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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
***Pics Index***
After cleaning the tank out...
Canada's Worst Handyman...the Paintjob
Stand dried and set up...minus the water.
Rocks and sand
Moving...
3 Fuelleborni & 2 Red Zebras

I haven't kept fish in like 10 years and the thought never occured to me to get back into it again until my wife and i were invited out to eat at this place called thai house in north vancouver. they had this african cichlid tank setup by the entrance. looking at it just brought back memories of when i used to keep fish. I had a 29g tall and a 20g set up in my, ~10x6 if anything, room. I had the 20g long set up right beside my bed, so i could watch it as i laid down. Anyways, they had this fuelleborni that reminded me of the one I had in my old tank. And right there, I was bit by the cichlid bug! So i scoured the craigslist for-sale section for a new tank. I don't know how long i waited for a deal to come up. since we have a kid on the way, i couldn't spend a lot of money. (i really tried not to!!) One day, someone posted a 33gal for FREE (perfect!!) so i jumped on it....emailed him and everything....but someone had gotten to it before me and they already scheduled to pick it up. I left him my number and told him if the guy flaked out...give me a call. i'll pick it up whenever! So he calls me a couple days later....and it's mine. It was the stand, tank, hood, lights, some gravel and a filter w/ a whole bunch of media, for FREE!! The guy giving it away was pretty cool...he just said he wanted it to have a good home. I let him know it was going to be in good hands. I go pick it up and this is what it looked like. Took about an hour to clean. I threw out all the gravel that came with it cuz i wanted to do some crushed coral. probably about a week later, garbage collected..I read online about tank cycling and using the gravel from an established tank. i felt like kicking myself cuz i could've used that to cycle!! :( once my tank's all done, i wanna send that guy a picture of it!! :bigsmile: so he knows his tank is doing fine.





 

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Discussion Starter #2
the stand was in need of a little touch-up paint job to spruce it up...so i took a trip down to home depot and picked up a can of some Rust-oleum Painter's Touch - Espresso and some new door knobs. The knobs alone were like 20 bucks! :eek: Afterwards...we went to walmart and found out they had similar knobs there for only 6 bucks...so it was back to home depot to return the other ones!







 

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the stand was in need of a little touch-up paint job to spruce it up...so i took a trip down to home depot and picked up a can of some Rust-oleum Painter's Touch - Espresso and some new door knobs. The knobs alone were like 20 bucks! :eek: Afterwards...we went to walmart and found out they had similar knobs there for only 6 bucks...so it was back to home depot to return the other ones!
and you waisted 14 bucks in gas driving back and forth so your even..LOL..stand looks great...I had one many years ago that was very similar...I made it in woodwork in high school, overbuilt it just in case but looks very much like the one you are using.
 

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well sorry to state I went to highschool in the late 1970's early 80's so I doubt that stand is the one I built. I only wish I had the internet back then to give some ideas on how to build stands, back then I had to go to the library and look in books...how times have changed...good luck with the new project.
 

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i'm not as distinguished as you. :D but im not a young buck myself, i was in high school in the early 90s...and back then we had to go to the library too!! i've used microfilm!! i know my dewey decimal system! :lol: for real though...nowadays...with information at your fingertips, i can't imagine going back to them days.
 

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Great pick-up. Looking good. Amazing deals sometimes on CL eh.
 

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definitely, crazy! i looked at my tank before i left for work this morning and it's starting to look small already! my fish are starting to getting bigger. i think it's time for an upgrade!! oh btw...my tank's already set up. i'm just trying to get all these pictures and text together so i could share it with everyone my build. :)
 

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after a few days drying...i brought it back upstairs. dat ahhhh!!! Apparently, the doors, belong to a specific side of the stand cuz I was trying to put them in...and they just wouldn't fit right and fall in. I mean they still do fall in whenever I fully slide the doors open, that's the best i'm gonna do for now. maybe that'll be another mini-project to do once everything is done - redo'ing the doors. had to put the tank back on top, i was soo excited i finally had a tank, i had to get the whole effect! (minus the water) things are starting to move along! :bigsmile:





 

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What a great story! Im looking forward to seeing more pictures as you work on things!

:)
 

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i'm not as distinguished as you. :D but im not a young buck myself, i was in high school in the early 90s...and back then we had to go to the library too!! i've used microfilm!! i know my dewey decimal system! :lol: for real though...nowadays...with information at your fingertips, i can't imagine going back to them days.
I have socks older than you...yes they are clean socks too!

Ah yes Microfische and the dewey decimal system...hearing those two things reminded me of the OLD librarian we had at my elementary school...I think she was in her 80's when I was in grade 5, she retired the year I left grade 7 and she was old...I mean she made dirt look young...she smoked about 2 packs of cigarettes a day and had the finger stains and breath to prove it.

The more I see that stand the more it reminds me of my high school build, are you sure the guy said it was about 12 years old? For that to be my stand there is one thing you can check that will tell it for sure... Have a look at the screws that hold the side panels to the top rails where your tank sits...all of the screws, except one should be robertson square drive screws and one will be a slotted screw. When I was building the stand I bought a package of 15 screws, realizing after I got back to the school that I needed 16 so I "borrowed" one from the supply room at the school and it was a slotted drive screw. If that is the case then I think I built that stand...however you say the doors fall in...I never had that problem and I doubt the wood has shrunk over the years...wouldnt that be a blast if that was in fact the stand I built back in 1978.

