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kevbshields 07-15-2012 10:14 PM

Possible 20 G Long Metaframe Retro Set-up
I'm considering purchasing a 20 Gallon Long Metaframe and setting it up as a "tribute" tank, vey low-tech, very retro.

I haven't decided if this'll go in my office or at home. Regardless, I'm reaching out for suggestions on decor and stocking.

I love red wagtail platies, so that might be an option . . . along with some bronze cories (because I adore any corydoras).

For plants, Jungle Val would be an option, but I'm struggling with ideas for aquascaping, though I'm considering simple, heavily planted as an option.

I welcome any thoughts.

jennesque 07-16-2012 02:38 PM

I'm excited to see if this becomes a reality.. I love the look of those tanks. I haven't been in the hobby for long so I don't really know what is considered retro as far as plants, but I'd just stock with everything that's been in the hobby for a long while.

I'd be tempted to put in one of those old scuba dudes or something too as tribute, but that's just me being nerdy. Lol

kevbshields 07-16-2012 02:53 PM

I'm glad you mentioned the scuba figurines, that also crossed my mind. That will certainly make it retro, but also a bit corny. I really want something that looks like it is straight out of Dr. Axelrod's personal collection, circa 1960.

On pondering all this, I'm thinking those wagtails, either C. aeneus or paleatus, maybe one T. trichopteras (Gold) and a small school of tetra. I haven't kept G. ternetzi in years, but they can grow rather large. Neons may also be a possibility.

I will create a photo diary of the progress . . .

The filter choice is giving me fits. It does not have to be true to the time period, but I do not want some modern monstrosity standing out. The more invisible (yet functional), the better.

kevbshields 07-21-2012 05:35 PM

Tank arrives Monday. I've nixed the idea of G. ternetzi, due to size & lack of strong color. I'm leaning toward Black Ruby Barbs instead.

I'm still open for ideas on scaping, though the majority of images I find of tanks from this era include the use of sand and/or tiny gravel. I'll probably have to use a substrate below that for the plants. Those images I referenced usually show naturally colored substrate, round "river" rocks and a seemingly flat surface to the substrate,not a lot of height from ornaments or aquascaping. However, if anyone's got a good photo of retro aquascaping, I'll happily look over it for ideas.

reddhawkk 07-23-2012 03:51 PM

I love the old Metaframe tanks. I have three running now, a 2.5 gallon, a 5 gallon and a 15 gallon long. No scuba divers though, just plants and fish.

GraphicGr8s 07-23-2012 04:17 PM

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Originally Posted by reddhawkk (Post 1953895)
I love the old Metaframe tanks. I have three running now, a 2.5 gallon, a 5 gallon and a 15 gallon long. No scuba divers though, just plants and fish.

I'll second the love of them. I've got two 55 gallon tanks and am working on a third. Next time I get up to NY my brother in law has a 20 long for me.

What you need to get for filtration is an old Metaframe Dynaflow filter. Before Living World took them over.

Soothing Shrimp 07-23-2012 05:36 PM

If you are interested, I have some vintage metaframe airstones that have never been opened. Looks exactly like this pic I found on the web:

kevbshields 07-25-2012 10:47 PM

Where to begin? I knew this was not going to be easy or go smoothly. So UPS delivers my tank. It's never a good sign to hear things "moving" against a slate bottom when the package arrives, so I knew there was damage. Sure enough, once I got all the packing material out and so on, both side glasses were shattered. Oddly, the box and packing material were both in place. I suppose it shifted in transit and boom . . . there went my 20 gallon.

The seller has another, but I'm not taking my chances. I spoke with 2 guys at the fish shop today and one is willing to "have a look at it". I am not the least bit mechanically inclined and nothing I use sillicone on ever ends up water tight. So it's back to square one. I'm so disappointed.

If somebody's gotta a pal in L'ville with some watertight Metaframes (20 gall and above) let me know . . . and save me the time, effort and money of trying to "fix" the one I got!

BruceF 07-25-2012 11:06 PM

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Sorry to hear about that. It wouldn't really be hard to fix.

reddhawkk 07-26-2012 03:50 PM

I just resealed my 15Long a short time ago. I took out all the old sealant, cleaned it up, and resealed. This is the second time I have done this; the first time was twenty or so years ago. Give it a shot, its not that hard.

GraphicGr8s 07-27-2012 02:42 AM

If it's original the sealant is asphaltum. No longer made. There is one good thing about it though. If you heat it with a heatgun or possible a hair dryer it melts. So you could soften it up and scrape it off. Then take it to a glass company and have new glass cut. Maybe they'll install if you provide the aquarium safe silicone.

mannye 07-27-2012 03:04 AM

I can't see that shattered glass being too much of a mission to fix. AS Graphic says though, it might be that asphaltum so you want to get a heat gun and scrape everything clean first. I bet a good glass shop will do the install for you in no time. Love the slate bottom! Must see a pic!

kevbshields 07-28-2012 10:10 AM

I appreciate the suggestions, some of which I'd researched beforehand. However, I have to put all this on hold; it seems UPS did a number and cracked the slate bottom. This has a created a seam on the inside bottom that runs the entire width of the tank and another on the outside bottom of the tank, near the middle support, which the far more troubling of the two. Though the cracks do not appear to penetrate the depth of the slate, I'm not taking my chances on this thing springing a leak in my office. Now I'm fully disgusted.

Pictures added to my profile albums

kevbshields 08-02-2012 03:14 AM

I give up. A MetaFrame would look really great in my office, but I'm not up to the task(s) of having to rebuild one. I'll take the sign, no Metaframe for me. Too, the hassle is just too much or what I've got going on. If anything, this tank should help me maintain my sanity, not cause me to loose it.

Despite my objection to them, I bought a 20G Long at Petsmart. (Head hanging in shame.) The price was good, so we're moving forward. I still intend to take my 2 resident wagtails and give them a harem. I'm still sticking to that Gold Gourami . . . I've not had one in ages. So far, I'm not being original, but going back to my roots--the fish I kep in high school! Anyhow, suggestions on barb or tetra species? I want nothing tiny (e.g., embers, neons) that the Gourami could harass, no tiger barbs . . . little fin nippers. At this point, I'm open, but not even convinced barbs or tetra are the way to go.

Kelli 08-02-2012 03:28 AM


Originally Posted by kevbshields (Post 1944889)
I really want something that looks like it is straight out of Dr. Axelrod's personal collection, circa 1960.

I'm a little late to the party but here is a picture from Dr Axelrod's Setting up your first Aquarium, pub date 1966:

I have a crap ton of 1950-1970's books and magazines if you want some more inspiration. lol


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