55 Gallon Mbuna Build - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-23-2011, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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55 Gallon Mbuna Build

This is a work in progress. I am hoping to update each day as I do the build. The plan as it stands is to take down my existing Texas Tank. You can see that on my avatar. The fish are already gone, so that's simple. I'm building a background with nooks and crannies and caves for the mbuna. I think I'm going to take the top rim off the tank. I may or may not put it back on after i put the bg in. Eventually gonna build a canopy type cover for the top. I'm also repainting the stand.

I'm starting with the background, from now on I will be calling it the Rock Wall. I figure with all the breaks I'm gonna have to take for the rock wall to set and dry, I can do the tank stuff in between.

Let me get pictures of the rock wall supplies and the build area and I'll post that. And do progress pictures as I go. Yay!!! I'm excited. I love working with masonry and fish tanks and this is my first cross over project. Eeeeee!

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post #2 of 21 Old 08-23-2011, 06:09 PM
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look forward to watching your project come to life.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #3 of 21 Old 08-23-2011, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Day One:

I also picked up the styrofoam, cement, dye, a trowel, and sealer. Yay! With Hurricane Judy (Irene) coming my plans got shifted around a little. I'm trying to knock out all the outside stuff ASAP and had to get all the heavy stuff done today. Tomorrow I'll set up the saw horses, cut the foam and put a scratch coat. Hopefully I'll have the brown coat done as well. I'm not sure if I'll go the traditional 3 coats like with stucco or not. We'll see how well things go. I found some rock I liked. They called it black gypsy or some such commercial nonsense. The jist of it was that it's black, quarried in upstate NY, and sparkles. So, that's the kind of rock I plan on emulating for the rock wall. Dude at the rock store wouldn't let me take a picture or get a chip. Bahumbug. Anyhow.



"Good schools do not make one educated. The ability and desire to learn makes one educated."

"Knowledge does not make a person smart. Utilizing that knowledge makes them smart."

Last edited by TexasTanker; 08-23-2011 at 11:30 PM.
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post #4 of 21 Old 08-24-2011, 10:41 AM
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you missed a bit

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-24-2011, 10:48 AM
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LOL Willow!!!
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post #6 of 21 Old 08-24-2011, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willow View Post
you missed a bit
Lol. Not bothering with the insides. I'm lining that with foil or something quasi reflective so I can actually see under there.

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post #7 of 21 Old 08-24-2011, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasTanker View Post
Lol. Not bothering with the insides. I'm lining that with foil or something quasi reflective so I can actually see under there.
just a light? lol


and mylar ( sold for light reflection for plant growing ) is like 90% more reflective then foil. more expensive then foil but a cleaner look.
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-24-2011, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
just a light? lol


and mylar ( sold for light reflection for plant growing ) is like 90% more reflective then foil. more expensive then foil but a cleaner look.
lol, no one will be able to see it. I also have those emergency blankets, silver shiny. they stick to everything with little prompting, so I might use one of those. It's really not a priority. My whole timeline is getting pushed ahead by several days cause of this silly storm and my mother's impending visit, undoubtedly during the aftermath and cleanup. Making me nuts!

So far, in addition to fielding earthquake/hurricane/work calls I've started the rock wall. Here's the foam wall being built.




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"Knowledge does not make a person smart. Utilizing that knowledge makes them smart."
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-24-2011, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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P.S. I'm not having the most luck getting this top rim off the tank. There's so much silicon in there I can't get a knife in it, and the razorblade broke off. I really hate the idea of having to cut this wall into three pieces just to get it in there. Tricks? If I break it off... how hard is it to build/order a new one?

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"Knowledge does not make a person smart. Utilizing that knowledge makes them smart."
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-24-2011, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I'm hating it. I followed all the instructions given from multiple videos and websites and every kind of glue i used, including liquid nails, plain jane silicon, and Elmers has eaten through the foam instead of adhering it, when I tried the cement it made the front too heavy to stand. Finally decided to just put the pieces together like bricks with mortar. That works and it's getting the job done and much quicker. I just don't like the look or how much space it'll take up.



My next idea is the same concept except I was thinking three naturalish looking pillars (won't have to remove the rim!) done up with plenty of caves and voids. I'm going now to look at craft foam instead of the crud I used today, and to pick up more cement. FYI, if you do go the rock wall route, it'll take WAY more than 10 pounds, think more like 50.

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