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Old 05-04-2007, 08:07 AM   #1
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Off topic: Aquarium

Anybody else have an aquarium??

Some of you may have seen this before but I thought Id bring it over here too.


Well after laboring for a few weeks in building a table that can support several hundred pounds of glass, rocks, water, fish, and other such items Ive finally got it setup. I built the stand using an old Sears Roebuck and Co treadle sewing machine leg setup with 1 maple butcher-block for the top. The top is 15 wide by 46 long. It took 5 applications of paint stripper, a pressure washer, wire wheel on a power drill, and a propane torch to get all the old paint off (Ive probably got lead poisoning now). All I had was the legs so I had to improvise the cross support. At the top I used a piece of red oak along the back screwed in using some existing holes in the legs and at the bottom a piece of 3/8 threaded rod. All in all pretty steady.

I bought the wallmart special for $158 then had to invest in gravel and other aquarium supplies (siphon, test kits,..) At this point I had around $250 into it.

Ive now had the aquarium running fishless (no fish) for almost 2 weeks now. Ive been feeding the tank regular flake fish food the whole time to start the nitrogen cycle and get it ready for the fish so they are less stressed and have a better chance of survival when I finally go out and buy some and put them in.

I am planning on heavily planting the tank so I have purchased a new glass hood and lighting setup for plants (another $150). This should come in tomorrow according to Fedex. Well see. After lights Im going to purchase a pre-packaged plant setup ($100) and plant it. THEN Ill be ready for fish.

$500 so far and still no fish. I never realized the hobby was so flippin expensive. Such is life

From what I understand, having lots of plants makes it a safer more hospitable environment for certain community fish which is what I plan on getting.

My little ladies are pretty excited and seeing them excited gets me pumped. Man I love being a dad. They help me everyday with testing the water chemistry and its really neat to see the water change over time. Anyone else who has experience with fresh water aquariums also please chime in, Id love to hear about it. Your successes, failures, best practices..

Here are some pics that I have so far.


greg
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Old 05-05-2007, 09:54 PM   #2
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Great idea! We have two of those old sewing machines - a Singer and a Williams - tha tI have had no idea what to do wirh... you've given me some ideas.
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Old 05-06-2007, 11:46 AM   #3
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Got my plant light strip and glass tops yesterday. Of course the tops were 1/8" too long. 30min on the belt sander with a 50 grit belt took care of that. Also the lights didn't come with mounting brackets so I'll have to find some or build some. Plants next week hopefully. Give it a few days with just plants and continue to check water chemistry before I add fish.

Slowly coming together.
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Old 05-06-2007, 11:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by welshman599 View Post
Great idea! We have two of those old sewing machines - a Singer and a Williams - tha tI have had no idea what to do wirh... you've given me some ideas.
If you have the complete setups, they are worth some money as is. All I had were the legs of this particular one. I also have a singer that was converted into a plant stand as this one was. That will also be a project similar to this one. No aquirium though. But I've got some more of the maple butcher block and it does make a realy pretty side table. Just getting that VERY OLD paint off was a pain so I'm not planning on doing anything with it anytime soon.
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:03 PM   #5
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we had several large aquariums, great hobby, one suggestion is to have another smaller one ready and running . when you buy a new fish for your big tank keep it in the quarintine tank for a week or so. also try be sure to buy your fish from one supplier and try to establish a good relationship with them. we lost several expensive fish due to diseases that i beleive we got from a poor suplier. one other suggestion i can give you is to look on craigs lists for free tanks and other equipment, just be sure to clean everything very well. you know watching your fish has been proven to lower blood pressure? enjoy
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:58 AM   #6
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we had several large aquariums, great hobby, one suggestion is to have another smaller one ready and running . when you buy a new fish for your big tank keep it in the quarintine tank for a week or so. also try be sure to buy your fish from one supplier and try to establish a good relationship with them. we lost several expensive fish due to diseases that i beleive we got from a poor suplier. one other suggestion i can give you is to look on craigs lists for free tanks and other equipment, just be sure to clean everything very well. you know watching your fish has been proven to lower blood pressure? enjoy
Never thought of a "quarintine tank". That's a good idea. I've been looking on craigslist but all I've found so far are those folks with $2k setups that want $2k for them. Still looking though.

Thanks,

greg
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:38 AM   #7
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Just ordered my plant setup with other essentials, fertilizer and CO2 for a year and test kits for phosphates and hardness. Dang this is turning into a REAL expensive hobby. I’m almost afraid to tell the boss lady EXACTLY how much I’ve sunk (literally) into this thing. She has a pretty good idea though as she sees the bills before I do.
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:21 AM   #8
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Great looking setup. I'm impressed that you are taking it slow also. That's a hard thing to do in that hobby, but it's the best thing to do.

