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Success at Last (very long)

For those who have been on this list for over a year;
For those who weren't here/don't remember, I was given a 500 litre
aquarium which needed some work, i.e. one end was cracked and the other
needed replacement as well. In addition I wasn't very happy with the
side supports, the top support pieces were placed vertically instead of
horizontally and so their strengthening effect was reduced.
As a result of some of the comments on this list as well as the archives
at thekrib.com and the guys at the APD, I decided to rebuild
the whole thing, with the exception of the main side plates and their
attachements to the bottom plate.
I now wish that I had removed even these side plates as this would have
allowed me to get a better joint on the end pieces, anyway, what's done
is done:-).
Over the past year I have stripped out and replaced both end pieces, one
with a piece of granite supplied by one of my students, and also
stripped off the side pieces (easier said than done). All of these
processes have been done at least once as it was necessary to learn new
techniques as I went.
Eventually I'll write all this up for a soon-to-be-in-place web page, so
I'll spare you more details.
ANYWAY, the result is that today, for the first time, I was able to test
it and it holds water and the wet/dry filter (my own design), apparently
works, (crossed fingers) first time. This has been a bit of a labour of
love and I'm extremely pleased that it all works.
Thanks to all those who contributed with suggestions, help and advice. I
couldn't have done it without you.
The tank is now outside on my terrace, awaiting a clear plastic top so
that it won't lose too much heat during the winter months (I've tried
firing up the heaters while I was filling it over the past couple of
days but, even with 600W of heaters working flat out, it won't reach a
high enough temp.).
It's got cable heating 'cos I've had no success without cables in the
past and don't want to have to rip it up again to put them in,
unfortunately I still don't have the controller:-(.
I'm not sure what plants are going to go in, Ech. tenellus (lots),
Christmas fern (if available), at least one Ech. "Ocelot" and some Java
fern are what I have on my list so far.
Fish will be Discus and any Appistos that like that kind of heat (Wow!
just think of the elec. bills:^O), plus a few hatchets (I think), pencil
fish etc. for dithers (I love the way they continually flutter their
Any more suggestions would be appreciated.
Sorry for the Very Long Post, I'm so happy I could Sh..
PS I'll be posting this on the APD as well, if you get both
messages, sorry:-)

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