Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Freshwater Journals (
-   -   Dirty 30+ year old (

stnbrgn 02-17-2014 07:34 AM

Dirty 30+ year old
1 Attachment(s)
Hello everyone. As I stated in the introductions( I decided to start up my 65 gal. again. Since it's been over 30 yrs. that I had anything to do with the tropical fish hobby I did a lot of research and discovered there have been numerous changes (for the better). Using dirt in a tank was unheard of, testing the water with such detail wasn't done to the extent it is now and cycling a fish tank meant you let it run with no fish for a week so the chlorine would dissipate then stock it with fish. Introducing fish to a tank meant you let the bag the fish was in float on top of the water for 20 min. then dumping the fish and water into the tank. So after reading and more reading on this site and sites like this I got started.
First things first I needed to build a stand since the one I had built previously was destroyed many years ago. I had built it using a hand saw and jig saw, now that I have most of the up to date tools it would be much easier.

Here's a pic of the frame work I built with the empty tank on it. I didn't feel the need to show you the building process as there are many posting on this site using the same method.

stnbrgn 02-17-2014 07:39 AM

1 Attachment(s)
After building the stand I needed to do a leak test, after all after sitting in 2 different basements and being moved numerous times there was a chance it could have a seal that might have broken.
This is the tank partially filled, I did fill it and left it filled for about two and a half days.
Surprisingly not one leak.

stnbrgn 02-17-2014 07:52 AM

4 Attachment(s)
I spent a lot of time building this stand as I wanted something different and would I hope look good compared to my previous attempt many years ago. I bought the horizontal trim at the local Home Depot and made the vertical trim to somewhat match up to the vertical trim, it turned out pretty good. The doors and handles were bought at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The foam under the tank is also from HD it's the "DuroFoam" that I used for another project.

stnbrgn 02-17-2014 08:21 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Cleaning more cleaning and then more cleaning.
I knew that after not having this tank set up for numerous years that everything would need a good cleaning if I were to use any of my old set up. I scraped the inside of the tank then washed it with a water vinegar solution three times then rinsed it out thoroughly and let it sit while I built the stand. After the stand was done I got my collection of old rocks, driftwood, heaters and filters out and gave them the same treatment except using a solution of bleach on them prior to using the vinegar and water solution. I had stored all my gravel in clear plastic bags and sealed them when I put them away many years ago, but I still washed all of it numerous times until the water ran clear.

When I found out that people were using dirt in tanks I thought that was what I'd like to do. I did a lot of web surfing and came across the "wkndracr" on the planted tank website and read it from start to finish. Although he is very technical as far as water analysis goes he made it look rather easy so I thought since my previous experience with plants wasn't good maybe this was the way to go (I didn't use this as my only guide but I liked his approach).
So the journey with dirt begins.
(Photo # 1 & 2) This is the tank with the "Miracle Grow Organic Choice" potting soil and some gravel and driftwood (I used gravel around the edges so the potting soil substrate wasn't visible).

(Photo #3) This is what it looked like after capping.

(Photo #4) This is the tank being filled after capping the potting soil. I only had a couple of floaters from the potting soil come up to the surface
. As you can see I added the stones and rock.

RSVBiffer 02-17-2014 08:26 AM

That's a good sturdy stand, always like to see that ;-). What are the dimensions of the tank, looks bigger than a 65? Must be a trick of the camera.

sandybottom 02-17-2014 10:48 AM

that stand is a the two-tone color.can not wait to see the finished product.subscribed!

Agent13 02-17-2014 11:39 AM

Nice work!! I love that stand.. And your scape looks really nice too.

stnbrgn 02-17-2014 01:57 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by RSVBiffer (Post 3944322)
That's a good sturdy stand, always like to see that ;-). What are the dimensions of the tank, looks bigger than a 65? Must be a trick of the camera.

Thanks all.
The tank measures 48" L x 18D x 18.5H.
I tend to over build things, sometimes it's a hindrance because you realize it didn't have to be as strong as you made it but in this case the last thing I wanted was for it to collapse.

My wife and I went plant shopping and got 8 different species of plants at Big Als and a LFS.
(2) Java Fern
(2 Amazon Swords
(2) Wysteria
(1) Hornwort
(2) Java Moss
(2) Micro Swords
(1) Ozelot Sword
(6) Assorted Val

I made sure to plant these as soon as possible because I wanted to add a light to our system and with the dirt they are needed to get the cycle started on the right foot.
Here's a photo of the plants and one 48" T-8 (daylight) light temporarily in place (I have it hanging from the suspended ceiling frame for now). These tubes are 6500K which are supposed to help the plants grow.

RSVBiffer 02-17-2014 02:10 PM

There's nothing wrong with over engineering things, better safe than sorry.

Looking very good, do like the layout

Romad 02-17-2014 02:23 PM

Great job on the build and the tank layout :thumbsup:

You'll probably be rescaping a bunch of times before you're satisfied - especially once the plants start to grow in. It's hard to stop once you've started.

Keep us posted.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:18 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome