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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not new with fish keeping, been doing that on and off since I was 13. Not new with DIYs either. My first tank was a tank I built myself. Used a wooden crate that's leftover from my father's auto parts store, and simply lined it with plastic sheets that we normally used to cover our books. With a stapler and some thumb tacks, I got my first 15 gallon tank. And went on to make 3 or 4 more before I got to college.

The thing is, I usually go the easy route. Back then, I never had filters or lights, I just had an air pump and that was it. I do put plants and they die after a couple of weeks or so and then gets replaced. As the years went by, I get my aquariums with the basic OHF, or simply buy a tank with a complete system (filters, light and hood), or simply get an EHEIM Classic 2213 and it's done. Suffice to say, I never tried to dabble with plumbing, lighting, soils, CO2, fertilizers and all those technical aspects of this hobby. You could say that I'm still a newbie in a lot of aspects of this hobby. Things change. Due to work and other hobbies, I left this hobby a couple of years ago.

Then earlier this year I had an accident during mt. biking (one of my other hobbies). Had an operation to correct my dislocated elbow, and had been sidelined from my biking and backpacking. While recuperating from my injury, I though of reviving this hobby. And a friend supported the idea by giving me his extra 60 gallon tank. The tank came really dirty with heavy top braces. Took me more than half a day to get it cleaned and de-rimmed. Since I won't be going to the mountains for quite some time, TV and movies seems to be my go to events. To pull me away from those, I thought of doing some DIY on this tank. I've done researches of DIY sumps, filters and overflow plumbing and spend 2 days trying to plan things out. But for the lights of me, I simply couldn't get the plumbing right. I couldn't grasp how I'm gonna do it. I don't mean just the layout but also the cutting of the pipes, how many elbows and couplings and the stuff. Because with my elbow, sawing and cutting is not exactly something I can do easily. I've even considered using garden or braided hose instead of pipes to make things easier. But I simply couldn't picture the whole thing going on smoothly. On the 3rd day, I decide to think out of the box... or rather inside the tank.

With some knowledge of overflow system and filters (bio and mech) I got from my readings. I thought, why not just put it all together in the same tank. Placed it all at the back. I know some folks who hides their filter hose and pipes behind their custom-made backgrounds. So why not hide the filter and sump there. No visible filters (overhead, back or hidden below), no pipes or hoses, just a clean tank, the way it has been when I was a kid.

So I went back to the internet and dig some more if this idea was doable. And behold, I saw the Fluval Spec series tanks. It's even quite popular in this forum. And that's exactly the same principle I'm thinking of... a compartment built inside the tank to house the filter media and pump. But those are 5-12 gallons and I'm going to do a 60 gallon. Then I thought, would it sell like pancakes if it came in 30 or 50 gallons? Ahhh, so it should work regardless of size... I really hope so.

And thus begin my project. Photos to follow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's the custom built tank my friend gave me. I like that he had it made with black silicon. I had the stand made for it. This afternoon, I passed by the local glass shop and contracted them to make the components I needed for building the compartment for the filter box. The stuff won't be ready until Friday.

Dimension: 5mm - 33in x 24in x 18.5in (63 gallons)

Some photo's before the modifications.

Cleaned and drained after a 24 hour leak tested.


On the porch. Yup, it's gonna be set up outdoor.



What it looked like before I removed the top braces (didn't include the other 2 pieces for the picture).





You could just check out sea clear system 2 tanks if you don't want to DIY.
Thanks for the suggestion but unfortunately, they don't sell Clear System 2 (or Fluval tanks) over here. And I could probably have a complete 120 gallon system built for half of the cost of getting it online. Besides, I wanna DIY. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Went out jogging yesterday afternoon around the subdivision. There was an on-going cementing of a lot for a basketball court and I decided to check it out. And these were what I've found.

Lenght: 26 inches

Lenght: 16 inches




I'm still deciding if I should use the smaller one on my 5G Long or use both in this tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Done with the modification. Currently just sealing some leaks... mostly due to lack of experience with assembling glass. It's a bit messy too. hehe

Front view:


Back view:
from R-L : Mechanical filter chamber, biological filter chamber, water out via powerhead.
Top: Gutter to send the water to the mechanical filter chamber.
 
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