View Full Version : MetaFrame Project

03-25-2010, 04:32 PM
Antique MetaFrame Tank Project. Removed old glass, cleaned and removed tar and old silicone "mess." Installed new glass (Starphire in front panel), used original slate bottom covered with new glass (because silicone does not bond WELL to slate), TESTED, TESTED, TESTED. Filled and fast cycled with seasoned sponge filter. Added newly redesigned Eheim 2211 (Efisubstrat Pro media). Added plants (thanks, Howard! They're beautiful!). Current residents: 8 pygmy cories and a Platinum White Betta. Now contracting to have an authentic-looking light fixture built (thanks, Stan! :))

Why did I do it? Because my first tank as a kid looked just like this one.

03-25-2010, 04:35 PM
Final picture today.

03-25-2010, 04:36 PM
Sweet looking tank, my first was a 55 hex that my stepdad gave me, was the ugliest tank, but you always remember your first:D

03-25-2010, 10:10 PM
Yep, I had a 10g tank that looked like that when I was 8ish. My mom couldn't keep the fish alive so I put tadpoles in it until they morphed into frogs. Other times I'd have crawfish or bluegill... Whatever I could catch from the creek.

Oowl, your's looks way better than mine ever did!

03-26-2010, 06:53 AM
Marci, the tank looks awesome...great job with the scaping and the planting!

03-26-2010, 09:51 AM
Its a simple yet beautiful setup.....:)

What is the best silicon to use for glass and how to get rid of the old silicon, i passed a very good offer on 2 tanks (25-30 gallons) for $15 that were leaks in DNA because i thought getting them and re-gluing them would be a pain in the posterior...

03-26-2010, 10:04 AM
very nice tank :D

05-05-2010, 11:53 AM
Update on the Metaframe tank project. All permanent inhabitants are in the tank (no losses, thus far): Honey Gourami (replaced the betta, too strong water current for the betta), school of neon tetras, pygmy corys, green dragon bristlenose, and a blue mystery snail. Updated lighting to T5s. Still running the established sponge filter until the Eheim 2211 is fully established.

Dr. Awkward
05-06-2010, 07:24 PM
It looks great! :D

How did you get all the old tar and silicone off the metal before you resealed it? Also, did you reuse any of the old glass or get all new?

05-06-2010, 07:28 PM
looks nice. Will the oscars be swimming in it soon? Neons might want to hide.

05-06-2010, 08:01 PM
Thanks, ya'll. It was a fun project. We scraped and cut all the old tar out. It was brittle and flakey anyway and couldn't be salvaged. No, all the original glass was super scratched up so couldn't use any of it (interestingly, while the glass was bad, the frame was flawless). I'm SUPER picky about scratches, so if I was going to go to the trouble/expense of resealing it, I just sucked it up some more and ordered all new glass panes. The front panel is starphire glass, which really makes it very clear. We took the existing panes to the glass shop as a template for the cut versions. One interesting side point is that the seams between the old pieces of glass were a LOT further apart than our modern tanks are. Sitting in that rigid frame, they have to have some "give" to them (e.g., like in the tar) or they will crack. That's something the articles on Metaframe restoration don't mention. I was kind of worried about the wide gap, but it came out okay and doesn't leak. I'm happy with the way it came out and it reminds me of my first tank as a kid. I'm restoring an old photo of my first tank (and my grandmother putting it together for my 7th birthday) and I'm going to hang on the wall right behind this tank. :)

No, Iron, no oscars in this tank. They can see it from their custom tank in the living room, though, and they do seem to like those little flashes of blue. However, they've never had live food, you know. Poor deprived oscars. :)

Dr. Awkward
05-06-2010, 08:55 PM
I'm so glad you mentioned the part about the glass needing extra room. I'm getting ready to restore one myself and I was looking at the glass in mine just last night wondering if I should put in bigger pieces.

Can you really tell a difference with the starphire glass?

05-07-2010, 02:20 PM
lol half the fun of oscars is feeding them live food! I keep my oscars in thier own tank and feed them just about anything, i.e. the dreaded comets, shiners, crawfish (typically wild caught from a creek), random bugs... the list goes on, if it moves and might fit in thier mouth, I've fed it to them. I know, it's not the best of ideas, but really there's nothing expensive in the tank to infect, and while I would be upset at loosing one of my oscars, it's just a 25 dollar fish and the tank is overstocked anyway

05-07-2010, 02:48 PM
DrAwkward, Yes, I really can tell the difference in the Starphire glass. But then I'm pretty picky about that kind of thing so I really appreciate the extra clearness, especially on my reef tank, which also has Starphire glass. I will admit it was probably overkill on the 100g oscar tank, though. . . :rolleyes:

05-07-2010, 03:13 PM
Looks great. I have several of those sitting around that I need to do something with.


05-07-2010, 03:40 PM
John, I have a PDF of an old issue of FAMA (2007 issue but not sure what month) that discusses refurbishing these old Metaframe tanks. It's too large to email but I can put it on a CD for you and bring it to the next TCA meeting. You might already have the issue.

Robert, it's too large to email to you too, but if you PM me your address I can mail it to you. It has illustrations and photos of the process. It was quite helpful.

05-07-2010, 07:04 PM
oh, ok was just going to pm you asking about that, i'll send you my address now

05-07-2010, 08:44 PM
The next TCA meeting would be great.

Thanks alot.


05-07-2010, 09:00 PM
looks great Marci! I had one too.....we're telling our age :eek::tease:

04-06-2011, 04:45 AM
My first tank was a Metaframe, with a plastic corner box filter that held angel hair. I bought my fish at the local drug store on Saturdays when my mom did her shopping. Like T, I also caught fish and tadpoles from the local lakes and the trinity river which was right across the street from where I lived. Oowl yours looks great.

04-06-2011, 06:23 AM
Thanks, Pam. Almost a year later, and still no leaks. :) I love the nostalgic look of those Metaframe tanks. They really had some craftmanship to them. Every time I walk past this little tank I smile in fond remembrance of my first fish tank. I hope more people will pull these out of the basements and attics and restore them. They really don't build them like they used to!

04-09-2011, 02:27 PM
That tanks looks great!

04-09-2011, 09:25 PM
great vintage tank