Woodsonfan's 40 Gallon Oranda Tank

woodsonfan

HI there. Figured I'd hop on board and share my build. I'm in the early stages of getting a 38 gallon, planted tank up and running. I purchased a used setup from Craigslist for about $100. It came with the tank, stand, LED light, glass cover, and a API Filstar canister filter (XP-L).

When I got everything home I checked everything out really good decided that I didn't want to use their filthy canister filter, so I purchased a new Eheim 2217 canister filter to use in place of the API.

I filled the tank with water to check for leaks and to give it a good cleaning (vinegar solution) and elbow grease. Left it sitting for a couple of days and didn't notice anything leaking so I siphoned the water out to move on to other things. It was then when I saw moisture under the silicone. I could run my finger along the silicone and it would move the trapped water up and down behind the seal. With help from peeps on here and some YouTube videos, I decided to strip the old silicone and replace it with a new seal. I'm still in process of taping off the tank, and then will be sealing with aquarium safe silicone. I'll let it cure, and in a week or so I'll fill it and check it for leaks.

The tank came with a standard pine stand. I don't love those stands, so I decided to paint it and distress it. Thanks Pinterest. I still need to put some sort of finish on it to protect it from getting a lil wet when doing maintenance. Something like Shellac. Any recommendations?

As I read more and more on here my stock list changes, but for now, here is what I'd like to keep.

10 false jullI corys
10 rummy nose tetras
1 bristlenose pleco

And here's where I need some assistance. Would like to one or two of the following combos, without overstocking or causing aggression in my tank. Is that possible

Pair or single Bolivian Ram

OR

Pair dwarf gouramis

OR

Another type of schooling fish. School of like 8-10

Thoughts on the above? I think the Rams and gouramis are what I'd like the most, but want to succeed, so looking for personal experiences.

Final thoughts. Not totally sure on my aquascape yet, but I'll be doing something with pool filter sand, and driftwood, and some rocks. Planning a fishless cycle, using pure ammonia from Ace. I'm in no hurry to get fish in here, so I'll patiently dose according to the advice on the stickies here until I'm cycled. Hit me up with questions, suggestions. Looking forward to getting to know you all.




EDIT:

My plans changed throughout the process. Read through to see how I got where I'm at today, with the goldfish, or hop to page 4-5 to see where the goldfish were added. Thanks for following along.
 

Kris23

Thanks for sharing! I'm still fairly new myself so I can't share much on stocking advice. But I can say that fishless cycle dosing ammonia is the way to go! I cycled my tank in 3 weeks with the help of a heater and air pump to get the cycle going. With patience on your side I'm sure this tank will be beautiful.
 

woodsonfan

Thanks Kris. Got the tank sealed last night. Hoping to test for leaks on Sunday or Monday.
 

flchamp89

Love the color of stand
 

Foushboy

That's dang decent for craigslist bro! Good catch.
 

woodsonfan

That's dang decent for craigslist bro! Good catch.

Thanks Foush! I was wondering if there any value to sell the used API Filstar Canister that I opted not to use. The tubing is pretty nasty, so I figured I'd need to get new tubes, and those weren't cheap, so decided to buy new. If there's value in the API canister, I'll sell it to buy some more toys for my tank!
 

corydoralover120

I'm getting Rams, so I'm a tad biased, but they're cool. I would look into Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus before getting those, plus females are hard to find. Another option is a pair of apistogrammas. They are sometimes a bit fussy about food though. They prefer it live. But if live food doesn't bother you, then they're really colourful, and they'll fit in nicely with your current stocking plans.
 

woodsonfan

I'm getting Rams, so I'm a tad biased, but they're cool. I would look into Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus before getting those, plus females are hard to find. Another option is a pair of apistogrammas. They are sometimes a bit fussy about food though. They prefer it live. But if live food doesn't bother you, then they're really colourful, and they'll fit in nicely with your current stocking plans.


Thanks for chiming in! Those apistogrammas look crazy cool! Not sure if I've seen them around town. Will need to keep an eye out. Thanks again!
 

lfabb

Nice find! Stand looks great!

