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GruntPuppy's Forum Info
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Tank Build Thread 5
Thread Subject Forum Name
Tank Build Thread Aquarium Decor, DIY and Equipment.
Post Message

this is what I'm working with.  a 24" cubed tank with a weir, trickle filter sump, UV filter, and fluorescent light setup.   


I've started cleaning the cabinet up a little (hence the pile of rough cleaning cloths by the side) - so the hood front is a little shinier than than the rest of the cabinet so far.  But speaking of the hood, this is why I need to seal and paint.  the inside MDF is a little rough - but considering it's had 10 years plus of use it's not doing too badly.  It's salvageable:


The inner top surface definitely needs some sandpapery love and a cleanup on the veneer -


The plan here is to clean back the surface, seal/prime, paint, and on the inner top surface apply a self-adhesive mirror film.   A light bar has also been ordered to replace the fluorescents (which are currently in a bag with a ton of other bits, waiting to either be cleaned/serviced and reused or sold).  I've gone for a Nicrew planted tank 24/7 ordered from Amazon.  If it doesn't give enough light to hit the bottom of the tank (I want carpeting plants) then I'll put a second light bar in with a timer to up the light output at "peak" time.

The inside of the of the cabinet (which has a 24" x 12" x 12" tank set up as a trickle filter) needs a little clean up as well - but nowhere near as badly as the hood - where light reflection isn't such an issue I'll probably just use a clear mdf sealer after cleaning back.

The hood and cabinet clean up are going to be the quick and easy bits though...   The scratches on the glass are terrible - this photo doesn't do them justice:

They're deep, they're long and they're on every pane.  WHEN will people learn that magnetic glass cleaners are the work of the devil?  Realistically, the scratches are too deep to polish out entirely - the rule of thumb - if you can feel them when you run a fingernail across the scratch, then you're unlikely to be able to polish the scratch out.     I can at least run a buffer over the glass and polish out as much of the damage and blemishing as I can.  23 square feet of glass to tidy up, inside and outside surfaces.  Cleaning the tank properly to remove all traces of gravel and grit first is going to be no picnic either...   I see a LOT of spirit vinegar in my future, and the place is going to smell like a chip shop for a while, but never mind.   At least it'll clean things up, and hopefully get rid of the limescale clouding as well.

I'm going to be fitting a 3d background at the back and over the blue weir front, I'll cut some holes in for water flow and use either mesh or sponge to make the tank (hopefully) shrimp friendly.  I may even rig something with plastic sheet and material from a pair of tights so I'll have flat "plates" that I can remove and clean easily, time will tell.

I've got a nice lot of dennerle 6 in 1 soil ready to go in, and some black Hugo Kamichi gravel as a top layer,  I'm hoping to seed dwarf hairgrass in to get a carpet going, I've got some nice bogwood ready, (it has some small plants and moss already growing on it), plus some marimo balls I kept back from my last tank.  I'll need to put in some tall plants as well, but I'm still thinking about what exactly.  I was going to set up a little Aquastart 320 until this came up...   Now that'll be the hospital tank/overflow before selling on livestock tank.

So far the stocking plan is for blue dream shrimps, a bristlenose variety of some kind (I really like the looks of super reds) and some form of colourful small fish to give some life and movement to the tank - neon tetras are the obvious choice, although I'm leaning towards a fancy livebearer of some kind, so the tank will have 3 "income species" to offset the cost of the hobby.  The 3d background is a dark grey "stone block" design, the substrate is black, so the contrast with blue shrimps, red(possibly) bristlenoses and a bright small fish should be quite nice.

Today's job is to finish cleaning the outside of the hood, and maybe start sanding back the veneer and MDF on the inside.   If you're going to sand MDF, make sure you wear a mask, and do it in a well ventilated area - they use some nasty chemicals to put that stuff together.   Formaldehyde really is no picnic,  I really am not looking forward to this bit...

More pics and progress as it happens.  Might be a bit slow, but I'll do what I can.