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Old 09-21-2013, 06:09 PM   #1
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What were aquariums like in the 80's and 90's?

Ive always wondered what were aquaiums like in the 80' and 90's? For example like what were the filters like? Anything intresting back then that came out and you just had to have for your aquarium? Share your stories and memories of what were aquariums like in the 80's and 90's. I would love to hear them!
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:32 PM   #2
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Toward the mid to late 90s, aquariums were pretty much like they are now. I've got a 120 gallon from 1995 (and other tanks from the 90s) that is indistinguishable from newer 120 gallon tanks. Some of the tanks from the 1980s are quite a bit different. I've got a 75 gallon Perfecto tank from 1984 that is so thick it does not have a center brace. It's an absolute bear to move compared to a more modern style (with thinner glass).
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:52 PM   #3
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Cool, and thank you for moving the thread, I should of put it there in the first place.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:54 PM   #4
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There was a thread a while back that had a lot of old fish stories.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:58 PM   #5
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That is a very old 10 gallon. Tanks older than the 1980s had the metal frames and slate bottoms. One of these days I'm going to fix it up (presently, it leaks).
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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I got my first aquarium in 1994. It was like 5 or 6 gallons and it had an undergravel filter and a single goldfish that lived for 6 years before I rehomed it to a fish pond. I think it was a comet and I was a kid I didn't know any better. But it grew really big in the pond and did well!
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:15 PM   #7
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I'm going to go back a farther since Mama posted a pic of the old metal frame tanks. We had those types of tanks in the 50's through the 70's. I can't even remember what we had for lights but our filters were little plastic boxes that mostly fit in the corner of your tank that you added filter floss and "charcoal" which is what was sold in little boxes and had a large grain size back then. You added an airline to it and there was your filter! By the early 80's I was using the dreaded under gravel filters in fish only tanks and my early large tanks back then were oceanic tanks that as already said had thick glass and weighed a ton. Back then in order to do my planted tanks and my first reef, yes I did my first reef back then but that is a story for a different day, my husband made me elaborate hoods that would house several different types of fluorescent tubes, and I can't remember what I did for ferts. No Co2 but it was around and no liquid carbon. I also began using my first Fluval canisters in the 80's and lets say canister filters have greatly improved since those days. I can't tell you how much water ended up on the floors when servicing them!
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:01 PM   #8
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great topic

Quote:
Originally Posted by FishBoy185 View Post
Ive always wondered what were aquaiums like in the 80' and 90's? For example like what were the filters like? Anything intresting back then that came out and you just had to have for your aquarium? Share your stories and memories of what were aquariums like in the 80's and 90's. I would love to hear them!
*********
Born 1948, I will skip from 1960 when my first job was at an aquarium store. I always loved tropical fish. Had as many as 12 tanks running.

Fast forward to 1987 when I custom built a 6000 square foot house ....... I put in two aquariums. I believe 42H and a 37-39 Gallon also high.

These had under gravel filters with air pumps which were state of the art at the time which probably only pumped 50 gph.

Back then, we did once a month 25% water changes including water siphons of gravel ....... and once a year "tear downs." Those tear downs were pure filth. By the time the one year marker hit, the tank STANK like dead fish and the water under the under gravel filters was coal black with waste. Oh ........ and the algae ......... had to scrape it off, constantly.

**************

So to your real point ...... it's a new world.

HOB filters and the understanding of beneficial bacteria change everything.

I never even have to clean off algae now.

Frequent water changes, frequent vacuums, and improved biological filter media mean you never have to do the "full tank teardown thing."

For extremely dirty fish, it appears cannister filters are the way to go ....... but my gosh ............ are they worh the leaks that ruin maybe $5,000 of carpet and other danage if you happen to be on vacation when all the hoses "poop out" on you?
***

My advice: go with a top of the line HOB filter or two.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:30 PM   #9
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What did you guys do as far as dechlorinating water?
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul1792 View Post
*********
Born 1948, I will skip from 1960 when my first job was at an aquarium store. I always loved tropical fish. Had as many as 12 tanks running.

Fast forward to 1987 when I custom built a 6000 square foot house ....... I put in two aquariums. I believe 42H and a 37-39 Gallon also high.

These had under gravel filters with air pumps which were state of the art at the time which probably only pumped 50 gph.

Back then, we did once a month 25% water changes including water siphons of gravel ....... and once a year "tear downs." Those tear downs were pure filth. By the time the one year marker hit, the tank STANK like dead fish and the water under the under gravel filters was coal black with waste. Oh ........ and the algae ......... had to scrape it off, constantly.

**************

So to your real point ...... it's a new world.

HOB filters and the understanding of beneficial bacteria change everything.

I never even have to clean off algae now.

Frequent water changes, frequent vacuums, and improved biological filter media mean you never have to do the "full tank teardown thing."

For extremely dirty fish, it appears cannister filters are the way to go ....... but my gosh ............ are they worh the leaks that ruin maybe $5,000 of carpet and other danage if you happen to be on vacation when all the hoses "poop out" on you?
***

My advice: go with a top of the line HOB filter or two.
This is really interesting to read. My first canister was purchased new in probably 2004, and I've run many new and used canisters since then, without one single leak. I've run as many as 10 at a time. I have 5 running now. Sounds like the old models were a real nightmare.

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What did you guys do as far as dechlorinating water?
This is a great question! I'm curious to know as well.
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