A Base for the Fish

We decided several weeks ago to move the fish indoors, which has been a festival of little projects to get this to work. The fish tank had to be cleaned and repaired (more on that), and we needed a base to set it on. We made this base out of pieces and parts left over after the foundation work, so it's definitely much more overbuilt than your average fish tank base.

Fish base constructed

Actually, most of my time has been spent in an endless round of sanding, priming, filling, sanding, priming, sanding, priming, and so on. The wood is kind of crappy, and I wanted to smooth it out to something less crappy.

In the process of priming

And today I got it spray-painted, after a couple of non-starts with a can of paint that was clearly suited better to tagging (I bought it because it was low-VOC, but it wasn't much of an improvement on the regular stuff).


So with the base all ready, we set about repairing the tank. Only this was much harder than it looked. The tank we had was really not a fish tank, but a small animal tank, so it had insufficient waterproofing. We struggled with it for a while then went to the pet store to look at covers, and came home with a new tank and covers (and a set of filter things we don't really need).

So rather then hours of painful silicone work and a long wait while the caulk cures, we had a few hours of filter assembly and minor water chemistry adjustments. And then we had a traumatic transportation of two fish in a large measuring cup, and then Mr. Big (seen here in white) and Mr. Little (bright orange) had their own home in the hallway.

The fish in the hall

We decorated with some of my sculpture pieces (for those who are not aquaria fanatics, one has to be careful about what goes in a fish tank in order to avoid disrupting the water chemistry; I knew these pieces were OK).

The final decoration has yet to be done, because the reality is that most aquarium decoration available in stores or online is just a little too normal for my tastes. So I may have to spend some time making a really weird sculpture to go in there. Also, we will probably move the tank into the living room when we finally finish the drywall in there (only several YEARS after our original deadline to get it done), so I don't want to commit to too much delicately balanced work in the tank until that. Also, we're discussing tech-ing it up with some LCD monitors behind the tank to give an interactive background, and maybe a fishcam (Noel's philosophy is that you can never have too many webcams in your house). But anyway, that's done, and the fish seem happy and adjusted (after an evening of being really freaked out by the change in digs).

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posted by ayse on 09/14/08