Go with the rams. They're not nearly as difficult to keep if you keep up with your water maintenance and put them in a cycled tank. In the 38 you could most likely do a pair; they're incredibly fun fish with huge personalities. I have some German ram variants and they're amusing to watch and always come to greet me. I've fallen in love with them so much I'm setting up a 55 gallon dwarf ciclid tank.
 

woodsonfan

Just a small update, I felt my silicone had ample time to cure, so I have filled the tank and checking for leaks. Will let it sit for a few days, drain it, and then give it its final cleaning before placing it in the house and beginning my cycle. Should happen by next weekend. I got the sand and ammonia today from Ace. Will make time to wash the sand this weekend. Small steps, but moving forward.


 

ounderfla69

To seal it I would use a clear satin or flat polyurethane. I think satin would look the best.
 

woodsonfan

Thanks for the suggestions, all!

Starting to look at some plants. Really liking the look of some of these carpet plants. Question - are corys okay among them? Do carpet plants help or hinder their experience in the tank?
 

lfabb

Thanks for the suggestions, all!

Starting to look at some plants. Really liking the look of some of these carpet plants. Question - are corys okay among them? Do carpet plants help or hinder their experience in the tank?

Cory's do fine with the plants as they'll just roam over them. The problem is initially before the plants root the corys will sometimes uproot them. What kind of carpet plants are you looking at?
 

woodsonfan

Cory's do fine with the plants as they'll just roam over them. The problem is initially before the plants root the corys will sometimes uproot them. What kind of carpet plants are you looking at?

That's good to know. And I didn't have a specific carpet plant in mind. Please feel free to add a suggestion if there's something specific I should look into. The plants should have about a month in the tank before I add the corys. Not sure if that's sufficient to get a good root going.
 

lfabb

That's good to know. And I didn't have a specific carpet plant in mind. Please feel free to add a suggestion if there's something specific I should look into. The plants should have about a month in the tank before I add the corys. Not sure if that's sufficient to get a good root going.

Depends on the plant but you'll likely be okay. If you're going with co2 injection dwarf hair grass is popular. If you aren't then dwarf sag is a nice blade looking grass. The only thing about dwarf sag is it grows in density and won't run. However if you plant the plugs close together as it fills out it'll look like carpet. I've only ever grown those two personally but I know there's tons of other options.
 

woodsonfan

Tank reseal didn't go too well. I think I was a bit sloppy when scraping the old silicone off. Either way, the wife says I'm to buy a new tank, and it's to go in the basement, not the office like originally planned. We just moved into a beautiful new house about 3 months ago. I think she's concerned about the damage of a leaky/broken tank. We have 3 kids ages 6, 3, and 1, so there's a lot of running and jumping happening. I've decided to setup a 40 gallon breeder in the unfinished area of my basement. This is where I was planning on having my QT tank, but will now also house my main tank. Not ideal, but it'll have to do. I plan on taking advantage of the $1/gallon sale, and will do a DIY stand build. I'll keep everyone posted on my progress.
 

woodsonfan

Update: Picked up a 40 gallon breeder from Petco today. Such a great deal. Will build the stand this weekend. I'm having a new electrical outlet placed where I'm putting the tank in my basement. That's not happening until Thursday of next week. I'll have everything ready to roll right after the electrical work is done. Very excited!

One last question, I'm seeing conflicting opinions on insulation in between the tank and stand on trimmed tanks. I'd love to hear some thoughts on this.

Thanks!
 

ounderfla69

If your building a stand and its not 100% level your tank could crack when filled but putting some hard foam insulation between the tank and the stand should help.
 

woodsonfan

So I bought a 300w Eheim heater and it seems to be too long. Is there a remedy to this? Or do I need something smaller? 40 gallon breeder.
 

corydoralover120

If it's a fully submersible heater they can be put horizontally. Just check it's fully submersible, because some of the cable will end up underwater.
 

woodsonfan

Little progress. So I built the stand for the 40B, and tomorrow am getting electric run to where my aquarium will be.

Still need to finalize aquascape plan, wash sand and buy plants. Hopefully will start the fishless cycle around Sunday.

