NIce looking fish tanks

mtnrdredux_gwSeptember 24, 2012

Okay so we need to get a fish tank. Lucky us one of the kids won a fish.

So we have decided to get a real fish tank.

I searched under Petco and everything is ultramodern or ugly.

I just want to get a fairly large rectangular tank, and put it on a metal base (something open).

Where can I find a cool metal base? My house is an old CT farmhouse. In a perfect world, it would be like a aged brass stand.

Am I crazy?

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Look up Master Metal Works. Maybe they can make something for you.

Or go to Room and Board and get a Parsons Table by the inch. It's natural steel but you could probably do something with paint. It wouldn't be fancy, but it could probably skew antique industrial.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 4:56PM
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How do you win a fish...?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 5:24PM
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You need to be very unlucky.

These fish were table decor at a shower.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 5:36PM
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It will probably be dead before you get the table. Are you planning on getting more?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 5:42PM
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LOL, Pal. But I just can't leave it in a vase, which is how we got it. And I cannot plan on an early demise... my daughter came home from school to tell me one of the 2nd grade teachers has had one in a vase in his room for 3 years!

Yes, we will probably get more.

(PS thanks so much for the Room and Board idea! My DH reminds me that we have an iron outdoor table base.... so we may try to adapt that)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:00PM
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One of the reasons I don't have pets, (other than the facts that we aren't allowed dogs in the complex, and there is no good place for a litter box for a cat) is that most of their Stuff is so ugly. We will need a decent looking scratching post and perch because if I have something like Larsen casement fabric drapes and the cat messes with them one of us will be leaving home, and it won't be me. Theoretically.

Ugly fish tanks,ugly cat perches, ugly dog's all kinda depressing if you are a visual person.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:20PM
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Sounds like you have a Betta. They don't require a huge tank and keep in mind you have to be selective about which other species of fish can be kept with it.

You probably won't need more than a 10 gal tank, but I warn you, if you haven't owned a tank before, read up on setting one up before you dive in (no pun intended). The tank needs to cycle or else you'll kill the fish, and ideally you need some type of filtration and heater.

Shame on the person that hosted the shower........

Here is a link that might be useful: Bettas

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:21PM
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Don't spend a lot on a tank. Get something small and easy to keep clean. Supposedly fish are "easy" pets but I think our dog is easier to take care of then my husband's tank full of fish.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:31PM
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Oh how sweet! Now you will have a fish house to decorate :). I hope you can find some earthy/natural accessories - we know how you don't like bright colors.

They really can be fun. When I had a gold-fish tank for the kids, my reading chair sat by it and I loved to hear the waves (bubbles) of the pump. I pretended I was at the ocean. Mine had blue and mauve stones (yeah, really) to match my country wallpaper. One of my dirty secrets!


    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:36PM
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Now, do not get so caught up in the fish house decorating that you neglect your little stone house. We will be watching you!

Have fun!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:39PM
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When you say fairly large do you mean 10 gallon? 55 gallon? Larger? If just a Betta, which would be my guess as well as annz, they really don't need much in the way of a tank. And are usually kept by themselves in just a small fish bowl as they don't play well with others. Just remember how darn heavy water is - thus the stand needs to be very study, as does the glass. I wouldn't use anything but a stand specifically made for a tank if you are going any bigger than 10 gal. Even that weighs nearly 85 lbs. I had a few 55 gal tanks a while back. They were beautiful, but also a commitment. Enjoy!

And I'll withhold comment on my feelings about someone giving someone else a living creature without verifying they want and will care for such. Your fishy got lucky! :)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 7:22PM
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Could be a gold fish. We had one once that lived for 3 years. We were a young busy family with 3 little kids. It got very little love. Once it floated to the top like it was dying. I poked it with a butter knife and it swam around a bit and did it again.... and again.... and again.... I hurried up and changed the water and it went on to live another 6 months. Truly. No filter, and only tap water. Betas are pretty maintenance free too. We haven't had one live as long as "Week One" though. We named it "Week One" because we didn't expect it to live a week.
I think a regular old fish tank from Goodwill would look great. Just spice it up with some bright colored large glass stones. Those are easier to clean than the gravel. Let your child choose the stones.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 7:48PM
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We have this tank for our Betta. It's easy to keep clean, it's stylish, and its not expensive.. It's the perfect size for one betta or one goldfish. They need about 5 gallons per fish.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fluval Chi

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 8:32PM
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I have a 40 gallon tank that holds two goldfish, aged 5 and 7 years. One of them was won at a carnival, the other came from a pet store.

Their tank is not attractive, because goldfish are horrible about moving around whatever you put in their tank, but I've had smaller tanks with tropical fish and betta bowls that are very nice to look at.

I rely on vintage made-in-Japan aquarium ornaments (castles, pagodas, bridges, etc) in muted colors and lots and lots of real plants to make them more attractive.

If your fish is a betta or other small tropical fish, you can go without a pump and filter, thereby avoiding the ugly machinery/cords issue that is such a problem with goldfish tanks. If it's a goldfish, unless you want to quit your dayjob to stay home and change the water, you'll need lots of filtration and that's where the ugly starts....

