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View Full Version : DoubleD's First Aquarium-Budget Edition



DoubleD
01-26-2010, 10:27 PM
Hey everyone! I just picked up my first tank, a 45 gallon from craiglist, and I wanted to show it off to the world! So without further ado, my equipment:

http://s50.photobucket.com/albums/f321/Khorne86/Aquarium/?action=view&current=DSC07470.jpg&newest=1

Here is the tank, there is quite a bit I need to do it, but its mostly cleaning and peeling off that blue paint.

The biggest pitfall of the tank is this small fracture on the inside glass, here pictured between my index and middle fingers....not too sure if I can patch it up, it does not cause the tank to leak, but I don't want it to expand.

http://s50.photobucket.com/albums/f321/Khorne86/Aquarium/?action=view&current=DSC07471.jpg&newest=1


Here is the filter, I have no idea what kind it is, but it does work :19:
http://s50.photobucket.com/albums/f321/Khorne86/Aquarium/?action=view&current=DSC07472.jpg&newest=1

Here is a picture of the carbon compartment from the filter.
http://s50.photobucket.com/albums/f321/Khorne86/Aquarium/?action=view&current=DSC07473.jpg&newest=1

Finally somethings that I have no idea what they are!
http://s50.photobucket.com/albums/f321/Khorne86/Aquarium/?action=view&current=DSC07474.jpg&newest=1


So that is what I got, not bad for $50?

I do have some questions for those out there with more experience:
Is the filter I have adequate, what kind of filter is it?
Will I be able to put a hood on with this filter?
What can I do about the crack in the side of the tank?
Should I change out the Carbon in the filter?
What are the those things in the last picture?



Here is a list of things that I have planned in the near future:
Buy materials to make a pine stand/find a stand.
Buy a hood.



Thanks for looking!

Crispy
01-26-2010, 10:31 PM
$50 is a great deal, but can't help you any further since your image links aren't working?

Scrup
01-26-2010, 10:34 PM
Here is the filter, I have no idea what kind it is, but it does work :19:
http://s50.photobucket.com/albums/f321/Khorne86/Aquarium/?action=view&current=DSC07472.jpg&newest=1

That is a Marineland Emperor 400

Here is a picture of the carbon compartment from the filter.
http://s50.photobucket.com/albums/f321/Khorne86/Aquarium/?action=view&current=DSC07473.jpg&newest=1

I would not reuse that carbon, its not needed really, you can always put some other media in that tray.

Finally somethings that I have no idea what they are!
http://s50.photobucket.com/albums/f321/Khorne86/Aquarium/?action=view&current=DSC07474.jpg&newest=1

Powerhead (water pump) and an air pump

Thanks for looking!

Pretty good deal actually. The crack REALLY worries me though. Is it on the side or the bottom? You can always buy a new piece and replace it, or if you are not concerned with the look, put a patch over it. It may not leak now, but I can almost promise you it will eventually.

Scrup
01-26-2010, 10:35 PM
did the filter come with the bottom part of the intake? it should have an extention, or at least a cover for it, keeps it from sucking up fish.

Whoa...whered the links go?

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f321/Khorne86/Aquarium/DSC07471.jpg

DoubleD
01-26-2010, 10:39 PM
Thanks for the replies guys, I am trying to putz with the images to get them to work, they work for me, so not too sure what is up with that.

The crack is on the side of the tank, I am no problem just patching it, if it will work.

I have the rest of the pieces for the filter, the extension and the cover. What other media should i put in those trays?

Thanks again for looking!

EDIT: during my last edit I decided to delete the whole post, cuz I am awesome lol sorry about that!

Northernguy
01-26-2010, 10:43 PM
If the side panel of glass is cracked you really should have left it there.Sorry I would have.
I wouldn't use that tank until the you replace the side panel.It will not hold water for very long.
Its too bad that they didn't clean out the filter after they stopped using it.
It may be an older model Marineland filter.
It also looks to be a powerhead and an air pump.
Does any of it work?
A patch will not work for long.

Scrup
01-26-2010, 10:45 PM
neat, just got a virus off of a photobucket pop-up.

