Volatile's 30 Gallon 36X12X16 Glasscages.com Rimless - Updated 4/26/2010 Now Low Tech - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Volatile's 30 Gallon 36X12X16 Glasscages.com Rimless - Updated 4/26/2010 Now Low Tech

This is going to be my first attempt at a bigger tank. My previous Mini-M was neglected for 3 months while I was out of the country and I had to tear it down. I haven't decided on the scape yet but I do know that I want something low maintenance so that hopefully I never have to trim, or only trim very seldomly. I will post pictures and my impressions of the tank next week. All comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism are welcome and greatly appreciated!

Tank: Glasscages.com 30 gallon 36X12X16 tank. Front and sides will be starphire glass. I am going to pick it up on Monday 5/25 at 9am in San Antonio, which is about 90 miles away from me. I went with Glasscages.com due to their prices, option for starphire glass, and also because this tank provides more of a panoramic view with the 36" length, as compared to the ADA 60-P and 75-P. I am thinking of spray painting the back side.

Stand: Not as sleek or aesthetically pleasing as an ADA stand, but it was on sale for ~$90, including tax, and free shipping. These come in a few sizes at Petco.com. Only took 45 minutes to put together. I do have an issue with the item description not having pictures of the back, or show you that it was open. I hope this thing doesn't collapse due to weight, but all reviews were positive, so we'll see. Also, I'm not sure how the sound insulation will be.



Filter: Eheim Ecco 2234. I got it for $100 shipped, but the genius who sold it to me did not pack it in anything, and just slapped a label on the Eheim box and used that to ship it. The box is pretty beat up and I haven't set up the filter yet to see if it even works. I know that it is rated at 60 gallons, but I'm slightly worried it won't provide enough flow/filtration for my 36" tank.

Pipes: Efflux F2 and Influx X2 (13mm). I like that the outflow is angled downwards and hope that it will be conducive to better water flow.



Lighting: Current USA Nova Extreme 36" T-5 Fixture 2x39W FW. I tried to research here and online and it seems that this will be enough light for me, due to the brightness/intensity of T-5 lighting.

Substrate: ADA Amazonia I. I have 2 9L bags and also half of a 3L bag leftover from previous use.

CO2: 5lb canister, JBJ regulator, and a CAL inline diffuser.



Fauna: Haven't decided on having 1 large school, or 2 schools of fish. Will select between Cardinal Tetras, Green Neon Tetras, and/or Rasbora Henglis. I will also have some Cherry Shrimp and maybe some Ottos and depending on my pH, Clithon Corona snails.

Last edited by volatile; 04-26-2010 at 08:38 AM.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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I picked up the tank this morning and here are my impressions so far.

After reading Roundtreesj post, I was worried that I was going to end up waiting 3 hours for their truck to show up at the meeting point, especially since I called the number of the driver last night to confirm the meeting time. No one answered the cell phone, and it didn't even go to voice mail.

So I drag myself out of bed at 6:30am to make the drive to San Antonio by 9am, which is about 90 miles away. At 8:20am, the driver calls me to let me know he has already arrived, and is instead meeting me 1 mile further down, because there is a problem with the gas station we were going to meet at. I arrive around 8:40 and they load the tank into my car for me. So in regards to delivery/customer service, I'd give them a 9/10. I would have been more at ease if I got a confirmation call or email the night before, or they answered my call, but that is just a minor complaint.

As for the tank itself, I would say that overall, it is sturdy and of pretty good quality. It may not be as impeccable as an ADA tank, but it is also much less expensive, and you have far more options in regards to customization.

There is some excess silicone on the inside near the bottom, and also a small splatter on the outside of the tank. How would I go about removing this? Is it safe to remove the stuff on the inside? Or would it make my tank less structurally sound?

As for the starphire glass, I can definitely notice a difference between the front/side and back panel. If you are not painting the back of your tank, I'd recommend starphire all around, because even with the starphire front, you can see how green the back is, and it gives the illusion that the front and sides are green as well.

My tank is not double reinforced on the bottom. I didn't ask to have it double reinforced, and I was also not asked during the ordering process if I wanted it to be. The edges of the tank are polished/beveled in a fashion similar to my ADA Mini M tank.

Finally, the corner where my right panel meets the back panel is not completely flush, but this doesn't really bother me.

