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Corey Sharp

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  1. Hey Everyone! I posted a few days back on the Facebook page but didn't get many answers and my Betta is still struggling. I noticed him severely bloated and lethargic a few days ago. I immediately checked water parameters and all was normal. I added aquarium salt (4 tablespoons to the 5.6 gallons of water). That night I also decided to start Maracyn. Since he has been doing great for 6+ months, his only tank mates are Snails and Cherry Shrimp, and the water parameters were normal, my best guess is he ate a baby snail or something and blocked him up. He has continued to swim and change depth so it doesnt appear to be swim bladder related. But he mostly lays there, either in his floating log, on the bottom, or in a plant. The first picture is from day one, how I found him. I didn't get a good look the night before, so possibly this has been going on longer than I caught it, but hes in my kitchen and ate like normal and was swimming around while my family had dinner. The 2nd image is from today. Today is day 5 of the Maracyn treatments. Tomorrow would be water change day per the instructions. On day one, Ph was around 7 Nitrates 10 Nitrites 0 Ammonia 0 Gh 150 Kh 80 Since treating with Maracyn, it seems to have killed some of the beneficial bacteria. My current parameters are the same other than Nitrites are now registering so I'm also dosing Prime. I know the pineconing is a terrible sign and my optimism is very low. But my whole family loves this little guy so if you have any suggestions I'll try it. I have the med trio on hand (other than the fact im low on Maracyn now). Thanks everyone, in advance! This community is fantastic! First Day This is now. Notice the orange coming from his gills. That goes in and out as he breathes.
  2. No new updates! The holidays and work slowed things down a bit. I have pretty much everything needed and hoping to actually finish removing the old silicone and resealing tomorrow. Im questioning my stocking ideas though. Im so torn on if I want discus or not. I know I eventually want to keep them, but I'm also contemplating a few other ideas. Either way, the tank and stand need to be setup, so one step at a time! I'll keep updates coming!
  3. I'm currently going through the process of setting up a 180 gallon aquarium with the end goal of a planted community tank with a school of Discus, Cardinal Tetras, Rummynose Tetras, Sterbai Corys, and a pleco or two. The project is no light undertaking, so I thought this would be a great place to document the process. Not only do I want to be able to look back years down the road, I hope I can educate and entertain others along the way. I know me, and know I am going to ramble here, but that's what a journal is for, right? For starters, this is all new to me. I've only been keeping fish for a little overr a year. I wanted to keep fish for well over a decade now, but I never got around it. Finally, my father-in-law got my daughter a Betta for her 1st birthday last year, and that kicked off my obsession. That quickly upgraded to a planted 36 gallon community tank and a 6 gallon cube for the Betta. Now, I finally got my wife on board with, or at least not objecting to, setting up a large aquarium in the basement. Bonus points because my now 2-year-old daughter loves the hobby too. Loves feeding the fish and always asks to go to the fishy store. Once that green light was given by my wife, I started browsing Facebook Marketplace for the aquarium. The goal was something between 125-180. After a while, 2 180s popped up at the same time. One was older with wood trim and wasn't drilled. The other (the one I got) had black plastic trim and was predrilled with what I guess is called reef-ready. The seller never had it set up and I think he ended up with it after buying a storage locker at auction. It seemed to be in okay shape from my limited knowledge and was $400 so I rolled with it. I also knew I wanted to run it with a sump, so I set out to find a 75 gallon aquarium for that purpose. Interestingly, I found one right away and after talking to the owner about it, I had his 180 gallon. He let it go after moving and seemed to have gotten out of the hobby. He sold me the 75 gallon for $50. After getting both home and in my garage, I started watching videos on cleaning used aquariums and that sent me down a rabbit hole of resealing them. I decided I was going to tackle that project. The seams looked to be in great shape. No bubbles in the structural part of the silicone whatsoever, but the silicone I would be replacing had seen better days. While it was still pliable, the edges were beginning to dry rot, and peel back. It did hold water though. I filled it, added citric acid to scrub the salt off, and it stayed full for a few hours