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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I have been a member at oscarfish since 2003. I have always browsed cichlid-forum but never joined. I am now doing a project (sump, drilling, top, lights, re-siliconing, etc) to my 135. My hope in joining is getting more information and quicker responses than at Ofish.

I got this 135 (72X18.25X24.5) gallon tank from craigslist. The guy had many different tanks (75s, 55s, 29s, 20s and this 135 he was selling). He said if I picked it up that night he would let it go for $100. It came with the tank and metal stand only, no lights or top. Below are pics from the night I got it...


The wife couldn't lift the 240lbs so it is still in the truck. Everything seems great but a few things concern me. As you can see there is no center brace in this thing. The glass is 5/8" thick! With the way that the top is, how can I make a lid? There is no brace and no lips, just the black trim on the top.


Here is a chip in the corner of the glass, it doesn't really concern me. That is the worst damage.


This is the trim. I pulled up on it showing that the silicone no longer is holding really well to the trim. Again, nothing really to worry about, right?


This concerns me, as you can see, some of the silicone appears to have a broken seal. Is this correct and do I need to address it?


Another pic of the broken silicone, it is like that in a few spots.


Here is the stand, I actually like the way it looks. It feels very sturdy. I am glad it is going in my basement on concrete though because it only has 4 legs, imagine the PSI when it is loaded!

I re-siliconed the trim that was coming off and it is very sturdy now. The bubbles on the inside seams concerned me so I trimmed it away and re-siliconed it with Perrenator. I did not mess with the structural part (where the two panes meet) because these areas looked great, no bubbles at all. Here are pics and descriptions of my silicone job...

I bought the Perrenator German silicone from a LFS for $14 a tube! I figure if it holds together it is worth it.

Home repair is a passion of mine and I use caulks, silicones, urethanes all the time. I have never used a silicone like Perrenator before (different from GE I). At first I could make a nice bead and smooth it out with the back of a spoon. I did the bottom first then move to the sides. When i was ready for the first side the bottom had set-up on the surface already. This made it extremely difficult to get a smooth bead. Most of the bottoms are wavy and bumpy. The smell was also way more extreme than other silicones I used, it stung my nose and creeped deep in my throat. It took me a whole tube to redo the inside seams. As you can see the sides look great, I laid the bottom on really thick.

It will be at least a week before I try putting water in it. I am going to drill it first since it is on the ground still.

I hope it holds ok!

Acetone in tank to show size comparison.






I am also going to be builing a sump and wet/dry trickle filter. I ordered a 3" diamond hole saw from Ebay, still waiting for it to arrive from Hong Kong. I also ordered anoth 250W Stealth heater, a Quiet One 4000 pump and a 2" bulkhead and screen from drsfostersmith.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... 53&catid=3
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... catid=4013

The method of overflow plumbing has had me thinking for weeks. Many designs were researched including herbie, durso, TFG, etc. I don't want to do an overflow box, that is why I am drilling, less intruisive.

Here is what I am thinking...

External Durso method. I am only going to use 1 pipe and hope it never gets clogged. I am using a screen and a pre-filter sponge so nothing will get down the pipe. The only way it would back up is if my pre-filter sponge gets so dirty it slows that water down vastly so I'll just have to rinse it often. Do you think this will be loud? How far in and down should I drill my 3" hole?



Some final comments,
I got a electronic ballast from work that can do F72T8 (1 or 2 bulbs) so I will be using that for my lighting.

Do you think I should use Styrofoam between the tank and stand. If so, what kind and where can I get it?

Finally, this tank has a mirrorred backround. I have never seen a tank full with it and don't know if it will look good or bad. My original plan was going to just paint the glass black. Any ideas/opinions? The mirror is a thin sheet, almost like paper and I don't know if I can even get it off.

Sorry for the long post and all the questions, I think I covered everything for now. Thanks!

Dan
 

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Did you remove the old silicone prior to sealing? If not, start over. Silicone doens't stick well to old silicone and that is a lot of water to risk ending up on your floor.

Further, the broken frame concerns me. Framers are what keeps your tanks whole... They aren't purely cosmetic.

I would buy brand new razor blades, and scrape out all of the inside silicone(don't need to disassemble the tank) and then clean with alcohol. Then use a fresh razor blade and repeat. Then clean with alcohol again.

After this, repeat the siliconing of the whole tank. GE I is what is used by tank manufacturers and what is used here. It is KNOWN to be fish safe.

It does seem the silicone you used may be safe, but GEI would allow you much more working time and thus you seal the whole tank then smooth. I Think it is very important to seal it all in one shot so that all seals are fresh to eachother.

The smell you are smelling is likely ammonia. Several sealants release ammonia while curing. It isn't cured fully untily there is absolutely no smell of ammonia. I strongly, strongly recomend you do as I suggest and reseal from the begining or you may be in for serious failure.
 

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Have you filled it yet? I'm in the same process as you right now (old 135 fixer upper without a center brace) and when I filled mine, it bowed in the middle about 1/2 inch. That's more than I'm comfortable with, and I'm going to add two glass braces in the middle to stabilize things. Just a thought.

Might be too late for this now, but what about doing two overflows instead of one? That way you don't have to "hope". You'll already have the hole saw, so why not? Makes plumbing 2% more difficult, but redundancy is worth it in the long run. Besides, if my understanding is correct, over flow noise comes from drains that are running at max capacity and that causes the gurgling noise. Two overflows might quiet things down. Someone with more experience can confirm/deny this.