I'm posting pictures below to illustrate everything I've talked about. If anyone has any additional questions or wants to see pictures of something, let me know!

My next step is to paint the back black, and then I will decide on hardscape/plants.


Last edited by volatile; 05-27-2009 at 02:44 AM.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 09:38 PM
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Thanks for the review, I have been thinking of ordering a rimless from them. this seals the deal. and I think the stand looks as good as the ada, and once it's set up no one even looks at the stand anyway.

I know enough to know that I don't know anything
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 10:32 PM
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Awesome tank! Glad it went smoothly. As for removing anything excess, finger prints, spills of silicone on the middle of the pane... anything at all, use a razor blade. Home Depot sells these near the hardware and wire section that are in a pack with a tiny black finger handle. This is not a utility knife, it seems more like a substrate flatner without the handle extension. Spare packs of blades for this type of unit are also sold there (100 blades for $6-7 if I recall). Well worth getting extras; you want that thing continually sharp. Keep it at a 45 degree and just work at it for a long time. It will eventually all come off. Don't bother with any chemicals, this is all you need!

I really like the tank and cannot wait to see it scaped


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Last edited by blair; 05-26-2009 at 01:15 AM.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 10:34 PM
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Watching this thread to see how their tank holds up. I've had problems with them before but maybe they've improved since then.

Love the stand and glassware.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartak View Post
Thanks for the review, I have been thinking of ordering a rimless from them. this seals the deal. and I think the stand looks as good as the ada, and once it's set up no one even looks at the stand anyway.
I'm glad I could be of help bartak!

Quote:
Originally Posted by blair View Post
Awesome tank! Glad it went smoothly. I would love to see a comparison shot at the corner where the starfire meets regular glass.
The 6th picture, with the corner not flush, is actually the starphire meeting the regular back glass. Because of lighting, the polished edges look the same color, but the regular glass is actually a bit darker. The 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th pictures show the back glass' green color pretty well, when compared to the left side starphire glass. Is there a specific angle you want to see? I can try to take some more pictures tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfish View Post
Watching this thread to see how their tank holds up. I've had problems with them before but maybe they've improved since then.
I'm sorry to hear you've had bad experiences with them. For my sake, and all future tank purchasers, I hope they've improved too

Well I took the tank out to the garage to spraypaint with Krylon Fusion black satin, and took a couple more pictures in the daylight. On one of the back seams, there is some bubbling in the silicone, but I'll never see it, since it is facing the wall, and also because I painted over it.

Also, it is interesting to see that in daylight, it is harder to tell the difference between the back regular glass, and the front/side starphire.

Finally, I must be the worst painter in the world because when I finally got done with the multiple coats, when looking at the back glass from an angle, I can see how uneven and the paint is. I can also see "stripes" and some dripping of the spraypaint. Maybe I should have used a roller instead

Hopefully when looking at the tank from the front, this won't be noticeable.


Last edited by volatile; 05-27-2009 at 02:32 AM.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 01:56 AM
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how much did they quote you for that tank if you dont mind me asking? it looks really good! Looking forward to the progress of this thread!
Have you thought about painting the stand like the ADA ones?
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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how much did they quote you for that tank if you dont mind me asking? it looks really good! Looking forward to the progress of this thread!
Have you thought about painting the stand like the ADA ones?
I don't mind at all. The tank was $104. Delivery to SA, Texas was $36. Getting starphire front and sides was an additional $70 for a total of $210. If you go without starphire, then it becomes even more of a bargain. I don't think I will paint the stand because it would be too much trouble to sand off the thick layer of powdercoating. Plus, I'm also not very handy. I think in the future I will just find someone to make me an ADA style stand for my next tank.

If you go here, you can see their full price list. For the tanks that don't have the customize/buy option next to them, just give them a call. I found the lady that I spoke to very personable and friendly, but I also didn't ask any questions and didn't ask for any other customizations other than starphire.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 02:44 AM
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pretty cool. The only problem with glasscages is their limited locations for delivery (or else really expensive shipping). I am in north cal and they offer delivery only in LA. I have to haul it back 400 miles

Patience is the name of the game.

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 10:09 AM
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luckily for me they have delivery to the city I work in I think I'll order 24x24x24 cube!

