it's supposed to be a commercial lobster/seafood tank, but was used by a researcher at my institution for crustacean reasearch. i found it in a dark storeroom in the basement of my building, a dumping ground for the department of biology. i took it up to my lab and now IT ARE MINE! it goes for like $4K so i'm psyched.
it was running at 50degF, half-filled with water, which seemed clear enough. it had a false bottom of eggcrate, below which there were large, horizontally running tubes covered with filter pad and filled with carbon. once i popped off the eggcrate, i realized the tank was absolutely FILTHY. it had been running for at least the last five years, with god knows how long before that without a cleaning. so it was filled with lobster and crab poop, black sludge, mussel and crab shell fragments, etc. it had been running at 50degF when i found it, so i assume it's been doing that the whole time. as a result the water wasn't funky, no nasty growths, etc. just a ton of black sludge.
so today i cleaned it out and took some photos:
it's an aqua logic al-50. it's a 50 gallon tank with a huge chiller, cooling fan and little giant pump underneath. it's double-layered acrylic, a tank witin a tank so there's no fogging or condensation on the outside. the tank goes a good 5 inches below the cabinet, and is permanently caulked in to place. the bulkheads are drilled in to the center of the bottom, and i need to re-plumb the intake and outlet to get it to the back. the good news is that i should be able to cover the elbows with sand to conceal them. i'm chucking the "filters" and just going biological with a DSB and rock.
some shots of under the cabinet
the plans for now are to simply get the intake and output re-routed, and get a 5" sandbed in there. i'll be ordering the sand tomorrow, and probably put in arag-alive for a 1/4 of it. i think i'll let it run with just sand and water for a few weeks before i start stocking, and also to think about things a bit in terms of setup and what i can actually get my hands on. i may use my faculty staus to try and get some specimens from somewhere like a public aquarium or something (jellyfish? squid?).
if anyone knows a place to get coldwater-specific livestock, please let me know.
thanks for looking