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Plans/ideas for 1220x380x600 tank

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I'm quite new to owning aquariums but have read as much as i can on many aspects i've come across. So now im ready to ask questions and take on board ideas

I first got myself a cheap small 2ftx1x1 tank to play, and experiment with.

I read about walstad tanks and with nothing to loose, got myself some soil, soaked it, dumped it on the bottom then added a layer of quartz substrate on top. Then with some help from watfish and other donors i filled it with plants.

Now a friend has found a 4ft fish tank under his new house and recently gifted it to me. A small amount of aquarium silicone later and it seems to hold water again, my next step is to buy myself some styrofoam and weld up a stand for it.

But then comes the tricky bit, i seem to have champagne tastes on a beer budget. So im looking for some recommendations on some hardy fish and or cheap ideas of what to do with this new tank.

Type of plants in the 2ft include

Eichhornia Diversifolia

Persicaria Sao Paulo

Myriophyllum Mattogrosense

Nesaea Triflora

Rotala H'ra

Ludwigia Arcuata

Myriophyllum Tuberculatum

Bacopa Caroliniana

Ludwigia brevipes

Hydrocotyle tripartita

Limnophila Aromatica

Didiplis diandra



java moss

Marimo balls

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First off I would use the small tank as a sump. just place a bucket above with holes in the bottom and make your weir drain into it and then shove bio balls in it thus creating a wet dry filter and also you heater and return pump in the 2'.

I would then just go with African cichlids they are nice fresh water fish and will be forgiving on on mistakes made.

Plus later down the track you can turn it into a reef tank :rofl:

Sorry I am more into reef tanks now, My days of fresh are reduced to a nano.

Oh and first thing I would try is something like this. I always regretted after placing the water in, not making one first.


Edited by florix
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I looked at using my smaller tank as a sump, had looked at ideas and planned it out, but I had my eureka moment late last night and sketched a design before I fell asleep.

I plan to build a Waterfall, with a shallow area in it to grow some pennywort or some other ground covering plant that will grow over the end of the fall into the water surface. Then to add it to, i want the waterfall to be powered by the outlet of a diy canister filter hidden inside the waterfall.

Im unsure if this is too ambitious for a beginner, who also has no budget.

But this is the dream.

Plans to be posted.

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