carry one by myself after it has been about 4 weeks holding water and I set it up to cycle and the same night about 3am I had about 25 gals of water in the carpet in the livingroom. Had to move the fish into a plastic container for another week and re-seal the tank in place and let it sit for another week. finally got fix with no leaks.
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
Big news:

I finally have everything set up! Pictures will hopefully come soon!

Also, I have not one, but 2 goldfish in it! We went to a birthday party and I noticed a black moor in a small tank. I asked them, "How old is your goldfish?" and they said, "I don't know. Do you want him? We don't really take care of him."

He/she has a deformed tail and can't swim very well. It's also very skinny and gets soooo exciteds when I feed them. Any name suggestions? I noticed it's not totally black but rather a chocolatey color, so I was thinking something like Dove or Hershey.
 

≈ D ≈

Member
I'm happy for you that it is now all set up, well done.
 

Aquarist

Member
Will be looking forward to pictures
 
  • Thread Starter

MaddieLynn

Member
Ta da!!!
 

navyscuba

Member
Bravo. Bellissimo. hahaha.
 

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