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Odd size 40 gallon aqurium


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#1 truecrimson

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 11:20 AM

OK, here is the 40 gallon aquarium I picked up for $25 from Craigslist.

 

Attached File  40GalFront01032017.jpg   466.84KB   2 downloads

 

It was previously used for a turtle, and has a 3D foam rock style backdrop.  My initial plan was to remove and replace that, but as it sits here it has been growing on me.

 

External Measurements are 25 1/4 x 18 1/4.  Glass seems to be an inch thick.  It is one heavy SOB.

 

In the next two pics you can see more of the detail of the background and the ledge they had attached to the side.  The guy told me they filled it all the way up to that ledge.

 

Attached File  40GalLeft01032017.jpg   297.25KB   1 downloads

 

Attached File  40GalRight01032017.jpg   298.75KB   1 downloads

 

It has a hood with 2 glass panes and two separate lights.  They both work.  

 

Attached File  40GalHood01032017.jpg   277.32KB   1 downloads

 

It needs a good cleaning and a test of it's water tightness.  It also needs all of the other sundries and equipment that go with an aquarium.  Later today I will be looking at a stand for it, also from Craigslist. 

 

I like the idea of a stream tank, but I'm not sure this has enough length to get a good flow before it deflects off the opposite wall.



#2 MtFallsTodd

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 11:24 AM

The back panel looks great, I would keep it.


Deep in the hills of Great North Mountain

#3 gerald

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 11:28 AM

Might be better for slow-water species like Enneacanthus, Umbra, Pteronotropis ...


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#4 Chasmodes

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 11:56 AM

Looks great and sturdy, hope it holds water during your test.  I like the background too.  Looks realistic!


Kevin Wilson


#5 truecrimson

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 09:32 AM

The back panel looks great, I would keep it.

 

Thanks.  I am definitely leaning in that direction.  I wish it was lighter colored, though.  Most of the exposed rock I see when fishing in this is limestone and various shades lighter.

 

 

Might be better for slow-water species like Enneacanthus, Umbra, Pteronotropis ...

 

Yeah, I figured.  I'll have to look those up to see what they are in Enlish  :biggrin:   I'm still leaning towards a sunfish tank for this one.  My wife wants a tropical community tank for her, so another aquarium is in our future.  If we get a double stand then we could do 2 more.  However when she looks at fish in pet stores she gravitates towards aggressive cichlids.  Se picks everything based on colors.  She wants pretty colors  ](*,)

 

 

Looks great and sturdy, hope it holds water during your test.  I like the background too.  Looks realistic!

 

Thanks.  I think I will keep the background.  I was kicking around the idea of trying to paint it  a lighter color, but I think for logistical reasons I should just leave it as it.  I am also thinking of cutting holes in some of the nooks and crannies to make caves that pass through to the area behind it.  There is a pretty good amount of space back there.



#6 Chasmodes

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 11:43 AM

I am also thinking of cutting holes in some of the nooks and crannies to make caves that pass through to the area behind it.  There is a pretty good amount of space back there.


The only thing about that is that fish may disappear back there. And if you need to break the tank down, they might be impossible to catch without ripping out the background. That is why I nixed that idea on my build.

Kevin Wilson


#7 truecrimson

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 11:47 AM

Tuesday night I wrestled it into the shower and filled it up.  No leaks so far.  I am about to head out into snow to get a siphon to empty it.  Hopefully I'll get the furniture rearranged, the stand assembled, and the aquarium on it today.

 

The background seems to not go all the way to the right edge of the tank.  There isn't a big gap, but certainly enough for a small fish to slip through. There are also two rectangular openings in the top of the background.  The previous owner didn't have it filled to the top and these would have been at the waterline so water from the back would flow out through them to the front.  He had a hang on back filter on it.  If I fill it all the way up those openings will be submerged and allow small fish to pass to the back.

 

I though about not filling it all the way up, but I don't want to deprive a sunfish of any volume since the tank is a little undersized anyway.

