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  1. Same as everyone else. I get a lot of enjoyment out of watching fish do their thing in this little bubble of an ecosystem I keep in my house. I also enjoy the fact that my 3 year old is getting an appreciation of nature out of it as well.
  2. Definitely, unless your house is on a slab and not a crawl space or basement. And even then, you might want to pull up the floor boards and reinforce the floor joists. Your going to be somewhere around 3500 lbs at 400 gallons once the tank is build, decorated and filled. With a crawl space, you will want to either have a cement pad poured, or at the least some footers poured. With that, or a basement, I would support the floor with floor jacks and 4x4s, at least 4 jacks and 2 4x4. I would get some boards the same dimensions as the floor joists, be it 2x6 or 2x8, and fit them between the joists for more support there as well. The more the merrier. The cheapest route will definitely be plywood coated with fiberglass with a glass or acrylic front panel. If your lucky amd own a bunch of acreage, chances are you can find some big pieces of granite and/quartzsite. Thats how I've been getting stone for my tank. Stones big enough for 400 gallons though, again, are going to weigh a lot. In this case it would probably be more economical, and far lighter to use foam board, cement and and acrylic sealant to make stone structures instead. I believe you can probably get away with building the tank for around 5 grand using this method, with most of the cost going to the view panel and the epoxy for the fiberglass. Filtration varies but I imagine that can be done pretty cheap, relatively speaking. Just build a giant canister filter using a trash can, hose, lava rock and a big enough pump. The real cost comes in with stocking with plants and fish.
  3. Ok, looks like the last of the ich is cleared out. Basically a week long treatment of malachite green and a form of formaldehyde took care of it. What looks to be fungus on the other hand hasn't changed much in the last two days. I am going to leave the treatment in one more day as it instructs. Tomorrow I am going to pick up and set up another aquarium and quarantine the afflicted rainbow and treat it with some salt. Hopefully this will knock it out.
  4. As of now, I am no closer to a solution. I used tetra ich guard, not much success there. I've now also used API fungus cure to rage care of the eye growth. It's certainly gotten better. I am waiting out that med. I don't wanna go too crazy though since they all seem to contain malachite green by some name or another. I am going to finish up this treatment cycle, and if no dice, I'll be hitting up Craigslist to find a small aquarium to quarantine the Rainbow from the rest and treat it with some salt.
  5. Also, are you allowing your water to de-gas? I'm on well water, if I test straight out of the tap my water looks soft and acidic. Once its sat for 24 hours and all the gas has pearled all over the tank and bubbled up to the surface my water sits at about 8-8.2 ph and around 30°gH. Gasses in the water can really throw off your tests.
  6. I suppose when in doubt, KISS. In this case the simplest route is to use the plywood, cut to size, slap a few coats of latex paint on it, then a few more. While getting the plywood, you can also pick up shims. They are generally used for cabinetry and come in packs of 10. So, put the plywood on the stand, put the tank on and maybe add the substrate, or just about 10 gallons of water for some weight. Next take the shims and tap them lightly into place. A touch of wood glue before hand might be a good idea. After the tank is full, cut the shims down flush. Here are the shims I mean btw. Nelson Wood Shims 8" 12 Pack - Kiln Dried Wood - Set of 2 (Total 24 Shims) - Walmart.com - Walmart.com WWW.WALMART.COM Free 2-day shipping. Buy Nelson Wood Shims 8" 12 Pack - Kiln Dried Wood - Set of 2...
  7. Well, it looks like things went from bad to worse. Woke up this morning to what appears to be a fungal infection. About to head to the local pet stores and see what they might have for treatment. If nothing good I'll be on my way to Pruess in Lansing.. ill be doing a 50% water change then treating. The ich also doesn't seem to have been cured by the Tetra Ich Guard either. It hasn't gotten significantly worse, but its still very much present.
  8. Thanks for taking a look. I had suspected as much and started treatment yesterday. Sadly all I could find locally was the Tetra Ich Guard tablets... so blue! The spots I saw on my fish are still there, however, no new spots have formed. If I remember correctly, ich meds kill the parasite while multiplying. I think I'll let this sit for another day or so. If it worsens I'll take the drive into Lansing and hit up Pruess for a better treatment.
