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Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 22nd February 2012   #1
SalamanderMommy
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Lightbulb Building Our Custom Axie Tank

Hello all,
As most of you know I have recently gotten 2 baby axies. Upon further research I know these cute lil babies won't be babies for long. They can grow pretty quick! I set about looking for a suitable aquarium to buy so they will have adequate room. To my dismay I have been unable to find anyone in the area who sells a suitable "LONG" aquarium. The set ups my husband and I have seen are all "TALL". A tall set up isn't going to do the axies any good at all, as they need length not height. So after much debating and consideration, I have decided I will build one. My husband and I want the lotls to have the best life possible so twill be more than worth the hard work involved. Thus far the size we are planning on is approx. 4ft X 18 inch X 18 inch. Its volume will be 261.9 liters, the equivalent to 67.3 U.S. Gallons, or 15,552.0 cubic inches of water. So, before we begin to build this massive tank, we are looking for opinions. WILL THIS BE BIG ENOUGH FOR TWO ADULT AXOLOTLS? By big enough we mean room to live comfortably, room to have their own territory or space, and extra room to play in. Please let us know what you think!



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Old 22nd February 2012   #2
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

O, definitely big enough !

It will be wonderful for them and you'll have much room to make it look great !

You could really fit more than two in that size very happily. People opinions differ, but for me I would ideally want a 40 breeder as the smallest size for two, and I think 30 would suffice.

You could probably happily have 4-5 in yours. The two will do great, but you will have room if you ever fall in love with another. :)

Do you have any plans for decorating it so far ?



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Old 22nd February 2012   #3
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

There are a couple of tanks that you can buy that size, one quite cheep, the only thing is you have to ask for it, (as the 'supermarket type pet shop wants you to spend more) I have one that's 48 long 18 high but only 12 wide, and I kept 2 in it with a divider, then I moved them to my other tank, that's 48 long 16 wide and 20 deep.
They both tend to stay up one end with me (I sit next to the tank

I know it's easy enough to make a tank, it's just all the Maths, and glass types and bracing bars that confuse me. Good luck to you and show us what it's like when it's finished



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Old 22nd February 2012   #4
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

I dont know if these would be any good for you but seem pretty reasonable

Aquarium Price List : Barlows Aquatic Trading



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Old 22nd February 2012   #5
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

my LFS has a indoor axolotl pond. that's right, a large pond full of the critters and it works very well and I think they actually maintain their own axolotl colony too.

for a tank that size, I would pay to get it made. it's a recipe for disaster attempting to make a tank that size yourself if you have no experience making tanks, because your post implies that you're going to attempt to build it yourself!



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Old 22nd February 2012   #6
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

Yes, we are going to build it ourselves. :P It does sound a bit daunting doesn't it? LOL, but yes I do know there is a lot involved. The measurements, the maths, the type of glass, bracing and sealing used.We are going to use laminated glass, 10 mm thick. It has a durability of 8. With laminated glass if a crack develops, it will not shatter nor sliver into giant artery cutting pieces.This type of glass will hold up long enough for you to empty said tank if and when you should see a crack. Tis true with toughened or tempered glass you have a durability on the scale of a whopping 30, BUT if it breaks, it BREAKS, twill completely shatter. I'm not in the mind to explain to the hubby why the lounge floor is soaked. LOL Hence the choice of laminated. Tis also good to keep in mind, once the glass has been cut to the specific measurements, to sand ALL EDGES. Do it BEFORE you put the tank together not after. You have to sand it down not only to smoothen the ends ( so you're not slicing flesh ) but also to remove microscopic "starts". You also need to carefully consider the silicone you are going to use before assembling, as there are two different types. Let us not forget the braces. Plus a crossbeam. I'd say anything 4 ft and over should have one. Fewwww tis an awful lot to take in, but twill be absolutely gorgeous when finished. As for experience, I have had to reseal an aquarium before, which you are basically taking it apart and putting back together again if you want a completely new seal. Tis highly advisable as wet silicone does NOT like to stick to dried silicone. I am thrilled to hear that twill be big enough for our spoiled babies, and possibly room for more, might just have to have more you know. Hee hee As for decorations I was thinking plants and mopani wood, coloured sand, and plenty of hidey holes. I'm really excited about this project!!!! We will definitely keep you all posted as we go along and put up piccies as we progress so you can see it coming together. Flubs included if they should occur, so you know what NOT to do if you should decide to attempt this yourself. Also, if anyone has any suggestions, or experience building aquariums and have any tid bits for us, the info would be greatly appreciated!!



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Old 22nd February 2012   #7
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

The only thing I can suggest for hints and tips, is to look on some of the fish forums, as I know quite a few on there have done step by step builds. All on custom tanks. Good luck, glad you have thought it out, should be awesome when finished.




Last edited by lollypop; 22nd February 2012 at 18:52. Reason: Predictive text meh!
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Old 22nd February 2012   #8
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

Thankies Lolly. Tis a brill idea, the fish forums. I will certainly have a look. Hee hee, me too, I have a super power called "Common Sense" ROFL! I'd be an absolute git to even think of building something this massive without looking into it first. I must admit I can't wait to get started. Will let you know when I've gathered all and we are ready to start construction!!