 

I'll try to get more detailed pictures taken and posted later.

 

Would a hang on filter from Wal Mart or Petsmart be OK for this, or should I go for something better?  I plan on putting a sponge filter or two in it just to have some cycled sponge filters available.



#8 Chasmodes

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 12:13 PM

Can you get some pond spray foam and fill in those gaps?  Or maybe find a way to use a screen to cover the gaps if you plan on using that space for your filter?  Pics would help me understand.  Good thing the tank is not leaking!  8)


Kevin Wilson


#9 truecrimson

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 03:38 PM

Got it emptied and out of the shower and took some more pics.

 

This is from the top down, of the right rear corner.  The dark surface is the ledge and the light surface is the background.

 

Attached File  0209201740GalTopRightRearGap.jpg   165.48KB   1 downloads

 

Here is the same location from a front angle.

 

Attached File  0209201740GalAngleRightRearGap02092017.jpg   222.58KB   1 downloads

 

This is a shot of the openings in the background from outside of the front of the aquarium.

 

Attached File  0209201740GalFrontOpenings.jpg   212.37KB   1 downloads

 

This is a close up.  It looks like the background is hollow, and plastic/silicone was used to block holes in these openings to the interior of the background.

 

Attached File  0209201740GalOpeningsFrontCloseUp.jpg   184.75KB   1 downloads

 

Thank you for all your help.



#10 truecrimson

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 03:57 PM

Here are a couple views of the entire top

 

Attached File  0209201740GalTopView1.jpg   206.52KB   1 downloads

 

Attached File  0209201740GalTopView2.jpg   197.23KB   1 downloads



#11 JasonL

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 06:34 PM

I would first seal a few of the gaps in the corner with some pond spray foam as suggested earlier so nothing can easily get back there.

I am not a plant expert, but if you could fill in those rectangle gaps at the top with an appropriate plant species and let the roots come in behind the background out of view I imagine you would have the potential for fairly significant biological filtration over time.

This would give you the option for a higher fish mass as well.

#12 Squeaky McMurdo

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 09:08 PM

The lights will make the background look lighter once you fill it. The brighter the lighter. :D

Some Bluespotted Sunfish might make your wife happy with their color. They make me happy. Your tank is a great size for them and the other enneacanthus species which get along. Maybe with an Orangespotted Sunfish (lepomis humilis) as the king of the tank. They are docile enough to work. I wish I could find one! Lol

Longears are also quite colorful, but not community tank friendly if you are wanting more than one species.

Edited by Squeaky McMurdo, 09 February 2017 - 09:18 PM.


#13 ForTheHalibut

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 12:53 PM

I am usually not a fan of prefab foam backgrounds, but that one is quite attractive!  Would make a lovely palladium tank, though you'd have to drill a few holes in the background for planting, which would be a shame.  A lower risk route would be to dremel out the top of that ledge glued to the side, making it a sort of cup that can be filled with substrate.  You could plant some marginal plants in there for a really nice open top riparium look.

 

Smaller sunfish species would be nice, but you don't really have a lot of lateral room for males to establish their territory.  Is there any way you can turn those ledges into more sheltered nest-like areas?  Perhaps leaning some driftwood against the back wall to create some alcoves?  If this weren't NANFA, I'd suggest planting epiphytes like anubias or java fern, but of course we can't have any of that (I've been lurking this forum for awhile...).

Seeing as it's a tall tank, perhaps it would be a better use of the space to establish two populations of smaller fish, one that stays at the top of the water column and the other that hangs out at the bottom.  I have no experience with darters: is there any chance one might sit on that little ledge at the bottom?  That would be super cute.



#14 truecrimson

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:22 PM

Can you get some pond spray foam and fill in those gaps?  Or maybe find a way to use a screen to cover the gaps if you plan on using that space for your filter?  Pics would help me understand.  Good thing the tank is not leaking!  8)

 

OK, based on your and JasonL's advice I'll block off the rear area.  I don't know if pond spray foam or screen would be better.  Would a big seam of spray foam on the end look bad?  Would some screen at the right rear of the background hidden by the shadow in the gap be better?

