Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Prep

After unboxing my new tank that just arrived by UPS, I knew there was work to be done before we can get plants and fishes in it.

The foam backing.
The tank is a 7.9 glass tank that comes with a styrafoam type molded rock background.  It's actually very nice looking.  However, I had been doing review research and quickly realized that this would not be something to keep in the tank.  Many people had experienced the background coming loose from the back of the tank and shooting upwards (because styrafoam floats) towards the glass top and causing major damage.  I also noticed that it's about a half inch thick, I can use the extra room.

The kit also comes with a Fluval Nano filter, Mini CO² kit with a passive diffuser, Compact Florescent Lighting, Fluval Plant Stratum, and a small bottle of Nutrafin Plant Gro (which I already use in my 3gallon).

9 sealant circles.
So, I got out my paint scraper, Exacto knife, nail polish remover, and my hair drier.  Made my hands cramp up and worried about scraping or damaging the glass..  but, turns out, it's pretty simple to remove aquarium silicone sealant!  Thing is, the foam is so porous that the sealant does not really stick to the foam.  Not a good surface really.  But it sure does stick to the glass.  How to remove?  Warm up the sealant using the blow drier on low heat.  This makes the sealant pliable.  Then you get to scraping.  I got most of the large chunks off, but there was still a thin, very thin layer of sealant still on the glass.  To remove that, I soaked some paper towels, 9 pieces per spot, in Nail Polish Remover.  The acetone breaks down the sealant.  Then, letting that sit for 2-3 minutes, I removed the paper towels and took out the Exacto knife..  It was as easy as scratching off waxy crayons that you've layered onto a sheet of paper.

All removed!

The final thing before I can put anything in the tank is making sure it's leak-proof!  So, I fill up the tank and it will remain filled up with water for 24 hours to make sure it's completely leak proof and the edges of the glass on the bottom and on the back are sealed properly.  (never trust manufactures with this, there is always a possibility of defects or degrading based on shelf life.)  Better safe than sorry...  I can deal with a leaky tank with nothing except water in it, but not a leaky tank with plants, substrate and fish.  Also a great time to test the filter!  

You can see three gallon to the left.  Ignore the dirty dishes in the sink >.>

Tomorrow I'll be picking up some new plants to add to the plants I have in the 3gallon - then we'll be washing sand and the Fluval stratum.  Then once we get the planting done, I can start cycling the tank!

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