I've been casually looking to upgrade my 29g to something in the 125g -180g range with the intent of setting it up when my wife and I move out of out apartment, which hopefully is going to happen in the next 6-8 months. My brother decided to speed things up by finding a tank for me. My brother is into big snakes and was offered this tank for his snakes since it was cracked. He doesn't have anywhere to put the tank in his apartment, so he offered it to me, and I'm a sucker for free stuff that I can fix, and it was free, as long as we got it out of the guy's garage by last Saturday.
I kept bugging my brother for details about the tank, specifically the dimensions, so I could decide whether I needed to rent a bigger truck than my Ranger. He originally told me that the tank was 96"x36"x27", which would have been great, since I have about 8ft of bed length in my truck with the tailgate down. I get a call Friday afternoon: "The tank is ten feet long and it's made of 1" glass." I'm thinking "Oh great! Now I have to find a truck at the last minute, and just how the heck am I going to find enough people to help me carry this thing?", and my brother is telling me that the owner moved it with a truck with a 6ft bed, so I figured I'd give it a shot with my truck.
Saturday rolls around and I've got my dad and the brother that started all of this recruited to help me move the beast. I'm flying by the seat of my pants at this point. I don't know where the tank is located. I don't know the extent of the damage to the tank. I'm not even sure of the tank dimensions, or that it will fit in the truck! (We ended up using my dad's Ranger so that I didn't have to take the tonneau cover off my truck.)
After a lot of phone tag, we finally made it to the guy's house to get the aquarium. It's in his garage and it's filled full of junk. Once we emptied it, I started thinking that maybe I bit off more than I can chew. I was almost certain that the 1" glass was an exaggeration. I had never heard of a tank that was only about 2 feet deep having 1" glass. The tank was every bit of ten feet and the glass was 1" thick. On top of that, the tank was heavily eurobraced and reef-ready with a huge overflow built out of 3/4" smoked glass.
One end of the tank was already up on a furniture dolly. We lifted up the other end, placed another dolly underneath it, and rolled it to the truck. The four of us were able to lift one end up to the tailgate, then slide the tank into the truck bed. A good two and a half feet of tank stuck out past the end of the tailgate. We decided that there was no way three of us were going to get that tank anywhere but off the truck, and especially not up to my brother's second-floor apartment or my third-floor apartment. It would have to go to my parents' first.
We took the side streets through Joliet back to my parents' house in Orland. The looks we got while driving were priceless. No one would pull within 10 feet of the tank.
For storage reasons, I figured I'd dismantle the tank sooner rather than later. I thought a few razorblades and an hour should be enough to cut through the silicone. Boy was I wrong! I've found a whole lot more appreciation for silicone and it's adhesive properties.
First, I had to get all this decorative black plastic off the edges so that I could get to the seams. That killed an hour by itself. Several of the seams were too tight to get a razor blade into to cut the silicone. First the end braces came off. They weren't too difficult. Then an end came off with a little more effort. The center brace proved to be the most difficult to remove. After wasting an hour trying to move it, I finally gave up and started cutting the back panel loose. Gravity was the hero of the day. The back panel came loose and dropped a couple inches, which spread the seams on the top brace enough to get a blade in.
The front came off rather easily after the center brace was removed. The end with the overflow proved to be a real bugger. The seams were too tight to cut and the overflow prevented the side from being twisted off. My dad finally used a 2x4 to lever the seams wide enough to cut.
Five hours, fifteen utility knife blades, three wooden shims, and a putty knife later, the tank was reduced to panes of glass. Currently, they are resting on the side of my parents' house because that's as far as my dad and I could carry the big panes. They will be hibernating in my grandmother's garage until I find somewhere to set up the tank.
My wife (Sara) is actually excited about the tank. I think she's getting addicted. Here is her idea:
Sara: "I want neons."
: "Which ones?"
Sara: "We'll take the whole tank. Maybe that tank too."
Sorry for the ridiculously long post. I'll try to get some pictures here and I'll definitely post when I'm repairing and setting up the tank.