Unique Antique Aquarium - Page 5 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #61 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know how you find all these very cool old aquariums but I'm glad there going to somebody that will appreciate them for what they are. Can't wait to see where this one goes.
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post #62 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 06:53 PM
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Somebody might have mentioned this already, but Macropodus paradise fish were among the first tropical fish kept in home aquariums and were in distribution in the late 1800's. They could be a fun option for this setup.
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post #63 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 09:34 PM
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Don't know for sure, has to be after 1880 due to the electric lights but the fountain is something from the earliest aquariums so I'm guessing late 19th. century but could be early 20th. I'm hopeful when I dismantle the two light bulb holders that I may find the manufacturer of the sockets and switch or maybe the style of the electrical components will give a better idea.
wow that is so cool
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post #64 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 09:55 PM
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I, like others had no idea that fish keeping dated so far back. I now have a new life goal to find one of these antique aquariums before I die. I love antiques and I especially love the metal. Good luck! Can't wait for finished photos!


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post #65 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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I, like others had no idea that fish keeping dated so far back. I now have a new life goal to find one of these antique aquariums before I die. I love antiques and I especially love the metal. Good luck! Can't wait for finished photos!


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There was one on ebay similar to mine a couple of months ago in that it was all bronze. It also had remnants of a center fountain as there was a pipe coming out of the bottom center. Someone had cut a piece of wood around the stub that still came up into the aquarium and covered that with glass and sealed it. The only way I've been able to find these tanks is from the internet. They're just so rare that the chances of coming across one in person by accident are probably like winning a lottery. I do know where you can get one just like my Victorian tank. PM me if you're interested. His is all original but will need to be restored if you plan to use it.


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post #66 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 02:36 AM
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if you go to that big online auction site and search for

Jewel Cast Iron Art Deco Fish Tank

You'll see someone has a partial Jewel frame. Starting is $400. Buy it Now is $750. Interesting price range for some metal.
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post #67 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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if you go to that big online auction site and search for

Jewel Cast Iron Art Deco Fish Tank

You'll see someone has a partial Jewel frame. Starting is $400. Buy it Now is $750. Interesting price range for some metal.
Yeah, I saw it. I have the same tank but mine has all the original glass. Problem with restoring that one is that the bulb edge glass that was originally used hasn't been made for over 50 years and I could never find any large enough to restore a tank like that. I think it's way overpriced for just being the frame.


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post #68 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 02:05 PM
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What epoxy product(s) do you use for coating the restored brass and copper? I currently use Permalac, but you clearly know what you're doing and I'm always up to learn better methods.

Will you be posting updates to this thread as you restore this tank?
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post #69 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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What epoxy product(s) do you use for coating the restored brass and copper? I currently use Permalac, but you clearly know what you're doing and I'm always up to learn better methods.

Will you be posting updates to this thread as you restore this tank?
I used West Systems marine epoxy on my Victorian but I'll look into Permalac. I'm always open to new better ways of doing things. I will be posting updates but probably nothing until next year as the holidays are coming up and I also have firewood to make.


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post #70 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 04:58 PM
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When I find an old Metaframe I get excited. If I found something like this I'd have a heart attack!
Imagine what you'd do if someone gave you an aluminum Christmas tree!!! :-)
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post #71 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 05:06 PM
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There is a very cool 1920 aquarium w/ stand on that auction site right now for $8,500. The item # is 200416428094. I have never seen one with a stand like that before. It's beautiful.

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post #72 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 06:07 PM
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My two cents - I recommend you do whatever you want to it because it's yours and not anybody elses. Ruin it with awesomeness! Great find, such an amazing tank.
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post #73 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 06:52 PM
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I know that a bunch of people have given you advice on what to do and I think you should do whatever you want. I don't know much about furniture or antique fish tanks but I know a lot about cars. There are 3 ways to keep cars valuable and I think each philosophy would be an appropriate way to look at the tank.

Original-Keep it as is. Original is only a good idea if the condition is right. I can not tell how good it will look original but you would only do a basic clean up and fix any problems that prevent it from working.

Restored-Restore it to it's original glory. Depending on condition, that may mean getting it polished or replated. Glass would be replaced where not reusable and sealed cosmetically correctly, even if you used a more modern sealant.

Restomodded-Restored and modified. This is, for many, the best of both worlds but in the car world, only valuable when done to a very high standard. I would think you would want to replace all glass with high clarity, reseal to a very high standard. Replate the tank if polishing won't be enough. Clear powder coat it to bright it up to today's standards so no water chemistry issues will arise. Powder coat the stand part and redo any wood.


I just think using one of the 3 philosophies above will get you the best experience without guilt. Again, I don't know how that would affect value but if you did sell, I would think someone would appreciate any of the 3, as long as it was done to a high standard, and would be willing to pay good money.


That's wack about American Restoration. My GF and I thought about going on a show when we purchased a house as we thought it would be fun but only if it was for financial benefit. We found very quickly that it was really setup for those who just wanted to be on TV, any financial gain or other sponsor involvement was absolutely minimal. It would have cost us more money to be on the show than to not be, not that we were ever accepted, just though it would have been fun but it didn't turn out to be a great idea for people who don't want 5 min of fame.
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post #74 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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There is a very cool 1920 aquarium w/ stand on that auction site right now for $8,500. The item # is 200416428094. I have never seen one with a stand like that before. It's beautiful.
Yes, I found this several months ago, I'd love to have it but that's way out of my league.


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post #75 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
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My two cents - I recommend you do whatever you want to it because it's yours and not anybody elses. Ruin it with awesomeness! Great find, such an amazing tank.
Thanks, so true.


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