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Pal, true, but the pets themselves can be so pretty. We have a Golden Retriever and she complements our decor wonderfully. She also looks great on the lawn and swimming in the pond! And they make really cute dog beds and collars (her current one is lime, turquoise and pink ikat). Oh yes, and who could not love a Golden?

There is plenty of debate on the web about exactly what constitutes "humane" beta treatment, but I do think it should be something other than a vase with a plant. The kids have off Wednesday so we will investigate our options.

But I must say, from what I see, the only attractive fish containment is the old fashioned glass drum. I was thinking a plain old rectangle but they are all black trim! Oh and there are no nice stands.

I do also like these, but $50 each??

LOL, Joanie, Week One.

Beeps - I know. Even a humble little fish deserves some respect.

LOL, Tuesday, I am alwasy ISO a project it seems!

Anz - I did some Betta research on my iphone before we even left. Good thing, as I overheard two women saying they were going to get them home before the water overheated. I told them they'd like it 80 degreees!

Here is a link that might be useful: this is a terrific piece

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:00PM
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Leafy, are you the one who collects vintage fishtank ornaments? I was trying to remember today where I had read about that --- was it you, here?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:03PM
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Yes, it's me.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Do you know that some fish can live a really, really long time? Especially catfish and cichlids.

After 8+ years, the 55 gallon tank and standard black stand we purchased is somehow uglier than when we bought it : )

If I had to do it again, I would go to a specialty aquarium store.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:27PM
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For bettas, bigger isn't necessarily better--although I agree that a typical vase is much too small.

I have used (and found attractive) all kinds of large glass decorative pieces. My favorites were large footed urns (I had one that held 5 gallons, from Target about 6 years ago) from places like Pier One, as well as giant truffle dishes, apothecary-style jars, etc.

The blessing of the betta is that you don't need electricity so there are no wires or tubes to hide. I use natural river pebbles on the bottom, lots of old-fashioned live aquarium plants (anacharis, java fern, amazon swords, etc.) for a lush look. I wish I had photos of my favorite betta setups from before we moved--they were all on my old computer.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:55PM
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I meant trifle dishes, not truffle. I've been up since 4am and it shows!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:58PM
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Don't you just love to "win" something that then costs you $200? I used to love the silent auctions at my kids' elementary schools. "Mommy, mommy, did we win, did we win?" Never was sure how to answer that question.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beyond Cool Fish Tanks

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:06PM
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Leafy, thank you for those great ideas!

Best, how many of those auction things did you ever actually redeem? I think maybe 1 in 5 in our case. Including a weekend away in a tourist destination, that cost me a whole lot more when I moved my family out in disgust and ended up at a Ritz Carlton!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:16PM
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I don't know...looking at those poor fish in those tiny spaces :( maybe you could seize a teaching moment about natural environments being best? Doesn't solve the problem of what to do with it though. Shame on that shower giver.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:32PM
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I think the shower favors should have been baby chicks :P

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:44PM
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Yes, we have had a few teaching moments on this already.

Why some gifts you should say "no" to.

Why every living thing deserves some respect.

Why you should never "free" bettas into our CT pond!

How you could live pretty long in your closet with a case of PB without dying, but that does not mean it is the right way for Mom and Dad to take care of you.

Why do some fish need lights (nighttime reading, light paperwork). Umm, actually I wasn't sure about that one.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:47PM
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mtn, well now I'm especially GLAD that your son 'won' the fish! How I wish every parent would share these lessons...... I think you should get a really humongous tank, gather up the poor fishies that are not being so well-received at home, and let them all live happily ever after in your little stone cottage! Seriously, can it be that much harder to care for 67 fish than one?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:59PM
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Good luck finding an attractive tank for your beta. We ended up with one (not my choice) and I too could not just leave it in a bowl. I felt tremendous anxiety about getting that poor fish into an acceptable home. I ended up with an ugly tank that sits right on one of my kitchen counters...first thing I thought when I pulled it out of the box is that it resembles a very small trashcan. UGH! But the fish is pretty and the kids really love it so that makes up for it somewhat.

Hawkeye AquaView 360 Aquarium, 3gal with LED Light from Walmart. Honestly, it's not that bad when it's decorated, but those horrid light colors are atrocious.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 11:08PM
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Actually a single betta will live quite well with other fresh water aquarium fish. Multiple bettas don't usually do well together. When we had our betta, (also a 'free' fish) she (yes, you can tell the difference between the sexes) lived in a 30 gallon fish tank along with our now 17 year old head-standing catfish. The betta lived for about 4 years in that tank.

I've also heard that female bettas can get along with each other if the tank is big enough. I hate to walk into the pet stores to see how they stack up those pathetic bettas. They're actually quite fun to watch when they have enough room to swim around properly.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:01AM
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Next time I get caught trying to sneak out of an event without the centerpiece that I 'won' and it's foisted on me, I'll say to myself - "at least it's not a beta fish". It's so much easier to toss the ridiculous candle and mirror into the give-away box than it is to deal with a living thing.

