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Referb and restart after 30 years. Low tech.

Joined
17 Dec 2020
Messages
88
Location
Gloucestershire
I have been meaning to start a journal for this little project for ages.
I have all the pics, just have not found the inclination.
So here goes:
The tank has not had water in it for about 30 years. It is only a Small Tank 30.588L, size cm 49.4w x 25.8d x 26.5h
It used to be my breeding tank. Had great success with cherry barbs, 3 generations and my local aquarium shop got all the extra ones for free. Gave me very good discount.

First off. I have put some shelves in the bedroom to take the tank.

Lighting: I wanted to reuse as much of my original equipment to save money.
I had a emersion heater timer and added a household LED dimmer.
I purchased 4 PAR 16 Parcan, 230V black and 4 5W GU10 LED Spotlight, 6400K, 380lm 38deg, Dimmable to go with them.
This gives me 50 lumens per litre.
Wired it all up and it works. The dimmer is only to allow me to reduce the light, but keep the time period.
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So now onto resealing the tank.
 

The grumpy one

Member
Thread starter
Joined
17 Dec 2020
Messages
88
Location
Gloucestershire
Resealing the tank: This is how I did it and it is OK. I am sure there are easier ways and people will let me know what I have done wrong.
First to take off the old silicone.
Taking off frame.
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I was worried that the frame was the only thing holding everything together. Just to be safe, plenty of PVC tape.
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Well, so far so good. Frames came off very easily, just wiggle and pull carefully.
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What a mess the silicone is in. You can tell it was a cheap tank.
The glass is only 3mm except for the base, which is 4mm.
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This taking off old silicone is fun. Must be careful not to scratch the glass. Or you will make a weak point, like when you score glass to cut it. Very sharp razor blade to start from middle to glass at a 30 deg angle seems to work. Little bit at a time, don't go too deep.
Use a scalpel for the fiddly bits.
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I put the frame back on at this point. Had to drill 1.5mm holes to let air out as I pushed it on. Put silicone all along the groves
then pushed it on. I knew it was good, because silicone came out of the 1.5mm holes.
So then I cleaned glass with isopropyl alcohol and applied masking tape.
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Put silicone on
Use a spoon to smooth, dip in water then run along silicone at an angle. Don't do it more that 3 times or the silicone will start to go all over the place as it sets a skin. Then Pull off masking tape up away from the silicone (got tape all over my hands, silicone then started to set. What a mess, no pics, could not hold the camera).
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When I used to use this tank, I never filled it above halfway. If filled to the top, the glass bowed alarmingly.
I decided to put glass bracing in. Local glass shop cut it to appropriate length and only 20mm wide.
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Cleaned off all the silicone that went where I did not want it, With razor blade at a very low angle. Took ages.
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Waited 48hrs for silicone to set.
Then for the water test. 2 days of no one able to have a shower was horrendous.
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Finished and no leaks.
Now you may be wondering "why the brace across the tank" all will be revealed in the next thrilling episode.
Stay tuned.
 

John q

Member
Joined
6 Jan 2021
Messages
377
Location
Lancashire
A master silicone craftsman at work... I'll pencil you in for when I need the bath doing.

On a serious note it looks like you've done a good job on it.
 

The grumpy one

Member
Thread starter
Joined
17 Dec 2020
Messages
88
Location
Gloucestershire
A master silicone craftsman at work... I'll pencil you in for when I need the bath doing.

On a serious note it looks like you've done a good job on it.
You should have seen the first run. It was awful. The second run was a lot better. So I took it off and did it again. Had to get another tube of silicone.
 

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