PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

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PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-01, 16:23

So, it's been a long time since the fireplace hasn't been used, and it's dirty dirty dirty. My boyfriend and I figured it would be cool to convert the fireplace into a place for the the aquarium, figured we didn't want to spend money on a stand, but I think we're going to end up spending MORE money converting the fireplace into a suitable place for a 36 gallon bow front tank! Hahaha! Crazy.

The hearth has a lot of soot, so that's the first thing that needs to be done. Cleaning like crazy, and then the next step would be to cover up the fire place with wood, so that the tank has something to rest on, that's not concrete.

It's really great, the fireplace has just enough room in the back for a HOB filter, and I can change the filter media with ease. It'll be a pretty neat project...I feel like I'm in the show Tanked. LOL. Well, here's how it looks so far.  I placed the tank in the fireplace just to give you all an idea on how it's going to look in the end (hopefully).

It'll definitely become a welcome addition to the livingroom. What better way to make use of a fireplace that doesn't get used anymore! Smile
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UPDATE:
Here's the latest video of the tank:
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Last edited by PokeSephiroth on 2014-06-04, 11:06; edited 2 times in total

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Guest on 2013-03-01, 17:08

That's awesome!

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-01, 17:35

Thanks! My Boyfriend is actually going to be doing most of the structural stuff, I'm more on the aquarium stuff. With our powers combined, something good is bound to happen! =P

I can already hear him cutting up the wood. bounce

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  BillHN on 2013-03-02, 03:35

That... looks.... AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Spot On

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  pbmax on 2013-03-02, 09:09

Good luck! Smile

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  lloyd378 on 2013-03-02, 09:56

Very cool idea! it would be cool to have a background that represented an under water fire, or possibly even a bright red lava flow on the bottom of the sea look (might be thinking too far out of the box here, sorry) Good luck!

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-02, 10:15

lloyd387: Actually, that did cross our minds. We thought about having something like a bunch of lava rocks, and some of those yellow/neon colored plastic plants, and then followed suit with same colored fish... and possibly a bubble wall thing with built in LED lights that flashed orange and red. LOL

Although, I think we're going to stick to a more natural, elegant look that will help pop out and bring more attention to the fireplace without sticking out TOO much. Hehehe!! cheers

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  pbmax on 2013-03-02, 11:16

Wise decision. Smile

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  lloyd378 on 2013-03-02, 17:06

PokeSephiroth wrote:lloyd387: Actually, that did cross our minds. We thought about having something like a bunch of lava rocks, and some of those yellow/neon colored plastic plants, and then followed suit with same colored fish... and possibly a bubble wall thing with built in LED lights that flashed orange and red. LOL

As it should! ha ha. I think with the above described tank, you should have really thought about glass cats ( you don't want to distract from the lovely decor! haha

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-02, 17:22

HEHEHEHE, we were at Lowes earlier looking for more stuff to work on the fireplace, and we saw those fake fireplace logs, and I thought to myself " . . . . that should be the centerpiece of the tank, fire place logs. " Hahahaha!!!

Of course... it's not going to happen. that stuff is mad expensive. Laughing

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-02, 20:29

Progress!
Finally got the wood we needed to level the tank with the fireplace, and placed really thin wood along the sides, to uh... "hide" the actual fire place, once it's done. Thinking of staining the wood, or just leaving it as is, since it won't be seen once the tank is in place.
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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Anthraxx on 2013-03-02, 20:38

im sure you could build a fake fireplace stack (leave the logs hollow and breed plecos in there) just look into visiting one of those make it urself pottery places. just my thought. always had a thing for the unusual Razz

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  lars on on 2013-03-02, 20:53

I still vote for making a woodstack in the middle!! Lookin great!!

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-02, 21:09

Anthraxx and Lars On, hahaha!! perhaps, but I think that would look way too trippy for the house. Hahaha... still going to stick with the Elegant / Natural look, methinks. Smile

on that note, you think Mexican Beach Pebbles can be used in an aquarium w/o it altering water parameters? They're about the size of soap bars, and I plan on using about 5 of them in the 36gal. . . with some white/cream colored sand.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Guest on 2013-03-03, 07:44

lars on wrote:I still vote for making a woodstack in the middle!! Lookin great!!

Yeah, a fire place theme would be exotic. Ceramic wood pile with tall red plants in the foreground like Ludwigia repens or something...

Anyway you go will look nice, this is a neat project.





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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  jrmakawoody on 2013-03-03, 11:21

Dude, those guppies i gave you are going to be the perfect coloring for "fire" theyre red/black/yellow!

