PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

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PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-04, 19:35

So, I got the green light to buy this off of craigslist, the poster had advertised it as a 60 gallon hex acrylic tank with wooden stand and canopy, and also came with a Fluval 405 canister filter... turned out it was only a 40 gallon hex, and a Fluval 305 canister filter. No biggie. It also came with a 150watt Eheim Jager Heater, and a butt ton of gravel. Yay.

Upon further inspection, it's got an overflow at the top, which is great,  and a drain that's drilled at the very bottom (which I found odd...) that can connect to a canister filter. I imagine that a sump is out of the question, because it would just constantly drain water into the sump, potentially overflowing the entire sump. Major flood issues. I'm still unsure how I'm going to "work around" this. Maybe build an overflow box out of acrylic... or not. I don't know. The plumbing has a ball valve, so I can just keep it closed and not have to worry about it, so there's that too.

I think this is only going to be a "Restoration" Project. I probably won't be keeping this tank, so after fixing it up, I will probably end up just selling it once everything is in working order. It'll keep me busy for the rest of the summer (or something like that).

The stand itself, I will probably end up re-painting...maybe black? White? I'm not entirely sure yet. I thought about just re-staining it, but that would mean that I would have to sand everything down, and... No, that's not happening. lol!

Here's a picture of the tank...
First test was to check for any leaks, so I filled it up after taking out all the gravel, and it has been leak free now for about 5 days.
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ALSO, I got a freebie out of the deal... as I was taking out the gravel out of the tank, I noticed something moving... I checked closer, and I found a Yellow Striped Eel! I was shocked to see it, because it had been at LEAST one day, before I even decided to take the gravel out (the tank had been drained a couple hours prior to me picking it up from the seller). . . I guess as long as it was wet from the gravel, it stayed alive. It's now in a 15 gallon quarantine tank, I will try to provide pictures when I get the chance. It looked a little "loopy" at first, but now it looks like it's in good shape... it's hiding, and digging in the sand, so that MUST be a good sign, right?

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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-04, 21:43

Poke,

Where is the overflow? Is it a drilled hole at the top? Or an actuall overflow into a secondary compartment in the back of the tank?

Where is the drain located?
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-04, 22:01

fishNAbowl wrote:Poke,

Where is the overflow? Is it a drilled hole at the top? Or an actuall overflow into a secondary compartment in the back of the tank?

Where is the drain located?

The "overflow" is actually not an overflow...whoops! Sorry about that. It's actually just a hole that's drilled at the bottom of the tank. And then gets returned into a hole that's drilled into the side. It's.....weird. The only thing I can think, is to use an undergravel filter, to utilize the drain... which would go straight into a canister filter... but, I don't know. I feel iffy about that. There must be a reason why there's a ball valve on both the drain and outflow =P

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Here's a picture of the Yellow Striped Eel Smile He's eating food, and is still in a quarantine tank Very Happy Yay! He's itty bitty! Probably only like 4" in length! Cute little bugger!
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  MorganEA on 2014-08-04, 22:17

Poor little guy! He was probably very confused!
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-04, 22:34

MorganEA wrote:Poor little guy! He was probably very confused!

Yeah, and the tank had bigger pieces of gravel, instead of fine sand (in the hex) . . . the seller told me that he drained the tank about an hour before I got there to pick the tank up, and then I left the tank in my garage for a day before I even started working on it (taking gravel out, rinsing, and filling back with water.

He was definitely "out of water" for a good day and a half, I'd say. It's a miracle that he is still alive! I'm still unsure which tank I'm going to put him in... maybe in the 55 gallon, or 36 gallon bowfront... although, I'm not TOO sure about those choices just yet. Not after I've extensively done more reading and asking lots of questions. Hahaha... Very Happy

Luckily, these guys don't get too big... in theory.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  DMD123 on 2014-08-04, 23:09

Cool pick up! I like the free hitchhiker
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-04, 23:12

That is uncommon plumbing Poke. If I was using a canister I wouldn't have it plumbed like that. The ball valves would be used so there is no backflow/syphoning during canister disconnect. I installed them in the system on my 9.5 gallon.

