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New To Me Vintage Pemco Tank


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Talk to me about the vintage bark cloth! Never heard of it.

Would love one of those 3D backgrounds, those look insane....but cha-ching $$$$!!!

LOL about the gay man and retro kitchen/appliances thing. Seriously, what the22 is with that? And they're a bunch of great guys with incredible collections (I'm a regular on the big vintage washer website forum) but it is funny that it's that way.

I need a big pirate ship, or a huge treasure chest with the lid that opens and lets out bubbles! 'cept I'm really trying to go for the natural look, without any decorations that they'll bash themselves on.

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I use fabric for the background on one of my tanks. I went to Tap Plastic and had them cut a 1/8" sheet to the size of the back of the tank (between the trim), then wrapped it with fabric and attached it to the tank. Instant atmosphere!

Search eBay for "atomic barkcloth" for a sampling of what's out there, everything from authentic vintage to lovely repros. If you're into retro, then you've seen barkcloth, just maybe didn't know what it was called. It's that slightly crepey, nubby fabric that was used for curtains, drapes, and some upholstery in the 1950/60s, often with wonderful atomic space-age prints.

These are a few of my current faves:

daddy-o_buttercream.jpgboombeattaupe.jpgyellowcowgirls.jpgdaddy-o_jade.jpgil_430xN_116795065.jpg

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This has been pretty fun today. The seller gave me several boxes and grocery bags full of stuff for the tank, and a cursory lesson on how to set up the filter pump (which I've sat in place already).....but I hadn't really looked through any of it in great detail.

Well, I just found a bag full of plastic plants all dated 1976 on the clear plastic bases. All made by Williams Bros. Inc. and sold under the name of "Second Nature" maded in Hong Kong. Not sure I'll use any of them, but there's a ton, and they're very cool.

Started to look at the light hoods, pulled out a bag that had some fluorescent tubes sticking out of it, and inside were all the original components to one of the hoods that had been gutted and modified! The other hood appears to be 100% original and correct. Went to a mom&pop lighting store a block away and they can get all the original fixture pieces, as well as "modern" equivalents should I want to modernize the insides a bit. I'm going to spend some time cleaning the insides of the hood and then go back to have them rebuilt....or buy the parts and do it myself. For now I've just sat the 36 hood on it and that'll have to do for a week or 3.

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Wow Groovey post thatnk for sharing everyone ...love that vintage stuff atomic and western!

I feel a new background coming in the future...or is it the past?

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Love it Love it Love it!!!!The Tank reminds me of the one (smaller version) that my Gram had :) It's Beautiful!!!And your Kitchen so cute :) I just love retro,if any of the ornaments are usuable, I would so use them!!! and the backgrounds ranchudressing suggested sooooo cool!!!!Please keep us updated I am sooo jealous ;)

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Thanks for all the kind words folks! The only thing it came with, as far as ornaments goes, are about 15 plastic plants, all dated 1976. Not sure if I'll use them or not. I sure like the "barkcloth," but not sure if that's the look I'm after "in" the tank. Still mulling around ideas, so for now I just put a dark blue background on it and added another 23" Marineland bubble stick so the entire back wall is bubbles.

Been doing some reading online about the original "Aquaking Supreme Power Filter"(which she gave me the original box for). People love 'em, and some are still using them saying they're the best filter they've ever had! This one has it's original box and instructions....which I just read through.

Need to get focused on the light hoods and get them finished.

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Thanks! The wall is actually more dark 50's torquoise than the "blue" that it shows up like in that photo.

Once the dust settles, I'll post some better photos.

Just repainted the stand this morning because the silver just wasn't the right shade, and the charcoal hammerite finish didn't work. I guess it was too cold outside when I painted it. So now it's a much darker hammerite, more towards charcoal and it sets off the stainless of the tank better.

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Made some progress restoring the 2 light hoods today. Took about 3hrs and 50mi of driving, and 3 Ace Hardware stores to come up with about $130 worth of "parts" in order to replace the wiring, switch, incandescent tube light sockets, and upgrade the fluorescent ballasts to electronic versions that don't hum, don't require a starter, and don't flicker the light.

Was able to finish one hood, and I'm happy with the results. I can turn on each light individually, and also thave both on together. I'm using a 15w T-8 aquarium fluorescent and for testing, a blue incadescent tube light that the original owner was using...sort of creates moon light.

Once nice surprise is that the hood does not get hot with the fluorescent running. Infact, barely even warm, and that's just in the area of the tube. The area above the new electronic ballast is completely cool. I was worried that since the hoods don't have louvers they'd get really hot.

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Both hoods are now finished. Time to start polishing metal!

Here's a shot of the current look. Far from finished and it'll be fun to play around with it over the next few months.

finishedupclose.jpg

Edited by austinado16
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Thanks Jeff! I've got another one w/ stand, if you're interested. Delivery available!

Updated the hoods today. While doing some work to the tank this morning, I had one hood held in both hands and my bare arms were touching the top of the tank. I got a little "bite" from stray current, like testing a 9v battery that's about half dead, with your tongue. They were originally wired with 2-wire cord, and that's how I redid them. Well, that 3rd ground wire would be nice since I was getting shocked!

So I replaced the 2-wire with 3-wire and bolted the ground wire to the inside rear area of the hood via a hole that was already in the hood. Cured the problem.

Also replaced one of the original Penn-Plax T-8's with a "GLO" brand "Power-Glo" 18,000k/50Lux T-8. They didn't have 2 of them, so I'll have to wait until they get more in. The Power-Glow gives a truer looking color to everything, and less of that "black light" color enhancement type of glow. But at the cost of $26 vs. $8 for the "aquarium" T-8's.

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It's a twin to this one, and it's on ebay at the moment. It's a Pemco glass bottom, so infinately easier to keep water tight, as compared to the nightmare I've had with this one over the past week. No hoods. Stand is in fantastic condition. FrontView.jpg

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Played around with some tank decorations today. Been wanting to do a natural look and remembered that I have a nice piece of petrified wood. Took a while to find where I'd put it, but it looks fantastic in the tank. So I thought....why not more petrified wood? Quick trip to Craigslist, bam; a guy 10mi away is selling as much as I'd care to take away, from small stuff all the way up to 250lb hunks of logs! Brought home about 8 really neat pieces and I think they look great.

PetrifiedWood.jpg

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