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Old 11-03-2013, 12:11 AM   #1
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"New" Used 85

I was thinking of getting something bigger, but I saw this deal while out shopping for a bedframe yesterday and it just seemed like the right tank, so I went for it.

It's 4' x 20" x 20" so total volume is about 85 gallons, but one whole end of the tank is built into a sort of strange filter configuration that looks like it is intended to be a wet dry, so the real useable tank volume is closer to 65 gallons. Should be a lot easier (and cheaper) to maintain than the monster I was daydreaming about doing, but it is still the biggest tank I have ever had. Tank, stand and hood delivered cost me about $40 US.

I was also previously thinking of doing some kind of sandstone tile background and some other sort of unusual decor, but as I was digging through pics of tanks I kept coming back to how awesome a plain old clean painted black background looks. So I have changed my mind about that too, gonna do natural background with a sand & gravel substrate and natural rock, I'll probably even go ahead and scrounge rock, as going out rock hunting is pretty fun.

It looks like the flow through the filter is meant to go in through the plexy grate at the bottom then up through the narrow gap and overflow into the top of the filter to then trickle down through a couple layers of media and then under a gap in the bottom into the other side side where a powerhead returns the water back into the main tank.

I think the way I have it oriented now is 'backwards' from the intended setup, but I want the clear end of the tank facing the room so I will deal with it. Thinking about plumbing in some pipes for under-gravel jets for better water movement and flow across the tank. The current setups input and output are way to close to each other for my liking. The powerhead with it will probably get repurposed somewhere else, or tucked away as an emergency backup. It's 900L/Hr and I think I want to push the flow higher than that.

It also came with a bucket of used bioballs, Do you think those can, or should, be cleaned and reused? They are not too expensive here, but why waste them if they can be salvaged? My thinking is that a quick hose down, maybe a once over with a brush, and then a 'pasteurization' ought to make them safe for reuse.

OK some pics of the tank...
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:25 AM   #2
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Nice steal on the tank! Looks like its in good conditon. Yes it will be easier than the 185g that you were planning. Looks kinda like a built-in sump on the tank to me but I'm not sure really.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
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What do you think about the bioballs? Re-useable or not?

Most of the tanks here have a really similar setup for the filter as canisters are pretty much unheard of and from what I have seen of this type of filter running, they can work well if big enough and maintained.

The issue I was seeing was a lot of tank makers were putting the same size built in filter into every tank from 4 ft long to 7 ft long and filtration is not a one size fits all project.

The filter on this one seems plenty big enough though. I am not really stoked on how it brings the water in from the bottom of the tank, I like the 'skimming' action of a regular overflow. it looks like it might be easy to take out that extra piece which makes it draw from the bottom. I may try to do that and then it will just overflow off the top.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:48 PM   #4
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Nice pickup, bio balls would be fine to reuse
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:02 AM   #5
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I took out the plate that I was not liking now it will overflow from the top layer instead sucking the bottom layer up to then get overflowed.

Definitely going to plum in some jets for the filter return. have lots of pvc now on hand from another project, just need a few fittings.

Having changing thoughts about the decor, Since the tank will be in the middle of the room and have not external pipes to hide day to day. I was considering declaring the filter end the 'back', and installing a background on that wall so you don't see the 'guts' from inside the tank. This would leave 2 long sides uncovered, along with the far short side. I think I could make it come out quite nice. Leaning back towards the sandstone tiles for the ' Sunken Temple' thing.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:30 AM   #6
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things are moving along slowly, and with a bit of frustration. While the tank is clean, there are water marks that nothing I have tried has even dented. Curse of the used tank I guess. At this point I am resigned to ignore them.

Decided against using the tile background as I cannot get absolute confirmation they have not been dyed or treated in some other way. After looking at some of them I'm not even 100% sure any more they are not some sort of concrete product. Plus, a lot of the other broken statuary type stuff I was thinking of using for decor I'm a bit more leery about putting in with fish.

Good think I have always liked a plain black background. It IS a really good look anyway, so I went ahead and painted the back black.

Laying in some very basic under gravel piping and jets, pretty much just creating 2 water outlets at the 2 corners away from the filter box end. All that is rough cut and partly assembled. probably going with sand as a substrate. I like sand as it is pretty easy to clean and the funk does not get down deep into it. I may change my mind though as I shop around more.

All the old lighting stuff has been ripped out of the hood and while I'm thinking of going LED still, I may just go with some compact fluorescent bulbs. I looks to be the easiest and cheapest way to go.
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