My "new" 4ft tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Oldtimer, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer

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    Following on from my previous thread about my tank and some problems I had, and based on the excellent advice I got from most who participated I decided to start this new thread on my "new" used 4ft tank.

    As I said in the previous thread I went to visit Barry Roux who gave me excellent advice, a mass of goodies, some new babies for the existing tank and he accompanied me to JP's house where I basically bought everything JP had except for his livestock which he already sold off.

    I got home and offloaded everything and promised mammatjie I will really think this tank set-up through before starting with the installation. I thought it through thoroughly for about 10 minutes and then started digging through the goodies I got from both Barry and JP.

    I already decided this tank will be for the opening between my lounge and my dining room, an opening we cut just after buying the house in 2007. Well, yesterday morning I decided to prepare the wall to carry this 250lt of water plus the tank and all extras. Off I went to the local Builder's Warehouse in Atterbury Value Mart at 07H00 to buy some 25mm square tubing to build the frame I need to attach to the wall. The wall measures 280mm thick and the tank measure 450mm wide so a reasonable portion of the tank will be hanging off the one side so I wanted to make a special frame to carry that overhanging portion.

    Walked myself to bits through BW as the steel is kept at the furthest point from the main entrance only to stand looking at a nearly empty shelf. there were some pieces of very thin angle iron and some 50 x 100mm rectangle tubing. One of BW's friendly assistants walked up and asked if I needed assistance. I asked why there are no steel on the shelf, his answer, it is now four months that they cannot get steel delivered, he thinks the factory that makes steel maybe have closed down.............., Eish!!

    I waited until 08H00 and went to Chamberlains in Waterglen and bought the square tubing I needed, but then I saw a couple of pieces of Formica, already edged, being sold as "offcuts: at ridiculously low prices. I bought a piece 1500mm long x 500mm wide x 38mm thick which I mounted to the top of the wall where the tank will sit. I then used some angle iron I had at home and the 25mm Square tubing I bought and built a support under the wood overhang. The tank will fit stunningly onto that wood.

    I also installed a power socket with place for one three pronged plug and three two pronged plugs which should be sufficient for the amount of stuff I intend connecting. The Dolphin C1600 pump has a two pronged plug, the 300W heater has a two pronged plug, the dual pipe air pump has a three pronged plug and the light fitting has a two pronged plug, so, all sorted.

    The tank had the back panel painted black and on Friday afternoon after work I climbed into that with a sharp blade and scraped off the black paint. It is now really very clean with absolutely no black residue left. The idea is to have the tank visible from both the Lounge and the dining room so I need all sides clear.

    I now need to clean the tank inside before I can carry it into the house and Barry told my to use vinegar for that. I may be a bit skeptical but can anyone confirm the cleaning method before I bring the tank into the house and before I fill it with gravel and water.

    Another question is the use of gravel mats, or these rectangular plastic panels one fits to the bottom of the tank before putting in gravel and plants and the rest of the decorations. Is it necessary to use them, if you use them how do you clean under them, do you need to strip your whole tank layout to do that or not. I intend using the black sand sold at Animal Kingdom at an exorbitant price in the bottom and then covering it with washed pool filter gravel as I want to properly plant some nice plants in this tank.

    Oh, I intentionally kept this in the "beginner" section as I am still far from being anything other than a beginner at this.

    Advice, comments and criticism will all be welcome please.20181103_165718.jpg
     
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  3. Amakawa

    Amakawa

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    Eish sounds like youve been busy! I'll add my 2cents until more knowledgable people chime in.
    Barry told my to use vinegar for that. 100% correct, use vinegar and a razor blade and go nuts. I put the vinegar in a spray bottle and keep the glass wet as I scrape away.

    As for the gravel mats, from what I understand its not needed unless you plan on using proper plant substrate, meaning Walstad method, seachem, ADA.etc. Even then its not needed unless you want to "cap" it with an inert substrate such as pool filter sand or gravel. Since you plan on using black sand im not sure why you would want to cap it with pool filter sand? If thats what you want, then go for it, though I would recommend black diamond blasting sand, its wayyy cheaper and looks just as nice. HTH
     
  4. Ammar

    Ammar

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    Lol great adventure. Vinegar gets rid of any residue on the glass, its works great. For stuborn residue, u can lay a serviette over it and spray the serviette full of vinegar. Dont let it dry up, keep it saturated in vinegar for as long as needed and then whipe it off.

    Chuck the gravel matts, u wont need those with your planted tank.
    Before u go spend an arm an a leg on that black sand (im assuming u mean Ada soil or the likes) decide on what plants u will be planting and what their requirements will be. Some plants do really well in pool filter sand with somekind of root feed, osmocote capsules or root tabs, others need good soil, lights and maybe even co2. So think about what u would like to achieve first.
    I use pool filter sand and osmocote and my plants are doing really well
     
  5. Ammar

    Ammar

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    Oh.. dont mix 2 colour sands... it wont stay like that for long.
     
