rajdude's "house of horrors" tank! Saltwater to freshwater conversion. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Talking rajdude's "house of horrors" tank! Saltwater to freshwater conversion.

Hello everyone!
I just acquired a new tank, a nasty looking Craigslist special. When I brought it home my lovely wife was totally horrified by the looks of it!
Hence the name of this thread!


Check out the photos below. It was used as a saltwater tank. I am planning to convert it to freshwater planted tank. I always wanted a tank with a sump setup, so this is like the ultra poor man's cheap Ferrari for me! Excited!!

But, I gotta clean it first! Any cleaning tips for that nasty crusted algae on the weir?


Here is what it looked like, in the Craigslist listing:






By the way, it is a 75 gallon, not 90 gallon as the seller says in the CL listing.





Horrifying, right? Only a fool like me would go get it!


Anyway, after bringing it home, it is sitting on the deck. Took these photos as I started to spray some water on it...





It has a "proper" Durso overflow!



Came with a sump



Protein skimmer, not sure if it is usable/working though. It may be useful later on......when I want to get Discus fish.




Came with a couple of pumps, I tried plugging them in, both seem to be dead


More soon!

-Raj
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Uh oh!
I just read about this horror story about cleaning corals:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article...ish-tank-coral


Then I Googled it, saw lots of articles about this serious problem. Even CDC has a scary article!

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6431a4.htm



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-Raj
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 06:22 PM
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Congrats on the score! You don't need to worry about coraline algae containing palytoxins. That's a concern for when fragging the live animals, but I've never heard of any surviving dry. Mostly what you are up against is calcium based algae. It's a real shame the owner of this didn't at least clean the tank and give it a good wipe down when he broke it down. As for cleaning, it can be a beast getting caked on coraline off of glass. I generally use full strength vinegar soaked in a towel for an hour or two at a time. Just turn the side down you are working on and let it soak, it will eventually break up and release its grip. You want to be very careful not to scrub too hard because the shards of this stuff can scratch things up if you aren't careful. Muriatic acid might be needed if vinegar can't cut it.

I'd clean up the skimmer and put it on CL and recoup some of your spending. They aren't effective in freshwater, it's just too thin to get much of a skimmate.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 09:13 PM
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Lots of vinegar and let it soak then a razor scraper to clean it off. Lots of scrubbing.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 09:30 PM
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if you put the vinegar into a spray bottle you can 'spray fix' kitchen towel sheets onto the vertical glass, (if you can steal an electric steamer from the kitchen while the wife is out too you can put that inside and cover the tank then power it up occasionally to humidify the air to delay the vinegar soaked sheets drying out )
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Update

Thanks for the tips guys! I appreciate it!


Here is the latest status:
This morning I sprayed everything down with a garden hose. I was surprised that most of the gunk on the glass came off easily. Then I scrubbed it with a brush and now this is what it looks like:


Tank:




Sump:







Why is the weir double walled?




The problem child:



The skimmer...I think it is missing parts.




The overflow pipes setup

-Raj
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Vinegar treatment:

I soaked a towel in vinegar and wrapped it around the weir. So far, it doesn't look like it's going to free up or dissolve any of that buildup from the weir.
Maybe I should wrap the tank with a tarp and leave it overnight.



Yes vinegar worked well for the glass. I brushed neat vinegar, with a little bit of scrubbing most of the deposits came off. Now very little white spots are still left on glass ...



I brushed neat vinegar on the inside of the skimmer, then soaked the skimmer in a dilute solution. Hoping to get it reasonably clean.

