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Old 03-04-2009, 01:27 PM   #1
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Tank Preparation

Hello All!

I am kinda new to fish tanks in general and am really new to saltwater fish... I am even newer still to installing and setting up a 150gallon tank. However that's exactly where I am at and I need a little help.

I was hoping someone in this forum could help me out a little.

I have an all steel base in very good condition. It has heavy square steel legs and connections. The tank is all glass and is currently in the place where I plan to put it. I contacted someone who knows the buildings in my area and the aged 1900's style old mansion construction as I knew that set up and filled this tank would be approximately 2000 lbs. I bought all the gear (Heaters, Fluval 404, Remora Protine Skimmer and an Aquaclear) hearing the confirming words of you should be good. Unfortunately last night when I put the tank on its stand I saw that the legs do not stand on level ground. The building as old as it is has settled some. Only 2 of the 6 legs sit squarely on the ground and it pitches (longways) towards the front of the old mansion. I shimmed it with oak shims and now it is stable.

What I was hoping to hear from someone is if they ever shimmed a tank before and wether it was safe to consider doing... If not, how should I do it or not at all. The weight and balance of this thing is my prime concern as I will be EXTREMELY cautious when filling it (using a level the entire way through the fill process and doing it slowly). The forward picth along the length concerns me some too, but, not terribly unless I am missing something important I should know.

Any recommendations and ideas will definately be considered as I really want to do this right.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:04 PM   #2
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I'm not the structural engineer type, but I'd be a bit concerned about the overall integrity of the floor - not whether the tank would fall thru, but if the compensation you made with the shims, could give further as the weight is added or established after a while.

Another thing to consider is if you're OK with the metal stand anyway. Wood cabinets can hide things underneath - like sumps, or refugiums which you may consider as you learn more. Once you get that sucker loaded on the metal, there's no turning back in replacing the stand

I don't envy your decisions.

And of course, weclome to AA!
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:21 PM   #3
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Heh I hear ya...

Actually I plan to build a nice "facade" to go around the metal base at some point. The shelving is also on the way to being built. I know that a lot of things go where the base is but at the moment most all my equipment is hang on however so I am hoping it doesn't get too messy.... yet. As for the shims, they are just oak pieces i slid under the legs. Yea, I hope the floor doesn't show signs of weakness. If it does, i've already decided to un-fill the tank and hit the darn thing with a hammer. I just cant imagine moving that thing up and down the stairs again.

It looks so nice where it is. I have a nice little nook in the apartment (8ft x 3 ft) that is surrounded by 3 load bearing exterior brick walls. Just to be sure, I threw down a sheet of oak plywood to help distribute the weight as well. Now I am seriously considering putting 2 2x4's under the lengwise legs as well to also help in distribution. I was hoping to avoid this as the tank stands pretty tall as it is. We will see. Not looking forward to moving it again though cause that tank is friggen heavy as heck and my girlfriend is not too much help with that much weight.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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Not to much light from any nearby window, is it? That causes algae issues later too.

If it's not too late, re-consider the hang on equipment. That sump or refugium below provides a nice place for the heaters (2 recommended), more liver rock for enhanced biological filtration, more water volume which is better anytime, skimmers, and macro algae growth.

Of course you need one hang on piece then which'd be the overflow box - - or of course, have your tank drilled.

Good luck and keep us posted on your decision making and progress.

Most of all research and go slow. It'll save you money and headaches in the long run. I guarantee it.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for all your help.

Yea, I got the tank, filters, stand, live rock (about 150lbs), live gravel and about 8 nice healthy fish (the guy is holding them till my tank is up and running) for next to nothing (200 buckaroos). All I bought was the heaters (x2) and the Remora Skimmer which everyone i spoke to told me was a great protein skimmer (came with a rio 1700). I thought it sounded like a killer deal till i saw how incredibly big a 150 was (and heavy). I was actually in the market for a 75 gallon (preferably bow front) but after some consideration figured for 200 it was really quite an offer. It also looked smaller where it was considering it was right beside a 350 gallon. It had fish in it and was running when i saw it so I knew it was not to leak and it had some beatiful fish in it also. That never hurts selling a tank.

Anyow, yea I'll eventually upgrade stuff but for now unfortunately am sorta stuck with what I have. My biggest concern atm is the floor and the water that will be all over it if i do something wrong. lol. I just moved into the apartment and really like my downstaairs neighbor. I'd hate to give him a new un-requested pool in his livingroom. Though I bet his kids would find it cool for a minute or two.

I will definately post my plans as this aquarium comes together. Its been 2 weeks of work getting it to where it is now (on its stand and ready for water) but I am still a tad hesitant about taking the final plunge (hopefully not litterally) and putting the water into it. I will likely be asking people on the form for cycling advice and how to set up the tank. I am so excited to get it up and running I just cant tell you. I've been checking the fish stores lately and surfing every fish related site I find for information and ideas. I cant wait till I can show off my tank once its looking good.

Many thanks to your replies and I am glad to have made contact on this site. I am stoked to be a member. Hopefully one day Ill be a contributor rather than just an asker.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:20 PM   #6
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We good a good article at this site on cycling.

Also realize that it'll be 2 months I'll bet before your fish are ready to move in. he'll hold'm that long for you??
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:39 PM   #7
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Who Knows...

Well, he has fish he called starter fish. He said they'd be hardy enough for initial move in so the tank can get "cycled". The bigger nicer fish he has in his 350 and (so long as they don't get eaten) have a semi permanent place to live. Also he has a 225 tank he is keeping some of the others in.

The 350 he has 2 smaller sharks and some other really cool fish in but he said the bigger fish would be fine in there till they are ready for my tank. Personally I wouldn't want to be in a tank with any shark... thanks. lol. But the guy is super cool, very nice and has a tremendous wealth of knowledge. He even went with me to the pet store and helped me pick out the skimmer and heaters i would need. He has been on my speed dial since I bought the tank and has been talking with me daily. I think he will keep them for me as long as needed. (if only businesses had the same amount of post sale help as him the world would be a much nicer place)

I noticed I didn't answer one of your questions... Yes it is near a window but its got a big pine tree in front of it and never gets direct light. I think it should be fine.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:40 PM   #8
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do you have a link for that article?
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:59 PM   #9
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Nevermind. Just read it.

Very interesting article. Not so sure how my GF will appreciate some dead shrimp in the tank, but hey... if it saves a life it saves a life. Im not one to be inhumane.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:23 PM   #10
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you can use pure ammonia in place of the shrimp
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