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If you don’t need to restock your fish tank as a result of the youngsters misplaced curiosity or your life is simply too busy to take care of an aquarium, why not repurpose the tank into one thing helpful?
Upcycling is an extremely fashionable pastime and might be a good way of giving an outdated, redundant object a brand new lease of life with out consigning it to a landfill. Did that, within the U.S. alone, we throw away enough glass each week to fill a 1,350-foot constructing? Glass takes over 1 million years to completely degrade, so any glass you throw within the trash goes to be sitting in that landfill for a protracted, very long time.
With that in thoughts, listed here are three enjoyable concepts that will help you repurpose your outdated fish tank into one thing you need to use proper now.
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1. Coffee Table or Side Table
Fish tanks are constructed to carry the appreciable weight of gravel, water, fish, crops, and gadgets of décor. So, a big redundant fish tank is right for protected conversion right into a coffee table or side table. Here’s methods to repurpose your fish tank right into a small desk.
Start by cleansing out the aquarium fully. Use a scraper to take away any cussed algae and provides the glass a very good polish utilizing glass cleaner and a gentle non-abrasive material.
The glass tank would be the base of the desk. While you possibly can go away it empty, it would make a way more enticing piece should you fill it with one thing ornamental or colourful. So determine what look you need for the desk and fill the tank with no matter you need. For instance, responsibly sourced multi-colored sands, pebbles, driftwood, and shells can look very efficient.
Place the highest on the glass aquarium base, and the job is full.
2. Herb Garden
You also can repurpose a fish tank into an herb garden. It’s vital to permit a minimum of 3 to 4 inches between every plant, so the bigger the tank you’ve gotten, the extra herbs you possibly can develop.
Wash out the tank, utilizing a couple of drops of bleach to disinfect it. Rinse the tank completely and permit it to air dry.
Cover the underside of the tank with an inch of pebbles or gravel in order that the water doesn’t pool across the plant roots.
Add a skinny layer of activated charcoal on prime of the gravel to maintain humidity ranges down.
Although it’s not important, I like to recommend including a layer of sphagnum moss to cease your potting combine from working its method down into the gravel and affecting the tank’s drainage.
Add a light-weight potting soil to a depth of a minimum of 6 inches. Then moisten the soil evenly however not in order that it turns into waterlogged. If the soil is simply too moist or heavy, the plant roots can’t breathe.
Now, you possibly can plant your herbs. Arrange the planting so that you’ve the tallest herbs behind the tank and the smaller ones towards the entrance. Alternatively, if you wish to view the herb backyard from each side, plant the taller herbs within the middle of the tank with the smaller ones across the outdoors.
You can add pebbles, driftwood, or different decorations to the herb backyard if you wish to.
Most herbs require a minimum of six hours of daylight per day to develop, so put your herb backyard in a location the place it will get loads of vivid sunshine. If you might want to enhance mild ranges, add low-energy, LED grow lights to the setup.
Water your herb backyard in order that the soil is damp. To keep away from overwatering, I take advantage of a plant mister to moisten the soil with out getting the foliage moist.
You may not must water your herbs on daily basis. Use your finger or a picket spoon deal with to verify if the soil is moist right down to the plant’s roots. If so, you don’t want so as to add extra water.
During the spring and summer time rising season, feed your herbs with a weak resolution of water-soluble fertilizer, as per the producer’s suggestions.
3. Aquaponics for Growing Food
An aquaponics system lets you develop meals and proceed maintaining fish, so it’s a win-win. Once the aquaponics system is up and operating, it takes much less upkeep than an everyday fish tank. The fish waste offers vitamins for the crops, and the crops hold the water clear for the fish, so the setup is sort of self-sustaining.
Follow these steps to repurpose a fish tank into an aquaponics system.
Set up the fish tank as you’d usually however and not using a filtration system — the crops will try this for you. Include a pump to flow into the water via the develop mattress to feed the crops after which again into the tank.
Fill the tank with dechlorinated water and permit the aquarium to cycle for 4 to 6 weeks earlier than including your fish.
The tank must be fully cycled in order that colonies of helpful micro organism might be established. These micro organism course of fish waste into nitrates that the crops then use as meals.
Now, construct your media mattress through which the crops will develop, as proven in this YouTube video.
Fill the media mattress with clay pebbles, that are wonderful for moisture retention and received’t alter the water pH.
Once the tank is absolutely cycled, you possibly can add your fish.
There are plenty of totally different species to select from, relying on the dimensions of your tank. Goldfish produce plenty of waste and are perfect for aquaponics if in case you have a tank of over 20 gallons. However, small, decorative species, corresponding to guppies, mollies, tetras, and the like, are perfect for smaller setups.
The most suitable option of crops for small aquaponics setups are leafy greens, particularly lettuce, watercress, basil, and kale.
Gently place the plant roots into the clay pebbles, guaranteeing that the roots can attain the water in order that the crops can get hold of all of the vitamins they want.
Once the system is up and operating, upkeep is fairly easy.
Your fish want a high-quality food plan of pellet or flake meals, supplemented with frozen meaty meals for selection. I like to recommend that you just don’t use dwell meals in an aquaponics system as that would import parasites and ailments into the tank. Feed the fish two to a few instances every day, solely providing what they are going to eat in a few minutes.
Test the aquarium water each week. Ammonia and nitrite ranges ought to all the time be zero, and nitrates ought to be negligible if the crops are doing their job proper!
Prune and tidy the crops as you’d usually do, eradicating useless leaves and broken stems.
Whether you need to create an herb backyard, construct a singular espresso desk or aspect desk, or develop your personal veggies, repurposing an outdated fish tank generally is a enjoyable upcycling mission. I hope the concepts included on this information have whetted your inventive juices! What different makes use of are you able to provide you with on your outdated fish tank?
About the Author
David Girard is managing editor at Tankarium.com. Fishkeeping knowledgeable David is a lifelong hobbyist and an knowledgeable in maintaining and breeding betta fish.