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Worklog: 6x2x2' Rio Essequibo, Guyana Biotope

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Ok, after pretty much five flat out days of crafting, moving, painting, setting up and cleaning, the 215 system is up and running.

The system is basically an upgrade for my Rio Essequibo, Guyana biotope that was housed in a 4x24x28", plus some more fish.

I didn't get as much photos of the setup process I would have liked because I was basically on my feet for 12 hour days in hot, humid weather.

Here we go in chronological order, split by days, from pickup.

Saturday, February 20.

2 hour drive both ways to pickup the tank. Had to remove the back seats completely out of my fathers Patrol instead of hiring a van/ute... and home:


Self explanatory. 6x2x2 with 2 32mm holes at either end.


3x15x18" Sump, with bulkheads and spraybars in. Very basic design, but still a solid amount of media capacity, and most importantly, room for a Jager 300W in the return chamber.


Sump spraybars.


Stand frame underway. If you're wondering why the posts at the nearest end are different, there's a door on that end wide enough to slide the sump straight in and out.


Single coat of paint on the tank.

Sunday, February 21.


Stand progress. Ply floor and top in, with lip. Can see the old 5x15 stand of mine behind it (got picked up today, thank god).


Paint done, four coats for those curious. Little patchy on the back, but it makes no difference.

.. and now for the 30 odd meter trek, up steps in the backyard, into the house. Luckily there was 4 of us.


Stand and tank in, with doors open to show how it's setup.


Sump in, and plumbed, with Eheim Compact+ 5000.



Plumbing done, with taps easily accessible.


Fluval FX5 Nozzle for the return, purchased the setup, including U clamp and suction cups brand new. Unfortunately Fluval don't like Glass tanks, and designed it for acrylic tanks that don't have as much bracing (I presume) So it's setup a little differently, but still works well.


Lights on with tank pushed back into position. Done for the night.

Monday, February 22.

Had a meeting in the morning and was absolutely frothing to get home.. to wash sand.


Sand in. Ended up being 60kg Play Sand, 2kg of coarser sand in the back left corner, and a few handfuls of small aquarium gravel. Additional stuff not pictured in above photograph.


Close up of bucket filling to try and minimise clouding. After filling it up a little more I had to run a rake through it to remove as much air as possible (got all of it), so it ended up clouding a bit more.


Beginning of scaping, driftwood in.


More water, leaves in, ended up removing the plant.

Ended up being a very long day, but I ended up having fish in later that night. Unfortunately I have no photographs.

The S. leucosticta haven't been netted or moved for between 12-18 months, and didn't enjoy it at all. There is a fair amount of split fins from both netting and stress in the tub - was like a school of mullet for a little while, stressing out of the water, but nothing permanent. Should heal up completely over the next few days.

Tuesday, February 23.

Today was cleanup day, and a horrible one at that. After spending most of the day cleaning up all of the crap in the shed and house, as well as where the old 4x2 was, I had to move the 4x2 to the garage for an easy pickup.

The tank, which is in an alcove in the wall where a desk normally goes, would not budge at all on carpet, so we had to pull the tank out over the top of the covering lips on the front of the stand, without damaging them. This was bad enough as it is, but then the stand still wouldn't budge. After tilting it backwards and forwards it sort of "clipped out", to reveal this lovely mess.


Big tanks on carpet are bad. I'm presuming this mouldy mess was caused by sump evaporation and small amounts of spilt water each water change, but my carpet is ruined.

On a lighter note, heres a photo of the sump running.


Mechanical arrangement isn't how I really planned it but it works. I need to elevate those extension cables (the pump/heater cables are tiny, why? :/) to create a drip loop.

Coarse Black Foam > Semi-Coarse White Pads > .50 Micron Felt > Ceramic Glass Rings > 10L Seachem Matrix, 1L JBL Micromec, 4L EHFI Substrat, 1L EHFI Mech. > 600mL Seachem Purigen.



Fish enjoying themselves (settling disputes) Can see some of the main fin damage, especially the dorsal split on my dominant male in the top photo.

Then, after moving computer setup back into my room, my PSU literally exploded (pop + smoke), so there was more money down the drain.

Wednesday, February 24.




.. and the full shot you've all been waiting for:


Still slightly clouded.

Current residents are:

11x Satanoperca leucosticta

40x Hyphessobrycon rosaceus

10x Otocinclus sp.

Planning to add 15 Hemmigrammus occellifer when I can find some quality specimens.

What still needs to be done:

- Magnetic latches & Door handles

- More permanent light mounting solution

- Probable rescape

- More media bags for the mechanical setup so I can properly rearrange it, especially the noodles.

Would like to thank the following people and stores for their help and support during the planning and setup process :

- Jodi-Lea, Steve & Todd at Fishchick Aquatics

- Russ and Ronny at Redlands Pet Centre

- Mick & Leanne at Aquarium & Petland Southport

- briztoon, holo, raycam01_au, IronMonkey & DannyH

If you think I left you off this list, my apologies.


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Well done Ryan,

Can certainly empathise after doing both my 6 and 8ft tanks in the past week and a half. It was certainly worth all your hard work. End result looks great :)


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Wow, very nice, very natural look (i pressume) nice work

and yes

Mechanical arrangement isn't how I really planned it but it works. I need to elevate those extension cables (the pump/heater cables are tiny, why? :/)

so frustrating, extension cord almost in tank sometimes

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great write up japes, should be a good reference for people want to rescape there tanks or to get a similar looking set up..

i would also like to say that your photos are just amazing.. the clarity is great, and great set up too mate

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G'day Japes,

I'm in the process of setting up my 6ft display and am looking at getting the Compact 5000. What are your impressions of it so far? Is it nice and quiet and what size is the outlet connection? And where did you get the flexy return hose from?

Also what lighting are you running on this tank?

Sorry about all the questions :roll:



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Compact 5000 is great, I've got it throttled using the inbuilt regulator and it's basically silent, never had any rattling issues with it. Well built piece of gear, definitely worth the extra you'd spend over the cheapy replicas etc. The outlet size is 25mm. Flexy hose was from Bunnings in the hose/garden isle.

Lighting is two 3' 2x39W Hagen GLO setups side by side, with all Hagen Life-GLO tubes.

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Thanks mate! I bought a cheapy pump for my current setup and wanted to get something a little better this time around. I can't get over the size of the Compact's! They certainly live up to their name. Outlet size is perfect too, matches my 25mm return.

I'll look into the Hagen's... any reason you went with two 3' instead of one 6'? Do they make a 6'?

Thanks again...

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