  9. Today, I would like to share the tale of Dudikins and the 75 gallon aquarium. Dudikins is one of two Julies I bought about 2 months ago. My hope was that I would find a happy pair that would mate up. Sadly this would not be the case. While clearly a female, the second Julie was simply not Dudikins cup of tea, and after a few days of harassment, I decided it best to move the female out of the 75 and let her, Jules, live peacefully in a 20 gallon i have in my home office. I thought all would be right in my fishes world. I was wrong. At first I noticed that Dudikins would harass the the bigger male of my rainbow shoal, (2 males, 2 females currently). It didn't seem overly aggressive, just a bit if chasing once in a while. This seemed to be the norm and so his aggression kinda never crossed my mind again. It should have though. At least two signs were there had I known what I was looking at. Dudikins pretty much had his way around the tank, and the rainbow squad hung out mostly to the lower right side of the tank, unless I was near. This was one sign I think I was missing. The second sign, a little less obvious, was my Synodontis in constant hiding. I know cats tend to be a bit more shy and reclusive and our syno, Seneca, was rarely to be seen. About two weeks ago, my wife pointed out Seneca, who had emerged from its hiding area, and almost immediately after, as you might have guessed, Dudikins flew into action, bullying Seneca relentlessly. Going so far as to actively look for the syno. This drove Seneca back into hiding. Today, the last straw was reached. While doing my morning feeding, I noticed the big male of the rainbow squad had a damaged pectoral fin on his right side. Dudikins further seemed to know of the damage he caused, as he kept trying to get up to that side of the rainbow and get after the fin some more. So after the distraction of feeding was through, I pulled all of the caves and rocks out of the tank and set about catching Dudikins. He now resides in then 20, and I have moved the female into the 75. What I find amazing is just how much different the tank is now. Every fish is far more active. The rainbows are everywhere in the tank now, not just huddled in their corner. The syno as well has come out and can be seen moving from cave to cave to bridge and back. Even the oto's, whom seemed to be to small to be a worry of Dudikins seem far happier and far more active. The difference is absolutely amazing. If you find you have a bully. Even if that fish seems to only bully one fish, fornthe sake of the whole tank, removing the bully, not the victim, is the wisest course. They can create an atmosphere of fear without bothering all of the other fish.
  10. This morning I ended up having to move my juli out of our main tank on account of him bullying our bigger male Boesemani. This of course required pulling out all of the rocks to clear hiding space. Once done and with the tank back together, I've been watching the rainbow fishes behavior and they seem much more happy now, swimming all around the tank rather than just grouping over to the right side. However, while watching them, I noticed a couple of white spots on the males tail. Taking a closer look, I see white spots forming on the other rainbows too. Before I start ich treatment, since this my first case, I just want to verify that this is indeed what I am dealing with. Thanks in advance. Ph: 8-8.2 Nitrates 5ppm Nitires 0 Ammonia <.025 GH 30° KH 14° Temp 78°f
  11. That's actually a good thought. I work with metal a lot so I just think of what might work easier for me. However, a 2x4 frame might be a better option here. I personally would shy away from plywood and partical boards for this sort of application. Unless you want to bump up the cost a fair bit to get waterproofed stuff, both have a tendency to swell when just a bit of water gets on it. But a 2x4 frame with some bracing, and a couple of wedges to tap in the gap in the center to add a little support there might do the trick.
  12. Meijer, Walmart, target, places like that. If nothing like that is around you, just Google HDPE cutting board and order one online. Its the standard white plastic cutting board. HDPE is good at resisting deformation. Its often used as sliding blocks for heavy stuff like pop out campers.
  13. Is that? I know that glass will bow a bit, but an 1/8th of an inch seems a little much. Especially for a tempered glass bottom which a 125 would surely be. I've not gone as big as 125, but there was no gap in my 75, nor either of the 55s I've done.
  14. Two ways, one is to drill a hole in the tanks at the top and interlink all of them with bulkheads, then put the inlet on the tank at one end and the outlet in the tank at the opposite end. Less intrusively. You can accomplish the same with some tubing. Place a 1" tube across the top of tank a and b, and another between b and c. Then use an air hose to suck out the air from the tubes. As before, inlet from the filter goes in one end, outlet in the other. There is an inherent risk in the second option however. If your tubes are short, and for some reason the water comes out of them, then the tank that the filter is filling will over flow and the tank with the outlet to the filter will completely drain.
  15. Don't know your tool or skill set, but its possible to use some 2x4s, a long straight edge and some clamps to flex the tubes flat. Depending on the stands design, you can also use some tube stock to "wedge" between a bottom brace and the top tube and flex it back into place. Both options would leave a better look than playing cards smashed in there, and would be far more water proof. I personally would to the former, and add a square stock leg front and back center, with an adjustable foot to prevent it from sagging over time. If you don't want to go that route, rather than using playing cards, get a thin white HDPE cutting board. Cut and sand some strips to the size needed. However, be aware that its possible and probable for the steel tube to droop over time without any central support. I mean, you are already having that issue now. It won't get better if not properly supported with hundreds of pounds of water now sitting on it.
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