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Custom Built Twin 10g Tanks w/ Water Bridge (56k Warning)

1652 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  BDoss1985
(This thread is the fruit of the preliminary discussion here.)

So, my 4 year old daughter is crazy jealous of my 6 year old son's 36 gallon tank (journal in my sig). A friend gave us a 1 gallon Aqueon betta tank so we bought her a betta, his name is Olaf.

Now, it pains me every day to see Olaf in such cramped quarters so I've been planning an aquarium build for him for about a month now. The tank will go on a desktop in my daughter's room but will be much smaller than his 36 gallon. So, being Dad of the year and all, I decided I couldn't just buy her a 10 gallon tank and call it a day, she needs something cool.

So, I plan to build two 10 gallon cubes (14"L x 14"D x 12"H, water level at 10") and connect them with a 2.5" inside clear water bridge. I plan to leave 18" of clear space between the two tanks for her to "decorate" under/in-between.

Both tanks will be dirted like my son's and I'm going back and forth on whether or not to put gravel in the bridge (I probably will). If you're thinking to yourself, "But all the water will fall out of the bridge and flood the room!", you're not alone. But, science is awesome and the water won't fall out of the bridge unless I break suction, which I don't intend to do.

Here's a great video explaining the concept:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tmsHa5spqc

That said, here are a few planned logistics:
  • I'm going to use a Fluval 206 canister and split the intake line into two, thereby having an intake in each tank. Then, I'm going to run the return line up to an
    , and have a return in each tank. The SCWD device will switch which tank the water is returned to every 15-20 seconds. This will reverse the current inside the bridge so that I don't end up with all the fish and/or gunk in one tank.
  • The 'legs' of the bridge extend ~50% below water line, thereby allowing me to do my weekly water changes without breaking suction to the bridge.
  • I'm going to set the bridge at a slight angle (1/4") to make it easier to remove any bubbles that sneak in.
  • The bridge itself holds 3/4g of water and I have designed roughly 1.5g of free space in each tank. So, if the bridge fails, it will not flood the place.
  • Again, both tanks will be dirted and I will likely have 1/2" or so of gravel inside the bridge. I'm still working on how I want to hide the bridge access, if at all. I don't have tons of room to work with (for building a rock background or something. Probably just plant around it to make it discreet.
  • I'll be using glass tops and I'll adhere handles to each. They'll be suspended by clips I got on no ebay links allowed
  • Livestock: Olaf the betta, a couple nerites, some RCS, and I'm open to suggestions after that. Would like one or two more species that work well in ~10g.

Oh, and since it's for my 4 year old girl, while the tanks will be planted, expect plenty of gawdy princess decorations.

I'm hoping to order the glass this week.

Here's the design:



For reference, a lot of what I'm doing logistically was either directly from (or stemmed from) what this guy did with his incredible setup.
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