Fish TankThis is our Fish Tank that was shipped over from England after having been in store there for some years!  I originally set it up in 1990 when we were living in Stoke-on-Trent in England.  It has had various contents over the years, Fancy Goldfish, Tropical etc.  I had the glass part of the tank custom made to fit the unit I had.  In fact the unit is a Priory madeRed Oranda and yes, you can get them online! TV/video stand made of dark oak that matches our dining room furniture.  It cost a few hundred pounds in England at the time.  Then I removed the top & made a new heavy base for the tank out of a piece of solid kitchen counter top.  Then I built a lip around the bottom of the original oak top out of some oak hardwood so that it would fit over the top of the tank.  So the thank sits on the unit and the oak top goes on last.  In the relatively small space on top of the glass and under the top, I place a slim Coralife 50/50 straight pin florescent lamp.  The whole point of all this was to have the appearance of the finished tank look like part of the furniture and to have a tank that was as tall as it was wide and for the top to be as slim as possible.  Most all unit/tank combinations you see at the fish shop always have a tallish cabinet, a shallow tank and a big thick top that is almost as deep as the tank.  As you can see in the picture, this unit has a much more pleasing square aspect ratio that makes the water look very deep and takes up very little room.  The actual tank measuresHagen Powerhead 802 29 1/2 inches wide, 30 1/2 inches tall (top to bottom)  and 18 3/4 inches deep (front to back).  So that makes about 9.7 cubic feet which is 72 U.S. gallons or 60 English Fluval 404 Canister Filtergallons when it is filled.  There are two filter systems, a standard under gravel filter which uses the surface area of the gravel to grow bacteria and is powered by a power head that sucks the water up from under the gravel and back into the tank.  At the same time it adds a bit of air to the water which makes some bubbles in the tank. I always say; if there is gravel there you may as well filter the water through it.  I usually use a quite course gravel because this cut's down of dust & sand in the tank although you get less chemical filtering in that case because there is less surface area. The second filter is a large external Fluval 400 canister filter which has both mechanical and chemical filtering media inside.  An internal pump pumps the water from one side of the tank, through the canister and back to the tank on the other side. The filter is somewhat oversized for this tank but that means that it will go longer in between cleaning, in fact I only clean it out once a year now.  So enough about the tank! Pumping out into the bay! The real challenge is working out what to put inside and how to keep it going without making a lot of work.  In my experience the real drudgery of looking after a fish tank, especially one this size, it conditioning the water to put into it Go to some of the water needs changing.  This can be a real pain if you have chlorine in your tap water or if you need to prepare a salt water solution.  In our case here, this problem is totally eliminated!!  All I do is get a hose pipe, attach a small submersible pump to the end, drop the pump into the bay and the other end of the pipe into the tank!  To pump water out, I just put the pump into the tank.  What could bePicking crabs! simpler?  Now we have water that is 100% compatible with the crabs and fish of the Chesapeake Bay with hardly any effort required!  We just put out our crab pots with some chicken necks inside, and the crabs and fish just go right in!  We check the pots each day and tip the catch right into the tank!  Checkout the photos below to see the crabs & fish we catch.  If we get any fish that don't like the tank too much, we just throw them back into the bay.  If we get too many crabs, we eat them!  Checkout the video at the bottom of this page to see them cooking!
Fish Tank Bubbles from the power head Maryland Blue Crab Maryland Blue Crab
Maryland Blue Crab Maryland Blue Crab Lunch Time (crab meat!) Looking into the living room
This girl is mine! Get away, find your own girl! Flounder I got two eyes on the same side of my head!
A fish with a spot on the side I can see you Eat me! Out of the tank, into the bucket
Out of the bucket, into the cooking pot!  Come with me buddy! Waiting in the cooking pot In the pot with the spice on ready for steaming (still alive!) Cooked and ready to eat!

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Video of crabs cooking!