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amoonklein

Klein Kastle Tank Upgrade

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I recently acquired a "new to me" tank and thought it would be fun to post a thread dedicated to this tank set-up.  It's already been a slightly laborious project, but one that has me so excited for the day when my goldies will be swimming in their new Kastle.

 

It all started when one of my fancies, Hef, started having issues with his swim bladder... no... scratch that.  I've been on the lookout for a sweet tank upgrade for almost a year.   Hmm... that still doesn't seem right.    Let's try this again.  I'm pretty sure I'm always on the lookout for a bigger tank.  A bigger tank means more goldfish, DUH!  I clearly just want more goldfish.  Sadly, the idea is usually dismissed as 

cash is tight, space is limited, and blah blah blah.  OK, now that we got that out of the way...

 

The idea of a tank upgrade was rehashed when one of my fancies, Hef, started having issues with his swim bladder.  He was moved from the current 75 gallon Kastle into his own 70QT shallow studio.  As I suspected, Hef doesn't much like being a bachelor and thrives off of the companionship of his other fancy friends, which are still chillin' in the 75 like nothing ever happened.

 

The 70QT has been a good temporary solution, but I feel bad for Hef (and me... for having to change water in more tanks).  I started thinking that if there was a way for me to find a large shallow tank with the right amenities, then I could keep them all together again (and maybe add some more  :teehee)

 

Enter the new tank!  

 

As luck would have it, I stumbled upon a CL ad for a 120 gallon acrylic tank that was 8' x 2' x 1'.  Yeah!  Trying not to get excited, I set up a meeting with the seller to inspect it and find a way to convince my husband that this is a really great idea (he surprisingly didn't need convincing).  Also, me trying not to excited was futile effort but I sure did try.

 

Turns out the guy selling the tank has his own reef business and happens upon custom pieces like this frequently and usually has a few side projects going on.  He was selling it since he and the wife are expecting and he won't have the time and the extra cash would be nice.  Hooray for me!  It was in very good condition, especially for the price.  Remember that futile exercise I was telling you about?! Yeah... when The Hubby and Seller asked what I thought... I HUGGED it.  For realziez.  It totally came home with us:

 

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This thing is 1/2" thick Truvu acrylic with a built in corner overflow (which I may or may not use), slight scuffing, one scratch on the back (but the scratch is on the outside and looks like it could be removed), and I COULD NAP IN IT!  All for $400.  <-- kinda steep for me right now, but my plan is to sell the 75 gallon and try to get $250 for it, which would make my end cost on the new tank $150.  Sweet.

 

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I definitely have my work cut out for me... which is where this post comes into play.  

 

Took me long enough to get to the monkey, right?!

 

First up: the stand.

 

Technically this tank has the footprint of a 240 gallon tank, but is half the height so I thought I might find a used 240 gallon stand on CL, but most people also want you to buy their 240 gallon tank too... that wasn't going to work.  Plus, holy cow is that stuff expensive!  So I decided to make my own stand after watching a lot of videos of The King of DIY (and lurking on diyfishkeepers).  

 

On Saturday I figured out what I needed, and Sunday I bought lumber, screws, and all the other things (there were quite a few things) and promptly set out to get a beast of a stand built.  

 

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And then the project began:

 

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By the end of Sunday, I almost had the basics of the frame done:

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By the end of Monday, I had the corner supports and the center braces in place:

20160426_073544_zpsgvxx5q3q.jpg

 

Tonight, I'm hoping to get the shell of the stand done!  I just need to put more support on the top of the center brace, add in some more supports along the width of the top of the tank, get the plywood in place, and then I can bring it inside!

 

Whew!

 

I think that's it for now.  It will be fantastic for me to see the progression and how this whole thing looks when it's done.

 

 

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Wow! That is a totally awesome find and build and I love the pictures :rockon

Thanks for sharing this with us :D

Keep us updated too :nana

Btw, I love your enthusiasm :Jig:

And it's nice seeing you around Kokos again :hug

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WOW! Omg! That is ssooo awesommmeeee and i am mega jealous!!! But more happy for you than i am jelly!! Aahhh! :tbanana

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Yep, me too! Sooo jealous, looking forward to more updates soon

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Wow! That is a totally awesome find and build and I love the pictures :rockon

Thanks for sharing this with us :D

Keep us updated too :nana

Btw, I love your enthusiasm :Jig:

And it's nice seeing you around Kokos again :hug

Thank YOU for actually reading through that novel of a post. Haha.