I suppose this could be used as a hidden equipment set up. Makes me think  the lower drain hooked into a canister would be okay as long as everything was tight there shouldn't be any issue. And the hoses would be hidden. Only problem - pre filter sponge maintenance. Or like you mentioned, under gravel filter?

In a sump system the bottom drain would actually be the water return with a check valve and ball valve. Check valve to prevent back flow and ball valve to adjust water flow if needed. The water return lines would be small PVC split 2 to 4 times with elbows on the end for directional flow. The PVC then would be hidden by substrate and decore. In a sump system the top hole would be the 'overflow' with a sponge prefliter in tank.
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-04, 23:17


I think you just scrambled my brain fishNAbowl lol! I will just leave them both closed until I'm ready to sell it. Hahahaha :-D

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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  dwarfpike on 2014-08-04, 23:23

Several of the older tanks I worked on in the maintenance company had both intake and outflows out the bottom, and yes usually routed through canisters.
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-04, 23:50

PokeSephiroth wrote:
I think you just scrambled my brain fishNAbowl lol! I will just leave them both closed until I'm ready to sell it. Hahahaha :-D
That's okay. It took 40 minutes to type because I had a hard time explaining so it made since to me, haha!

I forgot to say. That's a nice critter. I had one once and really like him . Nice save! If you end up not wanting him I know someone that will adopt it  whistle
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-04, 23:51

Yeah... it's iffy, I'd say. I mean, if I were to connect a canister filter to it, I don't know how I'd like it catching all the gunk that settles in the substrate, otherwise, I'd be cleaning out the sponges in the canister filter, daily.

UNLESS...I only added biomedia in the canister filter, without any sponges... then I wouldn't have to worry about that, in that sense. *shrug* who knows. Hahahaha

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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-05, 00:34

PokeSephiroth wrote:Yeah... it's iffy, I'd say. I mean, if I were to connect a canister filter to it, I don't know how I'd like it catching all the gunk that settles in the substrate, otherwise, I'd be cleaning out the sponges in the canister filter, daily.

UNLESS...I only added biomedia in the canister filter, without any sponges... then I wouldn't have to worry about that, in that sense. *shrug* who knows. Hahahaha

Well, the 'drain' could be suspended a few inches above the substrate using a PVC pipe then hidden behind decore. This is what is meant by 'hidden' equipment. You would never see a pick up tube. Nor would you see a bulky return tube. This is why this tank is plumbed the way it is.
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-05, 00:37

Hmmm yeah I was thinking of adding something like that so that I could fit some kind of sump.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-05, 00:57

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Here is a photo, on the right is the pickup (drain). This can be extended as high as you wish. Your return is located in a different spot but the idea is still the same.
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-05, 01:48

Hmm... this is kinda what I had in mind... it's similar to that... but instead of using a canister filter, it uses a sump (granted, it would have to be some kind of hexagonal tank (or really slim sump. HAH!)

-Pump, pumps water from sump, unto main tank... excess water drains through the PVC (PVC has slits at the top, to allow water to drain through the tube) and goes straight to the sump... then the pump, pumps back water into main tank. Etc, etc...

I figure I could hide the PVC tub with tall growing plants, or just pretend it's not there (or maybe cover it all with a type of moss? OOOO!!!)

Please excuse my....awesome drawing skills, to further illustrate, as I am not so good with describing things with words.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-05, 08:38

Good drawing Poke. And that would work. Now imagine the system reversed, the water returning from the drain. The water return  immediately split buy a T fitting under the substrate (this can all be soft fit - not glued). At the ends there would be soft fit elbows (not glued) to adjust water direction. PVC would be covered by substrate with only the elbows sticking out. I'll try to post a picture...


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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-05, 08:48

I've seen salty tanks with this sort of set up. The PVC would be easy to hide behind decor. I would be concerned with flooding in such an application. The check valve would prevent this but over time check valves can get sticky. So if I was to contemplate such a system I would probably get a SPRING activated check valve instead of a flapper gravity type like I have on my 140's sump system.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-13, 02:33

fishNAbowl: I liked your idea better, with the bottom hole being where the water flows INTO the tank, and the top part of the tank being the um... overflow thingy, unfortunately, I couldn't find any check valves that were meant for water... I must not have searched hard enough though, because I only tried Home Depot and Lowes. LOL. With that being said, I reverted back to my initial idea, which.......seems to be working.

