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Some aid if you please?

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Some aid if you please?

Post  Honeythorn on Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:39 pm

Hello! I bought a secondhand 5 gallon "fish" tank quite recently, but mother put her foot down with a firm hand and refused to allow me to set it up as a permanent aquatic residence for some specimen/s . So basically it's a spare/hospital/emergency tank. BUT the flipside of this , is that I have plenty of time in which to modify the exterior of the tank.

There cannot be any sort of metal inside the tank, and no interference of the , yet must fit back into place and not look as though they are removablefiltration, as a 5 gallon tank is hard enough to keep stable in terms of water chemistry even with decent filtration. It came with an undergravel filter which I intend to keep in there, I may also add a small DIY sponge filter to the other corner. The DIY will be hidden with plants. As will the area where the UG filter comes up ( it's black plastic >.< the uplift tube is dark smoky transparent plastic ) .

Here are a few pictures to help visualise ( pardon the quality..cameraphone ) .

The raised area on top is where the lighting is located. You access that when you lift the whole lid though. The switch is on the side as you can just about see. I was thinking of covering that in some way that looks good but allows me access.






I would like to perhaps make the lid a sort of wood effect. Can you buy veneer flexible enough to bend over the various parts of the lid? I also wanted to affix the base to wood, a box of some sort, and have copper pipes emerging from it and "leading" into the top ( they must be removable so I can remove the lid to do water changes, which are essential , yet must fit back into place in such a way that they do not look as though they come off ).

Mr Von Gast kindly suggested adding an air pressure gauge of some sort, which could be connected to the airline with a T piece. I could fit that into the front of the box on which the tank would be attatched, and the airline could be hidden with a copper pipe and fed into the box to the gauge.


How is this sounding? Idiotic? Good? Any suggestions? I cannot fiddle with any sort of electronics as I have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever as to how such things work. I can't even wire a plug. Maths and electronics make me pale No silent

Oh! The inhabitants of this tank will be either a Siamese fighting fish ( Betta ) or some shrimp such as these Amano shrimp

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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  Khai on Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:22 pm

I may be sound stupid but...

maybe detailing on the outside of the tank using foil sticky back plastic? say taking a sheet and cutting into baroque edging pieces then applying those to the corners of the tank on the outside? (that way leaving the water uncontaminated)

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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  A.G.Morgan on Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:36 pm

Perhaps a wooden base with brass, steel, or aluminum angle pieces on the corners shaped to fit the tank.
The top part is a bit tricky. I don't suppose you can take the cover off to reveal the lights and any other functioning parts inside it? That might be an interesting way to go.

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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  Honeythorn on Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:28 am

I will be doing a wooden base yes, but as for the lid.. I have had a look and I don't think it's possible without causing damage.
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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  JingleJoe on Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:29 am

Try some triops in there Wink
And as for steampunking up the exterior I'd add a wooden base with brass pipes and glass thingies coming out of it, perhaps an adjustable magnifying lense on an arm of adjustable wing nuts and rust Very Happy left hovering around the front as though one had just been watching a triop through it (which you will have been Wink) That could be attached to a base or to the tank by glue and some sort of small metal bracket Smile
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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  von Corax on Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:45 am

Honeythorn wrote:
Mr Von Gast kindly suggested adding an air pressure gauge of some sort, which could be connected to the airline with a T piece. I could fit that into the front of the box on which the tank would be attatched, and the airline could be hidden with a copper pipe and fed into the box to the gauge.
I don't know if this would fall within your skill level/comfort zone, but instead of using copper tubing to conceal the airlines, what about using thinwall copper tubing as the airlines? I can't imagine this would cause any chemical problems so long as the copper doesn't come into contact with the water (ie. use plastic leader tubes to connect to the airstones); indeed I seem to recall that aquarium shops sell air manifolds and valves made of brass.

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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  Prof. George of Chaos on Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:41 am

I assume well cleaned scientfic glassware wouldn't cause any trouble when placed in the tank...

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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  markf on Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:21 pm

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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  CaptZaphod on Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:55 pm

May be a bit of work but, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" to mind.

