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Old 10-24-2012, 05:40 PM   #121
Fishies_in_Philly
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Normally, only the bottoms are tempered. But you can still get the same effect by drilling a hole low on the side glass. Cutting a hole is pretty straight forward from what i am told. Use a glass hole saw. Drill slowly with very light pressure and keep it wet and cool. Take your time and go slowly and you should have no problems. Again, i've never done it so i am just relaying info.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:50 PM   #122
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Quote:
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Ya know, i never thought about it that way. And like you, i have plenty of spare tanks laying around. Maybe i'll drill my 40b critter cage for a sump since i'm gonna build if for fire belly toads.
The extra water volume would definitely be an advantage. I find I have to top mine off every few days.

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I was going to drill a 5 gallon so that I could try a hydroponic loop in my classroom, under the grow light. My plan was to use a simple gravity feed from the fish to the plants and then pump the water back from the plants to the tank. I took the tank down to my local glass shop - they can't drill it as it is tempered. Are all standard aquariums tempered glass? How does one drill a tank?
No, most standard tanks of a smaller size are not tempered. Generally, if you google the manufacturer, they will have a list of which of their tanks are tempered or untempered. That said, I would be pretty hesitant to try and drill a 5 gallon - the glass is very thin and there isn't much of it. The smallest I'd attempt would be a ten, and from what I've seen even those are pretty iffy. The thicker the glass the better IMO. In terms of drilling it yourself, gl[censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored]s.com is your go to source. They sell glass hole saws with destructions and kits for overflows. I highly recommend them. When you go to drill, if you can build somekind of wooden template to it helps hold the drill bit in a single location. I use windex when drilling to keep it cool, seems to work a little better than just standard water. The most likely time to break the tank is as you come through the bottom of the hole, so slow and steady is key especially at that point. Don't use too much pressure or you'll break out the edges as well when it gets real thin near the end of the hole.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:53 PM   #123
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Wow.....i really need to start wearing my glasses when looking at my phone. How did i miss the part about it being 5 gallons? Duh!! Yeah, i agree with renegade, i wouldn't drill anything smaller than a 20. The thin glass on smaller tank is just begging for disaster.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:36 AM   #124
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Thanks for the information. I have decided not to drill my 5 gallon (actually the glass shop made that decision for me), instead I went to my local pet store and purchased a small plastic one for cheap that I'm going to try to drill to get my loop running. While I was there the owner asked me if I was interested in a couple of tiger salamanders- naturally I said sure that they would make a great addition to my room, so I guess its time for me to start a new thread, and seek advise. I will be using the 25 gallon that is currently empty - the stand is almost finished. I don't think that I will drill it, but that I am going to attempt something similar to what you have done Renegade. Thank-you for the inspiration. Any suggestions for what they will need, and set up for them would be great.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:43 AM   #125
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You are more than welcome. In researching for my tigers, what I found is that they need considerably more room in the terrestrial area than the aquatric area (for two figure approximately the area of a 20 long in terrestrial). I also would not include anything in the aquatic section that you are really fond of, because once they move into and starting stirring around, things really get mixed up. I'd keep the water section fairly shallow or figure out a way (maybe with driftwood) to give them easy access into and out of the water. According to all I've read they should spend the majority of their time in the terrestrial portion. If I were redoing this tank, I'd do the reverse of what I currently have - since that is almost a negligable amount of water, I'm now planning a 4OB for mine.

Look forward to both the thread on the salamanders and the thread on the hydroponic set-up.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:27 PM   #126
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Time for an update!

The duckweed has gone hog wild as you can see in this shot. I'm pretty amazed that anything manages to find its way around in there. I did remove over half of it and moved it to a window tank I use for growing scuds. If you look carefully, you can see the tanks only fish, a small Swamp darter I added last fall, down in the bottom right;


The Java moss is also doing very well, climbing up and out of the water in its emersed state to cover the whole front of my driftwood. I'm thinking about adding some to the bank area as well.




