So after many different tanks over the years, I found myself with the opportunity to incorporate a good sized tank into the build of a new house - something my teenage self could only ever dream of!
I've always had a soft spot for Amazonian style tanks, as I like the aesthetic and the variety of fish that fall into that region. So I thought an 8 x 2 x 2.5 'flooded creek' tank would be perfect
With that in mind, I organised for a wall niche between the garage and dining room to be included in the build, with the intention being that all the messy aspects of the tank could be attended to from the garage, with only a peaceful vista to be seen from the dining room. The tank itself is a pretty basic 8 footer with rims and braces, as I didn't need anything fancy for this application (none of that is visible). The stand is DIY because 1) it needed to be a custom size and height to align with the wall niche and 2) it's so much cheaper.
One slight complication with the whole arrangement is that I really needed to try and accommodate the residents of my old 5 foot tank, which needed to be dismantled before the sale of our old home. Knowing this, I was torn between trying to source another small/cheap setup as a temporary home or just doing something quick and dirty in the big tank to keep the fish happy/healthy until I had time to do it all properly - I opted for the latter...
Rarely seen in aquaria, the Ford Falcon...
The stand before painting was completed (all of the stuff I could get to later was done before it was positioned).
I had the tank cycling while I was away with work, running one of the filters of my established setup with a few carry-over bits of wood and bit of sand to hold down a few plants.
I didn't bother washing that first tid bit of sand that went into the tank to hold down plants, and paid the price with foamy stuff all over the show... It was easy enough to clean with a few water changes, netting the surface and the surface skimmer on the old Jebo, but looked a bit troublesome at first!
I than also had the issue of trying to get the rest of the slightly damp play sand into the aquarium with out disturbing the recycled ADA Amazonia. As it was damp, it couldn't be 'poured', but rather dropped in large clumps, which made more of a mess haha! I also mixed the final bad of play sand with some really fine (2-3mm) gravel and some other 'flash' sand that had some more colour and texture variety to give everything a less homogenous and more natural look.
Anyhow, I did eventually get it all in and looking nice. With all the fresh wood, it's a tannin soup right now, but the fish are enjoying that In terms of the overall plan for the tank, the key points would be:
- 2 x large external canisters, currently 1 Jebo and one FX6
- 1 x 300 watt heater seems to be doing just fine so far
- Carry-over 5 ft LED fixture (no name) combined with an A160 TS and a A80 TS. I'll later replace the old LED fixture with another 2 Kessil's s that I can ramp the whole system up and down, and from right to left to match what the sun is doing (the tank runs east-west)
- I've still got the chiller, dosing pump and CO2 systems from my old heavily planted 5 foot, but I'm not planning to use either on this setup as I want to keep it as low maintenance as possible
- 12 x pygmy cory
- 24 x lemon tetra
- 20 x cardinal tetra
- 1 x otocinclus
- 30 odd cherry shrimp (not SA I know, but I've had them for ages and they won't stop breeding!)
- 1 x khuli loach, again not SA but I've had him/her for 6 or 7 years now, onto their 3rd tank haha!
- 30 x pygmy cory
- 30 x lemon tetra
- 40 x cardinal tetra
- 5 otto
- a few pairs of apisto, type yet to be determined
- 15 x marbled hatchet fish, if I opt to keep the lids on
- 6-10 discuss, all of the same colour variant to keep things looking natural (any advice on sourcing these would be appreciated)
More to come!