Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Fish Tank

So a couple years ago we got a pretty sweet deal on a huge 150 gallon fish tank. This tank was setup for saltwater, specifically a reef system, but due to lack of funds it is has been sitting in my garage for years now. We've decided to say screw saltwater and all the costs that go with it and set it up as a freshwater tank. We are hoping to do mainly cichlids with some other cool stuff in there as well. Hopefully we can get it looking half as good as the Anderson's tank, and maybe even get some of their fish babies that they seem to have tons of. The whole setup needed some serious work though. Here is a pic of the tank and stand.

Here you can see the black overfill tank on the side. This is where all the filtration and heating will go. There will not be any other equipment else in the tank. There are 3 holes in the overfill, one will take water to a Fluval FX5 canister filter and one will be a return from that filter. The 3rd hole we are just going to close. We have been using one of Tony's old filters in the garage to test so we have confirmed that the tank holds water and the overfill does not leak. So far that is about all we have done to this setup, other than cleaning it up (after the photos were taken).

Here is a closeup of the above mentioned holes:


There is also way more lighting than I need in a freshwater tank. I'm not sure if any of these lights even work or not.

All those lights connect to these ballasts. Of course I have no idea if they work either or how to hook any of it up. I'm thinking about trashing all this stuff and getting some much smaller, more efficient lights for this tank.

I've also got several buckets of parts laying around that came with this setup.

Next, we redid all the plumbing, using plumbers tape this time to prevent any small leaking. Then we hooked up the new filter.

Everything seemed good so I got Chris over to help move this beast and we got it in the house pretty quickly. Then got the tank filled completely with water and kicked on the filter.

We do have a problem with the water return being too close to the surface of the tank. So when the water comes out at, and it comes out fast, it breaks the surface causing tons of noise and splashing water. We are going to have to get an extension to move this return to a few inches under the water (the return is the black piece sticking out of the box in the center)

Now that the tank is inside the house and looking good I had to start on the lighting. Ended up with some cheap lights from HD. They seem to do the job just fine.

Also, got 150 pounds of sand in the tank. This is plan old pool filter sand I got at a pool supply store. Cost about $11 per 50# bag.

Next step, decorations & fish!

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