Over the summer I purchased a fixer upper to remodel. Being a tank enthusiast it was inevitable to not have a built in tank somewhere. After a little looking around I found a good spot. There was a closet in the corner of the hallway and the great room that would soon serve a better purpose.
With a little more investigation it soon became clear this would be the best spot for my tank, and with a quick trip to the attic I confirmed this wall was not a structural wall. Also being that the tank would sit between two corners (Actual wall corner, and corner of the living room closet) and of course its small size, it was already a very strong wall. In any house the end of a wall has two 2x4's that would be attached to the perpendicular walls two 2x4's. The closet didn't count as a wall, so in total there was 7 2x4's already built into that wall. That doesn't include the 2x4 that would be inside the middle of that wall, because I would have to remove that.
Next I cut a hole in the sheetrock to verify everything was where I expected it to be.
Everything was as it should be. So I took some measurements and determined how big of a tank I was going to place in this slot.
The restrictions of course where the dual 2x4's on each side of that wall. I wanted to give the tank .5" on each side to I would have enough room to slide the tank in when that time came.
The gap was 21" so I the tank width will be 20".
I decided to give myself 10" behind the tank for wires tubes, and myself (for maintenance purposes)
Finally I decided to make the tank 36" high. That would put the tank 2" above the wainscoting and still leave enough room for access on the top.
Next I built the stand:
The stand was fairly simple. It was a simple matter of transferring the weight to the floor. The wall itself would keep the stand from and horizontal motion. So I put two sets of 2x4's (4:2x4's) in the front and two sets of 1 2x6 and 2x4 in the back (2:2x6's, 2:2x4's). The only reason why I put 2x6's in the back is because a had a little extra 2x6 from another job.
I also framed in above the tank with 2x4's to offset the removal of the middle 2x4. And also added a small window in the top of the closet to connect this closet to its neighboring closet for maintenance and ventilation purposes.
I then focused more on gathering the equipment needed for this tank, as I still had to wait 4 weeks on my custom tank. (And of course I had a lot more work to do in the rest of the house).
This is what I ended up with:
Lighting: Kessil Tuna Sun 360WE (With Remote)
CO2: Aquatek CO2 Regulator
Filtration: SunSun 370 GPH with UV 9W
Everything else I already had from previous tanks.
~4 weeks Later~
My tank arrived!
Roughly 60 Gallons
It was time to get down to business!
That's about the time I started regretting building a 3ft tall tank... (Only temporarily)
I laid the hardscape with the tank outside the wall, the planted / added water when it was back in the wall.
I added multiple layers of my substrate (Amazonia) with Ada's powersand to make sure the dirt would not compress. And made sure to add as many supports as I could so the tank can maintain such a steep hill. When it was done the top of the hill is 13" off the bottom of the tank. Consider the size of the footprint 18x20 to fully appreciate that challenge.
It took me six hours to build the tank, mostly due to the awkwardness of the tank. And I gave the tank a week to cycle with 12 rasboras (The first brave colonists). At the end of the week I purchased phase I fish colonists.
Here it is:
Its hard to appreciate the fish in those photos.
The current stock list:
12 Wedge Rasboras
6 Chili Rasboras
10 Cardinal Neons
10 Diamond Head Neons
6 Pigmy Hatchets
4 Silver (Jumbo) Hatchets
Shrimp are on the way.
More to come!