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It's January 20th, 2003 and John's New Fish Tank is a 185 gallon goliath. It's made of plexiglass with a white plexiglass base that will be used to store supplies and hide filters, etc. We got it because our normal 75 gallon half-round tank was too small and because it leaked. Well, the tank didn't leak, but the water changing system we cooked up did. Considering that John changes some water every day,  a system that floods on the average of once a month onto a wood floor and into Irene's home office - is a problem. Grrrrrrrrr!

We're in the process of setting up the new tank now. Like the old tank, this will be a fresh water system with live plants to house Discus, Angels, and an an adorable spotted Pleco. The pictures below and on the following page show our progress.

We are reluctant to remove the plastic cover since plexiglass is prone to scratching, so bear with us as we set up and test our new system: There is a 165 gallon holding tank in the basement, where the water is heated and is aired to dechlorinate. John did all the plumbing with PVC pipe, God help us. That stored water is pumped up to the tank - and will be electronically programmed to pump water for an as yet undertermined number of minutes per day. Excess water will be automatically drained on the far sides of the tank. The holding tank will automatically refill, and, voila, an automatically self-cleaning tank!!!

Below, the tank already has a base of flourite gravel covered by normal white gravel (to match the decor), and has a little water in it.

See his smile: John is really happy! There are no leaks and the pump from the basement works! After a couple false starts, he's begun to fill the tank with his live plant collection.

The Pumkin insists on helping his daddy set up the tank. Notice his floor to ceiling cat tree (hand made for him by John) is conveniently located right next to the new tank. Oh boy...

With this shot, you can see some of Irene's handiwork. She sponged part of the tank background. We may or may not add more color and/or paint the rest of the area white, depending on how it looks when it's done. The black wire hanging down is a thermostat. The "thing" floating to the right is a thermometer. Both are in test mode. Also note the rock wall in the tank, to the right. We used epoxy to glue some rocks from the garden to a plexiglass sheet and made a ledge in the far right corner of the tank. The gravel there rests about 2 inches higher than it does in the rest of the tank.

John put in the "centerpiece" plants and driftwood, and we're ready to call it a night. Maybe tomorrow the fish will go in! The Pumkin can't wait! Since we've used gravel, some water, and the filter from the old tank, we hope to cycle quickly.

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