Thanks!
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 02:18 PM
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I love glasscages I have an acrylic tank from them and love it, cant wait to see more progress on your tank.


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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESK07 View Post
luckily for me they have delivery to the city I work in I think I'll order 24x24x24 cube!

Thanks!
My husband ordered from Fishtankshop.com We later found out that Glass cages makes them. The first tank we refused because one corner was WAY out. We called Paula at Fishtankshop.com and she promised me that the tank would be perfect. The second one was great! We have had no leaks at all. My husband did have to clean off the excess silicone. We also got starfire on all 3 sides. It's a really nice tank.

ESK07 - We paid the price for a 24" cube but had them cut the height down to 20". It was the best thing! It's not too tall for the plants. The porportions look terrific and you can reach the bottom great. The plants don't get leggy and the light can penetrate to the bottom for any ground cover. I'd highly suggest doing this. All the 2 foot cubes I've seen just don't look right. The plants get leggy.

Volatile - don't worry about your stand. I have a 125g stand that's just like that. It's fine. The center brace give it the strenght it needs.

Just keeping on keeping on....


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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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pretty cool. The only problem with glasscages is their limited locations for delivery (or else really expensive shipping). I am in north cal and they offer delivery only in LA. I have to haul it back 400 miles
That sucks malaybiswas. I like my tank, but I don't know if I'd drive 700 miles round trip to get it. Hopefully one day they will offer more delivery locations to CA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESK07 View Post
luckily for me they have delivery to the city I work in I think I'll order 24x24x24 cube!

Thanks!
No problem ESK07. Good luck with your purchase!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skratikans View Post
I love glasscages I have an acrylic tank from them and love it, cant wait to see more progress on your tank.
Thanks for sharing about your glasscages tank. You have some great pics of your cats' sleeping poses and other pets in your photobucket! LOL at your rat stealing a chicken bone the size of its body.

Quote:
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Volatile - don't worry about your stand. I have a 125g stand that's just like that. It's fine. The center brace give it the strenght it needs.
Hi fellow Texan. Thanks for sharing your experiences with Glasscages and advice about the tank. Glad to hear that your second tank was better! I think I'm going to see if I can live with looking at the silicone first before trying to trim it. My tank is filled and on the stand now and it seems to be sturdy enough. I haven't added any substrate or rockets yet though..

So today I come home and find that my tank has dried. The back is still pretty ugly and uneven looking (some parts smooth, some rough). I took the tank outside in the sun and washed out the insides and thankfully, when viewing the tank from the front, I can't see how flawed my painting job is.

Blair, I took some more pictures in the daylight of the starphire glass meeting the back corner regular glass.

I then set the tank on the stand in my study and filled it up with water and added Prime. I waited about 30 minutes to an hour before I set up the Eheim Ecco 2234 and my glass intake/outtake pipes and also squeezed out nasty filter drippings from my filter on the ADA Mini M to add some bacteria to the tank.

I'm going to do the fishless cycling method I've used in the past, which is documented here. I'm re-using my Seachem Ammonia Alert. Hopefully it still works properly. Like an idiot, I had my head over the ammonia bottle and almost inhaled too much and passed out.

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-12-2009, 04:20 AM
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Glad you got those rocks shaped. Can't wait to see them scaped!


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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-12-2009, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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So like an idiot, I dosed way more ammonia than I was supposed to and it took a week and many water changes before I got my cycle going. I finally received my manten stones, as well as my light fixture. Please excuse my brown water, as I didn't put my Purigen bag into the filter yet.

I only liked 2 of the 4 stones I received, so I took a hammer and smashed those stones into a couple pieces.

I thought beforehand I might have difficulty with only 12 inches of depth to work with. It wasn't until I actually put the stones in that I realized how hard it would be.

The first scape I tried was with 2 sets of stones but it felt a little off to me, especially the left side. I then started looking at ADA pictures for ideas. I wanted to try arranging my rocks like this because this tank seems to not have that much depth either.

What do you guys think I should do about the stones? Is my slope enough? I think I will add a bit more Aquasoil. Also, I'm not sure I like the look of my bulbs. One is pinkish colored, and the other is blue. They are not white like my Mini M's bulb. Can anyone recommend good 36 inch T5 HO bulbs for me?






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