New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

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DragonsFly
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New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by DragonsFly » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:25 pm

Met a guy with a really sad job today--he works for a home rental agency, and cleans up after renters leave--including finding abandoned animals, apparently with fair frequency! But the upside of this is that he is allowed to salvage stuff they leave behind. So I got a 30g breeder and a (40g?) bowfront today, plus a stand for the 30g breeder, for $25! The bad part is that these tanks were abandoned--with fish in them!!!--for a while before he got the call to clear out this house. He tried to get a fish store to save the fish, but they told him they were in too bad shape :( .

Anyway, so here I have two tanks and a stand for a pittance, but the thing is that they were absolutely COATED with horrible nasty green and black algae and/or whatever other crud it was. I've scrubbed and scrubbed with vinegar and water for hours. They now look basically clean. But:

QUESTION: should I keep scrubbing and cleaning until every last (visible) trace of algae is gone? Or is a tiny bit of scum here and there likely to do no harm in a crabitat? Just wondering how OCD I need to be for crab health.

P.S. The 30g breeder is only 18 inches tall, so I was thinking of putting another tank over part of the top to add height so I can have 12 inches of substrate the big guys need. What size would be best for this purpose, and how do people who have done this secure the top tank so that it does not fall off??? I have cats!

P.P.S. I'm sad that my big guys will have to downsize from their 90g to this, but thinking of connecting the two tanks with a "habitrail" kind of connection so they won't be stuck in way tinier quarters, at least. I need to find a DIY thread with that kind of thing in it--does anybody have one handy?
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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by wodesorel » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:55 pm

I wouldn't be concerned about the algae. I've had it grow in brand new tanks for the crabs before. It just needs moisture and light and it's happy.

A razor blade on wet glass will completely remove anything still stuck on there, by the way. Just mind the silicon.

What's the dimensions on the 30 breeder?
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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by hyelah1990 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:02 am

I've had really good luck cleaning fish gunk out using baking soda and water made into a thick paste. Scrub with paper towels and rinse really well.
Can I ask why you would downsize from a 90g to a 30g??
And, have you thought of using the 30g as a topper for the 90g??

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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by aussieJJDude » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:18 am

hyelah1990 wrote:I've had really good luck cleaning fish gunk out using baking soda and water made into a thick paste. Scrub with paper towels and rinse really well.
Can I ask why you would downsize from a 90g to a 30g??
And, have you thought of using the 30g as a topper for the 90g??
Due to the OP moving, they have to decommission the 90g until they able to set up a tank at the new place...


(An exoterra tank could work on top, they are a little pricey but you can sometimes get a secondhand one for dirt cheap!)

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Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by hyelah1990 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:31 am

Gotcha!! Thanks aussieJJDude, I was just curious.

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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by aussieJJDude » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:49 am

hyelah1990 wrote:Gotcha!! Thanks aussieJJDude, I was just curious.
All good - why I answered your post after all ;)

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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by DragonsFly » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:08 pm

wodesorel wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:55 pm
I wouldn't be concerned about the algae. I've had it grow in brand new tanks for the crabs before. It just needs moisture and light and it's happy.

A razor blade on wet glass will completely remove anything still stuck on there, by the way. Just mind the silicon.

What's the dimensions on the 30 breeder?
Thanks!

The tank I think is a 30g breeder is approximately: 36" long, 12" deep, and 18" high
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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by DragonsFly » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:10 pm

hyelah1990 wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:02 am
I've had really good luck cleaning fish gunk out using baking soda and water made into a thick paste. Scrub with paper towels and rinse really well.
Can I ask why you would downsize from a 90g to a 30g??
And, have you thought of using the 30g as a topper for the 90g??
I could not find anyone willing to move the 90g :(
--{}: Dragons Fly Farm --{}:
Resident PP's:"Major Tom" "Billie Jean" & "Mr. Jones"
Keep a good thought--they're rare these days.

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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by DragonsFly » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:14 pm

aussieJJDude wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:18 am

(An exoterra tank could work on top, they are a little pricey but you can sometimes get a secondhand one for dirt cheap!)

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Thanks, aussie--are Exoterra's the right size to fit on the 30 g, and again, how do you make sure they are stable and won't topple off? One of my cats has already bounded up and conked her face on the 30g-- :shock: --probably because she could not see it (it was empty) and thought she was jumping up onto the stand. But if anything had been just balanced on top of it, that likely would have been a catastrophic moment.
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Keep a good thought--they're rare these days.

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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by wodesorel » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:53 pm

Not a breeder! Just a regular 30. That is my favorite tank size, manageable but not too tiny.