 

I am probably going to use a hang on back filter, so it will be back there.  I'm leaning towards a Fluval, but I forget the model.  But if the aquarium is filled above the front holes in the background that can be where water exchanges between the front and rear areas.  Do you think that would work?  

 

A screen would still allow water exchange at the right end, whereas pond foam wouldn't.  Not sure which would be better.

 

I would first seal a few of the gaps in the corner with some pond spray foam as suggested earlier so nothing can easily get back there.

I am not a plant expert, but if you could fill in those rectangle gaps at the top with an appropriate plant species and let the roots come in behind the background out of view I imagine you would have the potential for fairly significant biological filtration over time.

This would give you the option for a higher fish mass as well.

 

I like the idea of plants in those openings.  What do you think of using screen on the right side as Chasmodes mentioned instead of pond foam?

 

The lights will make the background look lighter once you fill it. The brighter the lighter. :D

Some Bluespotted Sunfish might make your wife happy with their color. They make me happy. Your tank is a great size for them and the other enneacanthus species which get along. Maybe with an Orangespotted Sunfish (lepomis humilis) as the king of the tank. They are docile enough to work. I wish I could find one! Lol

Longears are also quite colorful, but not community tank friendly if you are wanting more than one species.

 

You are right.  It looks better with lights on.  No water in it yet, though.  I like the look of the Bluespotted sunfish, but I really want to keep it local and collected/gathered.  I am looking in to what all is around here, but PFBC redesigned their gallery of PA fishes and I don't find it as user friendly as it used to be.

 

I am usually not a fan of prefab foam backgrounds, but that one is quite attractive!  Would make a lovely palladium tank, though you'd have to drill a few holes in the background for planting, which would be a shame.  A lower risk route would be to dremel out the top of that ledge glued to the side, making it a sort of cup that can be filled with substrate.  You could plant some marginal plants in there for a really nice open top riparium look.

 

Smaller sunfish species would be nice, but you don't really have a lot of lateral room for males to establish their territory.  Is there any way you can turn those ledges into more sheltered nest-like areas?  Perhaps leaning some driftwood against the back wall to create some alcoves?  If this weren't NANFA, I'd suggest planting epiphytes like anubias or java fern, but of course we can't have any of that (I've been lurking this forum for awhile...).

Seeing as it's a tall tank, perhaps it would be a better use of the space to establish two populations of smaller fish, one that stays at the top of the water column and the other that hangs out at the bottom.  I have no experience with darters: is there any chance one might sit on that little ledge at the bottom?  That would be super cute.

The background has really grown on me since I got this home.  It's definitely staying.  I don't think I want an open top tank.  I do want plants.  I like the idea of using driftwood or flat rocks to make some sheltered areas.  I think that will be part of the plan now.  I'll have to think about doing something to the ledge.  I'm not sure I am comfortable enough with my abilities.  I would hate to screw it up.

 

I want to do all of this local from places I fish.  I plan to gather the substrate, live plants, and fish locally.  I am really leaning towards a single sunfish.  Maybe some dither that I don't mind getting eaten.  I don't have a specific species of sunfish in mind as I want to see what turns up once I start collecting.

 

I also need to get more familiar with plants and see if there are local equivalents of the ones you mention.  I really have no idea what any of the plants I see out there are.

 

Thank you all for your comments and advice.  Please keep them coming.  I probably won't be able to do anything else with the aquarium until next week.


Edited by truecrimson, 12 February 2017 - 07:25 PM.


#15 ForTheHalibut

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 11:49 PM

I'm not sure if there are any aquatic epiphytes in the US.  If you want to add plant cover to those ledges, your best bet would probably be a moss, but I'm not sure if that is would be ecologically authentic.  I am relatively experienced with aquatic plants, but very new to the whole native biotope thing.  

