I've been working for awhile now on this concept of building a West African Riverian biotope tank. At this point, I've aquired a pair of Kribs, a school of Congo tetras, and a small school of synodontis catfish. I'm working on incorperating a canister filter to drive the return, which will be a PVC pipe channel below the substrate with various outlets, and I'd like to make one of those outlets a small waterfall.
The concept for the channeled return is based loosely on this article;
I'm planning to use a larger canister filter to drive the return manifold.
I'm leaning towards a riparium type tank, but I'm working with a 30 breeder, so height is pretty limited. Since I want to add some African butterfly cichlids (not sure if that may be too much of a bioload), I'm trying to figure all that out with a screen cover.
I've already managed to aquire a number of varieties of anubias and Java fern, and will be adding some plants as I go. The substrate will be white sand and I'll be attempting either a foam 3-D background or a BS foamed type background to cover the rear wall.
Here's the current layout of the channeled return, the return line will enter on the right side via the grey connection and then exit from the various openings. The main portions of the manifold will be behind the background or under the substrate and rock piles will cover the outflows.
At this point, any thoughts or input on the design or stocking are welcome.