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Thread: Viv conversion from the front

  1. #1

    Default Viv conversion from the front

    Finally managed to find an aquarium. It's...well, huge.

    I've spent a few months browsing along the internet for a cracked aquarium in my area, between a 30-55 gallon with no good results. Craigslist was my main source and because we're big on the reptiles here on the Emerald Coast (apparently), finding a 'cheap' damaged tank is hard. I'm strapped for cash and I want to save as much money as possible. However, I may have jumped the gun a bit and made this more expensive in the long run. Ah, well. I found what I was looking for over the weekend, only it's a 125 gallon 6.5 ft long tank. It has a nasty crack along the back and I offered the seller 50$ as it's all I had to work with and its way bigger than I really wanted. He accepted, we picked it up.

    What I really want to do with this tank is set it up for PDFs. However, my original drive in all this was to set up a nice natural setup for 2 of my snakes. Therefore, I'm playing with a few ideas.

    A.) Split the tank into two separate units with a glass divider sealed off with silicon. ...or... B.) Leave it whole and make one giant Viv for the heck of it.

    That being said, I also want to have easy access to the inside as well. I'm short, and bending over aquariums from step stools is hard on my back and this is something I want around in my home for several years to come. So, I'd like to take advantage of that crack and remove the whole plate of glass and have it cut. I've seen conversion kits for small vertical setups, but that's always by flipping the tank on its side. On this, I want to make the front of the tank the access point. (alright, technically, the crack is on the BACK of the tank, but its going to become the front).

    Anyway, I've found one article online about converting a 40 gallon breeder horizontally but the conversion had to be done Do It Yourself style because of the size and angle. I've gleamed info to help give me an idea of what I need to do to create my own set of sliding doors, but I'm also hunting for any more advice that might help along the way, as well as opinions for the overall Viv as far as cage division (or not).

    And here is a pic of the tank as it sits now:

    As you can see from the image, it's one heck of a crack, but I think I can work with it. I want to have it cut just below the crack so that I can recycle the bottom piece and silicon it back in for water. I'd then need 2 glass doors cut to size. However, I'm a bit nervous that the glass doors would be too heavy for easy sliding because of the sizes they'd have to be. Not sure how that's going to work out so any advice is appreciated.

    And, I don't intend on buying frogs of any kind for quite some time. The tank would be built and set up and left alone for observation as I do even more hours upon hours of research. My eyeballs wanna fall out as it is...

    Thanks for your time.

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  3. #2
    Adam R

    Default Re: Viv conversion from the front

    strange you had such a hard time finding a cheap tank. here in pa people give them away for free since its so hard to scrap them. very large tank btw. i would not wanna plant that entire tank the way it sits, plus how would you ever find your frogs?(assuming you go with thumnails because of the high vertical)

    my opinion is get that crack fixed and split the tank; establishing one half first. do what you feel though. would be a good start

    good luck my friend

  4. #3

    Default Re: Viv conversion from the front

    Oh no, down here, its hard to find them, even used, cheaply. People don't give them away and even for a cracked tank, most people want their money's worth out of it. I won't be doing any animals until I feel confident in the overall tank setup itself. First I have to get the cracked glass off.

  5. #4
    100+ Post Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    [United States]
    Allentown PA

    Default Re: Viv conversion from the front

    My concern with the split tank design is with your snakes heat source. will be ok in that it wont over heat the frogs side? It's a big tank so there will be a good temp. gradient for them but just wanted to bring it up for consideration anyway.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Viv conversion from the front

    Good point, haven't thought of that. I have seen people place fans blowing into the tank from the top to cool them down, but I'll do more research on that aspect. Though I have to ask, wouldn't the foam used as a background be sort of like an insulator between sides? I'd be making a background to cover 2 sides of the tank -- the back would be foamed and then the separation piece of glass in the middle on either side would also be foamed to help divide the tank into two as well as extend the background a bit further.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Viv conversion from the front

    Save money, silicone the crack well, use that as the back side, and use contact paper on the outside to hide the crack on the outside. PDFs don't require water features, they're just nice to look at. A small bowl of water camouflaged will suit them well to deposit tads. This way you have money for what will certainly be an expensive build.

    I wouldn't divide the tank. If you have a premature death, the tank needs to be taken apart and cleansed. That's a nightmare if you're working with a divided tank because the division has to go. A divider keeps frogs apart but illness can pass. Go with one large build, get some nice active frogs like tincs, leucs or terribilis and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Viv conversion from the front

    I want an easier access point to get into the tank when needed, thus the reason for converting the front into sliding doors. I know it'll cost more, but I'm short and the stand this things going to be on is tall, so getting into the tank itself is going to be a nightmare from the top vs a front sliding doorway. We're thinking of using 2 acrylic sheets instead of glass so that they don't weigh down the railings for easier sliding. Yes, I'm leaning more towards tossing the divider idea altogether. Also, we want a water feature because I want some community fish in the lower half and I love waterfalls, so that's something I won't budge on.

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