The Forget-Me-Nots I added to this tank are growing great guns, so they have also made a nice addition;


The Rabbits Foot fern is making a strong comeback, so I'm still holding out hope for it;


While the native fern suffered a bit of a set back from the transition (the original fronds are all dieing off), it is also making a nice come back;


I was hoping to have some new orchid pictures to post up, but unfortunately my new flower bud died off without opening up, not sure exactly why at this point.

Last spring at the end of the year, I moved this guy from the tank I had previously been holding him in, into this one. He has done quite well, and I think the aquarium provides him with plenty of food in and of itself. We examined some "pond water" samples out of it this fall and it is crawling with different microscopic life. He is often times hard to see, not only because the tank is overgrown, but also because he blends in so well as you can see here;


In fact I had some students swear up and down that there were absolutely no fish in that tank. The funny part was, he was sitting right up in the front, and I was able to walk up and point him right out to them. Kind of fun. I'm sure he's a little lonely in there, but I'm hoping that my supplier is going to be rounding a few more up to send me here soon.

And of course here is the obligatory FTS shot;


The mosses on the terrestrial portion just haven't done well for me, I'm assuming its because their just isn't enough humidity, but I'm not sure. I decided to steal an idea from Fishes in Philly and go ahead and add one more feature to the tank, which has kind of made a nice addition. Unfortunately, the fog doesn't quite get up onto the land, I think I would need to switch from a screen top to glass in order to accomplish that, and I'm not sure I want to do that at this point.

Anyway, kind of a fun feature;


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Old 11-20-2012, 12:06 AM   #127
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I was talking iwht my students today about what we are going to need to do for our salamander- I used this tank as a reference for them. I hope that mine will be equally impressive. Going to start my build this week.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:46 AM   #128
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don't tell renegade this, but that emersed piece of wood he has in there, inspired the tank i'm currently building
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:17 PM   #129
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Quote:
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I was talking iwht my students today about what we are going to need to do for our salamander- I used this tank as a reference for them. I hope that mine will be equally impressive. Going to start my build this week.
Wow, thanks! I'm sure that whatever you come up with will be equally inspiring. I'm looking forward to seeing how yours comes together.

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don't tell renegade this, but that emersed piece of wood he has in there, inspired the tank i'm currently building
***chuckle*** yeah well I stole your sonic mist maker, so fair is fair. I'm still trying to figure out how to do the West African river system tank using your foam background and waterfall idea on a smaller scale.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:12 PM   #130
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Oooohhhh....a west african tank? Sounds very cool. Dwarf cichlids? I use a reptiflo 250 pump for 90% of the water features i make. I get them for $7 at an aquarium outlet store around here. Only 80gph and about a 14" head height, but effective nonetheless. And i have used eggcrate, pvc and the tank as structure for my water features. Hope that helps
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:09 PM   #131
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Oooohhhh....a west african tank? Sounds very cool. Dwarf cichlids? I use a reptiflo 250 pump for 90% of the water features i make. I get them for $7 at an aquarium outlet store around here. Only 80gph and about a 14" head height, but effective nonetheless. And i have used eggcrate, pvc and the tank as structure for my water features. Hope that helps
River cichlids; I've already got the paired Kribs, a school of Congo tetras, and a small school of synodontis catfish. I'm working on incorperating a canister filter to drive the return, which will be PVC pipe with various outlets below the substrate, and I'd like to make one of those outlets a small waterfall. I'm leaning towards a riparium type tank, but I'm working with a 30 breeder, so height is pretty limited. Since I want to add some African butterfly cichlids (not sure as that may be too much of a bioload), I'm trying to figure all that out with a screen cover.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:15 PM   #132
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Ok, i see your problem. I'm gonna post some pics of my rain system tonight, and i think you may be able to adapt some of it to that setup. I have it n my brain right now and believe what i am thinking will work. I'll pm you some ideas when i get home if that's ok.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:14 PM   #133
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That would indeed be awesome. If I get my manifold finished for the return, I'll try and post up a picture of what I've got going at this point.
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