mystery (smell) tank

  1. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    image.jpg A friend from my old job heard that I was "into" fish, so as a going away gift he gave me an old tank that he just had sitting around. Swore up and down it was a 30G, but I can say with a fair amount of confidence that its just a 20. no big deal, thats awesome for me. free tank! I've finally got it into my apartment (it was hiding in my mom's barn) and.... it needs a lot of work. I think something used it as a toilet. Even without the smell, and the dirt, and the general... disuse, I don't think I want any of the equipment that came with it. The question then becomes, when I get it clean, what should I do with it? My first "want" is a soil tank, SE asia biotope, and a nice pair of wild bettas, I'm just not sure I have the time or the money for that. What does everyone else think?
  2. Teishokue Well Known Member Member

    What. I think you just answered that
  3. junebug Fishlore Legend Member

    Well I think you should do wild type bettas! Only thing is you'd never be able to fill it up all the way, as they much prefer a shallow waterline.

    A lot of them are super affordable, if you know where to look xD. What species were you thinking? Or complex, or however far you got into that question lol. The only thing I do in my wilds tanks is feed, I'm heavily planted enough and my lights are on timers. Never had a problem with them aside from the fish being jerks and jumping out through holes they couldn't possibly fit through.
  4. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    not in regards to the time/money thing. I was just saying that if I ultimately decide not to do wild betas, what a less expensive option might be (truth be told, I would probably just go with fancy guppies in that case. maybe cross an endler and a fancy guppy?)

    lol junebug, hadn't thought that far really. I would probably just dip my feet in the wilds with a mahachai or something like that. Are your wild tanks dirt or not? I was hoping to do a dirt tank at some point in my future and this seemed like a good opportunity.

    PS the heater looks like its straight out of the 70's. I really hope it works!
  5. Marie1 Well Known Member Member

    Vintage heater may make for fried fish ;)
  6. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    lol I'm totally aware, never fear. I will test sans fish first, or maybe on a snail or two.
  7. junebug Fishlore Legend Member

    I have a pair of b. rubra, toba lake strain in a DIY dirted tank. Working out really well, actually, even though it's a six gallon and they'd prefer a 10. (it's the bookshelf style though, so plenty of swimming room).

    If you want to do wilds, I'd check around on the IBC's SMP page and see what's available and how much they cost. A lot of people post up there about fish they'd like to rehome. Some even still do the SMP, where they give away sibling pairs for shipping cost. :)
  8. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

    Hi kevymd :;hi2

    I think a planted divided betta tank is a great idea :), good to see you back on
  9. junebug Fishlore Legend Member

    yeah, we missed you, kevy <3
  10. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    You guys are too sweet!! I missed you too.
    Riv, I already have planted and divided betta tank. while I love my pretty boys, I was looking for something a little different. Also I think this tank is just a smidgeon too tall for them. Which would be another hang up for me regarding wild bettas. I mean, I have this whole tank, and I'm not going to use it? But I'm not going to rush. I'm going to take my time, see what is out there. My LFS actually seems to get a lovely collection of fancy guppies.
  11. junebug Fishlore Legend Member

    how tall is the tank, kevy?
  12. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    17 in tall, 12 1/2 in deep, and 2 ft long.

    edit: did the math, its 20 gallons. and by "did the math" I mean "found a website to do the math".
  13. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    Ok did an initial wash and sort. Separated the tank from the bulk of the smell, and the stuff I'm throwing away. Here's what I'm keeping for now:

    Retro heater (provided it works and I get the feces off it)

    Air hose splinter of some kind?

    Tank and possibly keeping the under gravel filter. Not sure yet.

    Edit: OMG but that smell. My neighbors are going to hate me...
  14. junebug Fishlore Legend Member

    If you kept it at 12ish inches of water, it wouldn't be that bad for labyrinth fish, especially ones that don't have all that crazy finnage like fancy bettas. My rubra rarely go to the surface for air and could care less how deep the water in their tank is lol.
  15. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    Do you think they would be satisfied with just a little bubble filter? Or maybe one of those ultra small corner in-tank filters? I know that they would probably be happy with less flow. Oh god, I'm already visualizing the tank. The MTS is back stronger than ever.
  16. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    I was indulging in a little tank therapy last night and this morning (rough time at work.) and I realize that I already know what to use the tank for. I'm going to use it as an endler breeder. I'll get several dividers to keep the generations apart and start selectively breeding my endlers for certain genetic traits. I've got one male that has the start of some kind of point to his tail, and another that has a lot more underlying lavender than the others. I think I want to concentrate on that. and to that end I will be splitting the 20 G into 4 compartments, making a small bubble filter for each compartment, and also utilizing my 10 G when I finish fixing it. I'll be using the virgins from this motley generation that was just born, rather than the two females I already have. How does this course of action sound to everyone?
  17. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    alright. Gotten most of the dirt off (I think) and I've washed first with water and rubbing alcohol, and now I'm doing a second wash with water, vinegar, and soap.

    I just had a question to those who have washed a lot of tanks: there are some bubbles in the caulking, and the bubbles are rust colored. Should I consider ripping it all out and re-doing it? Or can I pop them like little zits? Will they be dangerous?

    interesting fact about the tank... the bottom piece of glass is tinted, dark gray. Very cool :)
  18. hollie1505 Well Known Member Member

    Make sure you don't get any soap on the inside :)
  19. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    I'm soaping everything. I mean EVERYTHING. This thing was so gross, full of feces and god knows what. I will be so thorough with the rinsing. Don't you worry.

    edit: the retro heater is a no-go. I soaked it and go ready to clean it and i ended up pouring a bunch of water out of the main heating coils. def. not safe.
  20. junebug Fishlore Legend Member

    Don't keep a power filter of any kind with wild bettas. They have very low bioloads and they WILL breed in your tank, the last thing you want is fry getting sucked all over the place. I wouldn't do the UG filter either, mostly because you don't want to be sticking your hands in a wilds tank more than necessary, and with UG filters you have to remove the substrate from the tank to clean them to prevent anaerobic bacteria. Get a sponge filter. You and your fish will be totally happy with that. They cost like 5 bucks a piece lol.

    One thing I didn't mention, if you're going to use miracle grow potting soil, mineralize it first. Mine has been bubbling lately and possibly releasing nasty gasses into the tank - another thing you don't want. I actually had awesome luck though with making my own 'soil' using sphagnum peat moss, aquarium sand, and flourite with some leaves and dirt collected outside my apartment. No issues with that so far and it's been up and running for months.