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Zanes High Tech 80cm Cube Build

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Hey guys!

As some of you already know, I've had this project in the works for some time since about january. I knew it would be a slow process as I've had to save for each item before ordering it so instead of uploading a couple of pics a fortnight I've left it all until now. The tank still isn't finished yet but everything is here, I'm only just waiting on the cabinet maker who informs me it will be done in 2-3 weeks. Heres a bit of a run down.


80x80x80cm cube.

512 litres.

12mm glass.

Flat Polished.

Minimal silicone, ADA style ;)

Flush eurobracing to allow full access to the whole top of the tank.

I got Dennison from Maryannes Aquarium to build the tank, and it's the most stunning piece of glasswork I have ever seen.


Fluval FX5.

This is serious overkill, but I will have all my equipment in line so I have gone all out with filtration as the extra equipment may slow the flow a little bit.

36w UV Steriliser. This is rated for ponds up to 3000L.


Jager 300w

DIY Inline heater enclosure.

I was going to go with an off the shelf inline heater, but I couldn't find any with a 1 inch inlet / outlet.


6kg steel cylinder.

Azoo regulator + Solenoid.

CAL Aqua labs bubble counter.

Absolute monster DIY co2 reactor with clear housing. This was also very important to me to have the 1 inch inlet/outlet.


CAL Aqua Labs Black Earth.

2x 9L normal.

1x 9L powder.

White sand for around the outside only.


1x 150w LED floodlight, 6500k Dual emitters.

4x 24w T5HOs with individual reflectors.

Not sure on tubes yet, will have to choose ones which will supplement the 6500k of the massive LED flood.


My plan is to have a stunning driftwood centrepiece which runs the entire height of the tank with all sorts of dark green and red plants surrounding it.

Some round/smooth river stones will fence the plans in a loose circle, and I want white sand for the outside as a light, contrasting border. It is important to me that the fish be able to swim completely around the driftwood centrepiece, almost like a tree going up the center of the tank.


Just a few which I have put on the list, but it will consist of many more species.

Ranunculus Inundatus

Crypt willisii

Alternanthera Reineckii 'Mini'

A variety of anubias sp. especially petite.

I'm trying to decide on a moss for the driftwood but am leaning towards weeping or US fissidens.

I only want to have a single species of moss in here as I've had it all become a mess together in previous scapes.

Would love to hear some more suggestions guys. Dark greens and reds are my goal, along with med/low maintenance as it is a very deep tank to be getting in and out of for pruning.



Yellow Cherry Shrimp

Marbled Hatchetfish

Harlequin Rasboras.

Will look at discus down the track but not for 6 months or so.

Dennisons 3D image of the tank with the flush euro bracing


Tanks arrived! Our new pup moet is in there wondering what's going on. The wall behind just had wallpaper removed, and was about to get covered in chalkboard paint.

Carpet is also getting removed and will be sealed concrete for 2 reasons. Spillage, and to decrease the overall temp of the room during summ


You can see how amazing Dennisons silicone job is from these pics.


Tank is test filled, and the wall is finished being painted.


Construction of the stand. I have used 90x90 pine uprights on all 4 corners, and 35x90 pine for the rest.


Estelle thinking I was just building her a cubby house. :P


Joints to support the weight and keep it sturdy. Not the best edges but it's all square and will be covered anyway.


Marine ply for the top and inside.



Added bracing ply to the outside to keep it square. This will be covered by laminex when the cabinet maker finishes it off.


Could not resist putting a bit of water in it!


Tank is back off. Sealing and painting the underside of the stand in case any moisture makes its way underneath.



Carpeting the inside with marine carpet to eliminate noise from vibrations. This will also absorb any small amounts of water.



Added this T5 24w work light to inside the cabinet. This will eventually be on a push switch so when the cabinet door opens the light w



This is the inline heater I made


Heyco cord grip



Fits nice and tight.





Finished and plumbed up to my monster co2 reactor.




All equipment inside the stand and plumbing planned out in my head.


Tank as it sits. The cabinet maker will wrap the whole thing in laminex with ADA styling in mind. The top will have 3 vertical swinging doors on stainless piano hinges with gas struts to keep them up while I'm working on the tank. More on the hood later.


And this beauty, is going to be the stunning centrepiece of the tank. It cost an arm and a leg, but a tank is only as good as its hardscape ;).


More to come:

Cabinet maker has said the cabinet will be done in 2 weeks.

I just need to purchase my substrate and 24w t5ho kits.

I am also plumbing the tank to a drain, and a water inlet from a rainwater tank outside.

I have been keeping a cost tally on everything I've spent on the tank so far. I'm not sure if I should put it up here or not?

Would love to hear everyones thoughts, questions, etc. :)

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First of all... your dog is awesome!! love its colour.

and i seen you had this tank months ago when you were looking for that driftwood and kept wondering when we would see a thread for its build!

i know this tank is going to be insane when its done judging by some of your other tanks you have done.

i suppose its nobody's business really how much its all cost, but if you dont really care about telling people? could already guess its cost a pretty penny by some of the things you have in there.

nice work! and cant wait to see it finished!

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Thanks for all the suggestions and feedback guys! :)

Looks good stranger .Will have to come and have a chat,can help you with plants and mosses.

Sounds great Jeff! Still a few weeks away from flooding it but will give you a bell as soon as its ready.

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Update on the hood and lighting side of it.

The frame for the hood, all sealed and painted. (Upside down). The hole in the center is for the 150w LED floodlight, then LED colour changeable moon lighting in strips around that. Furtherest out from the centre I have my 4 individual reflectors for the T5HO's.



Felt pads on the corners and centres as to not scratch Dennisons glasswork. Also this will keep a 1mm gap between the hood and the glass in case any moisture decides to get in there.


The power horse of the operation. 150 watts of LED power!


Thats 2x 75w 6500k emitters.


And the drivers... I don't think they are positioned very well regarding heat... I might move them to their own heatsinks outside of the unit.


It's hard for the camera to capture how bright this thing is. The emitters still glow for several minutes after the unit is switched off.


Mounted this power board on the top of the hood. I'll put my individual timers up here so I only have 1 cord running down to the cabinet.



Shows how the light sits on top allowing the light to come into the hood, but the heat generated by the unit will stay out. (well the majority of it anyway)


Again, can't see how bright this thing is. Any worries I have about the depth of the tank are now eliminated. Plus there is 4 t5ho's to come.


LED moonlighting on blue


LED moonlighting on red


LED moonlighting on white


Just need to buy the T5HO units and timers and the lighting is complete :).

Awaiting eagerly for the cabinet maker!

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Thanks mate!

Zane I'd be interested in knowing what the cabinet maker charged to laminate it for you?

I think it will total around 750 all up. There were a few different options of laminex panels and I've chosen one in about the middle price range. Also I have chosen stainless piano hinges everywhere and also gas struts for the top doors which bumped up the price a bit. There is also laminex panels on the back which wasn't necessary, but I've wanted it there so I have the option to put it in the middle of a room down the track if I want it visible from all sides.

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Just an iphone snap as its not complete yet, but the cabinet maker was here for a couple hours yesterday assembling everything. Everything was perfect except for the front panels on the bottom cabinet. He's getting them re-made and is coming to finish it off later in the week. Also the gas struts we have used for the top doors weren't strong enough so we have had to order another one for each door. Almost done though!


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