Growing plants behind the 3D background is a good idea.  At first I was concerned, because voids in 3D backgrounds often accumulate fish mulm and become toxic waste repositories - usually best to just fill them in with foam.  But it looks like there is some sort of overflow functionality built into it the top?  Looks like one is supposed to put their heater, pumps etc behind the background and have water flow either out of or into those slits at the top.  Or are those just mortises for ledges to go into?  Not sure what the plan is for fish that get trapped back there, either.

 



#16 truecrimson

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 09:37 AM

Yes.  There are two rectangular openings in the top of the background.  The original owner told me they filled it up to the ledge on the right side of the tank, so that the ledge was the surface the turtle could climb on.  But looking at it now, I don't think filling it to the bottom of the ledge would high enough for water to flow through those openings.  It had to be exchanging in the gap at the right side of the tank that others have advised I fill or block.  Or maybe he filled to the top of the ledge and the turtle was never really on dry land.

 

I plan to fill the tank to the top, well above the ledge.  It is very reminiscent of things I have seen in nature.  So my water level would be above the two openings in the front of the background and water could pass between the front and back there.  I hope I am explaining it well.

 

I don't think I will need a heater for a local sunfish, but the filter will go behind the background.

 

Now I am rethinking blocking the right side.  It may have a planned part of the design to allow water exchange there.  I'm definitely going to have to think about this more.

 

I was looking at the side again and last night and noticed there is water in the cavity inside the ride side ledge.  I put my flashlight to it to try and find any holes and it looks like there are several tiny openings in the front edge of the ledge.  Now I am wondering if that will be a problem, filling up with stuff and not getting enough exchange with the main tank to lead to issues.

 

Ya know, this was never this complicated back in highschool. ;)


Edited by truecrimson, 13 February 2017 - 09:37 AM.


#17 truecrimson

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 09:39 AM

I should also note that the background stops a couple of inches short of the top of the tank.  if I fill it to the top then water, and fish, will be able to pass from front to back over the top, as well as through the openings, and around the right side.


Edited by truecrimson, 13 February 2017 - 09:39 AM.


#18 ForTheHalibut

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 01:38 PM

Blagh, sounds like a bit of a mess.  Perhaps you should just commit to the idea of fish getting back there and cut out a real fish-size hole in the side, to make sure they don't get stuck?  Or not: it would really be a shame to damage that background.  I suppose it also depends on how big the sunfish you are planning to keep are.  

If you had this near a window, you could fill the entire back area with gravel and have marginal plants growing in it.  Would add some really serious nutrient export to the system and it would keep fish from getting trapped.  Looks like there's even an opening in the lid that would allow plants to poke out.  If you are using a canister filter, you could put the inlet and outlet in PVC overflows buried into the gravel, similar to the overflows used in an aquaponics system (see photo).  Quick sketch (brown is gravel behind background, the grey is PVC pipe, the green is your filter plumbing).

 

 

 



#19 truecrimson

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 09:02 PM

That is a lot to think about.


Edited by truecrimson, 13 February 2017 - 09:03 PM.


#20 Chasmodes

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 09:45 PM

Would a big seam of spray foam on the end look bad?

 

With spray foam, you can trim it, paint it, carve and shape it, etc. and make it look like you want, including blending it into the background.  You can also use it to cover the holes and make the existing background higher.  It's entirely up to you.  Even if what you do is not a perfect match, eventually algae will grow on it, etc. and it will blend in.  Good luck whatever you decide, I'll be following.  

 

Another option is to simply modify the holes and background a little bit (if it's made of foam) and encourage fish to use it as cover, especially if you're doing a sunfish tank.

 

If you cut and reshape some of it, paint it with regular Drylok mixed with cement colorant (dries and cures quickly) and make it blend into the rest of the background.  Same if you use the spray foam.

 

A nice piece of driftwood might look pretty good in that upper 2".   :)


Kevin Wilson





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