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Mixed Tanganyika display tank - thought i would share

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After lots of planning, and having smaller tanks in rental properties, I have finally got fish in my new display tank.

I have spent so many years trying to stuff large fish into the minimum tank they can be housed in and wanted to do something different.

The aim was to make a beautiful piece of living art for the house and have many small fish in a large tank.

I have done a lot of reading on this site (member for 14yrs despite very few posts) and also some SW reef sites and thank you all for the information so generously given.

The background took a long time and the first fill was pretty scary but it held.

I have an waste water pipe that runs under the floor and into the garden so no buckets in the house.

The budget was around $5k including fish and panels for the stand to match bookcase.



Tank: 7x2.5x2.5 from Abyss in Sydney

Sump 4x2x1.5

          Filter socks -> Jap mat -> pot scrubbers -> return 

Stand: 50x50x4mm steel  900mm high painted with bed liner

Heater: 2 x jager 300W with an Inkbird controller

Internal flow: Sunsun wave maker(not sure if I will need this)

Gravel: 50% crushed coral aragonite 50% Bunnings play sand

Shells: Marine shells from Shelly Beach, NSW

Water aging and change: 240lt wheelie bin with small powerhead to get water into tank/sump

Return pump: Ecotech M1

Lights: 4 x 3ft cheapo LED with dimmers added by me

Background: XPS + Styrofoam + expanda foam

          Joined with silicone and skewers and then covered with Crommelins pond sealer and sand

          Stuck to tank with about 20 tubes of silicone



FISHLIST     I intentionally don’t want anything too expensive or rare.

                    As it’s a very broad mix there may be failures as they grow, pair and breed.


Synodontis petricola                                  9     In tank

Bristlenose?                                                 3    In tank


Neolamprologus Lelupi                             5    In tank

Neolamprologus Pulcher                             In tank

Altolamprologus black Calvus                  3                          

Altolamprologus Compressiceps             2 


Lamprologus Brevis                                  6    In tank


leptosoma cyprichromis                         20?  


Julidochromis malieri                               5   In tank


Tanganicodus Irsacae                               



Full frontal.jpg

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The whole thing looks good but the background rocks (if you will pardon the pun).

Will you put the heaters in the sump?

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Wow, Looks great!

Plus one for putting heater in sump - spoils the great work you've done in a way.

I would fill the tank almost to the top too. Just make sure to cover any holes/gaps so fish cant jump out...

The big school of leptos will look awesome.


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All equipment will be in the sump when I get it running. I have even made a fake rock to hide the wavemaker.

That is also why the water is low

I don't want to run the sump till I get the panels that cover the stand as I have little kids and they will be tempted to throw things in


Thanks for your comments

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