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Re: New tank

> Date: Sat, 07 Apr 2001 20:37:47 -0600
> From: "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill at rt66_com>
> Subject: New tank
> Folks,
> I posted a few months back about my search for a new tank, and the ideal
> size of the tank.
> The 5-foot tank is fairly rare, but I saw one recently at Petsmart.  It
> was 5 feet long by 24" high x 18" front-to-back; nominally 110 gallons.
> Not my ideal dimensions.  Has anyone used a tank like that and can you
> tell me how it works for aquascaping?  How did you light it?  The one I
> saw at Petsmart was a Topfin tank (made in Texas, I think), anyone have
> experience with the brand?  I'm not familiar with them.  I also saw a
> used tank w/stand but I think I'd rather buy new if I can.  The first
> time that I brought this up someone on the list mentioned that they had
> a 5-foot Miracle tank, but I haven't found any Miracle dealers locally.
> Are there other manufacturers that make this size?


Hi Roger,

    I think it was me who posted that I have a five foot long Miracle tank.
It's made of 1/2" glass, 60" x 24" high x 18" deep, with no center brace.
Apparently it is the only tank four feet or longer that they make now
without the center brace on the top. The reason, I'm told, is that they
don't sell enough of them to justify the expense of the dies for the one
piece molded trim with the brace. I really enjoy working in the tank without
that obstruction. I bought this tank about a year and half ago at Roy's Pets
in Kingston, Ontario. It was a stock item, and I paid $235 Canadian, or
about $150 US.  

    I originally lit the tank with 8 - T8 tubes, alternately staggered to
opposite ends of the custom made hood. There was a noticable falloff of
light at the ends of the tanks, but judicious use crypts and ferns handled
this OK. The depth of the tank kept the light at the bottom in the
foreground from being as bright as I would like though, given the
inefficiency of the flat aluminum reflector and the 1" spacing of the tubes.
In January I replaced the four tubes across the front of the tank with 4 -
55 watt bright kits from AH Supply. The light at the bottom of the tank more
that doubled, and I am now starting to get some growth in the glosso there.

    I like the visual aspect ratio of the height to length, but I would like
it if the tank were deeper front to back, though I've tried reaching into
the bottom back corner of a tank 24" high and deep, and it is tough. Your
custom sized 22" x 22" sounds nice, but that's a heck of a price!

    I have a picture taken for the AGA contest last year up at
I've been working at improving the tank with a more cohesive layout, less
random but still natural looking without appearing as "tended" as the
typical dutch  style tank. As difficult as it was, I'm slowly eliminating
species of plants from the original 35 or so that were in the tank. I'll try
and get a newer picture up shorthly.

Best regards,

Ron Barter
Perth, Ontario