DoubleD
01-26-2010, 10:53 PM
If the side panel of glass is cracked you really should have left it there.Sorry I would have.
I wouldn't use that tank until the you replace the side panel.It will not hold water for very long.
Its too bad that they didn't clean out the filter after they stopped using it.
It may be an older model Marineland filter.
It also looks to be a powerhead and an air pump.
Does any of it work?
A patch will not work for long.

I would have left, but I didn't notice the crack until I started cleaning the inside of the tank. This filter works, not sure about the powerhead, and the air pump though. Will test tonight.

Would the powerhead and air pump come in handy? I am not sure what they are used for?

Also how easy would it be to replace the glass panel? Can I do so without damaging the plastic trim?


EDIT: Just tested the powerhead and air pump, both work. I also took a look at the box of stuff that he threw in and found two more powerheads that are adjustable.

Scrup
01-26-2010, 11:32 PM
ok im back! take that trojan!

Anywho, I agree with NG, the crack is worrysome, I would not trust it. I have heard of people patching cracked sides (usually buying a peice of glass as big as the side an coating the inside with silicone and slapping it in, then sealing it around the edges, but if he tells you it wont last long, thats good advice to go by. He may be able to link you to an article on redoing both seals on a tank, I am only able to find one for the inner seal.

Still for $50, three powerheads and an emperor is not too shabby, as long as they work and clean up nice. Did it come with a heater by any chance?

Air pump is used for aeration, you can actually modify that carbon cartridge to hold some bio media and the airline, giving you a semi-wet/dry filter. You will just need a drill and some air tubing.

As far as bio media, your options are pretty big. I just switched to shattered terra cotta pots, but they do sell sintered glass or clay media. You just need something that is small and has a large surface area for bacteria to grow on.

The powerheads are good for creating flow around the tank, and if you put a sponge on the intake, it becomes a filter (that will also keep crud from getting into the motor).


The trim will come off with a razor blade. Prettymuch to redo one side you have to do them all. New silicone will not bond to old silicone, so the whole thing will need to be redone. It is not costly, but it will take time and patience.

DoubleD
01-27-2010, 12:38 AM
Time and paitence I have, just not the money lol. As long as it's a fairly easy fix I don't mind re-siliconing the whole thing, it probably needs it. Where do I go to get a sheet of glass? What kind of silicone do I need, and will I have to bust the plastic trim off the tank?

Thanks a ton guys!

domjd05
01-27-2010, 01:17 AM
Any glass/window shop should cut you the size/thickness you need, you'll want to get it tempered, which will cost a bit more.

Your safest bet (and most expensive) is to buy the "aquarium silicone" which is sold in most fish shops, easily found online.

A cheaper alternative is using some store brand silicone- with the exception that you have to be 100% sure that it is ONLY 100% silicone, no additives. I know northernguy using GE Silicone (right?) and has had great luck with it.

I've never replaced a panel myself but yeah I'd say the plastic trim will have to come off.

Scrup
01-27-2010, 06:05 AM
you wont have to break it, it is just stuck on with silicone. Use a razor and work your way around it from both sides. It will be painstaking. After you get the trim off, you cut the seals on all the sides, dont drop any glass, and break the tank down, then you get the fun job of cleaning every last bit of silicone off, again with razors. Use some rubbing alcohol to clean the rest up, you want it pristine on all sides.

That is the basics on breaking it down, putting it back together is more precise, but less labor intensive. I am not comfortable enough with it myself to give you any advice on reassembly. Should be able to find some informative stuff online though, I know it has been done by quite a few people. Someone here may be able to help you out more with that.

Good luck!

Also, I use GE silicone 1 "windows and doors" in all my tanks, not a single problem with them. Much cheaper than "aquarium silicone". The bath silicone is rumored to use arsenic to resist mildew, so I always stay away from that.

DoubleD
01-27-2010, 07:44 PM
Hey just wanted to give everyone an update, I currently have a call in to the local fish shop to see if they can fix my side pane, or if it would be worth it to replace. I also did some more tests on the Filter, powerheads and air pump.

