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New Projects! What’s Happening in TedsFishroom?

By Ted's Fishroom on

Ted Judy: Hey, everybody, welcome back to Ted's Fishroom. It has been a while since I've been down here actually making videos for my channel. Now I have the opportunity to catch up with a lot of projects that I've actually been shooting some things on for quite a while. Namely, this 265-gallon aquarium behind us, which most of this video is going to be spent talking a little bit about this one and showing the first steps I've taken to get this one up and running. What's been going on with me?

Many of you know that I worked for Custom Aquariums and Custom Cages. Like many companies during this very trying time, we've had to shut our doors. We just got the order this morning from the Governor of Wisconsin that we're shutting down. My last two weeks might last two months. Who knows how long it's going to be, but for the time being, I have to severely curtail my hours just like many people have done. What am I going to do with the time? Not going out in the world so much so I'm going to catch up with some Ted's fishing projects.

Some of the things we've got going on, the 265-gallon aquarium, this one behind me, which we're going to look at a little closer later on in this video. The 180-gallon aquarium that's upstairs in the living room. That is getting a whole new filtration system. Here's a sneak peek. That filtration system is going to come out from underneath the tank upstairs and down into the basement so that I can show the filter system and how it works in much greater detail.

Some of the other projects we've got going on, I am going to get more into reptiles. Something you may not know about me, long before I got into Ted's Fishroom, so gosh, more than 10, 12 years ago, I was really into reptiles. Mostly snakes, a few lizards, working with Custom Cages. We also have a brand Vision. Vision Products has rekindled my interest in keeping some of those kind of animals. I've actually got this really cool enclosure. It's a majestic reptile that is 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide by 18 inches front to back. I'm going to turn that into a vivarium.

I'm not exactly sure what's going to go in it. My first inclination is crested geckos but a lot of people do crested geckos. Maybe I'll want to do something a little bit different. I've got some friends suggesting that I do knight anoles. Maybe I'll do those. Maybe I'll do leaf-tailed geckos, gargoyle geckos. It's going to be a good arboreal animal enclosure when it's all said and done. That project it is going to be ongoing as well. I also want to get back to the Colombia series. I know that the Colombia series bores a lot of you, but I really enjoy making those videos. At the last count, we were in the second trip to Colombia and we've now had four trips to Colombia. I have quite a bit to catch up with.

We're going to start with this video today, talking about this 265-gallon aquarium. Now I've got to go back in time because I've actually had this tank since late last summer, early fall when I started working on it. The reason it's taking so long to get set up is because the filtration system for Custom Aquariums has been completely re-engineered and we are just now rolling those changes out, and it's taken a little longer than expected. I've been waiting for the filter system. Now the filter system is here and now I'm in a race to get this tank up and running so that I can shoot those videos for the company. I can also get this beautiful aquarium that I've been having down here in my remodeled gallery-styled fish room actually up and running and have fish in it.

The first part of that project is to get the back end of this tank because you're only looking at one small part of it. The whole tank is 60 inches long, 36 inches wide, 30 inches tall, and you're looking at it through that 60-inch length. This is the end of the tank. I had to cover the backside of it and I didn't want to paint it. Let me show you how I did that.

Sorry for the time warp, but this project was actually began back in September of last year. I had fully intended to post the videos a long time ago. They say that as you age, time goes faster. At 53, I can attest that time is traveling at warp speed. The first job on this tank is to cover the three sides with a black vinyl cling. I have never done this to a tank before and until it's full of water, I will not know if I like it, but that is the point. Vinyl is not permanent. It can be a little tricky to do. What you're watching is my first miserable failure. I did not respect the vinyl. Always respect the vinyl.

The idea is to cut a piece of vinyl with the length you need, peel off the back, and adhere it to the glass as flat as you can or as flat as possible anyway, and then use some straight edged scraper to remove the air bubbles from underneath the vinyl. It seemed like it would be a good idea to overlap the frame edge with the vinyl and then trim it. That did not work out so well.