I am sure there is more than one person in this world that has built a stand like that, remember I found the plans in a book in my local library so I am sure someone else could have done exactly the same thing I did!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
@clownloachlover, lol!! it's time to get some new socks! i remember, the guy saying that the tank itself was 12 years old and it hasn't leaked....then he said that the stand was built especially for the tank...so it fits exactly. so...i assume that the stand was built around or after the time the tank was acquired. hmmmm...that could mean alot of things though. you got me all excited too! my tank is up against the wall...and i checked one side - all robertson's square screws. i looked at all my photos i took, trying to zoom in...and it looked like all robertsons...but one. is the suspense climbing?! alright alright...i had to take a mirror and look at the screws on the other side. but no...they're all robertsons! :( not unless in those years since you gave it up...and i received it...a person changed that one screw. i think it's likely. if i had the means to make everything the same...id probably do it.

but dont worry...if it was yours you could sleep well knowing it's in good hands!! and a big thanks for the stand...my fish and i love it!!! :lol:
 

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mferko, yeah definitely a tanganyika tank!!! lol! :lol: nahhh, jk!! definitely next one is going to be tanganyika!! definitely!! and it's going to be a long tank! tropheus everywhere swimming around, just like in that guy's video...and i'm thinking about some multis......a whole bunch of shells lining the sandy bottom. and some gobies too!! haven't thought of the rocks though. that 3-d background site you posted looks cool. maybe something like that for the background inside the tank. i could dreammmmm.....one day!!
 

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I stopped by this landscaping supply store on my way home from work to look for the rocks. I was thinking about going with limestone since i read it would help with the PH, KH, GH. When they told me it was $.06 a lb...all the more reason!! :lol: I went out to the pile, estimated the length of my tank...and just started picking up rocks: flat shelves, thicker rocks to give it height, anything that i thought looked interesting and just started building on a pallet how i wanted it to look like in my tank. Before I knew it...i had about 60lbs of rock. (didn't look like it though..i'll get to that later). It came out to about 6 bucks!! :cool: and i also picked up 2 bags of some aragonite sand that happened to be on sale that week!

oh yeah...so word of advice, whenever you buy at them bulk places that charge you by the weight. (probably common knowledge) watch them and make sure they write down the right weight. i'ma give them the benefit of the doubt on this one, but they charged me for 100lbs. so during the whole ride home, it was at the back of my mind...it didn't feel like 100lbs. Of course when i got home...i weighed that and it came out to only 60lbs! I dunno if the guy purposely tacked on the weight of the pallet or something, or just forgot to minus it off? i dunno. anyways...the extra weight must've came out to like 2 bucks extra...no big deal! anyways....lesson of the day...make sure the weight's right!! don't get screwed like bingerz! :mad:

My wife had girls' night out that night. cool! so i could just work on my tank with no interruptions!! i went back to home depot a few days earlier, felt like i worked there cuz i was going there so much. I picked up some egg crate to line the bottom of the tank. So i measured out the tank...and then measured out the egg crate. i'm canada's worst handyman so...i had to do a "measure 5 times, cut once!!" so i cut it....brought it downstairs and used my dremel to sand off all the hard edges. took it back upstairs and put it inside the tank...it was looking good. =)

I swear...cleaning sand is a PITA!! I was reading online and watching youtube videos about ppl doing it in buckets with their garden hose all sunny out, in shorts. damn the bc weather...it was the wrong time to get into this!! it was too cold outside to do it! so i had to settle doing it in little bathroom sized garbage bins. i'd pour some into the bucket...water, dig into it like 20 times....pour out, rinse and repeat and repeat and repeat. it took about 5-6 hours to clean it all!! the spaces underneath my nails were all sore from digging thru all that sand. i used gloves and even that was getting torn up. so i would switch hands..it was a PITA!!

So I set up my rocks....and started dropping the sand in.







after that...i filled it up. i guess that 5-6 hours was worth it....nahhh!!! im never gonna do that again!! :lol:


hooked up the filter and just let it run.




 

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lookin good your gonna have some happy fish living in there :) if you have more than one dominant male you can separate the rock into two piles with sand between so they can each claim one
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I so wanted it by the stairs...but the scary thing about it was whenever we'd walk by it, the whole thing would shake! :eek: you wouldn't even have to walk hard and it would shake. you could tippy toe and it would still shake! it'd probably be a matter of time before the whole thing collapsed and water everywhere. So we thought of either moving it by the door (cool to see by the door, but cold draft and ppl might knock it over when coming inside)...or in the opposite corner (out of ppls way...but still a little drafty by the window). I kinda quickie photoshopped it to see what it would look like and we decided it would be best go on there instead.





What a PITA...so i had it all set up....water filled, filter running and there was no way i was going to be able to lift that over to the corner...so i emptied out the whole thing and when it got to a weight i could manage...i shimmied that crap over to the corner.

I guess another good thing about it being away from the stairs is that it's away from peyton (my wife's nephew) from getting to it. he's almost 3 years old and i could just imagine the damage he'd lay out on that tank!! i could see it right now lightning mcqueen and all them other CARS characters at the bottom of my tank OR a whole bag of pellets floating at the top!! complete disaster!!! i should put up police tape or one of those wooden gates for kids around the whole thing!! :lol: After getting it to it's new home...i filled it back up again and let it run. this time though...it wasn't even shaking when i approached it.

someone posted a pretty informative link about the right places to set up your tank according to the floor joist. i read it over...anyways...the first way by the stairs, yeah...that was the wrong way...and by the wall = correct way!
 
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