Welps... I added a tube, used plumbers "tape" (or whatever you want to call it) and jammed the pvc tube into the bottom... so now, whenever water flows over the tube, it drains out into....what SHOULD be a sump, but for now, I'm just using a 5 gallon bucket. No leaks (so far *knock on wood*)!

I then added a water pump in the bucket, pumping water back into the tank. I had to do some tinkering with the ball valve in the return part, because it was pumping water into the tank faster than it could drain (looks like the pump is too strong, hahaha) The tank has been "test running" for about 3 days now, and it seems like it's working!

Unfortunately, with out the stand is made, I can't use a 5 gallon bucket, because it won't fit through the cabinet door thing... so, now that is my next dilemma . . . what kind of "sump" can I find, that will work and fit underneath the stand... There's gotta be a cheap AND effective way to do this.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-13, 08:36

That looks good Poke! Those hardware store has to have those check valves....

What is the measurements you are working with for under the stand? I'll keep my eyes open.

I would have fun planting this tank.... The tube could easily be concealed by plants. My overflow is currently concealed by Rotala indica. The plant/fish guard has moss, and Buse growing on it, lol!  One may even consider super glueing anubias starts up the pipe. (Just sharing random thoughts ;D )
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-13, 14:26

Thanks!

affraid you had me at "glueing".

I had originally imagined just planting Vallisneria around the tube, or even Ambulia, because they grow tall and Ambulia gets bushy, BUT I do like the super glueing Anubias on it too! ... granted, I would need a lot of Anubias. LOL!

So wait... what's buse?

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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  DMD123 on 2014-08-13, 14:52

I think you should make an insert to go around that center pipe. Maybe these will inspire you...
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-13, 14:59

Mmmmm the ones with the central tree stump looks amaaaazing!!!! Thanks for sharing these!

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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-13, 21:10

PokeSephiroth wrote: So wait... what's buse?
I am sorry , it's Buce - Bucephalandra. They are super slow growing. One detached from my log. Lost it for a couple months. It floated over, and attached itself to the mesh I use to catch plants before entering my overflow.

@DMD123, that's an awesome idea. This could also me done with real  bog woods or those branches we use in the aquarium trade.
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-14, 14:24

Whoa, that Buce stuff looks neat! Slow growing though eh? Hrmmm... totally worth it though, if you can manage to cover a whole log with that stuff =P


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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-14, 20:56

PokeSephiroth wrote:Whoa, that Buce stuff looks neat! Slow growing though eh? Hrmmm... totally worth it though, if you can manage to cover a whole log with that stuff =P

Slow slow slow. Imagine how slow Anubias can grow under  low light conditions. Then times that by 3, Bucephalandra! Now imagine your self paying $30 for a 1 inch ryhzome. SOLD!!! You can send it to me VIA PayPal, LOL!!
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-15, 20:52

Oh my gooooooosh!!!!!! I barfed a little inside. That much huh? Perhaps when I win the lotto. Hahha

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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-16, 11:59

PokeSephiroth wrote:Oh my gooooooosh!!!!!! I barfed a little inside. That much huh? Perhaps when I win the lotto. Hahha
I know right?! Was a total splurge moment while searching for plants that no many people grow. I also picked up a couple crypt species not seen much that cost a pretty penny. So far the crypt has been a good investment. They look pretty neat.
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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-16, 12:04

Oooh what kind if crypts?!  Shocked 

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Re: PokeSephiroth's 40 Gallon Hex Restoration Project

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-16, 12:24

Got Florida sunset I picked up from hobbyorobsession a while ago that's doing well. It has a nice 2 tone dark green on top and that sunset color under the leaves. And a newer addition called Pink flamingo. This plant can get an insane pink color with tiger striping under certain conditions. Neat little plant that I just started splitting and spreading around my tank. Mine hasn't gone completely pink but looks super.
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