I think all larger Exoterras are 18 deep so they won't work. Your only option would be an upended 20 or 29 gallon.
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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by DragonsFly » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:27 pm

wodesorel wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:53 pm
Not a breeder! Just a regular 30. That is my favorite tank size, manageable but not too tiny.
Oh, I was going by the chart on this random page I found:
https://www.thesprucepets.com/aquarium- ... ts-1380694
Do you know of a more accurate chart somewhere to reference for measurements for different tank sizes?
wodesorel wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:53 pm
I think all larger Exoterras are 18 deep so they won't work. Your only option would be an upended 20 or 29 gallon.
Yes, it looks like any Exoterras that are going to be 12 deep are only going to be 12 wide as well, which is not going to provide much climbing space for the big guys.

Again, though, I've never done this tank-on-a-tank thing; if you top one tank with another, how do you secure the top tank so it doesn't end up sliding off and crashing to the floor? I know you have cats, too, wodes--!
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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by wodesorel » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:15 pm

For used aquarium sizes this is my go to:
https://www.thekrib.com/TankHardware/size-chart.html

A 30 breeder is a few inches shorter than a 40 breeder but the same 18x36 footprint. I actually have one that came with a hermit adoption, it was originally a pet store fixture for coral frags. It's now a vertical terrarium.

Velcro would work really well and still make the tank easily removable. I get rolls at Walmart for a few bucks and the stronger type holds up to both klutzy me and the cats!
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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:53 am

DragonsFly wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:14 pm
Thanks, aussie--are Exoterra's the right size to fit on the 30 g, and again, how do you make sure they are stable and won't topple off? One of my cats has already bounded up and conked her face on the 30g-- :shock: --probably because she could not see it (it was empty) and thought she was jumping up onto the stand. But if anything had been just balanced on top of it, that likely would have been a catastrophic moment.
Its a bummer that its not a breeder, otherwise one of the larger exo terras could work!


I guess if you really want to DIY, you could make your own topper out of plexiglass - and something to cut it - glue (aka a glue for plexiglass which basically fuses the joint) and get creative with it - could even have hinged doors so its front opening??? But I do agree, a regular glass tank with the bottom cut/smashed out would ultimately be cheaper....

(At least, once it's decked out, the cats would be less likely to smoosh their faces into it! :lol: )
Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+

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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by DragonsFly » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:11 am

Thanks for the size chart, wodes, that is perfect!

aussie, that is a good idea about just DIY'ing a plexi topper. I'm not sure about how to make hinged doors work on plexi, but I'll give it some thought. Done right, could "top" the entire tank all the way across, have doors on the front on both sides for access. That way, they could have super deep sub and still lots of climbing. They would still have less "footprint" than in the 90g, but could have more volume of substrate and more climbing opportunities, if I can make that work.

Would aquarium silicone work on the plexi, or does it need to be the specific plexi glue?

Has anybody done a project like this and can offer advice on making crab-proof hinged doors on a plexi panel?
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Re: New Used Tanks--how OCD to be? (and tank topper q)

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:48 am

DragonsFly wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:11 am
Thanks for the size chart, wodes, that is perfect!

aussie, that is a good idea about just DIY'ing a plexi topper. I'm not sure about how to make hinged doors work on plexi, but I'll give it some thought. Done right, could "top" the entire tank all the way across, have doors on the front on both sides for access. That way, they could have super deep sub and still lots of climbing. They would still have less "footprint" than in the 90g, but could have more volume of substrate and more climbing opportunities, if I can make that work.

Would aquarium silicone work on the plexi, or does it need to be the specific plexi glue?

Has anybody done a project like this and can offer advice on making crab-proof hinged doors on a plexi panel?
You can get plastic 'see through' hinges that would work well - not only visually, but to bond to the plexi structure. The good thing is that you could just have the plexi cut - or cut it yourself - in a way that it fits firmly and snug in the plastic rim of your tank, making it a tight seal to prevent the likelyhood of it comming off... Plus a little bit of velcro never hurts IMO.

To answer both questions, aquarium silicone simply does not bond well with plexiglass. However products such as Weld-on (non-spon! :lol:) have the benefit of actually fusing the two panels together. It literally melds the plexiglass - or acrylic - so the areas where weld-on was placed on to become soft and pliable, which will readily bond with other plastics if 'forced' - like using clamps. Which I think is much superiour over glass and using silicone!
(This vid by King of DIY explains it rather well: click and better than what I typed out! :) )

The good thing is that the plastic 'see through' hinges can be glued - using weld-on - and once again, bonding the two peices together. You could simply have a latch to 'lock' the hinge door close. (SerpaDesign on youtube explains this build rather well: here except the only difference is that you're also building the back, sides and top out of plexi, while his 'tank' has already been done for him...)
Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+

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