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-Raj

Last edited by rajdude; 05-29-2020 at 10:48 PM. Reason: Added photos
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 11:43 PM
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Coming along nicely! Skimmer seems to be missing the pump, pump attachment and lid. Might be worth a message to the person you got the tank from to see if they have it still. Near worthless without, seeing as sourcing those would cost as much as a new mid-range skimmer. If that was an H&S or Bubble King, I would say otherwise. Let the vinegar sit for a long time, it never really stops working unless it dries or is spent. It will never eat through the glass, so even if it's 48 hours, it beats scrubbing it off and potentially scratching glass.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
Coming along nicely! Skimmer seems to be missing the pump, pump attachment and lid. Might be worth a message to the person you got the tank from to see if they have it still. Near worthless without, seeing as sourcing those would cost as much as a new mid-range skimmer. If that was an H&S or Bubble King, I would say otherwise. Let the vinegar sit for a long time, it never really stops working unless it dries or is spent. It will never eat through the glass, so even if it's 48 hours, it beats scrubbing it off and potentially scratching glass.
Thanks

I have the pump for the skimmer, it's shown in the bucket of water in the first post l. I plugged it in, doesn't work. It does have the air sucking mechanism attached to it.

Lid? Hmmmm, can you please check the photos of the skimmer in the second post above. Does it seem like the lid is there?

Shouldn't it have anything inside it? Like a mechanism or something?

This skimmer doesn't seem to have any marking on it. I was expecting a make and model somewhere on it.


Also, I wonder if vinegar will affect the tank's silicone.

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-Raj
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Pump for skimmer

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-Raj
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Pump says Sedra brand on it's sticker

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-Raj
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 08:24 AM
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Wow what a cleaning job you signed up for - good work though and nice money saved I'm sure!

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajdude View Post
Lid? Hmmmm, can you please check the photos of the skimmer in the second post above. Does it seem like the lid is there?

Shouldn't it have anything inside it? Like a mechanism or something?

This skimmer doesn't seem to have any marking on it. I was expecting a make and model somewhere on it.
Also, I wonder if vinegar will affect the tank's silicone.
Ah, I see in the earlier photo that lid is there, sorry. From the side it looked open. There's not much else to a protein skimmer, they're pretty simple devices. I'd take the impeller out and clean it, hopefully fires back up. Sedra appears to still be making these if you do have to source anything. Does this look like your model? https://premiumaquatics.com/products...ox-return.html



Vinegar shouldn't affect the silicone.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Bing!

Thank for the info! Yes, you are spot on :-) Mine looks exactly like the one you linked.

So it is the ASM G-3 model with the Sedra KSP-5000 pump.


I will check it out further, yesterday I took off the pump's "cap" to check out the impeller. I noticed a couple of those needles were broken and the impeller was jammed. I plugged it in anyway, hoping the motor would at least hum...but it did not seem to hum. Now that I know that impeller is replaceable, I will try to pull the impeller out today and try firing up with pump again.



BTW, when I plugged it in, I got a 110 volts shock! Had wet hands, my bad! First time I got a 110 volts shock......so much better than a 220 volts shock that I have got many, many times!


PS: Now I know that the outlet on the deck is not GFCI protected, JUNK!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
Ah, I see in the earlier photo that lid is there, sorry. From the side it looked open. There's not much else to a protein skimmer, they're pretty simple devices. I'd take the impeller out and clean it, hopefully fires back up. Sedra appears to still be making these if you do have to source anything. Does this look like your model? https://premiumaquatics.com/products...ox-return.html



Vinegar shouldn't affect the silicone.

-Raj

Last edited by rajdude; 05-30-2020 at 03:44 PM. Reason: added info
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I am crazy! and like my lovely wife loves to say, too cheap!
Money saved? I like to think so...it was 100 bucks for everything.



I was planning to drill my existing 60 gallon for an overflow. Just the overflow box I wanted is around 130 dollars. Sump, pump, plumbing etc would have costed much more...so I think this is a better bet. Plus I like this tank's dimensions and aspect ratio better.


PS: The cleaning (so far) was surprisingly easy. The tedious part is taking off the crusted coraline algae from the black plastic weir.



Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewss View Post
Wow what a cleaning job you signed up for - good work though and nice money saved I'm sure!


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-Raj

Last edited by rajdude; 05-30-2020 at 03:47 PM. Reason: added info
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