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I bought the 90g tank with a wooden stand, and a God-awful wooden DIY hood for 200$ two years ago. Since then it has been moved around the garage several times in various states of repair.

The tank itself is made of very thick glass of 3/8th inch or perhaps even 1/2 inch glass. It is drilled and had a 30 gallon sump tank, with accompanying pump and tubing. I originally bought it thinking I would set up a reef tank, but I just never got around to it.

The stand and tank plastic trim was painted with an ugly white latex paint, and one of the back wooden panels was rotten and needed to be replaced. Also the back of the tank was painted with a watertight sky blue PVC pipe sealer as a background. There were also calcium stains all over the glass and it looked like the tank was resealed.

The back wooden panel was rotten away, so I removed it and replaced it with a new piece of wood


The white latex paint couldn't be removed with paint stripper, so I used a blowtorch to burn it off, then I scraped the paint off with a putty knife and for the molding I used a razor blade. Then I used an electric sander to remove the bumps and defects and a dremel for the molding.


The plastic trim was painted white. With no way to clean the paint off it, I ripped it off in pieces.


I stripped the background paint off the tank with a razor (see blue shavings on the floor). And washed the glass with white vinegar.
 

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Mike,

Stripping the plastic rim from the top might not be a good idea, unless you're looking to keep your floor moist with water leaks. The Glue will not be able to withstand the pressure, considering that it is a 90 gallon tank.

It might work if the tank is a 2.5g, 5.5g or a 10g. I would not try this with a tank any larger than these.

I hope others can put in some comments before you try filling this with water.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
:) thanks for the warning, I actually ended up buying a new plastic trim and sticking it on. I need to update this thread with new pictures and info, I just need a bit of time since I'm moving some stuff at the moment.
 

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Ok new update!

Here is the restored, painted, and refitted (with new hinges/handle etc...) cabinet. Notice the black plastic trim on the bottom of the tank. I used a razor blade to carefully scratch off the white latex paint and then I used acetone to strip the ugly oak finish off and turn it into a black finish. I sanded the whole thing down with 200 grit, and then 600 grit to remove some of the accidental scratches I made with the razor. I suppose I could have just sanded the oak trim off, but it was a good experiment. If I ever find a cheap oak trim tank I can easily use acetone to remove the finish and not even bother with sandpaper. Oh, and the final restoring finish was to rub a few drops of olive oil over the sanded surface to give it a darker shine. I wiped the oil off with a paper towel and the plastic still held the glossy finish from the olive oil without being greasy. Compared with the top black trim (which I simply replaced for 34$) they are virtually identical.


The inside of the tank.


Then after arranging the rocks and 4 bags of "dark" fluorite I planted some HC, and Limno. aromatica. The water is still very cloudy. But the metal halides (2x175w at 10,000k) seem to cut through the haze a bit.


I've got the CO2 at 3 bps and the lights on for 8 hours a day. Hopefully I won't get any algae since the light is about 27 or so inches away from the substrate. I need to redo the MH fixtures so they look better and so they hang over the tank.

Let me know what you think! Suggestions/comments are welcome.
 

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Zapins,

Nice mound layout!

But let's put 2 and 2 together:

2. "...metal halides (2x175w at 10,000k) ..." "...lights on for 8 hours a day..."

2. "...From this week 1/31/09..." "... Some algae problems - thread and diatoms..."

Say, what did you come up with after adding 2 + 2?

I personally think you need to add another guppy! :D

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter #11
:D hmm lets see... MH lights for 8 hrs... algae problems... I don't follow :p

For the algae problems I reduced the lights by 30 minutes when I was at home today, added some nitrogen to counteract the thread algae, calcium because I felt lucky and since I saw GSA some phosphate. I did notice a little bit of cyano forming over the HC in the bottom left and I'm hoping it won't cause too much of a problem. I actually think the lights might be 250 watts instead of 175 w. I bought them years ago and assumed they were 175w, but now I am not so sure... I'll have to check the bulb next time I'm home. Also, I don't really like the blue tinge they are throwing out. I think I'm going to have a look for 6700K bulbs on the net.

I think I need to add a lot more stems to the tank next week to help with the break in period. I suppose I was a bit too gun-ho about the lights and HC planting :) I'm hoping that the hygro. corymbosa I bought last week will take off soon and suck up all the nutrients soon.

Interestingly I have thousands of small seedlings growing all over the substrate. They are still tiny so I haven't 100% identified them, but I think they are HC. I was growing the HC emersed for several weeks and I did see it flower continually, so I have a suspicion that the flowers set seeds and the seeds were spread all over the tank when I planted the HC.
 

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Lol, too funny Niko! I really look forward to the growth of this tank. I really like the scape so far. The glass is very thick, almost thick enough to be rimless lol :)
Thanks! And I was thinking the same thing about the glass. It looks like a custom made tank or something since the glass seems thicker than normal. I'll post some updates soon, I'm going home tomorrow so I can take some.
 

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Update!!!
Not much change except the algae has subsided, and some more growth on the aromatica. The hygro corymbosa I added 2 weeks ago seems to be perking up (not in photo) and seems to be on the verge of recovering in full.


I think the emersed HC set seeds and the seeds sprouted all over the tank, on the rocks, in the cracks etc... here are 2 pictures of the HC seedlings.



And a few from my new emersed setup that I will be using as a reservoir for future additions to the 90g.... (one of 3 emersed setups :D).


The downoi doesn't seem to be doing too well. The tips seem burned/pale. Any ideas what is going on with them? 55watts and rich potting soil are the conditions.
 

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Downoii actually looks right - it is one incredibly fugly plant in emersed growth, looks nothing like the submersed form. Tall leggy stem plant with little clusters of leaves is what I remember...Think of a leggy bacopa with little clusters of small crinkly leaves.
 

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Ehh! That is disappointing :( Maybe it will flower and redeem itself though... Any ideas why the downoii is getting burnt leaf tips? Is it just because it was grown submersed and is now in the air or is something else going on?

NowMed - I'll post more pictures soon! I recently added a lot of red stems to the tank and replanted some HC that had floated up to the surface.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Oh, because the metal halides (175 watts by the way), don't have a stand. They are for terrestrial plants and not designed for aquariums. I need to build a fixture for them to hang above the tank. Up until two weeks ago I had them sitting on a quarter inch piece of glass above the water. But then the bulb heated the glass up so much that it shattered all over the place and I had to pull shards out of the tank :(

For now the lights are just hanging above the water.

I'll try get new pictures up this coming weekend. I went away with some friends so I haven't had a chance to go home yet.
 
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