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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ETS- Empty Tank Syndrome!!!

I have it, and i have it bad.

Here is the scenario. Just yesterday, i picked up a near perfect condition 75 gallon AGA tank w/ oak trim at a garage sale for TEN dollars. It came with a strip light, glass top, and undergravel filter. Only apparent problem is the center brace is cracked, but that can be fixed in about 2 minutes with a piece of glass and some silicone. Silicone seams look great, no hard water stains and the guy said it held water last year when he had a piranha in it.

There is no way i'm selling this thing. I've been lookin for a big tank for a while now, and this is the biggest i have ever owned. I'm not a hoarder..... A collector is a much nicer word!


So what the hell should i do with this beast? I'm making this thread just to brainstorm ideas on what to do with it. My buttress root tree fits inside, so i'm contemplating using that, or possibly making another root structure or fake rocks or something. There is so many things i can do with it i just don't know where to start!!!! All i know is there is a void in my heart that only a large tank can fill :D

should I-
*just make a huge viv?
*make a big paludarium with waterfall or something?
*take my 30 gallon aquarium and transfer it over into a big planted tank?
*steal GRIMM's idea and make a sweet rooted background, and have a stream/dripwall going through it? hahaha

basically, i have no idea what i'm goig to do with this tank. My parents already hate me enough for buying it, so i have to make it look good to counter-act their anger towards me :p

ANY and ALL ideas are welcomed and much appreciated. Seeing an empty tank lying on the ground is just a bad feeling. I know you guys have felt it too....

Thanks,

Ryan
 

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I wish I had the space for this but hear are some ideas.

- make it a thumb(group of 5-7) or pumilio tank

- not to many waterfalls or streams they just take up space

-I would do a root or driftwood background. The roots or wood coming all the way out to the glass

-as far as plants use lots of vines and load it up with broms and film canisters

- you could also make a insane vert too.

Those are my ideas so far for it. This will be amazing!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
to be honest, i'm not 100% sure i want to do frogs in this tank. I'm still a beginner, and i only have 2 seven month old auratus at the time. I don't want to rush through the hobby to fast lol. If i do choose to add frogs, it would probably be a more terrestrial and larger species like tincs or leucs. i would end up killing pumilio or something with my luck hahah. Thats basically why i was contemplating doing a pond or waterfall, cuz i wouldn't have to worry about frogs drowning. I'm sure a group of leucs would be more than happy in this tank though!
 

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Even if you fix the cracked center brace with a "piece of glass and some silicone" don't expect that fix to be structurally sufficient to keep the aquarium from bowing significantly from the wieght of 600lbs of water in it. A centerbrace repair should really only be done by a qualified professional. Sorry I'm not trying to be a downer, but I've seen this countless times. I've also seen plenty of cases where someone fixed a centerbrace themself and it worked fine. Its risky, just keep that in mind.

You should be fine doing a viv or paludarium as you wouldn't be filling it completely with water and the weight and pressure would be drastically reduced. In fact, you could probably get away with no centerbrace at all in a viv or a pauldarium.

Good luck and be sure to share the results with us. I'm currently browsing craigslist for a monster tank. I want to do a really nice viv of 75 to 125 gallons.
 

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This was how my 75 looked before I tore it apart (maybe a lil inspiration). Rebuilding it is the next project on my list, after I finish my 29 gal. Not the best 75 build, but I was happy with it. My big male Leptodactylus pentadactylus loved it. The best thing about 75's is that you have so much room to build something really cool. Good luck figuring out what you want to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
there was a thread on either aquatic plant central, or the planted tank (cant remember which) where someone acquired a 75 gallon for cheap, and de-rimmed it completely (both top and bottom braces) The guy tested it structurally by pressing outward as hard as he could on the top pieces of glass when fully filled and the seams did not even start to pop. I think he only had approximately 7mm of bowing all together. Last time i saw the thread, it was holding water being all the way full for over a month with no catastrophes. If i can find the link, i will post it here.

My point being, if i cut a length of glass the exact length and width of the center brace, apply silicone over 100% of the piece, and place it on top, i'm more than confident it would hold water completely filled. Not saying you are wrong. it is definitely risky.

i'm not sure if i am keeping this tank or not right now. A local frogger wants it for his pair of fly river turtles in trade for a 40 breeder. So this thread might turn into "what the hell should i do with this 40 breeder??" hahaha

Craigslist is a great place to find big tanks, but you have to browse 24/7 just because the cheap ones go fast!

