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Old 02-17-2014, 01:46 AM   #1
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Pulling equipment out of storage, any possible problems?

For about 5 years from somewhere around 2002-2007 I kept a couple different aquariums that have since been put into non-climate controlled storage (in Illinois, where the summer gets hot and the winters get cold). Basically when I went off to college they were dismantled by parents and thrown into storage. To be fair, I had gotten pretty disheartened when a 10 gallon tank dedicated to raising fry I had setup had the glass plate at the bottom snap (crack maybe?) and I ended up losing a lot of baby fish and made a massive mess.

TLDR: I have a bunch of equipment that's been in very hot to very cold storage for 7 years and I want to set some of it back up now that I'm getting my own place.

Recalling from memory I believe I have something along the lines of:
  • 29 gallon tank, it was a (possibly cheap) tank from one of those kits at petco
  • 280 marineland emperor filter
  • Some sort of tetra-whisper 30 gallon filter (came with the kit back in 2002 or so)
  • 3 Heaters for different sized tanks
  • 5 gallon acryllic tank with built in filter
I can't actually get to any of it for a few weeks but I was wondering if there would be any of that equipment that may have survived and would be reusable. I'm mostly concerned about the tank; after having the glass plate snap on the bottom of the 10 gallon tank mentioned earlier, I'm extremely untrusting of glass tanks. Should I probably just scrap the heaters and not even bother trying them?
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:56 AM   #2
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I would think the tank would be fine but you could test it first. I def would throw out the heaters. I don't trust old heaters, not worth the risk to me but I know there are others who have been using the same heaters since the 70's.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:28 AM   #3
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My spare heater was in similar storage for about 7 months and when I pulled it out... Nothing, the little light comes on but no heat.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:34 AM   #4
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My spare heater was in similar storage for about 7 months and when I pulled it out... Nothing, the little light comes on but no heat.
Ya, I'm not really expecting those heaters to have survived the test of time in that storage unit. I'm kind of hoping the aquarium and filters are ok though. From what I recall the filters wouldn't be bad to have double team that 29 gallon, though I know 29 is a bit on the small side. I already have the stand and everything for it so I'm probably not in a position to upgrade much at the moment (especially with buying new things for a place).

I wouldn't mind getting my hands on one of those new fluval c4 filters though if one of my filters is dead...

I was hoping to setup the 5 gallon as a tank to put in new acquires or fish that get sick (I forget the aquarium term). I remember a big deal being made about the "fish coat" of slime back when I was handling fish which made me leery of catching them in nets, is this still the case? How do people handle it now?
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:51 AM   #5
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I'd be more concerned with expansion and contraction of the seals

Those size tanks are cheap enough, so I wouldn't risk it.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:31 PM   #6
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I'd be more concerned with expansion and contraction of the seals

Those size tanks are cheap enough, so I wouldn't risk it.
If I'm going to get a new tank I'd go with acrylic, I'm not a fan of glass after my experiences. That being said, would a simple tank fill->check for leaks be enough to rule out a bad seal? Even then I'd imagine some sort of aquarium approved caulk is out there that I could try.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against getting a new toy, I'd love to get a 50 gallon acrylic tank, but I'd rather atleast try to work with I have so I can justify to my wallet that I've done everything within reason.

That and I prefer small fish. My ideal tank:

  • 4 guppies, 3 females 1 male
  • 8-10 neon tetras
  • 5 zebra danio
  • 5 white cloud minnow
  • 3-4 bronze corys


According to the advisor I could fit all that in a 29 gallon but it'd be nearing max stock capacity.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:57 PM   #7
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Would you be using that Emperor 280 with that stock?
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:23 PM   #8
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Would you be using that Emperor 280 with that stock?
I'd probably run with 2 filters. If both the filters work I'd use them both since they've worked fine in the past (so it'd be the emporer 280 and a tetra whisper power filter 30). I figure as long as the water flow isn't messing with the fish at all the more filtration the better (short of your tank looking like a sewage system with pipes).

Those filters are both circa 2003 so I don't know if anything major has changed in them in the past 10 or so years. If one of them doesn't work it means I get to play with a fluval c4 which looks like a very fun filter. If both don't work I'll pick up a fluval and another fun looking filter.

After working so long in IT, redundancy seems like a good thing to me.
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:16 PM   #9
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I'm not sure how good the silicone on the tank would be after that long in non-climate controlled storage.

If you do decide to try the old tank certainly do a leak test before you use it. I'd fill it up about half way and let it sit for a day, if there are no leaks fill it up all the way and let it sit for multiple days.

Glass tanks are pretty reliable as long as you give them a good level surface to sit on. They also don't have the scratching issue acrylic tanks have.
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:28 PM   #10
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Yes he's right. My ten gallon had lasted me since I was 5 years old. I'm 18 now and I still have it up and running.
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