It has been a long time since I have posted on the forum. In the past I have had 10 and 20 gallon tanks. Recently, my grandfather gave me his 125 gallon tank. I remember looking at his aquarium when I was a little boy and marveling at his fish. It had been sitting in his basement for the past 20 years. I inherited an acrylic Crystal Plus with stand and a homemade hood of wood. I gave the stand a fresh new coat of black paint, and refurbished the guts in the hood, as well as painting it to match. After sterilizing absolutely everything and buying new parts as needed I ended up with a wonderful setup:
403 Fluval 3 stage canister filter
7 heaters (which I only use 650 watts worth and have plenty to spare if one fails)
2 40 watt fluorescent hooded lights
A model 50 Sander Ozonizer
5 air pumps (I’m only running two at the moment)
Connected to 4 4” air stones (new)
Cleaned black gravel
A blue background
…and various bits and pieces to powerheads, sponge filters, protein skimmer, and an AquaClear 300 out the back filter….
I was so happy with my work when I was finished, however I noticed a small almost dime sized hole in the bottom front left side corner (if you catch that). I was sooo upset. I thought I did all that work for nothing when I discovered the hole. Someone, at sometime, must have sat the corner of the tank down too hard and chipped the acrylic. Me being me, I did some research….
I used 3 pieces of acrylic (3/8”) and an acrylic welder (IPS #16) to completely patch my tank (laying the first piece down on the bottom and the other two on top on each side of the corner). I waited a week for the welder to do its magic….and voila!!! My wife was worried at first, then we came to the conclusion, “how else do they put acrylic tanks together?” I started to add water. I hand poured the water in gallon by gallon. The first night I finished 60 gallons. It held for 3 days. Then I finished my filling of the tank. The tank sat for a week and was holding water without a leak, therefore I began to set up my tank as if it had fish in it (I did all of this in my basement mind you in case of any accidents). I adjusted the temperature and ran the filter, which was nerve wrecking as it hadn’t been run in 20 years. With heated water and the filter running, I let the tank cycle for 7 weeks.
Then…..I called my cousin. It was time for the move upstairs. I drained the tank almost completely with a shop vac. We hauled 9 buckets weighing almost 200 pounds out to the yard. Next, came the tank. I’m not sure how heavy it was, but it wasn’t too bad at first. We were laughing and joking around with my wife as we carried it outside. Once we reached the hill……I had to walk backwards up it….across the driveway….in the snow, into a snowman I obliterated and around to the front door. We were grunting and arrrrgging our way there….but we made it. The tank base and hood were easy. That night I finished filling the tank and setting it up upstairs to see if it would again hold water.
That being a success, I finally seeded the tank with 20 gallons of water and included the gravel and filter from my old tank to ensure a good establishment of bacteria. I settled in my four fish and enjoyed the magic. The next day my cousin and I were very sore from our adventure.
It has been a few weeks since, and now I have 2 blue/three spot gouramis, 2 flaming gouramis, and 10 tiger barbs. I plan to add live plants in the future to supplement my fake plants. I’ll probably add more tiger barbs, but as far as other fish I’m not sure yet.