 

Varalidaine

It's so refreshing to see someone who has done so much of their own research. I love seeing each little step and all the thought you put behind this. Really excited to see the finished product!
 

hacksgirls

Everything is looking great! I just tore down my 45 to get my 125 cichlid and now I'm thinking about taking my 45 back in the house for another tank!! I'm not 100% certain yet but this thread is really making me want to!! Ugh!! Aquariums are a disease! Lol!!
 

woodsonfan

It's so refreshing to see someone who has done so much of their own research. I love seeing each little step and all the thought you put behind this. Really excited to see the finished product!

That's a great compliment. Thank you. I'm excited, but embracing the whole process and so it's not just about getting fish in there. I've been really fond of this site, and use it daily as a resource. Looking forward to the ride!
 

woodsonfan

Everything is looking great! I just tore down my 45 to get my 125 cichlid and now I'm thinking about taking my 45 back in the house for another tank!! I'm not 100% certain yet but this thread is really making me want to!! Ugh!! Aquariums are a disease! Lol!!

Thanks! I was at Monfort Aquarium today looking at plants! Would like to get those in place with the water level low, so I'm trying to finalize those plans! Fun fun fun! $$$
 

hacksgirls

I've been wanting to go there but haven't made it there yet. I go to all about pets in West Chester and aquatics and Exotics off Ronald Reagan Hwy. I like that store a lot! They have all kinds of different fish. I was just there Monday and came home with 4 new ones.
 

woodsonfan

I've been wanting to go there but haven't made it there yet. I go to all about pets in West Chester and aquatics and Exotics off Ronald Reagan Hwy. I like that store a lot! They have all kinds of different fish. I was just there Monday and came home with 4 new ones.

You have to go to Monfort! Haven't been to Aquatics and Exotics in a while. They have weird hours. However, they aren't too far from Monfort, so next time check them out!
 

hacksgirls

I plan on it soon. I think I've gotten everything that the other store doesn't have for the 2 I mentioned, so I gotta go somewhere else! Lol!!
 

hacksgirls

Hey woodsonfan guess where I went today?!
 

woodsonfan

Hey woodsonfan guess where I went today?!

I bet I know!!! What did you think? I hope you liked it.
 

hacksgirls

I did like it. Lots of variety. Fish I've heard of but haven't seen before. I will say that the tanks were a bit low in the middle isles which made viewing them not very practical.
 

woodsonfan

I did like it. Lots of variety. Fish I've heard of but haven't seen before. I will say that the tanks were a bit low in the middle isles which made viewing them not very practical.

Glad you liked it! I know what you mean about the tanks being set low. I really like their plant selection at Monfort. Still need to check out Aquatics and Exotics myself.
 

woodsonfan

hacksgirls on Wednesday, I've planned my work day around the same part of town as A&E. Looking forward to checking it out. Been years. Tomorrow I plan on heading down to the Little Miami River to look for some driftwood for my tank. Looking for branchlike pieces that I'll boil and soak until cleaned up. Also, I may snag some rocks if I see any beauties (aware of the vinegar test).

My wife is growing suspicious of my daily Amazon packages. I have to explain why I Need this, and I NEED that! Python came today!
 

hacksgirls

I have to go to A&E wed as well to donate a super aggressive fish unless all about pets will take it tomorrow. You'll love the python. I'm a girl and it was easy for me! Lol!! Usually I have to ask my husband for help with everything!
 

woodsonfan

After an unsuccessful trip to find my own driftwood, I ended up purchasing a nice piece from a LFS. I paid about $40 for the piece. I put it in a storage tote with boiling water, and let it sit in there until the temperature was just warm. The water was pretty dark from that initial soak. I drained the water, sprayed the wood down with the hose, and added fresh water to the tote and am soaking it more. So far, it looks like the initial boil took out a good bulk of the tannins. Water has a slight tea-like hue, but nothing like before. Will check and refill with fresh water in the morning.

 

hacksgirls

Really pretty!!!
 

woodsonfan

Really pretty!!!

