Aquarium Setup • My 40g build

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My 40g build

Postby Jayse » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:36 am

This is actually 1 of 2 builds I am starting. This one is for a 40g tall or show tank. Measurements are 30"x 24"x 13". This tank was previously a tropical fish tank with all the (I dare say) colorful fake plants that my kids chose. The tank has been torn down now for a few months as the canopy was falling apart from interior water damage. The stand itself looked old as well. For this tank, I'm thinking along the lines of smaller cichlids, I'm not too sure on what yet. I like color or odd patterns like the spots from Calvus or the juvenile spotting on some Tropheus. I'm not that much into Mbuna. so if that helps anyone with suggestions fire away. I will say that My substrate is already picked out. It is CaribSea black/grey cichlid substrate. And I have several holey rock pieces to go in. Here is a pic of the tank which happens to have some styrofoam in it as I was going to make a DIY concrete background, but have decided against it for the 40.


Image
Sm tank by jayse2011, on Flickr


Also here is the link to my other large build http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... p?t=242440

Thanks for looking and stay tuned.....
Jayse
 
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:12 am
Location: Florida

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Postby ridley25 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:07 am

Here's the conservative answer: your tank's footprint means (for cichlids) it needs to be treated as a 15 gallon.

Here is the 10g cookie-cutter:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/c ... er_10g.php

You can also consider some 20g suggestions if they mix shell dwellers with open water swimmers - a Tanganyikan tank:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/c ... er_20g.php

kevin

P.S. I will no check out your other thread (if I haven't already!)
Malawi 125g: Labeotropheus fuelleborni, Labidochromis sp. "Hongi SRT," Metriaclima sp. "Msobo," Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei," Pseudotropheus sp. "Williamsi North," Syndodontis njassae
Tanganyika 15g: 'Lamprologus' multifasciatus species tank
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Postby Jayse » Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:46 am

Okay, I've had to put off work on the builds to tend to other things in life, but started some work on my 40g build today.

A little background on this aquarium. A friend was getting rid of it, he wasn't happy with the footprint of it and I can understand why now. I used it for a tropical community tank for a short period, but have since fallen for African cichlids. The aquarium has been torn down for several months now as I was going to try different ideas with it. The aquarium came with most everything that a tropical aquarium would have, ie. very bright, non-natural looking plants, large gravel :o It also came with a stand and canopy that looked somewhat dated. My friend had actually cut holes into the sides of the canopy to accomodate a new light he purchased that attached to the side rim of the tank. Additionally there was much water damage inside the canopy from water splashing from the HOB filter. The cutouts he made, I'm sure just amplified this problem.

Today I started working on the stand. I have decided to keep it as it will serve it's purpose and also free up my hard earned cash for my bigger build once I finish this one. Just a couple of before and after pics of todays work. And of course a couple pics of the canopy I'm tossing to show what kind of damage you can get if you don't seal the inside of your canopy.

Image
40 top1 by jayse2011, on Flickr

Image
40 top 2 by jayse2011, on Flickr

Here's the stand before...

Image
40g 1 by jayse2011, on Flickr

And after a bunch of sanding. You can see some darker lines running across the stand in the middle. That was some type of interference from the flourescent light ballast and my cell phone camera. There is a dark thin line to the top and to the bottom of stand running horizontally. My guess is it is old stain that got between the two layers of wood that is not sandable. Additionally the old brass hinges left dark etched marks in the wood, that I will have to put wood filler over as they weren't coming out with sanding. I will be using a Red Mahogany stain that is pretty dark so the previous stain lines shouldn't be a problem.

Image
40g 2 by jayse2011, on Flickr

More to come soon. I know it's not a big build, but it will give me some practice on some other things for my large build. Thanks for following if you are.

PS- Kevin, I know it's been awhile... thanks for the suggestion on those fish. I will keep those in mind.
112g- Dry and empty
55g - Currently setting up
40g - Yellow Tail Acei
10g - Hospital tank
Jayse
 
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:12 am
Location: Florida

Postby DanniGirl » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:06 am

It's a great beginning so far. I can see what you mean by the canopy, it's in rough condition. I assume you're going to fashion another one, correct?

The stand actually looks pretty good. You won't even see the stains after you coat it with the Red Mahogany. Do you have a brand of stain in mind?
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Postby Jayse » Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:40 pm

DanniGirl wrote:It's a great beginning so far. I can see what you mean by the canopy, it's in rough condition. I assume you're going to fashion another one, correct?

The stand actually looks pretty good. You won't even see the stains after you coat it with the Red Mahogany. Do you have a brand of stain in mind?