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Gryphon on 2013-03-03, 12:22

Poke, take one and drop some vinegar on them. If they fizzle they'll affect your pH, if they don't they should be fine.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-03, 13:31

jrmakawoody: Precisely! They're the perfect fish to go in the 36gal! That's why I want all the fry you're willing to give/trade! Ahahaha Smile

Gryphon: Good idea! I'll take some vinegar with me in a small API vial LOL, people at the rock supply store will start questioning my ways =P But, better safe than sorry! Hahaha. Thanks for the tip! I pretty much forgot about that.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-03, 19:58

More Progress!
Pretty much done leveling off the fireplace, so that the fireplace and hearth are level with each other. Just gotta figure out if I should stain the wood or not, just paint it black, or leave it as is, since it'll all be covered up anyway... I'm slightly leaning towards leaving it as is. I still need to cover up the back portion of the fireplace, and make sure to cover the chimney so that none of the soot makes it into the tank. EVER. =P

I realized that the ash chute on the fire place would make a GREAT place to drain the water, figured I'd put a large hose, big enough to fit a regular sized hose for draining water when I need to do water changes. The water goes down through the ash chute, and goes out onto the lawn. Perfect! Just gotta put a small pump, strong enough to just "kickstart" the draining process, once it starts draining, I can turn off the pump, and let gravity do the rest. Woot Woot

Filled the tank up with water for a "test run" to see if the fireplace would support it, and it's looking pretty darn good! No problems so far. I will keep the water in there for a couple days to see if there are any leaks (there shouldn't be any, since I tested it prior...but you never know).

Once that's all good and gravy, I'll work on the frame around the tank to cover up the gaps along the side and the top portion of the tank, and hopefully that will add more to the elegant look I'm trying to go for.

Here are some pictures!
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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  BillHN on 2013-03-03, 22:17

AWESOME! cheers

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-03, 22:27

BillHN: thanks! Smile hopefully, another update in a couple days...going to wait and see if there are any leaks, I might empty it out tomorrow, or sometime next week... then another progress update!

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Guest on 2013-03-03, 22:32

PokeSephiroth wrote:

I realized that the ash chute on the fire place would make a GREAT place to drain the water, figured I'd put a large hose, big enough to fit a regular sized hose for draining water when I need to do water changes. The water goes down through the ash chute, and goes out onto the lawn. Perfect! Just gotta put a small pump, strong enough to just "kickstart" the draining process, once it starts draining, I can turn off the pump, and let gravity do the rest. Woot Woot

Awesome!

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-03, 22:52

theChad: Woohoo!! looks like the grass where the water drains out of, will get a nice water fertilizer once a week hahahaha

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-04, 01:04

Basically, what I want the Aquariumplace (what WAS the fireplace) to look. Just concept art. I don't necessarily want discus fish in there, but the aquascape is similar to what I want, and the frame around the tank is basically how it will look. Hurray for photoshop Smile

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Definitely NOT going to have discus in the tank, I'm still sticking to small fish...perhaps a combination of neon/cardinal tetras, rummynose tetras, cherry barbs, julii corys, a dwarf gourami, and the like. Contemplating if I want to add shrimp in there... we'll see.

I'm hoping to use strong magnets that will hold the wooden frame up, strong enough to keep it up, but still have it easy to come off so I can do tank maintenance stuff. I'm still trying to think of a way so I can feed the fish easier...maybe I'll just buy one of those automatic feeders, that I can just refill every week during water changes. Yeah, that'll most likely be the solution!

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Salzabar on 2013-03-04, 21:07

HA! I was like "WHAT THE!!??!!" then I read the post. Looked real to me. Shocked

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-04, 21:12

Salzabar: WOO... my photoshopping has deceived! Well, thank you! LOL.

Tank is still full of water, no leaks! Going to leave the water in the tank for another day or so, before draining it through the ash chute in the back.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-05, 14:27

Semi-Progress!

Did a test to see if the water drained properly from the tank, down the ash chute, and onto the grass in the backyard. Looks like everything worked as planned!

Connected a small pump in the tank, and your typical hose you use for draining a tank, and placed that hose into a bigger 2" diameter hose, which then runs down and through the ash chute and out to the grass.

Turned on the pump long enough for it to pump water through the hose and turned it off and let gravity do the rest. Glad to say that it worked w/o any problems! WOOHOO!! Next, will be covering the back on the fireplace, and possibly blocking out the chimney shaft.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Salzabar on 2013-03-05, 19:37

Google "Chimney caps". You will need to block off the chimney flue to maintain tank temp and keep out "anything" that can get down the chimney from outside and into your tank.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-05, 19:56

Salzabar: Yep, we have one installed on our chimney already. What I need to figure out, is how to prevent any of the soot that's already in the chimney from falling down into the tank, besides cleaning it with a chimney broom. =P

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Salzabar on 2013-03-05, 20:08

Stuff it with some home depot R-3 house insulation. Fire proof and should keep out the soot.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-05, 20:26

Oooh, I'll check that out, next time we head over there. Thanks for the tip, Salzabar!

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-10, 15:51

More Progress!!

So, after the SAAS (Seattle Area Aquarium Swap), I met some really great people, got some really great stuff, and now I was geared on continuing my work on converting the fireplace, into an aquarium.

