The Big Project

The big project last Thursday (and continued today) centers around my newest hobby. Well, not that new. I’ve been keeping my aquarium in good shape for the last 14 months. All of the problems have been ironed out and I feel very comfortable keeping fish in good health. I need to backfill the stretch of time just a little.

I snuck in a 10 gallon tank early this year. It was going to be a hospital tank, but I ended up dedicating it to my little red freshwater shrimp and a single bushy-nosed albino ancistrus plecostamus. An example is pictured below. The tentacles on his face are normal for male fish and are the reason they’re called bushy nose plecos.

Akwa21 ancistrus

Later in the spring I started hunting Craigslist to find something special. I found an ad that fit the bill. Right size, right price, right equipment. I jumped on the bargain and had it in the garage within a few days. The start of the longterm project had begun.

I bought a 150-gallon tank with a stand. The stand turned out to be junkier than I was led to believe (that’s the risk of Craigslist), and while it would probably be fine, I didn’t want to risk my house being flooded with 150 gallons of water and gravel if something went Terribly Wrong.

Thankfully, my family is not only skilled, but generous with their time. I set my dad on a building project. One of my uncles pitched in on the build. His wife helped with the staining and hardware selection. Another uncle offered up his truck to transport the stand from Bay City to Waterford. His wife sent along snacks. My mom and sister pitched in for raw materials and gas money. (Thanks, family! 🙂 )

The photo below is the tank on the original stand in my garage. The tank is 72” x 24” x 18”. The glass is nearly 1/2” thick. It’s heavy. I cleaned out all of the leftover saltwater debris. I opted to pain the outside back panel of the tank black. My other small tanks have a shiny plastic sheet designed for this purpose taped to the back of them. It’s a hassle, looks like crap, and never stays adhered for long. It also ends up looking junky. The paint was a pain in the butt, too, but it’ll be easy to maintain.

Tank150 201308

The goal Thursday was to get the newly completed stand into the house, followed by the tank. With 5 of us there to lift and juggle the pieces, it came out very well. Doors and handles were attached and everything fell into place perfectly. The photo below shows the spot in my home office.

Tank150 201308  1

Today I headed back up to the Tri-City area to pick out some “driftwood” pieces from my uncle’s property. I got a couple of exceptionally neat pieces, one of which is below.

Tank150 201308  2

As the project moves along, I’ll post updates on how things are going, and probably talk a little about how things are going along. I’ve been doing a ton of research on aquarium ecology and building strategies. I think I know what direction I’m going to go. Things do have a way of changing as time goes on, though. This is certain to be an adventure!



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7 responses to “The Big Project

  1. Chris Miner

    Congrats on the fruition of a project long in the making. It looks great! Kudos to everyone who pitched in to help 🙂

  2. The new stand looks great! Really expensive looking, as well as being classy. I’ll be interested to see how this progresses!

  3. Tasha

    OMG I love goldfish/koi! What sort of aquarium direction are you going? 150 gallons is a NICE size. 🙂 Congrats! The finished “product” looks great.

  4. Thanks! I’m looking forward to the planning and setup, too. 🙂

  5. Definitely freshwater with live plants. I’m comfortable with that setup at this point in terms of the water chemistry and ecosystem dynamics, so I’m gearing up for a BIG project. As far as fish, I think I’m going to stay small — Danios and Rasboras, mainly. Maybe Barbs of some kind. I’ll make some posts about the fish as I get closer to putting them in.

    Do you have any goldfish or Koi at home?

  6. Sue and John Foster

    Thanks for the always interesting updates 🙂

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