Thanks! Yeah "rough condition" is an understatement for the canopy. Yes, I sent the canopy to the fire pit to end its days. No possible way I could have used it even if I wanted. The plywood sheets were seperating from themselves inside from the water damage, not to mention the BIG, ugly cut outs he made in the sides. I guess that really shows that beauty is in the eye of the beholder as far as aquariums go... then again he DID give it to me versus sell it, lol. I'm using Minwax brand stain and a satin finish polyurethane.
112g- Dry and empty
55g - Currently setting up
40g - Yellow Tail Acei
10g - Hospital tank
Jayse
 
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:12 am
Location: Florida

Postby Jayse » Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:40 pm

Sorry it's been awhile everybody. I do have some new pics to post up later today. But have a question. On close inspection of the tank, the silicone seals have an algae growth that had gotten in (i believe) under the seals. I did alot of washing with water/ vinegar solution, so I'm sure i washed everything off and this is underneath the silicone. Also as you can see in the pic, the algae and what looks like bubbles under the sillicone are working towards the seam. This is all over the tank, some without the algae, but none have reached the seam yet. In a couple of spots the silicone will flip up at the outer edge if rubbed over by hand and in one spot had broken a piece off... I'm assuming it has become brittle over time. I've had it in a shed/ workshop for 6 months that stays relatively a cool temperature for Florida. Sorry for the pic quality, I had to put an envelope behind it to get a decent pic, but this is as detailed and clear as I can get.

So with all of that info... Is the general consensus that I should replace the silicone seals? I do have all the needed equipment available right now, but if you guys think it's fine, I'd rather not waste the time and effort and continue on.

Image
seal by jayse2011, on Flickr
112g- Dry and empty
55g - Currently setting up
40g - Yellow Tail Acei
10g - Hospital tank
Jayse
 
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:12 am
Location: Florida

Postby Jayse » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:34 pm

Well 45 views later and no response to my seal question... I guess I'm just gonna pull em since this is holding up progress.
112g- Dry and empty
55g - Currently setting up
40g - Yellow Tail Acei
10g - Hospital tank
Jayse
 
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:12 am
Location: Florida

Postby Woodworm » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:00 pm

It could go ether way on that question, but I would. I reseal any tank that I have any question about the silicone for my own peace of mind.
Woodworm
 
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX

Postby Jayse » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:29 am

As usual stuff comes up when you want to do some "fun" work! Anyhow I decided to pull my silicone seals on the tank. I'm glad I did. While pushing the razor blade in to loosen em up, some were already loose and the blade just sunk right in! I have come to the conclusion that this aquarium IS more than likely from the 80's... maybe earlier. There was junk up under the seals like sand or gravel particles.

This was my first time doing something like this but I found it to be easy, minus having to reach all the way down with the top of the tank jabbing me in the armpit while trying to get the bottom seals. She's all cleaned up ready for sealing her back up which should be a snap.

Image
40 seals by jayse2011, on Flickr

I did find that it is much easier to use a wide window scraper, along with a regular sized one to get the corners and touch ups. I also used a flat head screwdriver with about a quarter inch wide head. Once the seals were gone under with the blade, I used the screwdriver at a slight angle and pushed the length of the seal. This made the seal come up mainly in one piece for the most part without picking at it or worrying about what a blade might scratch. The screwdriver left no scratches either.

I am a bit concerned about a couple other things though. While pulling the seals, I came across this area. It's about an inch and half below the rim. As I mentioned at start of this, I have used this tank for a bit, and it was fine, no leaks. I've read on another site about putting silicone in a syringe and injecting it into bubbles in the seams, and it supposedly works. Again this is only a small spot up top. I have no knowledge about totally taking a tank apart to do the seams, and don't believe I am confident enough to get it back together and stay together. Chime in on this please.

Image
40 bubble seam by jayse2011, on Flickr

And also this issue. I added some comments in another person"s thread regarding stains. It's more like a haze over the glass, inside. It had already been cleaned with vinegar/ water solution, windex (I know) in a small spot, CLR in a small spot, razors... and it still remains. I can't recall seeing it when it was filled, but if it is this hazy without water, I wonder if it makes my view of it filled not as crystal clear.

Image
40 hazy by jayse2011, on Flickr

Anyhow, I appreciate your views and comments. I know it's not a big awesome tank, but will still look nice when I'm done with her. The big one is next. This is my guinea pig. More updates in a day or two.
112g- Dry and empty
55g - Currently setting up
40g - Yellow Tail Acei
10g - Hospital tank
Jayse
 
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:12 am
Location: Florida

Re: My 40g build

Postby Jayse » Sun May 06, 2012 11:31 pm

Back with an update on my project and a couple of pics. I had originally thought I was done scraping the silicone. I can tell you that if you ever try doing this particilar job, when you theink you're done scraping all the silicone residue off, go ahead and scrape it one more time, or two, or three.... you will definitely find more. I also figured I could manage without a vaccuum and I'd just grab the pieces out by hand.... NOPE! A vaccuum is absolutely needed. I also had to pick up the stand and set it on its side to get "inside" it to tape off. I was extremely worried that the glass panes would seperate since there was no inner seal holding them, just the little between the panes.

