My brother came across the tank thrown abandoned in a communal area in the middle of manchester..after some detecive work to find who'd left it, he put 'dibs' on it and I went an collected it with him. It was in a sorry state, scummed up and a terrible job with some attempt at sealing..literally goo'd on and squiged with the finger. I got it home an started the cleanup..
I gave it a quick clean then filled it to make sure I wasn't wasting my time, all was fine so I carried on scrubbing and removing all the bodged sealant and made a better job of the re-application. Having no lid, I made a hood from marine ply & painted the exterior white to match our decor, a stand was the next issue..being a maker and make do-er, I found an old sideboard on eBay and up cycled that, reinforcing the structure with 50x50mm timber..the final touch was some stainless steel trims and detailing to hide the bracing & substrate bed..these were cut with a plasma torch and bonded to the glass with adhesive.
I was pretty chuffed with the final result (as a time reference, this was done on the run up to Xmas last yr).
I was running an old juwel rekord with minimal stock so set about transferring everything over..I'm running a fluval 305 filter so it was pretty straight forward. In addition to the plec', shrimp, 5 rainbow tet's and Bala shark I had, I got a few more plants, 10 Congo tet's & 5 cory's.
All was going well until I came home one afternoon to see Co2 bellowing out of the diffuser and all the fish dead!! Absolutely gut wrenching!! I quickly got about changing the water & threw a cpl of spare power heads in to keep the surface agitated. To my suprise, the cory's came round as did my plec and 1 Congo tet', the shrimp seemed fine too. Total loss, 14 fish & lesson learned using a cheap ass Co2 rig
So.. Finally got a better Co2 setup from the Co2 supermarket, ordered a pair of 54W T5's to compliment the x2 26W T8's I'm running now, also fitted a Hydor external heater & bought 6 more Congo tet's. Had a visit to the green machine last wkend too & was well impressed!! So much so, I re-scaped the tank & added some mini grass which once the T5's start shining (waiting on the starter), hopefully will spread quite nicely. It's by no means an aqauscape, and I'm still a bit lost as to what direction I want to take it..initially I was pushing for to many ideas I think (rocks, wood..a nice mossy tree), need to pull it right back and stick to a simple plan I rekon, but that's tricky and part of the art of it I guess??
Anyways, I'll dig out a better camera & try get some pics as to where I'm at currently (apologies for the phone pics) & any ideas, critique & suggestions are most welcome..