The three powerheads work awesomely and are all really quiet. There seems to be a minor problem with the filter however, it is extremely loud. From what I can tell it is because it is not get enough water to flow into the filter, I filled up the area of the filter with water to start the process, then it would reach a certain water level and start a loud humming sound. I cleaned everything off that I could, so I don't think it is debris. Is it possible the motor is not pulling water up intake tube as fast as it pumps it out? Is there anyway to fix this?

Thanks for looking, hopefully I will have more then questions soon :hmm3grin2orange:

Scrup
01-27-2010, 09:02 PM
Did you clean off the impeller? Noise is usually caused by 3 things in emperors.

1- debris in the impeller area (if you pop the intake tube out, the part below it should come out too, thats the impeller assembly. The weird finned thing is the impeller. Clean that off REAL good, as well as the little hole that it goes in.

2- low water level/air in the impeller- if the water level is low it will suck up air and make a whole lot of noise, as it gets stuck in there sometimes. raise the water level if its low, if not, make sure the intake tube is flush and seated as well as it can be.

3- impeller damage- they are cheap, and they do get damaged. A little bit off balance or some gunk stuck in the shaft area will make them bang up against the side, resulting in a very loud grinding noise. Can always buy a replacement. make sure you cleaned the impeller housing really well before though, just to make sure. It is hard to reach, but I would scrub it with something (I usually have to use a rag on the end of a stick, my hands are too big to get down in there), as just spraying water into it doesn't always get all the caked on stuff, moreso if it was allowed to dry.

DoubleD
01-27-2010, 09:48 PM
Could some of it have to do with how I was testing it? I just filled my sink up until the intake was totally submerged. Would it help if I used something that held more water?

Scrup
01-28-2010, 03:46 PM
is it a split sink? or do you have a dishpan or something it can be set on? You want it to be sitting on something the way it will in the tank to test it. :P

DoubleD
02-04-2010, 02:42 AM
Hey everyone, just wanted to give a quick up date on the situation. Good news(maybe) I had someone come and look at the tank, and they said that it looks like just a scratch on the inside of the glass. After filling the tank up it held :19: I am going to put some silicone on it to smooth it out and try to prevent it from becoming more then a scratch. Then I will leave it sit over the weekend in the basement, don't worry its an unfinished basement thumbs2:
If it survives this weekend I will move forward with planning out the layout and get a stocklist going!

Scrup
02-04-2010, 04:06 AM
who came to take a look? Joe from next door or a professional..um...glass...crack...evaluator...per son..?

can you feel the scratch on both sides? run your fingernail along it and see if it gets snagged on anything. or a needle would probably work better.

Either way if it is a scratch that is deep enough, it might just be a crack waiting to happen, depends on the depth of it. And the silicone wont really help too much in that case, sorry to say.

Just figure out how deep it is, and double and triple check that it IS just a shallow scratch.

Not trying to be a naysayer, but it would be better to put in the effort and make sure its just a little scratch than to have the whole thing shatter a month after its all setup...

toysrus
02-04-2010, 04:15 AM
What's the glass thickness on it? I'd hate to see it break and put a gash in your leg or foot,hand or something.

DoubleD
02-04-2010, 09:44 AM
You can feel the scratch only on one side, the inside, the glass however is fairly thick. I am nervous about whether or not it will start cracking, so I will leave it in the basement for at least a weekend. The person who looked at while not an aquarium expert has dealt with many a broken windshield and such. I guess we can only wait and see :) I figure give this a shot, if not ah well I get burned, such is life I guess!

toysrus
02-04-2010, 12:34 PM
Keep an eye on it. The reason I said what I said in my earlier reply was because we had 2 tanks upper and lower on a tank stand and young kids were running in the house and one tripped and she put her head through the bottom one,broke the glass and 15 gal. of water and fish went running out,This was the older thick tempered glass with a "chrome" metal frame type tank that I don't see on shelves anymore and miraculously nobody got a scratch.I wasn't an eye witness but it's a true story!
By the way if anyone knows where they sell them now I'd like to know where.