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Old 22nd February 2012   #9
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

O.o OMG, Andyj I missed your post. That looks to be a great way of getting a tank and reasonable prices as well. The only prob for us is it is realllly far away and you have to pick up the finished product in person. Even if we could make it up there, the next dilemma would be fitting it in the car with the 4 of us LOL!! Strap it to the roof??? Nahhhh, don't think it would survive the trip that way... the hubby should be a race car driver Thankies for the link though, who knows maybe in the future we will be able to shop there. Hee hee, I do have a history of M.T.S. I always rationalise a good reason for another tank. :laugh:



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Old 22nd February 2012   #10
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

Oh don't tell me about MTS I have a severe case, oh and the amazing usfullness of plastic storage boxies. Although I kinda have to run it all past the hubby, he lets me get away with lots, that's proberbly because he lives in Paris during the week, hehe.



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Old 22nd February 2012   #11
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

What an exciting task! I'd love to build my own giant axie tank someday :) If I did, I'd probably make it around 4 ft long, 2 ft wide, and just a foot tall (I never fill more than 8 inches of water in my tank now) and super heavily planted. It would be like an indoor axie pond! 60 gallons. I could have all the axoltols



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Old 23rd February 2012   #12
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

If you will enjoy making your own tank, I'm the last person to stand in your way (you can read elsewhere about the time I've spent/wasted making stuff), but if that isn't the main reason ...

I got a tank that size (regular, not laminated etc) on ebay for 15.

The only other thing I'd throw into the ring is - if you are going to make your own, maybe it's a chance to think outside the proverbial box and go for dimensions/proportions that aren't conventional. A longer, deeper (front to back), shorter (height) axie-specific tank for example.



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Old 23rd February 2012   #13
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

It is very VERY exciting Hacelepues. I am crawling with anticipation to get started. Seeing the glass man will be a few more days away though. The dentist nabbed one of my teeth today, so I will be resting up for a bit. Talk about YOWZERS, and OW just doesn't say it. LOL I'm chomping at the bit to get started, this is definitely a project I will enjoy doing. I have always been good with building things, and working with my hands. Plus as an added bonus, my husband is going to be working with me to complete the tank. Years later we can look back on our beautiful aquarium, and our fat spoiled axies knowing WE built this. WE did this, together. Very satisfying thought!! I like the way you think Stew Rat. Would LOVE to make a deeper tank. Twould be an indoor axie pond for sure LOL. Only problem is, space. Where to put it, and weight. Will the floor support it? My mini monster I am working on will be approx. 670 pounds when filled with water. That's not counting the custom built stand holding it. While I am happy to say we will get away with the model we are building, we dare not go bigger. :stick out tongue: There is a factor a lot of people don't consider when placing their tanks, the direction of the support beams beneath the floor they are setting it on. ALWAYS make sure wherever you place your tank, that the floor beams are running the opposite direction of the tank, so that they criss cross. This will evenly distribute the weight across the floor. Did I mention my face SUCKS right now? LOLOL!! Going to rest for a bit, maybe fall asleep watching the baby axies playing.



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Old 24th February 2012   #14
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

You MUST post pictures when it's built! Maybe in 10 years I can post pictures of my dream tank

By the way, I've changed my mind I'd make it 3'x3'x1' (that's another 7 gallons!). It would be a centerpiece that you could look at from all four sides, and from above (the top would be about waist high). I want it sooooo bad. It would have ALL the axies.



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Old 24th February 2012   #15
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

You can bet your sweet axies Hacelepues. Hee hee, we are going to be posting pictures through the entire process. Before, during, and after. I will be ringing up the local glass men today to see about availability and pricing. Also need to take a trip to the local hardware store for bits and bobs. Oh the pet shop too. So much to do! Ooooooh now you've got me thinking about that. If I had a reception room, I'd make one that size for the center of the room. It would have a built in underwater filter in the center, cleverly hidden by a rock design of some sort. Built in bubble stones in each corner, all the wires and tubes would come out beneath the tank and into the inside of the stand. Lotss of big leafy plants a few small pieces o wood. I drool at the possibilities. There would be a lot more to figure out with that design though, like how to do the built in parts so tis functional, and does not leak. I'm absolutely positive it can be done, but twould take a great deal of thought, trial and error. Oops!! The baby axies are dancing for breakkies!! Need to stuff them lol. I must admit I really like having them in my bedroom. So lovely to watch! Right, off to the freezer



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Old 24th February 2012   #16
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

That's one of the good things about having a solid concrete base for a ground floor (and a hubby that builds industrial sized buildings) I can have quite a lot of weight :)



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Old 28th February 2012   #17
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Default Re: Building Our Custom Axie Tank

OOOH, you lucky Lolly!! LOL I would LOVE to have concrete floors!! I would build a freaking indoor shark tank if I had solid concrete. HAA HAA!! Couldn't you just imagine?? @_@ I have finally managed to get hold of a glass man. He will be calling me shortly with prices and availability. Tis so much harder to find things here in the UK. I have been learning how and where to look for things, as they are not as readily available everywhere like in the states. ( blush ) The Yank is still adapting :P



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