 

Let's hope my enthusiasm continues for the entirety of the project ;D

 

And it's nice to see you tooooo!  :hug

 

 

WOW! Omg! That is ssooo awesommmeeee and i am mega jealous!!! But more happy for you than i am jelly!! Aahhh! :tbanana

Thank you thank you!  I'm STILL pinching myself :D

 

 

Yep, me too! Sooo jealous, looking forward to more updates soon

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Thanks a bunch... I still can't believe I actually pulled the trigger and got it.

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Progress!

 

I got the frame of the stand completed Tuesday night.  It was forecast to rain on Wednesday so I knew I needed to get it inside asap.

 

The shell of the frame with center braces in place and additional top support for the tank:

20160426_213930_zpsews3ib14.jpg

 

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With the plywood in place:

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It's currently taking up A LOT of space in the dining room/fish room.  I have to wiggle around it to feed the goldies.  It is going to stay like that through the weekend since Hubby and I are going to be gone at an AFM event, but am looking forward to getting that tank clean next week.  Hopefully I can start planning what the skin of the stand will look like soon too.

 

Hooray for things happening :D

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Oh man looking good, come and build me one too lol

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This is an very awesome tank. I would love a tank like that. Wife and I have been talking about getting a tank just like that, when we get a house of our own. This is very inspiring!

 

Can't wait to see it all setup and filled with lovely fish.

 

How many gallons is the tank?

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Oh man looking good, come and build me one too lol

If you lived closer, I might take you up on that ;D

 

This is an very awesome tank. I would love a tank like that. Wife and I have been talking about getting a tank just like that, when we get a house of our own. This is very inspiring!

 

Can't wait to see it all setup and filled with lovely fish.

 

How many gallons is the tank?

Thank you!  I'm pretty excited about it as well... still pinching myself a bit.  Also kicking myself that I haven't had more time to work on this project.  Right now it's just sitting in my "dining room/fish room" taking up space and glaring at me to work on it.  I'm partway through removing the scratches on the inside of the tank and hope to have that done sometime this weekend.

 

It's 120 gallons, but only 1 foot tall :D  

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Wow!  You are a way better carpenter than me.  (Of course anyone who can cut a board or drive a nail is way better than me.)  The stand is looking great!

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Looking good!!!!!!!!  :redbanana:

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Wow!  You are a way better carpenter than me.  (Of course anyone who can cut a board or drive a nail is way better than me.)  The stand is looking great!

Thanks for the compliment!  

 

Looking good!!!!!!!!  :redbanana:

Thanks, Dawn :D

I'm definitely no carpenter, but pretty proud of myself.  

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Wow!!  What an ambitious project but coming along nicely!!  Congrats on the new tank!  :nana

 

Glad to see you around, Allie.  :hug

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Wow!!  What an ambitious project but coming along nicely!!  Congrats on the new tank!   :nana

 

Glad to see you around, Allie.   :hug

Thanks, Lisa.  It's definitely taking me longer than I thought it would, but I think the finished product will be well worth it.  I'm hoping to get some more hours in on the tank this weekend... buffing out scratches and cleaning it.

 

And  :hug to you too!  Nice to see you :D  I've missed poking around and seeing updates about everyone!

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Wow great job on that stand!

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Wow you lucky [censor]!! I wish I could find a nice long shallow tank like that for around $500!!!!!! Around here anyone selling a big tank wants to add an extra digit to the total putting it in the thousands =,=

Wish I lived in ca or fl, I always see a lot of cheaper tanks for sale in those states.

Edited by AquaAurora

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It's been a while since I've posted an updated... and it's been a while since I've been able to work on the tank.  After having this thing in my dining room and squeezing past it multiple times a day for over a month, I was soooooo happy to put in some work over the past week. 