My last update was when I was testing the tank for leaks, and that passed with flying colors. The next thing we did, was to form the back portion of the fireplace, to block off the back area behind the tank, and find a way to block the top portion of the chimney so that any soot that may still be in there would remain AWAY from the aquarium.

Also ordered a glass hood on Amazon for the 36 bowfront, and fixed two canister filters in the process! Overall, great weekend project with a lot of progress!

Next step is to paint the back of the tank black, or possibly just cover it up with black paper, or something.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Anthraxx on 2013-03-10, 18:02

painting a tank is super easy, the only thing i can stress is to take your time with taping the borders and the tank as a whole. krylon flat color paints seem to work best as well. again the only thing i can stress is go super light on the coats and just do a BUNCH of them. if you dont go light the paint can run a bit and it can give u an unsightly appearance. GL to ya, i may have some pics of the whole process from the first cpl times i did it.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-10, 18:05

Thanks Anthraxx! Is there a noticeable difference between using those background decorations that you just tape on the back (was just thinking of getting one of those, that was black, as opposed to painting the back of the tank?

There's also some sort of "glue stick" looking thing, that makes the backgrounds look more vivid, is that worth it?

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-10, 18:24

I think I saw your post and pictures of how your painted your tanks. Smile Great pictures! I think I'll just end up painting my tank! Smile Thanks again Anthraxx!

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Anthraxx on 2013-03-10, 18:46

the glue stick thing fails to work after awhile, it does work but not for long. the backgrounds always have a kind of sheen to them. paint is the way to go, just take your time with it and itll look amazing.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-10, 19:18

Thanks Anthraxx! Yeah, I was getting tired of the backgrounds being very dull in color because of the glass. I'm getting paint and sponge rollers, and will be working on it tonight. Smile

How long do you usually wait for each coat to dry before adding another coat? 1 day?

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  pbmax on 2013-03-10, 20:53

I use black felt behind my tanks Smile It's easier than painting, but it can get ugly around the back edges if you don't take a little time to attach it.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-10, 21:01

pbmax: Ah yes, black felt. I had a friend tell me about using black felt. I was almost convinced, but something about seeing the fabric through the glass makes me think like the background is made out of yarn. Hehehe! I even almost tried using black trashbags, but didn't like the idea of seeing the creases of the trash bag. My OCD is kicking in! D:

I've already put on the first coat of paint. Just waiting for that to dry before I add another coat.

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  pbmax on 2013-03-10, 21:10

I think if your felt looks like yarn then maybe you're buying the wrong stuff??? Very Happy

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-10, 21:20

pbmax, LOL perhaps. I just thought that felt is some kind of fabric, and whenever I think of fabric, I always associate it with yarn. LOL... dunno why. =P

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Lamental Jester on 2013-03-11, 09:23

soooo, when this is finished you're gonna throw a celebratory house party to show it off right? Wink

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-11, 11:23

Lamental Jester: Don't you mean, aquarium party? Got my shrink ray here, and a bunch of wet suits. We'll be swimming IN the tank, with neons and rummynose tetras, and julii corys... WOO!! Very Happy

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Lamental Jester on 2013-03-11, 12:29

I smell a sexy party coming on!
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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-11, 13:07

Gonna be celebrating indeed!
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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  Betty on 2013-03-11, 14:51

This really is an awesome project. I'm enjoying watching the progress. Smile

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-11, 14:57

Thanks Betty! I can't wait to put the Albino BN Plecos in there! They're going to be so happy, once theymove out of the 10 gallon tank. Hehehehe

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  JimA on 2013-03-11, 17:13

Very cool project, and yes use insulation for inside the flue area, doesn't have to be fire proof your not burning a fire. On the top be sure to cap it so birds can't nest in there..
Support should not be a problem as that thing is prolly built on solid cement or cinder blocks. I am also guessing your house will stay a bit warmer without that fireplace flue open any longer as well, they are a huge heat loss source in homes! It super easy to change the look of the brick to, just use cement board to cover it then pick tile rock what ever you may want to update the look.

What would be really cool is putting one of those flat screen electric fireplaces behind it. They are not cheap but it would look mega cool! FWIW I sell spa's, fireplaces and inserts.

Again that is a really neat idea, good job!

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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-11, 17:31

JimA: Wow, that's an interesting idea, using cement board. Perhaps someday down in the future, we will do that, to change the look of the fireplace. I currently like the brick look, and that's less money we'd have to spend hehehe!! I'm just about ready to start aquascaping the tank, and adding water to it once again, now that the tank is nice and painted, it's ready to be decorated! Very Happy


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Re: PokeSephiroth's Fireplace 36 Gallon Bow Front Tank (Finished Project)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-03-11, 17:34

More Progress!

After 3 coats of paint, I think the tank looks great! I will be placing the tank in the fireplace now, and will do some simple aquascaping, shortly. Won't fill it up with water just yet, as I most likely will not want to touch the aquascape once there's water (not to mention, how tedious it would be to drain the tank again, just to take it out. Heh. =P

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