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Vintage 75 Gallon Metaframe Aquarium


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Been a frustrating last 5 days.

The guy shipping the background didn't mail it until Tues. so it wasn't scheduled to arrive until Fri. FedEx Ground didn't deliver it, and when I called their HQ at about 7pm I got told that they'd try to reschedule it for Sat. otherwise, it would be Mon. It showed up Saturday afternoon.

Finally got time to work on it late Sat. night and then more on Sun. morning. Got it lined up so the seams would look the best and the rock textures match the best, cut it to fit the tank, started gluing it in, and ran out of silicone! I had one new caulking gun size tube, and this apparently is a 2 tube affair. Arrrgh!

Of course no one is open on Sun. and those that were don't carry the Dow Corning 795 Building Sealant. No luck finding it locally on Mon. so ordered 2 tubes from the local glass place. Expected them to be in this morning......wrong. Apparently they have a minimum order with their supplier and because they couldn't make that, they simply didn't order it for me. So I might see it tomorrow, or maybe not......@#%&$#@!!!!!

So here it is with the 2 panels gluing Sun. morning. Still have an end panel to install at the far right, and then I'll use the face from all the scraps to hide my seams and blend the panel on the left, which is a slightly different shade, into the panel in the middle:

Backgroundinstalled2.jpg

Oh, and here's a shot of the inside of one of the hoods. I turn only the blue lights on in the evening so they get to run around in the moonlight:

P1020871.jpg

Lastly, here's the 36"x19" Aqua Terra "Canyon" background that I'm not able to use and have for sale:

CanyonBackgroundfrontview.jpg

CanyonBackground.jpg

CanyonBackgroundtopview.jpg

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Talk about frustrating! Can you order the silicone online and get a one day rush? Like amazon? (space bar is sticky hence the funky spacing) First thing I thought of when I saw your 'canyon' for sale is, "wow I could fit a little sponge filter back there." :rofl

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Had I known I was going to get jerked around on Monday, I definately would have ordered from an online source that sells the stuff for $6/ea compared to the $12 I pay locally. But now it's too late. I'll have the local stuff before I'd get the rush ordered product from elsewhere.

Yeah, the Canyon is set up to give plenty of room to hide all your gear behind, and you cut intake vents in the bottom of it and screen over them (How-To's online at Aqua-Terra.com) and then do similar vents at the top, or have your outlet(s) reach over. It looks fantastic under water. I'm just selling it because it's too short for this big tank.

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It's really looking amazing!!!I am sorry your having trouble getting supplies :( but I'm sure it will all be worth the wait :) The background thing is so Awesome!!!Tanks going to look super cool when your finished :)

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Well, here it is, Thursday and I'm still being told stories about why the silicone hasn't shown up yet. If it doesn't arrive tomorrow, I'll take my business online. I'll actually pay a little more, but I'll bet I get my purchase in a timely fashion.

So much for trying to give local businesses my money.

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That's pretty cool. I've met a collector in Indiana (online) and he's got a house full of them. His goal has been to have one of each size that Metaframe made, from 2 up to 125. I believe he's got a couple of each size now. He's actaully selling the 125 because he simply doesn't have room for it. I'd love to have it, but it would actually fall through my floor!

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I've been offered my second one of these tanks now. I found a 75 gal for free before and then one came up in the $200 range.

Putting it on my wishlist for when I'm settled down.

I like these tanks, but too difficult to handle with moving around and boarding situations.

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Yes, at about 200lbs, these are not tanks that you want to ever move once they are set up. You also need to consider where they're going and whether or not that area is strong enough to hold the total weight; figuring 10lbs per gallon for the weight of the water (8.3lbs/gal) and gravel, and the light hoods, and 50lbs for the metal stand. I actually have mine on 5" wide 3/8" thick strips of oak "door threshold" material that I get at Home Deep Hole, in order to spread out the load of the iron stand legs over a wider area of my wood floor.

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The background is finally finished. Glass is cleaned inside and out, tank is vacuumed, some test gravel is in, and the tank brace is bolted back in position. It can have water in a couple days after the Dow Corning 795 Building Sealant has a chance to cure.

A little tip for using silicone and for cleaning up during and after. Wet wipes like you buy for baby's or your home cleaning needs. I used "Household Surface Wipes" sold by Costco. Man, did they make the job soooo much easier. Because they're wet, the silicone sticks them and comes right off your hands, tools, the glass, etc.

Next job is to take the 55 down, put the fish in the old 25G for a day or 2, and modify the 55's original steel Metaframe stand so that it's deeper front-to-back by 5" in order to take this "new" tank:

Backgroundfinishedresized.jpg

Backgroundfinished1resized.jpg

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Today is water test day. So far, no leaks, but with 15-1/2 tubes of silicone (10.3oz per tube = 159oz, which is probably about 15lbs by weight) I would hope it wouldn't be leaking!

I really like the Starfire front glass panel.

Watertest1.jpg

Watertest2.jpg

Edited by austinado16
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Thanks for the kind words!

I love the old fashioned ornaments. An "occupied Japan" Japanese bridge or dragon that let bubbles out of it's mouth, or mermaid would be very cool.....but I'm sorta liking the petrified wood and plants thing right now.

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I am so excited for you all your hard work is coming together in this yet another amazing tank your goldfish are going to be so happy in there new diggs :)did I mention how jealous I am too ;) Looks fan! tas! tik!!!!!!!

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Here are a couple more progress photos.

Stand cut apart and 1 new piece of steel tack welded in place:

Standcutapart.jpg

Stand finished and repainted:

Standfinished.jpg

Tank set up and water still a little cloudy as this was taken just a few minutes getting it going:

Tankfinished1resized.jpg

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Thanks for the compliments!

The 3D background is about 2-1/2" thick and is glued directly to the back glass w/ Dow Corning 795 Building Sealant. So the Fluval 405's inlet is still over on the right, and just rearward of it, in the corner, is the outled which feeds the spray bar that you can sort of see running across the top of the rock wall.

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Forgot to mention the source for these outstanding backgrounds: mbryant73 at comcast dot net (Matt Bryant) http://www.designsbynature.net/

He's in Eugene, OR and there are probably about a dozen or more different designs.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Added a little vintage "bling" this week after finding an original stainless air pump shelf on ebay:

PumpShelf.jpg

So now I can display the 1976 Second Nature "Whisper 800" that I rebuilt a couple months ago.

PumpShelfandPump.jpg

The pump will eventually get replaces with a blue Metaframe "Hush II" once I find one.

BTW, tank and fish are doing fine.

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