How about a porthole on the side:

To look at the fishes with, and wrap/paint up the rest to look like metal?
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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  JingleJoe on Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:06 pm

Prof. George of Chaos wrote:I assume well cleaned scientfic glassware wouldn't cause any trouble when placed in the tank...
Clean it by swilling it with vinegar then water! That gets out everything, I used an aspirator to water plants that was rife with residue after cleaning it with vinegar like that, now my moss is watered by it and growng beautifully and theres all manner of tiny insect life living on it :3
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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  Honeythorn on Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:52 pm

You..have..moss....I may have to steal you! Wink

Mr MarkF - Those are lovely! I love the last one . Not sure what I could incorporate but I shall set my brain a-working!

CaptZaphod...I don't want to cover the entire perspex surface as I like to see as much of a tank as I can, but I think I may be able to add/attatch a magnifying lens to the side and perhaps create a mould to go around it to make it look like a porthole or inspection lens..much like Mr Jinglejoe suggested. Well! I shall just have a LOT of magnification lenses all over the place! On the perspex, on little arms ( No idea how I will achieve that.. I may enlist father to help me ) ....oooooh.....
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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  Prof Eumides Blakehurst on Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:00 am

So the tank is perspex rather than moulded glass ? Make sure that you are careful about scratches as they will really show up.

I'll second the wooden base, though if you can find an old marble washstand and get a marble base...

You can get very thin wooden veneers, though I only have a listing for Australian suppliers - they are thin enough to be very flexible and I am wanting to order enough to make a wooden book (wooden cover and the veneer pieces as pages). Still, I think the best thing to do would be to take the black plastic cover off the top assembly and spray paint it with a brass or bronze acrylic paint. "Plastikote" is the local brand name, but I have seen reference to a "Krylon" brand on parts of the forum (though that may be US only ?).

If that looks too bright, you can 'weather' it down with a spray and wipe off of a medium brown or sepia paint, or a bit of green to mimic verdigris.

So long as all the paint is on the outside, all will be well for the fish. Then add pipe bits, gauges and so on.

Oh, and look out for old lamps with attached magnifiers as used by needleworkers and so on. The magnifiers are usually fairly large and attached to a poseable arm (which you'll need to brassify). If you can get one where the lamp is going bung you could score a bargain. Usually it's the assembly of all the parts of the lamp that become loose and so don't sit where they're put and the lamp goes into the rubbish with a perfectly good magnifying lens...

[BTW, we're coming out of winter here and I found an old coir mat outside on the dim, dark, and recently wet, South side of the house, covered in about 7 sorts of moss - I am thinking of making a tiny soo of moos and tardigrades. About the size of a matchbox!]
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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  girl1919 on Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:23 pm

If the wood doesn't work out, you can get embossing foil to cover parts of the tank. It comes in a couple colors, it's thin and flexible.

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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  Honeythorn on Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:16 pm

Sadly Mr Blakehurst the tank is already quite scratched. The previous owner IDIOTICALLY cleaned the perspex with what would seem to be a rough nylon scouring pad/sponge or something ( this is not entirely surprising as she was stupid enough to have kept a goldfish in that size tank...go figure.. ) The scratches are for the most part, quite fine, and don't tend to show up too badly when it has water inside. Oh but my brainbox is whirring!!!!

I do know I want to make an Octopus/Cthulu motif type of decoration to stick on the front in the centre of the lid. I can make that out of FIMO and spray it easily enough.
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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  OldProfessorBear on Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:00 am

You might try toothpaste (seriously) to get some of the scratches out.

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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  Honeythorn on Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:05 am

The scratches are on the inside. Even with a thorough clean of vinegar and weak sterilising fluid in hot water I would worry of water contamination.
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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  JingleJoe on Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:22 am

Honeythorn wrote:
I do know I want to make an Octopus/Cthulu motif type of decoration to stick on the front in the centre of the lid. I can make that out of FIMO and spray it easily enough.
Hell yeah! Fimo! I have about 150 models made of that stuff ^_^
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Re: Some aid if you please?

Post  Honeythorn on Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:41 am

I have made some very nice beads from it. I may make some false claw feet for my tank also . I do not want real ones as a tankfull of water is quite heavy even at 5 gals, and the weight should be spread evenly along the whole base, not focused on four points.
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Re: Some aid if you please?

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