The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone!

This has been a long process and I am writing now with the tank full of water and plants-- so it will take a few posts to bring you all up to speed. Last Christmas, December 2020, I got the 75 gallon tank I had been wanting.

1028956

The tank isn't in perfect condition, we bought it used on ebay, but it only costed $200 (EDIT: Stand was $200-- tank was $120. The tank had peeling silicon, scratched glass, and a broken, ugly rim. But I saw potential in it and started to fix it up. First, we thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed the glass to remove the years of grime, dust, and wood glue that the previous owners had used to attach a hinge to the glass. Using razor blades and rubbing alcohol we exposed the glass and saw that there was an amazing amount of scratches on the sides. (It had been used as a reptile enclosure before, and it looked like a large lizard had continuously pawed the glass in an attempt to escape.) So, next, we purchased some Cerium Oxide to try to smooth the scratches. It... did not work... at all. So we moved on, and I figured the scratches would be less visible when filled with water. Finally, we painted the rim a sharp copper color and brought the aquarium inside.
PXL_20210210_181954557.jpg

Meanwhile, we built another budget-friendly stand. At least, it was homemade. It ended up costing about $200 for all the wood and supplies. So we didn't save too much money, but we got a nice stand that was exactly what I wanted. I won't go into all the details here. I can start another forum about how we built it if anyone wants to know, but basically, we used handless doors and a smooth white finish to create a sleek, modern-looking stand.

1028955
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,632 Posts
Hi everyone!

This has been a long process and I am writing now with the tank full of water and plants-- so it will take a few posts to bring you all up to speed. Last Christmas, December 2020, I got the 75 gallon tank I had been wanting.

View attachment 1028956
The tank isn't in perfect condition, we bought it used on ebay, but it only costed $200. The tank had peeling silicon, scratched glass, and a broken, ugly rim. But I saw potential in it and started to fix it up. First, we thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed the glass to remove the years of grime, dust, and wood glue that the previous owners had used to attach a hinge to the glass. Using razor blades and rubbing alcohol we exposed the glass and saw that there was an amazing amount of scratches on the sides. (It had been used as a reptile enclosure before, and it looked like a large lizard had continuously pawed the glass in attempt to escape.) So, next we purchased some Cerium Oxide in attempt to smooth the scratches. It... did not work... at all. So we moved on, and I figured the scratches would be less visible when filled with water. Finally, we painted the rim a sharp copper color and brought the aquarium inside.
PXL_20210210_181954557.jpg

Meanwhile, we built another budget-friendly stand. At least, it was home-made. It ended up costing about $200 for all the wood an supplies. So we didn't save too much money, but we got a nice stand that was exactly what I wanted. I won't go into all the details here. I can start another forum about how we built it if anyone wants to know, but basically we used handless doors and smooth white finish to create a sleek, modern-looking stand.

View attachment 1028955
The stand looks nice! Building stuff can sometimes be a crapshoot when it comes to saving money. You might be able to replicate the functionality for the same or less getting a prebuilt stand, but not in this aesthetic and certainly you wouldn't have the pride of building it yourself.

For the tank.... well I hope you really really love what you got because you can buy brand new 75 gallons from petco for 210 dollars. That's not even a sale price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Haha! Yeah, budget building can be misleading. I was originally looking for a rimless tank so a 200 dollar tank seemed like a super sale 😅. Good to know though, I find a lot of pleasure having modified that tank myself so I am quite happy with it. If I were to upgrade I would probably go for a rimless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Once the aquarium and stand were in place I thought I had gotten past the hard work, but boy was I wrong! Next, I began to customize the filter, buy the endless amount of equipment I never knew I needed ;), and stock up on plants in a 20-gallon quarantine tank I keep in the bottom of the stand.
1029082

I also collected my own rocks and driftwood from the beach and nearby rivers. I know the hazards of beach wood, but I soaked them for multiple months, baked them in the oven, and scrubbed as much bark and rot out as I could. I also didn't attach them to the actual scape, so I can pull them out easily if they begin to decompose or decay.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I set up the hardscape. This consisted of me maneuvering the rocks into two "retaining walls" and creating a raised lava-rock-media-bag hill in the center. Once I was confident in the positioning of the rocks I used silicon and expanding foam to hold the rocks together and fill in any gaps. Then I poured in the sand over the shallow section of the tank and lava-rock hill, and used a mix of lava rock, pea gravel, and Eco-Complete in the raised terraces. The result was a raised area in which I could plant in, and a lower sand area to provide some empty space and contrast. Eventually, I placed in the wood, added detail stones, and built a small light fixture for two 20W LED floodlights, but they hadn't arrived at this point to I was lighting it with a small, temporary light.
1029081
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
I'll be honest, I collect most of my hardscape items from the woods around me and rarely have any issues. As long as you sanitize and vinegar test you should be all set.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top