 

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I picked up wet/dry sandpaper and Novus and proceeded to sand/buff out the scratches from the interior of the tank.  After making a full round on the tank by hand (400, 800, 1200, then 2000 grit sandpaper followed by the full Novus system) I quickly realized that I "needed" power tools to help the process along :whistle

 

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I snagged a 1/4 sheet palm sander and went back to work on sanding the tank and what a difference it made!!  Plus... power tools.  Way more fun.  To polish with Novus, I used a cordless drill with a 3" backing plate.  I started with a buffing sponge and used #3 polish, then switched to a felt pad and used #2 polish, finishing with a cloth to clean with #1.  So shiny!!!!

 

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Once that was done, I went over the outside of the tank in a few areas (there was a huge scratch on the back)

 

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Then I made it extra pretty.  I picked up black acrylic pant and did 3 coats on the back of the tank with a sponge roller.  :wub:

 

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I thought about painting the bottom of the tank, but decided against it since I planned on trying my hand at sand.

 

I gave her a good clean (filled her up halfway and scrubbed her down, drained, cleaned with vinegar, filled her up again and scrubbed, drained... so many things)

 

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With a clean tank, it was time for musical tanks and fish shuffling.  I needed to drain and move the 75 gallon since the 120 was going to take its place.  I temporarily relocated Ralph to the fry stock tub (so she could hang out with her beybeys), Studly to Hef's tank (because Hef was lonely and needed a friend), and Hugo got his own 10 gallon (because he's too big to fit in Hef's tank, and his mouth is too big for me to trust him enough to add him to the fry stock tub).  Hugo sulked.

 

Once the shuffling was finished and the 120 was in place, I added 2 bags of Petco's black sand (40 lbs. total).  It was just enough to cover the bottom of the tank.  I probably could have used 3 bags of sand as there are a few "bald" spots that will most likely be annoying for me to look at, but I can always grab another bag later.  Plus, sand is expensive!

 

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I am definitely going to need to make some filter modifications and get a plan together.  The tank is set-up for a sump, but as of right now, I only have the Marineland canister and a sponge filter running on it.  The Marineland intake was too long, so I pulled the intake tube from my Hydor canister and attached it to the Marineland set up.  Since the intake is still too low and I don't want sand in the filter, I have a mesh media bad around the intake tube for now as a work around.  I also have the return at a strange angle.  The acrylic on the top of the tank is so wide that the return tube won't really fit.  I have it Jerry-rigged, but I will definitely need to come up with a better plan.... plus I'll need more filtration.  For now, it'll do.

 

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All in all, lots of progress.  There is still a lot to do... get a filtration plan, a skin for the stand, better lighting options so I see the goldies better, etc.

 

In the meantime, here's the Klein Kastle crew enjoying their new digs:

 

 

Hooray!!

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:heart OMG! You're my hero! :thud

That's amazing! :hi5

Now for more fish :lol2

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It's INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!! You did an FANTASTIC job!!!!!

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Wow! simply stunning,I'm amazed you put that all together your self :) way to go :) looking forward to seeing what you do from here ;)

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:thud incredible! You've done fantastic work with it :nana

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For lighting options if you are not keeping live plants, you can check out ebay or amazon for LED strip lights, you can get  a lot of length in various hues including white for decent price.  Read descriptions on them carefully, some come with connectors/adatpers/power supply, some don't.

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:heart OMG! You're my hero! :thud

That's amazing! :hi5

Now for more fish :lol2

Hahahaha... I of course had that same thought  :teehee ALL THE FISH!  

 

I think for right now, I'll keep stocking light and hopefully move some of the fry into this tank when they are a bit older (and won't fit in Hugo's big old mouth).

 

It's INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!! You did an FANTASTIC job!!!!!

Thank you :D  I am quite pleased with how it's coming along... and I can't believe how much there is left to do.  It's definitely a labor of love!

 

 

Wow! simply stunning,I'm amazed you put that all together your self :) way to go :) looking forward to seeing what you do from here ;)

Thanks!  I wouldn't have been able to do it without the Hubby... that thing is so heavy and he surprisingly keeps agreeing to help with the heavy lifting :flex: (plus he's great for bouncing ideas off of).

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!! FANTASTIC JOB!!:-)

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That is going to be beautiful!  I really like the dimensions, and you did an excellent job with the stand. 

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