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Old 11-28-2012, 11:36 PM   #1
davrx
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Unique Antique Aquarium


I bought this tank from a salvage company in Oregon. I thought of having the guys on American Restoration restore it for me and was approved to go on the show with this but there was just one problem, the price of the restoration. I thought $4500 was rather high for this project and the fact that the show doesn't pay for travel expenses or accommodations made it even more expensive. I guess it came down to how much I was willing to pay to be on national TV for 5 minutes or so. Anyway, I think I can restore this for a fraction of that price. I knew when I saw these photos from the salvage company that something was wrong with the plumbing configuration. It took some torch work to free a stuck screw in the top frame and a plug from the tank bottom to set it right. What's really odd and possibly unique about this tank and stand are the two lights that shine up through the bottom. I thought they might have been used to heat the tank but usually a dome of glass or metal rose from the bottom of the tank up into the water to allow for better heat transfer so I'm stumped as to the purpose of these lights. There are two candelabra base sockets each in a metal cylinder under the stand. The entire aquarium and stand are made from brass or bronze with solid nickel accents. The company who made this, J.G. Jacobs, is on the inside of the little stand drawer. The center fountain is unusual too. Here's the photos I got from the salvage company:











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Old 11-28-2012, 11:37 PM   #2
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Wooooooow! That is awesome!!!!!! I would love to find something like that!
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:41 PM   #3
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Wooooooow! That is awesome!!!!!! I would love to find something like that!
Thanks, here's the photos with the plumbing in the correct positions. The fountain in the center and overflow in the corner.









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Old 11-28-2012, 11:47 PM   #4
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Man that is really neat! Would have been cool to have in on that show. I love that show! But talk about expensive!

The lights on the bottom are very interesting. I love the fountain! This is going to be su-eet!
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:33 AM   #5
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wow that is pretty cool....going to be a fun process getting that back into working order!
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:21 AM   #6
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wow that is pretty cool....going to be a fun process getting that back into working order!
Well, other than adding a pump and possibly resealing the tank it could actually be used now. Only problem is that the tank is made from brass or bronze and the plumbing is nickel and copper all of which are toxic to fish, although I'm not sure about nickel. I can seal the inside metal surfaces of the tank with epoxy and the outside of the pipes. I can also seal the nickel tops. I thought about running vinyl hose inside the pipes but the fountain arms are such a small diameter I'm not sure I'll be able to do this. Even if I can I'm not sure how to seal them to the larger hose that would be in the riser of the fountain. I suppose I could coat the inside of these with epoxy as well but I'm afraid the small diameter of the arms would cause the epoxy to seal them off completely. Any suggestions would be welcome.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:22 AM   #7
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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!
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:27 AM   #8
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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!
Oh man, that's funny!
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:34 AM   #9
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That is funny! LOL!
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:35 AM   #10
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Well, other than adding a pump and possibly resealing the tank it could actually be used now. Only problem is that the tank is made from brass or bronze and the plumbing is nickel and copper all of which are toxic to fish, although I'm not sure about nickel.
Don't clean the piping. The oxides have sealed the metal.
If you do want it shiny, have a musical instrument (horn) company do the polishing and seal with a synthetic varnish.

All the faucets in your home are made out of brass. Many of us have lead soldered copper water pipes. The water coming into my home has more copper in it than I'd get from the piping. A lot of older homes in cities have lead lines from the street to the meter. Even that didn't cause a lot of "old time" fish breeders from having issues, decades ago. Metal oxides aren't just rust.

It's also possible to have the inside of the pipes plated, but that would cost a bunch.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:42 AM   #11
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Don't clean the piping. The oxides have sealed the metal.
If you do want it shiny, have a musical instrument (horn) company do the polishing and seal with a synthetic varnish.

All the faucets in your home are made out of brass. Many of us have lead soldered copper water pipes. The water coming into my home has more copper in it than I'd get from the piping. A lot of older homes in cities have lead lines from the street to the meter. Even that didn't cause a lot of "old time" fish breeders from having issues, decades ago. Metal oxides aren't just rust.

It's also possible to have the inside of the pipes plated, but that would cost a bunch.
I did not know this. How come we are always told to use something like Novaqua to remove copper and other heavy metals from tap water? I do want the tank shiny but I could have just the outside done if the copper and nickel oxidized surfaces are truly aquatic flora and fauna safe. Wouldn't water turn the copper pipes green?
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:58 AM   #12
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I did not know this. How come we are always told to use something like Novaqua to remove copper and other heavy metals from tap water?
Probably to sell Novaqua. Shrimp are known to be more sensitive than most freshwater fish. Saltwater fish are supposed to be more sensitive, too. I'll bow to other people expertise on specific species metal sensitivities.

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I do want the tank shiny but I could have just the outside done if the copper and nickel oxidized surfaces are truly aquatic flora and fauna safe. Wouldn't water turn the copper pipes green?
A lot of things will turn polished copper, brass, and bronze colors. The patina seals the surface. Synthetic varnish will protect the shiny finish and shouldn't wear too much. Polished brass door hardware is sealed after polishing. It wears thin after years of use but you probably aren't going to be man handling the plumbing or corners of the tank often.

Since you can't see it, let any algae stay in the corners or use a soft sponge to clean those areas.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:02 AM   #13
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Love it! I don’t know how you find these things but they just keep getting better!
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:09 AM   #14
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Love it! I donít know how you find these things but they just keep getting better!
Thanks, too much time in front of the computer I'm afraid.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:20 AM   #15
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Yet another cool tank!!!!!

-Sent from my Samsung Note, a "Phablet"
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