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Who Needs Closets Anyway? My 60 Gal Wall Tank (Pic Heavy)

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I spent last summer remodeling my home, so I also decided I need to build a wall tank. (Who Wouldn't?) Anyway thought I would share my experience on here (As I made sure to take a few pictures during the process), it was fairly straightforward, and didn't take too much time.

First I had to do is to choose the spot. That wasn't too challenging, I had a closet that sat on the corner of a hallway and the great room. Naturally Fishtanks outranks closets tremendously (and since there happened to be a closet also next to it) it was a easy decision.

Here it is: (Again, I'm renovating my house so everythings a mess in these shots)


Now before anyone starts cutting into walls, you should check to make sure your not going to de-stabilize anything important. This was no exception. However, with a quick trip to the attic (above that spot) I verified this was not a supporting wall. This particular spot was actually very well supported. If you refer back to the photo above you will notice two things: #1: This Segment is very short. #2 The Segment starts and Ends with a corner. When walls are built, two 2x4's are placed on each end for extra strength. Since these are corners that means there should be four 2x4's making it a grand total of eight 2x4's supporting this little section. Now that's not going to hold my tank up, but I can feel pretty safe when I cut into and gut the middle of the wall.

Next was to cut everything open and take a look inside to verify everything's where I thought it was.

Fortunately it was.

Now it was time to start building. There were four jobs I needed to do to turn this closet into a built in wall tank.

#1: Cut out the window and frame the top.
-I probably didn't need to frame in the top, and since I was taking out a center support for the wall, it's better to be safe than sorry.

#2: Build a stand.
- I wanted to make sure I put absolutely no weight on the wall. The stand will have two 4x4's in the front acting as legs, and two 4x4's in the back. Followed by some 2x4's on the top and support the tank. Because it sat snugly between the wall, I didn't have to worry about the stand / tank wobbling.

#3: Maintenance Window
-I punched a hole through to the closet next door above the top of the tank to act as a maintenance window / feeding window / ventilation. I double framed the bottom so I could put my weight on it if I ever need to.

#4: Build the tank of course!
- Well actually no, I didn't personally build the tank. Envision Acrylics did, and they did a GREAT job. I would highly recommend them. (Also very conveniently located 15 mins away from my house) Anyway the tank specs would be:

20" Wide
18" Deep
36" Tall
.75" Thick
Approx 60 Gallons

Yes you read that correctly this thing had to be 3/4" thick due to its extreme height. It's practically bullet proof.

Here's a picture of the stand:


Again the stand is in no way attached to the wall, so all the weight is transferred smoothly into the floor.

The next step was to wait for the tank to be built. (Plus I had a lot of other stuff that needed to get done before I could let myself go back to work on the tank). But in that time I was able to decided and order the tanks equipment.

Heres a list of what I went with:

Filtration: SunSun 303b (Cheap Filter, very impressed so far, built in UV is nice!)
Lighting: Kessil Tuna Sun 360WE with remote)
CO2: Aquatek Co2 Regulator Mini
Substrate: Multiple Layers of ADA Powersand L with ADA Amazonia, and white sand limited to the unplanted area in the front.

Eventually the tank was ready, and it was time to get back to work!



It took be about six hours to assemble and plant the tank. Mainly because of the awkward positions one has to assume to get to the bottom of a really tall skinny tank. (But it was worth it)

Because of the multiple layers of powder sand and gravel (to prevent compression) and lots and lots of hot glue and plastic supports. I was able to build hill 12" high off the bottom of the tank. Which is imperative since the tank is 36" the higher the hill the better in my opinion.

Anyway here it is:





It is fully planted in this pictures with the exception of the left mid section. I need to find a matted plant to better support that hill / to cover up the plastic support.

Here's the stocking list:

Currently (In the picture)
-12 Wedge Rasboras
-6 Chili Rasboras
-10 Cardinal Neons
-10 Diamond Head Neons
-6 Pigmy Hatches
-4 Jumbo Silver Hatches
-20 Cherry Shrimp

On the way (Still being shipped):

-10 Ottos

Maintenance (Update 10/15/15)

I'm getting a lot of questions on how I maintain this oddball tank. In truth I failed to mention some of the following dynamics that makes this possible. Here is the scoop:

I have to access areas to perform maintenance.