with no issues. after cleaning it, I quickly drained it though because my garage was not completely level and I didn't want any added stress to one seam over another. I ordered Momentive RTV103 Silicone after reading several reef forums. I also picked up several kinds of razors from Lowes and got down to business. Thanks to my dad, brother-in-law, and best friend, we were able to move it down to my basement so I could work on it in a heated space. Plus that's where it will eventually be set up. Currently, I have both overflow boxes removed, and silicone cleaned out of 2 of the 8 seams. It'll be a long process, but I enjoy these DIY projects. Tonight, I did find a pretty decent chip in one of the side panels below the silicone seal. That has me pretty nervous, but If it was there prior and I make sure its completely covered, I should be okay. At least I hope I'm okay because a new 180 gallon aquarium isn't in the budget currently. For the sump, I plan to only have 3 chambers. The first chamber will house a series of mechanical filtration most likely with sponges and filter floss. This area will be about 6 inches wide. From there I plan to have the water flow up through an 8 inch wide chamber full of bio media. The baffle here will be about 14 inches tall so from my math, could hold about 8 gallons of bio media. After that, the water will fall into a large return chamber (34x18). If I have the water filled up to 14 inches in the sump, the return chamber should have about 37 gallons of water in it. I'll house the heaters, and a few sponge filters here to help with aeration and to have seeded sponges if I need a quarantine tank set up fast. My goal is to run an auto water change system out of the return chamber. I should be able to drain about 20 gallons of water out of that chamber and still allow my return pump to run. In theory, I think as long as the pump speed doesn't vary, changing water from the return chamber should just lower and raise the water level in the return, meanwhile, nothing changes or is noticeable in the display tank. All of that happens with the return pump staying on. I could be totally wrong on this but I couldn't find anyone running a setup like this. Maybe there is a reason for that, but it sounds like a fun idea to me so we'll see! I have about 80% of the materials purchased to finish the build. I went with a Sicce SDC 6.0 pump and Sicce Scuba Contactless heaters. I'm going to build the stand out of 2x4s and 2x6s. I will eventually wrap the stand in a nice plywood and stain it, but I want to get the tank resealed, set up, and running before I worry about the aesthetics. I also find water chemistry super fascinating. I will start out by saying, I don't think you should chase parameters. It's probably best in most situations to let acclimate your fish to your water. With that said, my tap water would supply an amazing African cichlid tank, but isn't ideal for the fish I want to keep. To remedy this, I purchased 4x 30 gallon food-grade drums so I can mix my very hard and alkaline tap water with RO water. This is another element of the DIY process I really like. I'm still working on the logistics of it, but ideally, I can set up the tanks to automatically fill and mix the right amount to get softer water around a PH of 6.8 or so. I manually do this in my Betta's tank now, but with the drums and float valves, I think I can automate the process and consistently have a stable source of water without chasing parameters with additives. More updates to come! Heres the tank how I got it. Taking the old black paint off the back All Cleaned Up! The joints seem to be in great shape 75 Gallon running citric acid through it In the basement, Overflows off, and starting to remove the silicone Defect in glass Box of goodies! 30 Gallon Drums!
  4. I completely agree with all of the above concerns. I don't plan on ever moving it full. I would leave maybe 6 inches of water in it if I have to move it with fish. The idea would be for when I go to finish the basement I can put a wall up behind it and if there was a plumbing emergency where I had to redo something behind the tank. I think the two biggest concerns I have are how strong are the rubber pads and how would I attach them. I know they are for heavy-duty items, but a vending machine could probably settle a bit over time without any issues. An aquarium... not sure about that. As far as attaching them, my current thought is to run 3x 24" long 2x6 flat along the bottom of the stand. One flush with each end and one in the middle. That way the the weight-bearing supports are continuous through the bottom 2x6's. I still don't know how much I trust that. I think it's a cool idea and I would love to pull it off, I'm just not sure if I want to run the risks. I might play around with it while building the stand, but if I'm not 100% confident in it, I won't do it.
