Early last year I setup a 6x2x2 in my bedroom with the aim of a fish display with light planting. This has changed snd now I am going for a medium - high tech planted with display fish.
The aim of this tank is to be as natural as possible, and to keep all plants and fish native to The Northern Territory in Australia. This tank is also meant to be highly DIY. I have built the stand, the cabinet doors, the sump, the reactor, collected the driftwood and have a few more things in the works.
Here id a photos of part of the tank at present time. I took this while trialling my LED.
Currently the tank is it in its juvenile stages. It is slowly starting to be planted up.
Current plant list includes:
3x Blyxa aubertii
4 pots x Pogostemon stellatus
1 pot x Limnophila aromatica
1 plantlet x Marsilea hirsuta
1x Hygrophila salicifolia
Native Stringy Moss
Mini Sydney Fissidens
Native Carpet Moss
Native Star Moss
Native Bushy moss
All of these fish can get quite big and aggressive for most peoples planted tanks. They donít bother the plants however and they have a heap of personality.
1x 20cm Coal Grunter - Hephaeustus carbo
1x 30cm Sleepy Cod - Oxyeleotris lineolata
1x 25cm Black Eel Tail Catfish - Neosilurus Ater
All of these fish are Northern Territory natives. The Neosilurus ater I had wildcaught and sent to me from Darwin, NT. I have had both the Sleepy Cod and Coal Grunter from 3cm.
TANK AND DECOR
6x2x2 Ultraclear Front and Sides
2 Holes Drilled - Rear Left Side
DIY Stand and Cladding
Large 6ft piece of driftwood
WA River Stone
River Sand capped Propogation Sand
Everything about this tank has been a score. The tank itself I picked up off a marine guy who was selling up for $150AUD
The 3D Background was free. I found a 6x2x2 on someones verge. My mate came and picked up the tank and gave me the background.
The 6ft piece of driftwood I found while on holiday. When on holiday in Northern WA I noticed a piece of wood sticking out of the sand at a beach. Some digging later and a 20cm stick turned into a 6ft log. It enjoyed the 10h trip home and then soaked in a pond for about a month, then in another tank before it went into this one.
The river stone I collected myself from a local river. There isnt much difference between this stone and the northern river stone.
Here is an old photo from when I first setup the tank and had halides and a canister.
3500l/h Return Pump
12kg Scoria & Filter Wool
This sump isnt very traditional. It has novtrue baffles and instead the media is divided bt siliconed sections of eggcrate. Over time I will be buying Poret Foam or similar for more mechanical filtration, and some more scoria for biological filtration. It is highly porous, extremely cheap and has worked very well for me. I will also be upgrading the return pump to something with a bit more power in order to have dual returns on either side of the tank for Co2 distribution.
9.1L 6kg Co2 Cylinder
RedSea Regulator and Solenoid
pH Controller (Coming Saturday, broke current)
Not the fanciest setup for Co2 by any means but it certainly works. I was using an UpAqua pH Controller, however I just recently broke the probe so this coming weekend I am picking up a new Weipro controller and probe which should do the trick.
20inch Blue Water Filter Housing
Customised PVC Fittings
This reactor I made out of a 20 inch water filter housing. Not a new idea by any means but works very very well. Due to the size of the middle port I had to modify a piece of PVC pipe to fit. This just consisted of cutting it to a bit shorter than the height of the reactor, holding 3 inch or so of one end over the stove to soften it (not too soft however, only just) and pushing it into the port. This worked perfectly and once hardened successfully created a grove, essentially meaning it just clicks in and stays in firm.
The Co2 inlet is just a poly barb with a hole drilled. I forced a threaded 5mm barb into the hole, threading it in.
DIY 144w LED Pendant
5 Channels of Control
3D Printed Enclosure
I designed my own LED pendant for this tank with my own custom LED Diode layout.
The entire pendant only measures about 10x12cm, the light source is only 2x2cm.
1 - 5x 6500k
2 - 4x 660nm 1x 6500k
3 - 2x 520nm 3x 6500k
4 - 4x 470nm 1x 6500k
5 - 5x 6500k
All of these channels are PWM Dimmable and I am working on a controller for them, based off an Arduino Mega 2560.
Colour mixing is very good with no disco effect in sight. Just white light with good colour representation of the fish and plants.
As this was a trial unit I didnít particularly worry about CRI however being high bin Cree diodes it should be decent.
I will be building more of these in future for both my tank and a marine version for my mothers marine 4x2. As time goes on it will be becoming much smaller. The marine ones Iíll be making will be 10x6cm with external drivers.
STAND / CABINET
Built by me again!
I designed and built the stand and cladding for this tank. It has been designed undersize by about 16mm on each side so that the cladding is flush.
I built the stand itself using 2x4ís and some plywood for the tank to sit on and the floor. Plenty of screws later and some extra beams on the front to be flush and you can see the final result. This is a very, very strong and solid stand. It has been spray painted white.
The cladding for this tank was made using 16mm MDF 60x90cm bought from Bunnings. After cutting down to about 80cm tall the boards were prepped and painted semi-gloss white and then edge banded. Instead of using hinges iíve attached magnets to the stand with plates on the doors, so that they can just be removed.
I since regret both the white cladding and the magnets. At some stage I am going to completely redo the cladding (no edge banding) and use hinges. Currently liking the traditional dark grey colours seen on all the ADA style tanks.
I am making my own ferts using dry powders and chelated trace mix. Currently going with the EI Regime underdosed due to the low plant mass however I will increase as the tank gets planted up.
That brings us to present time with the tank. This journal will be the home of any updates on the tank and I will update every time something changes. Hopefully soon I will be all fully planted up.