In the process of trying to trim the top, I made a mistake. I'm going to have to redo this section because this is not going to work. Too much light would get through that, you'd be able to see it in the aquarium. Luckily, I've got some room to spare. This time when I take this flat edge and I'm going to put it right up against the top edge of the tank.

One of the tricks to this is not to pull it too tightly because it stretches. When it stretches, you get these weird bubbles. That's where one of the holes is. I'll leave that alone. The trick is just to be patient. You don't need a lot of pressure. You get a wrinkle that's hard to get out, just put some slack on it and rub it out. While the vinyl is going onto the outside of the tank, it looks like crap when you look at it through the inside of the tank. I'm told that it looks fine with water and aquarium lighting. I'm not actually convinced of that. We'll see.

You may ask why am I not painting this tank? A couple of reasons. One, I may actually want to turn this tank a different direction someday and actually look at it through the Y-pane of the tank. This one's being set up so you look at it through that far end over there. The front of this tank is actually-- or the long edge over here is actually ultra-clear glass. I would have to paint that glass black because I'm going to put this black paper all the way around the tank on the backside here, just not the window you're looking through upfront.

I may want to look through the tank in a different angle someday and taking paint off a tank is really challenging. The other reason is that the glass is porous. I learned the hard way after trying to remove paint from a tank that you can scrape it all off, it all looks really good, but then when you try to take photographs through it, you'll see that there's actually little bubble micro pieces of paint stuck in the glass. If you ever want to use that tank for photography, you don't ever want it having to have been painted.

I figured out that applying the vinyl works better, but you start at the top with the edge, even with the bottom of the frame, and then work the scraping to the bottom and to the sides trying not to pull too much on the vinyl. You do end up with a lot of wrinkles this way, but there are some other tricks for getting those wrinkles out. There's going to be an overlap at the bottom to trim, but hopefully, after you trim it, if there is a light gap, you'll be able to cover that with substrate inside the tank. I also figured out that it works best to use the scraper as a straight edge and use a fresh, very sharp blade to cut the vinyl. Once the vinyl is 99.9% attached to the glass, all that is left is to scrape down the remaining bubbles.

Here's what I ended up with, three sides, completely covered in black vinyl on the backside. When the tank is complete, there will be molding around the sides from the front. Hopefully, it will look totally black when it's full of water and the aquarium lights are on it. I got the vinyl wrap on to the tank. I'm mostly happy with it and will be happier with it once I get water in the tank and I get the lighting setup on this aquarium the way I want it. The next video in this series is going to be another time warp where I go and show you how I installed that universal rocks background that you see in there, and what I had to do to get that ready to go.

It was pretty easy to do. I'm pretty happy with it. I love the way it looks, especially when you get the rest of the driftwood in here. You can actually get a glimpse of that if you go to my Instagram account, Ted's Fishroom on Instagram. Go back a few months and you're going to see some video clips and some photos of this tank with all the hardscape in it except for the substrate in the bottom. We know every time you pull hardscape out, you put hardscape back in, it changes a little bit, but I think you'll get a better idea of where I'm going to go for this tank. If you're not following me on Instagram, please do because I post there a lot more frequently than I post on the YouTube channel.

I'm hoping to remedy that. I'm hoping to get a video up at least once a week during this furlough, maybe even twice a week. I don't have anything else to do except walk the dog, clean the house, and cook for the family. Hopefully, I'm going to get back into the habit of producing a lot more videos for Ted's Fishroom. If you want to see more content coming in, please hit that subscribe button. Please hit that bell so you get a notification when a new video comes up and I'll see you next time.

About Ted's Fishroom

Ted’s Fishroom shares videos about the aquarium life and adventures of Ted Judy. You will find fishrooms, how-to, DIY, species profiles, interviews, travel logs, and other interesting topics.

Ted Judy is the PR and Social Media Manager at Custom Aquariums and our sister site, Custom Cages. He has been aquarium-keeping for many years as a personal hobby and is experienced with showing pet enthusiasts how to set up and maintain exotic bird enclosures, bioactive vivariums, large saltwater tanks, freshwater tank displays, and more. The Ted's Fishroom channel is Ted's personal channel where you can get practical information on the cage and aquarium-keeping hobby.

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