  5. Has anyone used casters on a DIY stand? I'm going to be building a stand for a 180 gallon aquarium with a 75 gallon sump beneath it. I expect the whole setup to weigh 3000-3500 pounds, so I'm trying to build the stand to handle at least double that. The aquarium is going in my unfinished basement and I would love to be able to move the aquarium down the road to finish the basement in a couple of years. I also would love the ability to get behind the aquarium if needed for servicing. I found these and thought it would give me the added benefit of an easy leveling system. I would get 2 sets of these and would want to make sure all 8 are distributed underneath the load bearing 2x6's. Any thoughts or suggestions?
  6. Hey Everyone! What are your thoughts on resealing an aquarium in cooler temperatures? I just picked up a used 180 gallon. The seams where the glass meet look to be in great shape. However the silicone inside is starting to peel on the edges pretty much everywhere. It was stored in the midwest in a non climate controlled storage locker. It stayed dry but probably experienced 20f-100f temps. To be safe, I'm going to reseal and do a leak test before setting it up. It's going to be set up in my basement but is currently in my attached garage. Ideally I do my leak test in my garage because I have easy access to a hose hookup, plus Id hate to have 4 friends come over, rent the suction cups to move it, and get it in my basement to find out it leaks. My concern with resealing it in the garage is the ambient temps this time of year. I ordered Momentive RTV103 and its supposed to come tomorrow. The 15 day forcast bounces between 44f and 60f and overnight lows between 25f and 40f. The next 7 days look to be the warmer of the 2 weeks. Mostly lows in the 30s and highs in the 50s. It will be in my garage so it should be a bit more temperate than the outside temp. I can also set up a space heater to keep the temps up overnight. On one hand, I think I may have more working time with the silicone due to the temps, but on the other, I'm concerned about curing. I'm in absolutely no hurry to move this aquarium in and time is on my side, so I can let it cure for weeks if needed. I'd just like to do the leak test in the garage if at all possible. What are your thoughts? Go for it in the garage? Or bring it into my basement first despite not knowing if it leaks? My basement is technically unfinished, although we do have a livingroom area set up this will go in. I mainly don't want to go through the hassle of moving a 300+ pounds glass box that leaks. Thanks for any thoughts! Loving the forum already!
  7. Well, interestingly, I found out who originally had the 180 gallon. I was searching market place for a cheap standard sized 75 gallon for sump options and I found one. I got to digging and the guy selling it was the original owner of the 180 I just bought. It was a long story and I dont have all the details but it sounds like he had it in storage, was trying to sell it but the storage locker went through an auction and he lost it. I think I got it from the guy who bought the locker from auction. He was a super nice guy and even tossed in a carbon reactor he wont need anymore. So now I have the 70 corner and 75 gallon with some baffles already. The wife will probably want the 70 corner to be sold and thats okay. Saying yes to the 180 made my whole year! It'll still be a fun project. I'll probably end up removing the existing baffles and set it up exactly how i want it. Now on to cleaning them, testing they hold water, and building a stand!
  8. Hey Everyone! I'm new here but have been following Aquarium Co-op for a long time! I got bit by the aquarium bug hard and have been wanting to set up a larger custom aquarium. I got my wife on board and I finally got a 180 gallon. I think I want to keep Discus in it, but time will tell. I love all aspects of the hobby, from simple low tech setups, to advanced tech and DIY setups. For my new 180 gallon, I think I want to build my own sump and maybe try to incorporate an auto water change down the road. For the sump, I have a corner aquarium thats about 70 gallons that I think will actually fit under the 180. Problem is, the front panel is curved. I got it from family years ago and never set it up because I'm not talented enough to build a stand that looks good with a rounded aquarium. Since this will fit under the 180, what are your thoughts on building a sump out of an odd shape aquarium? Im thinking if I get acrylic from my local hardware store for the baffles and a silicone that will adhere glass and acrylic, i could maybe work with the rounded front panel. Does that sounds ridiculous? Could the odd shape hurt the flow in any adverse way? My other option is to sell it and find something else to make the sump. Just figured its worth a shot since I already have it. Love to hear what you all think!
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