#1: Closet to Closet window. This is a nice aspect but is only used for minor things, such as: feeding the fish, syphoning water, and filling up my tank. You can see it above the tank in the picture below.

#2: Behind the tank. Yes that's correct there is enough room behind the tank (as you can also see in the photo below) for me to climb inside the closet on top of the tank stand. (With the help of a step ladder). Which is what I do when I want to actually work on the tank. Etc add remove plants. Simply drain the tank 30-50% and then I can work on the bottom of the tank. As you can see in the third picture below (I'm inside the closet standing on the stand) I can touch the bottom without strain. But if this tank was 3-4" deeper it would be impossible.

Inside Closet:


Tank half full or half empty?


Yes I can touch the bottom to maintain trim the carpet!


How do I fill the tank back up? Simple! I got an adapter so I can attach a garden hose to my utility sink in the garage. (No it's not the same hose that's used outside...)


===
Im calling this tank done for now, however I have a few minor projects I would like to do in the near future. Mainly to assist with the water change process. (I'm a automate addict) Eventually I will place a T valve to the outtake (to tank) filter pipe. That would not affect the filtration process when that T is closed. But when it's opened it will lead into a pvc pipe that will lead to one of my plants in the backyard. (Not to long of a distance actually, plus Hydroponics right??) Plus I will hook up a refrigerator hose from the water main to that pipe so it will work for tank drainage and tank refills simply by turning a valve or too.

All in all it was a fun build! And Definetly worth it!
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I am sorry but I think you have created a big trouble for yourself. The maintenance is going to be painful.
 

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Congrats on actually doing the job rather than simply browbeating somebody else to build it! In that way, there will not be any problems that are too big to either work around or change if they are total failures. Some of my projects look better on paper than they do when built. But then we DIY folks can always use it as a valuable lesson if nothing else.
Looks nice but the cleaning is better left to you younger, more "flexible" guys.
Sounds like a good plan on the water change setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What a neat project!

It looks fantastic.

Are you worried about algae with lights bright enough to reach 36" down? That shape tank won't be easy to clean once it's full of fish and plants.
Yeah that is going to be a bit of a problem. But, Kessil is coming out with a lense to better direct light straight down. Which should help my cause. Also I have an army of algae eaters. All in all what it will a little more elbow grease.
 

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What other algae eaters are you adding?

I've found Amano shrimp and nerite snails to be very good algae eaters. Nerites won't breed in the tank, but the females do leave tiny white eggs all over the place. I also love mystery snails. They only lay eggs above the water. They'll have a loooooong way to climb to do that in this tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What other algae eaters are you adding?

I've found Amano shrimp and nerite snails to be very good algae eaters. Nerites won't breed in the tank, but the females do leave tiny white eggs all over the place. I also love mystery snails. They only lay eggs above the water. They'll have a loooooong way to climb to do that in this tank.
An army of 10 Otto's, plus a battalion of shrimp (30) 20 Cherries and 10 Carbon Rilli. Nerites need to breath on the surface, and probably won't survive too long in my 36" tank due to procrastination. There are some "mystery snails" that have gills which is what Ill use.

36" is deep! I'd be a little worried about even flow since it is such a deep tank. Also, is that regular hair grass? I do think it turned out great. Kinda stinks to have such great, thick, acrylic not being seen.
Yes that is regular hair grass. The flow is reasonable in the tank. To Illustrate this the school of neons rarely need to venture to the surface, as the right side of the tank carries food towards the bottom.
 

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Looks really great! I like the framing on the wall around the tank too, it's like a living piece of art.

Are you planning on letting that carpet grow out, or are you going to keep it neatly trimmed? You'll have to upload some pics of the maintenance process, I think we're all curious as to how much work that ends up being!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Looks really great! I like the framing on the wall around the tank too, it's like a living piece of art.

Are you planning on letting that carpet grow out, or are you going to keep it neatly trimmed? You'll have to upload some pics of the maintenance process, I think we're all curious as to how much work that ends up being!
I do plan to let it grow out. I love the look of a solid carpet! Yes I'll make sure to upload some maintenence photos in the near future.
 
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