Koi Rescue
Phoenix Arizona

Super Tank -- fixing up

I didn't take very many pictures during the process, cutting and repairing fiberglass in the hot Phoenix summer is an itchy prospect. I wear full length sleeves and pants to protect myself from the fibers, so I get really sweaty and tired quick and just don't take that many photos.

The end of the tank has a nice shallow bowl shape to it, perfect for encouraging debris to settle in the bottom center, but it won't stand up on it's own. So I cut a band off the upper section and then glassed it onto the bottom to make a collar on the bottom. To help bond the two together, I soaked all kinds of rags and bits of fabric with epoxy, and stuffed in the gap between the tank and the collar.

After doing that all the way around the collar, I put some expanding foam to fill the rest of the gap and glassed over the top with some fiberglass tape. This made a nice cosmetic joint between the collar and the tank. I suppose if the join ever fails, I can always flip it upside down and glass from the under side of the collar too.

I picked the height of the tank to the just right for me to walk up, and lean over the edge to look in. That height, plus the collar left me with this section.

I thought long and hard about what to do with this piece. To make it an all fiberglass tank, I'd have to put in a LOT of glass on the bottom, or try to glass in some plywood which I have done before with 2 differen hot tub shells after removing their foot wells. While glassing the plywood does work, its a lot more fiberglass and work than I wanted to put into a 2nd tank.

Another idea was to just drop a piece of plastic or pond liner inside it and make a 2nd tank. I ran out of space of where to put this tank, and didn't want to give up space for my hatchery tanks, so decided to just cut it up for bulk trash pickup. Also later if I need a liner type pond, will just stack up cinder blocks, make a rebar bond beam, and drop a liner inside that.

I knew I would put in a window(s), but was on the fence about where and how big. One idea was to put windows all the way around the collar so the fish could look out and it would be a lot like an aquarium. I also wanted to mount a camera so I can watch my fish remote on TV, and realized that if I put windows all the way around, the windows on the back side will backlight the fish and make them harder to see. Another issue is that I'll have to continually clean the algae off any windows, so not sure I want all that work. So I settled on just this one window for now.

Its a piece of lexan from Home Depot. I held it in place with a shower curtain rod and duct tape, and used 3M5200 adhesive. It takes 48 hours for that stuff to get tacky, and is cured down to 1/8" after 7 days. Sure is a long cure time, but its a great adhesive.

After more fiberglass repair work, I painted it with some of my "cardboard boat paint". That is a 5 gallon bucket with whatever old paint I have, all mixed up. Love it because it is super think and one coat of that stuff is like 3 coats of fresh latex. After I figure out what I want on the outside, am sure I'll re-paint it with something else.

I set it up with a lifting mesh lid like I do on my hatchery tanks. The mesh is a firm plastic with about a 1/2" grid. The bow around the perimeter is PVC pipe bent to shape and then lashed to the plastic grid.

Some koi like to jump and there are predators that come visit -- this lid takes care of them both, plus keeps the leaves out.

In the plywood section of the lid, I have a rectangle cut out for milk crates. Placed in the center so it won't effect the current that much. The filter return water is ported to the side and makes a good current in the tank.

Eventually I'll fill these up with plants. I have also thought about playing with bakki showers and other type of exposed media filters, can try them here.

The filter is something new, I am trying Kaldnes K1 media in a modified version of my ShortyPen Combo Barrel Filter 2 If time shows it to be a good filter, I'll make a seperate essay about it.