Was this a wedding shower? Watch-out for the wedding favor, it will probably be a tiny turtle that lives 100 years and spreads salmonella.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:30AM
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Sorry, I didn't have time (at work) to read all the responses. But, my dad how had aquarimums for many, many years used the bottom part of my mom's old singer sewing machine as his base for the tank. Would something like that work for you?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:52AM
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I had a Beta in a large vase for two years. He was my bud. Then we lost power for 31 days during an ice storm (before we built the FP, and which is why we built the FP, lol) and the poor thing died because it got so cold in the house, even with a generator going to run small heaters.

They really are neat fish and I've been thinking about getting another one.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 1:11PM
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Animals should never be "prizes" they are living creatures and should only be adopted with intent. I am glad you are open to giving this fish a good home. Fish tanks can be very beautiful and it reduces stress to watch fish swimming. If the fish is a goldfish they are easy maintenance and can be released in a suitable outdoor pond if you do not wish to keep it as an indoor pet.

Some google searches can give you the basics on fish keeping and aquarium decor ideas!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 1:25PM
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How about this - it's pretty neutral.

Here is a link that might be useful: BiUbe Pure 9 Gallon

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 1:49PM
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I used to keep a betta, Mr Fishie (my kids were very young), on my kitchen counter in a tank that looked like a blender. Mr Fishie kept me company for three years, and used to really freak out babysitters when they noticed him!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 2:13PM
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The glass "victorian" style fish bowl ( shown at one of mtnredux's links among others) looks like a giant trifle dish.
It could be useful after the fish experiment concludes :-)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 4:47PM
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BTDT only with goldfish that were foisted off on my willing children by friends who were moving! Guess who got to look after them? Of course the kids fed them too much so the aquarium needed cleaning often despite the filter. One good thing about the entire experiment is that my plants flourished from watering with the fishy water. I dipped out water daily from the aquarium for my plants and added fresh to the aquarium. Despite that I bought a second identical aquarium and filter and every week set it up completely clean. It was the easiest way for me to deal with it.

Oh, they were decorative and I actually got attached to them! LOL Have never again wanted fish tho.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:34PM
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I have had two bettas, found them easy to care for and lovely to watch. If you look closely, (that is, if your fish is a betta) you will see that it has the cutest, sweetest little face. Really!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:54PM
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Wow, that is such a cool idea, with the old sewing machine base.

The bio thing is not awful, either.

Here's where we are. We will buy three 2.5 gallon tanks (the traditional, tasteful glass kind, since their mom is a lunatic). Each child will get a fish that can live in that size bowl, by itself ... without any life-support equipment. These bowls will go on a teak console we have in the greenhouse/pool area, though not in direct sun. That area is temperature controlled and the warmest place in our house. We will see how that goes ...

In the meantime I am fantasizing about buying that fab antique piece (linked above) and all the cool vignettes one could put in there. Like having your own department store window, LOL. I wouldn't do fish --- but plants.... specimens... couldn't we have a lot of fun?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:28PM
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I don't know if this helps you any. Betas are notoriously territorial. They are really fighting fish. That's why they are generally sold alone. If there are two males (even if they are siblings) in the same tank, they most often fight to death (eventually). Something about food, space, etc.

Apparently, if there are two girls, they are fine. But, if there is a girl and a boy and she isn't interested, he will see her as an enemy and well you know the story. Almost like lions or tigers, you can keep a pride of girls with the guy. But, not the other way.

That being said, I don't know how to figure out what you've got there sex-wise. But, I'd sure be careful that you don't have WWIII in your next fish tank.

BTW, generally, a fish needs between three to five gallons of space. They often do not like moving water. Has something to do with them not using their gills in the same manner as normal fish. They need a larger surface area on top, rather than moving water. You might want to look that up for specifics.

I found this all out when my niece got a beta fish a long time ago. She asked me lots of questions since I had goldfish as a kid. Since I didn't know anything about them, I had to look it up.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:03AM
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I had a male and female together in a 15 gal tank and they lived happily together for years. There were various other fish, and they all got along. Females are not as pretty as the males and they are hard to find. But they enjoy being together and the male spends his time flaring his tail/fins to attract her. He never bothered my other fish.

BTW, you can get rectangular 'framless' tanks. I always put my tanks on furniture or tv/media cabinets with doors to hide the equipment.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:48AM
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Jane - thanks for that frameless tip, i found some lovely ones.

Kimi - I have done extensive betta research, which is conflicting, and i am comfortable with the standard of care we've decided to provide.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:52AM
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Well, having been through all of this, I am now lusting after one of those huge, elaborate saltwater tanks ... built into the wall in the pool area.

Instead I went retro with a traditional bowl. Oh and each kid has one now. Things look best in threes anyway.

I am kind of liking them. Watching them swim is relaxing. Hopefully they are happy ... we put them in the greenhouse/indoor pool area. The temperature and humidity are tightly controlled there, at levels they should like. I do still think it sad that they are bachelors their whole lives, poor fellas.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 6:36PM
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They look lovely there-- perfect!!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 7:32PM
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