@feildnstream- nice tank man! i've seen that one here a couple times and its definitely a work of art!

If i do end up trading the 75 for a 40 breeder, i'll be sure to keep you guys updated. If you really know me, you know that 1. i'm a picture whore, so it will be pic heavy, and 2. i'm a super DIYer. i hate spending money, and love being innovative and building things that others haven't before :p It should be fun.

I'm planning to at least build my own stand and make a nice dual t5ho light with tek II reflectors. Possibly fake rocks and Buttress root tree v2.0. Maybe even some liana vines (idea stolen from GRIMM :D )

Later,

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
update: i attempted to rejoin the center brace earlier. I used 2 part 30 minute epoxy for the actual crack. The epoxy is rated at 2000 lbs per square inch, so that should add some strength. The main repair is a 1/4" thick piece of glass measuring 2"x16". I used aquarium safe silicone (GE silicone I window and door) spread evenly over the entire surface, then clamped onto the center brace to where there are no air bubles whatsoever. That means 100% adhesion to the center brace. I am pretty confident that this will hold. Give me about 2 days and i will test fill the tank. I can not give this to a friend to be used for exclusively aquatic and very expensive and hard to care for turtles without properly testing it for proper structural integrity.
 

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Here is the perfect inspriration for your rocky buttress roots design. I took these on my last trip to mexico. I bet you can guess which one helped me the most on my tank.

I think pic 2, 3 and 4 would be best for you, but hopefully you get ideas from all of them.











 

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I think grimm has a good idea there, I think he's using the first for his beast peninsula, so that's his lol :D but if I were you, the 5th pic looks awesome. Get some grey smooth rocks and grow moss on them, make an interesting but simple root system, and small plant's on the bottom with broms on the tree itself and more moss on the roots. You have a very lucky find here, my friend. Good luck! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
GRIMM you are the man! those pictures are awesome. i wish i could have seen those in real life.
i did a crappy sketch of a possible idea for this tank (whether that will be a 75 or a 40b)

Sorry for the poor quality art.... its been like 3 months since i have drawn and i'm a little rusty lol.


Yes? No? maybe so?

the pond section would have an internal filter hidden in the back, and have some aquatics growing emergent like crypts, anubias barterii, and anubias gracilis or if i cant find that i will go out and find a local patch of sagittaria latifolia.

As for the land part, i have a big tradescantia "red hill" that i think would make a really cool focal plant. Probably some broms i have lying around, and some creepers as well. No creeping fig in this tank. I've learned my lesson with that plant!


Pond area will be constructed with a piece of glass siliconed to the bottom/sides, and hidden with fake rocks with slits cut in them to go over the top of the glass. It sounds like it will work in my head, but that is almost never the case in real life haha. I'm not even sure if this is what i will end up doing. We're still in the brainstorm phase. Of course there will be eggcrate false bottom on the land side.

Let me know what you guys think!

Ryan
 

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Great design, looks like you are on the way to a spectacular tank. What about hollowing out one of the trunks (kind of like a woodpecker nest or something) so if/when the tank has inhabitants it could serve as a hide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First attempt at making a fake rock using the drylok method. Worked pretty well in my opinion. Let me know what you guys think, because i will most likely make a bunch of these to hide the piece of glass in the paludarium.




 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks man. I'm not sure i like the rock, but so far it's fooled my brother and mom so i guess it doesn't look completely fake. The texture and color are alright, i just think the shape is wrong. I've never seen a rock thats looked like that before haha. Good luck with the 125! thats an awesome deal. Is a piece of glass cracked or something? I've never found anything that big for free without a major flaw in them
 

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Ryan the rock looks sweet man, im pretty sure that there is at least 1 real rock that looks like the rock you made :p So did you just use styrofoam with tinted drylok?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm glad you guys think it looks real. I rushed through it while carving, and didn't really think the design through. This one will not be used in the actual tank, and i will make more with a more rounded river rock look with the same texture.

It was made in almost the same fashion as my buttress root tree. Carved out of EPS, not sanded at all, created a base color i liked, gave it two coats of that. Then made a darker color for cracks and shadows, then a lighter color to drybrush on top of it all. It has pretty subtle color changes, but upon closer inspection it looks pretty realistic. Alright for a first attempt i suppose. Note that i mixed the acrylic in with the drylok for all coats to make sure it is waterproof.

Midnight, good luck with the tank. Are you using it for an actual aquarium or a viv?
 

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Rocks are looking good especially with the lichen designs. My little 20 just setup its gonna kill me with ets bad.
 
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