I use thin styrofoam between my tanks and stands, but I also do DIY stands. I need the margin of error :thumb: I use stuff from home depot, comes in 4' x 2' pieces or something like that, about 1/2" thick.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
under_control said:
Did you remove the old silicone prior to sealing? If not, start over. Silicone doens't stick well to old silicone and that is a lot of water to risk ending up on your floor.

Further, the broken frame concerns me. Framers are what keeps your tanks whole... They aren't purely cosmetic.

I would buy brand new razor blades, and scrape out all of the inside silicone(don't need to disassemble the tank) and then clean with alcohol. Then use a fresh razor blade and repeat. Then clean with alcohol again.

After this, repeat the siliconing of the whole tank. GE I is what is used by tank manufacturers and what is used here. It is KNOWN to be fish safe.

It does seem the silicone you used may be safe, but GEI would allow you much more working time and thus you seal the whole tank then smooth. I Think it is very important to seal it all in one shot so that all seals are fresh to eachother.

The smell you are smelling is likely ammonia. Several sealants release ammonia while curing. It isn't cured fully untily there is absolutely no smell of ammonia. I strongly, strongly recomend you do as I suggest and reseal from the begining or you may be in for serious failure.
I did remove the old silicone with a brand new razor blade. I then cleaned the glass with acetone and put in all new silicone. Perrenator is a German silicone made for aquariums, it is sold at various fish stores, it is supposed to have better elastisity (sp?) than GE I.

Have you filled it yet? I'm in the same process as you right now (old 135 fixer upper without a center brace) and when I filled mine, it bowed in the middle about 1/2 inch. That's more than I'm comfortable with, and I'm going to add two glass braces in the middle to stabilize things. Just a thought.

Might be too late for this now, but what about doing two overflows instead of one? That way you don't have to "hope". You'll already have the hole saw, so why not? Makes plumbing 2% more difficult, but redundancy is worth it in the long run. Besides, if my understanding is correct, over flow noise comes from drains that are running at max capacity and that causes the gurgling noise. Two overflows might quiet things down. Someone with more experience can confirm/deny this.

I use thin styrofoam between my tanks and stands, but I also do DIY stands. I need the margin of error I use stuff from home depot, comes in 4' x 2' pieces or something like that, about 1/2" thick.

Good luck.
I have not filled it yet, I am letting it cure for at least 7 days (did it last Tuesday night).

Bowing 1/2" seems like a lot, what thickness is the glass? Let me know how the center brace addition goes, I was thinking about doing it too but since my glass is 5/8" thick I did not think it would be needed.

I only want 1 hole for various reasons...
1 less hole to drill and less likely to have a broken tank
Looks better and cleaner
Less complicated and quicker

I know it is a risk but I personally have never heard of anyones tank blocking in the intake (except for one guy who shoved floss down there to quieten it :) )

Is the sytofoam you use just the pink stuff to use as insulation?
 

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I have a 135 w/o the center brace. It doesn't bow at all. The center brace question comes up alot and I think the best answer is if the tank was designed to have a center brace and it was broken or removed thats a problem, but if it was designed to not need it, then you don't need it.
 

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tannable75 said:
I have a 135 w/o the center brace. It doesn't bow at all. The center brace question comes up alot and I think the best answer is if the tank was designed to have a center brace and it was broken or removed thats a problem, but if it was designed to not need it, then you don't need it.
That was my line of thinking until I filled my 135. The top trim was in place, but not siliconed. Maybe that had something to do with it. Whatever the case, 1/2" of bow in the glass was enough to make me uncomfortable. Maybe it's ok. I think my glass is 1/2" thick BTW.

To the OP, I won't be putting the center brace in for a month or two. I need to finish my "replace all the windows and siding on my house" project that I'm eyebrows deep in right now first... :dancing: Once I put it in, I'll update my 135 fixer upper thread that's buried somewhere in DIY-land.

Good luck.
 

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I can say that I'm wishing my tanks had dual overflows now. Or at least a larger one. My overflow on the 75 is 3/4 pvc and I can't run the rio 2500 without a constant toilet noise. I ended up getting a rio 1100 which is not the flow I wanted but it works. If you are going to hide one standpipe then hiding 2 shouldn't be a problem. Or just one that is larger, but having a backup is always better then relying on a single.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am not doing an internal standpipe. Look at the diagram in post 1, it is an external Durso. It is going to be 2" which is PLENTY for a Quiet One 4000.

How far down and over should I drill?

Roughly how big of a hole should I dill in the cap?

What about the mirrorred backround?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Let me know what you think. I got my bulkhead and the bulkhead screen. It has fine slots for water to flow in, I really don't think anything will be able to get stuck in it. My return will be above the water so I don't need to worry about it back syphoning if power fails.

Still wondering about the drilling location too.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I successfully drilled and plumbed for my overflow. The bulkhead leaks though and I cannot find why! It is from drsfostersmith.com and has a rubber gasket. I filled it once and it leaks, unscrewed the bulkhead and cleaned the gasket and tried again...leak! It is a very slow drip every few seconds. Any ideas? I was thinking about Vaseline or Crisco but would that be a permenant fix? I don't want to be out of town and have the thing start to drip a year or two down the road. The PVC is glued so I cannot get the bulkhead all the way out unless I cut it. I did not have a wrench big enough for the bulkhead nut so I did it by hand and then used a strap wrench.

I am going to put a gate valve in my overflow pipe but I could not find a 2" PVC gate valve anywhere!

Also, a few bubbles appeared in the silicone once the tank was full. They were not that big though and after a day they didn't get any larger (pic 3)





 
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