Image
taped off by jayse2011, on Flickr

That was a lot of effort getting those positioned right for one person!!!

The aquarium has been siliconed and is curing at the moment. My next step will be a leak test (crossing my fingers, I'd hate to have to do all that again). After the leak test I'll be using Barkeeper's Friend to remove all the hard water buildup that won't come off any other way. If it turns out good, I'll provide an after pic to compare with one up above. After that, I'll be painting the back glass, and especially the trim so it will better go with the stand and canopy.

Speaking of that.... I will leave this update with a teaser pic of the possibly finished stand. I say possibly because I'm near done with the canopy, but will be adding trim work to it and am not sure if I should add the same trim work to the stand or not. So here is the cleaned, and updated view of the stand. It's a red mahogany finish with brushed nickle hinges.

Image
40 new stand by jayse2011, on Flickr

Until my next update..............
112g- Dry and empty
55g - Currently setting up
40g - Yellow Tail Acei
10g - Hospital tank
Jayse
 
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:12 am
Location: Florida

Re: My 40g build

Postby DanniGirl » Sun May 06, 2012 11:49 pm

The stand turned out great! :thumb:
I'm sure you did a stellar job on the seals as well. That's never a fun project to tackle.
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:24 pm
Location: Flagstaff, AZ

Re: My 40g build

Postby Jayse » Mon May 07, 2012 12:39 pm

DanniGirl wrote:The stand turned out great! :thumb:
I'm sure you did a stellar job on the seals as well. That's never a fun project to tackle.


Thank you!! The coloring of the stain turned out better than I thought it would. I've put my big tank on hold till I finish this one up, but I'm positive I'll do it the same color. Should be all done this weekend.

I'm still at a loss as to what I want to put in it. Would love two species that I can breed in it. A calvus and something else..... Or yellow lab along with another species. Feel free to chime in anybody with suggestions so I can check out the fish to see what they look like.
112g- Dry and empty
55g - Currently setting up
40g - Yellow Tail Acei
10g - Hospital tank
Jayse
 
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:12 am
Location: Florida

Re: My 40g build

Postby Mjonesy88 » Mon May 07, 2012 11:52 pm

Looking good. it's nice to see your progress. thank you for sharing...
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:52 pm
Location: New Britain, Connecticut

Re: My 40g build

Postby Jayse » Sun May 13, 2012 8:08 pm

Mjonesy88 wrote:Looking good. it's nice to see your progress. thank you for sharing...


Thanks MJonesy88. Been putting a lot of work into this smaller old tank.... glad to share, maybe I can inspire others that have some smaller tanks, that those can look just as good as some of the big ones.
112g- Dry and empty
55g - Currently setting up
40g - Yellow Tail Acei
10g - Hospital tank
Jayse
 
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:12 am
Location: Florida

Re: My 40g build

Postby Jayse » Sun May 13, 2012 8:25 pm

Here's another update.... I leak tested the tank for 3 days... not one leak!! So glad on that! Now I'm confident that I can buy a leaking tank off of craigslist and get a great deal with a little work of my own.

After the leak test, I taped off the tank and spray painted the back glass as well as the wood colored trim so it would go better with my stand. Unfortunately I didn't get a pic... No joke, just as I finished the last piece of spraying and ran out of paint at the same time, it started to rain... so I had to manhandle this tank and get it under cover without smearing the paint. It took exactly one can of paint (nothing left in it!), I used Krylon fusion indoor/outdoor flat black.

At the moment I am washing my substrate and my holey rock pieces, which will be put in tonight. I know that most love seeing pics as much as I do, so here are a couple to hold people over. The canopy is not finished. I had to scrap the lid after it got damaged. The canopy is on though as well as my Hagen GLO light with a 50/50 bulb... I totally forgot how many scratches this thing has on the front and back glass....uggh. The perfectionist side in me makes me wish I bought some cerium oxide to buff out the scratches. Oh well at least I know they can't be seen when it's filled with water.

Image
new 402 by jayse2011, on Flickr

Image
new 40 by jayse2011, on Flickr
112g- Dry and empty
55g - Currently setting up
40g - Yellow Tail Acei
10g - Hospital tank
Jayse
 
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:12 am
Location: Florida

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