  6. OP
    Oldtimer

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    Shows how little I really know about this.

    I was thinking the black stuff they sel at Animal Kingdom was required for plants to grow and the filter sand is just to make it look nice.

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
     
  7. OP
    Oldtimer

    Oldtimer

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    Forgot to mention.

    I scraped off all of the black paint on the rear panel. I then found what appeared to be glue from window tinting. I have seen it on cars where tinting comes loose and peels off. This is only on the outside of the tank.

    I used vinigar and elbow grease, did not work. Then I tried acetone on a small spot close to the bottom with elbow grease, did not work either. Then a small spot with carb cleaner and elbow grease, did not work. Then I remembered that to remove a sticker from a car you use Q20. I tried and it seemed to work. Then I used a wet cloth to wipe off the Q20 residue and back are the marks albeit less pronounced.

    Tomorrow I will get new razor blades and I will soak the panel in vigar for longer.
     
  8. Ammar

    Ammar

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    On the putside of the tank use whatever will work just be careful to stay away frombsilicone areas incase whatever u are using reacts with the silicone and damages it.

    My suggestion, start with pool filter sand only min 5 to 7cms thick and u wilk be fine. Start with easy plants and if u want to play around with the harder stuff get yourself a small 2 foot tank with ada soil etc... otherwise it coukd get really expensive
     
  9. MariaS

    MariaS Moderator

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    Wow @Oldtimer .. you have really been very busy.. awesome!!!

    Good advice given so far... removing that glue is another painful exercise... feel for you there!!

    As for the mats.. I agree with what has been said... I would not use them
    No matter what, there is always a chance that dirt or food gets under there and can cause major problems in the long run
     
  10. hviviers75

    hviviers75

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    Always very interesting stories you share with us all, like reading your detailed stories, please keep us updated on the progress of your setup and always remember the more pictures the better :) good luck rather as on this forum as most lfs petshops dont know what they are talking about regarding fish plants etc.... good luck with this big one....and as Ammar said PFS helps lots you could if you want to buy a small bag of langa soil to just cover the bade of the bottom maybe 2cm thick then cap it with pfs. that is what I am planning when I move end of December... regards...
     
  11. OP
    Oldtimer

    Oldtimer

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    According to my wife I need to slow down, take it easy, stop spending money, etc.

    She also wanted me to fill the tank outside the house before bringing it into the house, "just now it leaks, and then what are you going to do?". Well, the lounge is three steps lower than the rest of the house so at least the lounge will get new flooring...... She was not impressed with my reply.

    But I want my big tank up and running. I will go buy filter sand on my home today. Builder's Warehouse has it on special for R115-00 for a 40Kg bag. I was thinking for a 4ft tank x 450mm wide two bags should be enough. I will spend a few hours washing the sand before putting it into the tank this time and then let the pump run for a week before putting some livestock into it.
     
  12. Ammar

    Ammar

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    I used 2 bags on my 2m tank, and it was more than enough u will probably need 1,5 bags. Depending how thick u want to go. Just remmember it will level out when u add water unless u create fill area with rock or wood to keep the sand in. So dont try go high on one side and lower on the other unless u have something to hold the sand up.
    Washing is a good idea. I didnt, i just used a diy filter to clear the water. If u have the patience tgen ja...
     
  13. OP
    Oldtimer

    Oldtimer

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    Explain the DIY filter idea a bit more please.

    I have a Dolphin C1600 pump which cleared up my "Amazon in flood" disaster the other day in less than one day.
     
  14. Pieter Henning

    Pieter Henning

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    If you want, i have a 3/4 bag that you can have. Its just in my way and i was thinking of throuing it away;)
     
  15. OP
    Oldtimer

    Oldtimer

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    Pieter,

    I'll gladly take it off your hands but will only be able to get to your place on the weekend.

    My office is in Brits and I stay in Garsfontein so I don't get to your neck of the woods that often, unless the wife needs to go buy some cheap stuff that does not last long at the Chinese Mall in Centurion.....
     
  16. Pieter Henning

    Pieter Henning

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    Great i will PM you my details
     
  17. OP
    Oldtimer

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    Thanks Pieter
     
  18. Ammar

    Ammar

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    Google diy aquarium water polisher, all you need is a powerhead and some cotton wool filter media. U can also check my 540l thread if u like
     
  19. Amakawa

    Amakawa

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    And an empty bottle ;)
     
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  20. OP
    Oldtimer

    Oldtimer

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    Watched the video on U-tube.........

    It is sooooooo easy. And I received two small pumps along with the big Dolphin when I got the 4ft tank.

    Next question.

    I have driftwood, some very nice pieces. But the problem is it works exactly like, well, drift wood.......

    It drifts around the tank all day. What do you guys use to hold them down under water?
     
  21. imran sheik

    imran sheik toothless assasin

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    hi... you'll first need to boil the wood for a couple of hours if it has not been done already to remove the tannin's and then soak it to get waterlogged.



    cheers,
     

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