I had a large saltwater tank up until a bit over a year ago. Talk about putting money into something... Whew... Over 5 years, I probably put $3K+ into that thing in Corals, fish, equipment, salt, etc.
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:26 AM   #9
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Great looking setup. I'm impressed that you are taking it slow also. That's a hard thing to do in that hobby, but it's the best thing to do.

I had a large saltwater tank up until a bit over a year ago. Talk about putting money into something... Whew... Over 5 years, I probably put $3K+ into that thing in Corals, fish, equipment, salt, etc.
$3K?!?!?! Please don't tell my wife!
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:16 AM   #10
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$3K?!?!?! Please don't tell my wife!

Been there done that. You will to as it a truly enjoyable hobby. We had 5 tanks at one time and when we moved last year we got out of it. The thread here and HDB has had my wife looking for a place in the now bigger house that has no room.

I bet she find room soon as she loved the tanks.

Mike
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:35 PM   #11
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Found out today my plants are going to be another week. The plant guy gave me the option of getting what he had in stock right now or waiting for his new stock. He told me his new "spring" stock would be of higher quality. Trying to figure out if I've been snowed yet..................

Such is life. What's another week when I've been waiting over 3??
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:52 PM   #12
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A friend told me yesterday that owning an aquarium is the fastest way to learn patience.
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:11 PM   #13
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Greg,
Nice BIG Aquarium.

We had an Aquarium once. Had lots of pretty fishys. Watching the fish and hearing the bubbles from the air pump was very soothing.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:24 PM   #14
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Plants!!!!!

Got my plants today!! Man, there were a lot. The plant guy that I had been talking with had told me that since I was willing to wait an extra week he would throw in some extras and he wasn't lying. I got about 7 extra plants in the deal and 3 of them were some relatively expensive ones.

Here are the latest pics. The first one is of all the stuff I got with the plants still in the zip-lock baggies and the fertilizer and other $ necessary stuff. The second is the tank planted. Water is still cloudy as I stirred up a lot and also added some "substrate gold" to the gravel. This stuff was a mess. It came in a semi powder form. I had to mix with water, form into 1/2 inch balls and bake at 300 deg for 20 min. Then place one ball near each plant under the existing gravel. It's some kinda clay/long-term release fert (I think).
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:31 AM   #15
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I have have finally added fish to the tank “fancy” male guppies which are a flippin blast to watch. My girlies have them all named (I have no idea how they can keep up with them). These little dudes are FAST. They are in heaven as far as I can tell. After being cooped up in the LFS 10 gal tank with about 40 others they currently have free reign in a 55 gal with just the 7 of em. So far water is still good but it’s still a scosh cloudy (it’s clearing up slowly). Planning on a partial water change today, probably 5-10 gallons. Next round of fishes this weekend. The little ladies want some glass catfish and after reading up on them they prefer a well planted tank like I’ve got. I’ll probably get around 7 of these as well. Who knows what the following week will bring. My wife really liked some Dalmatian something or another fish we saw at the LFS so that’ll prob be next after the glass catfish.

Soon as I get round to it I’ll post some more pics.


greg

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Old 05-25-2007, 09:56 AM   #16
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Update

On a sad note, we have lost 3 of the guppies to something and we are not sure exactly. Lost 2 Tuesday night and 1 Wednesday night. We are thinking a combo of shock moving to a new environment and not eating (or getting fed) enough.

But on a happier note we still have 4 and they are looking great! The water is now crystal clear and all the chemistry is perfect. The Plants are kicking but and producing O2 for the fishes to breath. Neat watching bubbles form on the plants and surface.

More fish will be added this weekend.

Pics to follow.




greg
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Old 05-26-2007, 09:04 PM   #17
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Update 26May07

Purchased some more fish today.

6 dalmation mollys
3 chinese algae eaters
1 dojo loach

1 of the mollys twern't doing to well so I scooped him up and placed in a mason jar with aquarium water. I feed him and watched him. He was looking bad so I placed him in a quart zip-loc with some water and stuck him in the freezer to ease his pain.

Everybody else is doing awesome as of now. ALL fish are eating and playing. The loach from what I'm told is a night stalker bottom feeder so he hasn't been doing a whole lot but he does swim around a bit.

1 of the mollys (the fish dude said it was a female) is proving to be the Boss Lady over the other mollys. She is a georgous fish.

Next few days I'll keep an extra close eye on the fish and water quality.



greg
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Old 05-28-2007, 04:18 PM   #18
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latest pic.

Everybody still swimmin!!
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