Ideas for custom cube like tank w/ internal filter? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2015, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Ideas for custom cube like tank w/ internal filter?

I'm thinking of making a 10-12 gallon custom tank using starfire 1/4" glass. It will be made to be a cube type design. More than likely finishing it off with a basic wooden rim/frame on the bottom and a matching wood canopy on top.

Centrifugal Universal Pump (hydor maybe? and one that is highly adjustable so I can tune the flow to the tank)
ISTA Max Mix Co2 reactor (cheap and easy. I use one in another tank and I actually really like it)
Aqueon Pro 100w heater (use them for all my tanks as they are reasonably priced, accurate, and lifetime warranty)
Planted+ light (no reason needed....)
Fluval 88g Co2 setup and add on a solenoid (I want small so it will be this or something similar)

  • 1st area: media stack will be simple consisting of a sponge, 100ml bag of purigen, another sponge, then a big bag of bio media
  • 2nd area: I'm thinking an Aqueon Pro 100w heater. I'm also considering building a little sealed box (dry) into this area that I can hang fluval 88g co2 setup into and add a solenoid onto it. Not ideal but I want the tank to be pretty much a contained box and since this middle area is just for a heater and water pass through I figured I could seal the box off and have a small dry area to save space vs. hanging the co2 setup off the back. Didn't draw this into the picture.
  • 3rd area: Water will be pulled into the pump which will push the water into a ISTA max mix Co2 reactor to dissolve the CO2. The exiting water will be sent back into the aquarium.

I figure for the divider between the main area of the tank that will have the overflow I can use some sort of black plastic that I will have to locate. The slots I can cut out w/ a router. Then the dividers I can just use cheap glass.

My goal is to build a contained tank that can sit on top of a dresser and look nice. Nothing on the market is really catches my eyes right now. Wanting this tank to be highly planted and house 2 dwarf puffers, 2 otos, malaysian trump snails, and some cherry shrimp (assuming they puffers don't get a taste for them).

The actual size and dimensions of everything will have to be decided once I get all the equipment so hopefully the volume I'm shooting for will work out w/ the equipment layout I'm wanting to do. Since its going to be a pretty small tank I don't really see it being that hard to put together. Just a lot of planning and slow assembly when I get the time and the motivation.
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Last edited by KGNickl; 10-01-2015 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Add details.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2015, 05:17 PM
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Have you thought about doing a mattenfilter, instead?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by daffyfish View Post
Have you thought about doing a mattenfilter, instead?
Sounds cool but not something that I would associate with being like a piece of furniture in a main room. More like something I would try on a basement tank for the fun of it. I want this setup to look really nice.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 02:15 AM
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Have you considered something like a JBJ or Oceanic Biocube?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 04:28 PM
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I dunno, just my thoughts, but a mini HBO doesn't look all that bad behind a tank, and I'd rather have that than the filter taking up all the real estate in the tank. I understand the divider and the glass, but my real point is..

you buy a piece of 24" long, expensive glass, then you use 8" of it for a filter? I personally would not make that trade off.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 02:31 AM
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I think that's a cool idea, but I'm not sure I'd be up for building my own tank. Unless it's something that you really want to learn to do, I'l bet you'll be money and time ahead if you bought something similar to what you wanted.

There are some mass made cube tanks out there that aren't bad and Advanced Acrylics makes a 13G tank that is almost exactly what you're talking about. I just had them build me a custom 80 gallon tank and I love it. I think their 13G is more salt water oriented, but they do nice work and will custom make whatever you want.

Other than that, a cube tank with a corner mattenfilter can still look classy if done right with black foam. I'm currently torn between trying a corner HMF or an all in one tank myself, but I've got to find some space first...
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