Thank you! Picked it up at All About Pets. I'm still planning on A&E tomorrow to check it out.
 

woodsonfan

Any opinions out there on backgrounds or painting the backside of the tank to hide the wires? I'm planning a planted tank with pool filter sand substrate, would the fish get lost with a black background? How about a blue background? I've seen the many options of printed backgrounds and like some of the rock wall looking ones. Curious to how others feel about the backgrounds...
 

hacksgirls

Omg!! I was there today!! Lol!! We painted ours black with the plasti-dip. It turned out flawless and will peel off if we ever want to change it. We taped off around back edges and used a plastic drop cloth to cover the top open part of the tank so no paint would get in it. He sprayed 3 coats doing it nice and slow. You can get in different colors as well.

**Where are you getting your pool filter sand at? I'm thinking about setting my 45 back up and I'm not sure the pool store in s. Lebanon will have it now. Someone else said Menards
 

woodsonfan

Too funny that you were there today! Thanks for the tips on painting! I think that's the route I'm gonna go, just need to figure what would look best with the tan substrate, green plants and driftwood.

I picked up my pool filter sand at Ace Hardware, when I was getting my ammonia. I don't remember the price, but was super cheap! If all goes well with this setup, I'll have another tank in no time! You should definitely set your 45 back up!
 

hacksgirls

Here's mine. Pool filter sand and black background
 

woodsonfan

Here's mine. Pool filter sand and black background

That looks really good!
 

woodsonfan

Unfortunately, I fell behind my goal of starting my cycle today. However, I did finally unbox my Eheim 2217. I had a question for anyone who has owned one. When I removed the head of the unit, there was sand like grit on the seal and on the wall of the head. I bought this new from of Amazon, through Big Al's. Are these units tested? Is this common? Pictures attached.
 

ounderfla69

That was a return there shouldn't be any sand on that. I would return it and get a new one or have them refund them some of your money back.
 

woodsonfan

That was a return there shouldn't be any sand on that. I would return it and get a new one or have them refund them some of your money back.

Thank you for the advice. I actually wrote them an email stating that it seems like it may have been a return. I'll wait and see their reply. I agree with you. If they want to refund me X%, I may let it ride. However, I've taken a lot of precaution to make sure I do things correctly from the start, so I'm almost leaning on returning it and getting a new one. Ahhh, setbacks...
 

hacksgirls

Agree! The best thing about amazon is they are really good about making it right. I'm sorry you have to go through this. But if I bought new and paid new price, I'd expect new. Anyone would!
 

Kapitalfisht

I often hunt for used supplies, so I'm not always picky if I have to scrape clean any filters. However, if I'm buying new, you'll find me in Petsmart inspecting the contents of any box if it appears to have been already opened.

Very nice stand, too! I like that brushed/distressed look.
 

woodsonfan

I often hunt for used supplies, so I'm not always picky if I have to scrape clean any filters. However, if I'm buying new, you'll find me in Petsmart inspecting the contents of any box if it appears to have been already opened.

Very nice stand, too! I like that brushed/distressed look.

Thanks for the compliment on the stand! I actually am not using the distressed one as I was originally setting up a 38 gallon, but decided on a 40 breeder instead.

Regarding used equipment vs new - I feel the same. This canister was sold as brand new and everything in the packaging was sealed up and in place. I'm still waiting to hear from the seller to find out what their solution is. I've asked for a replacement to be overnighted to me at their expense, however, they've yet to acknowledge my issue so far.
 

Kapitalfisht

Oh, I noticed a photograph of you building one. You'll have to excuse me, for I found your thread while here at work, so I'm bouncing back and forth between reading Fishlore and work.

Good luck with resolving the issue with the company that sent you a sandy filter. Ugh.
 

woodsonfan

Filter saga continues...So the seller said the mess on the inside head and on the gasket was due to "dust" from the filter media. I disagree, so I've decided to return it to the seller, at their expense. I've currently got one on order from Marine Depot, and I'm hoping it arrives in better condition.

I've got plants being delivered on Thursday, so I guess I'm going to need to have water in the tank by then. I bought a 40 gallon sponge filter to run in my main tank, in parallel to the Eheim 2217. I'll use it to seed my QT tank when adding new fish. I'm planning on setting up the sponge until I get my Eheim, which said it would be 3-5 days. Moving forward and happy about it!
 

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