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6x2x2 In-Wall Tank Journal


kbdwizard
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Well guys and gals, I haven't really posted much on the forum so far, so hopefully I'll make up for my silence with this "little" thread!

It's taken a while to muster up the courage but I'm finally going to put a nice little six footer in the wall between my Dining room and garage. At the moment I have a 3x2x1.5 housing my Malawi's, and as some of them are getting a little big, I figure it's time to give them a bit bigger home.

So, here's the plan...

6x2x2 tank. No weir or sump. I'm just going with canisters and powerheads. At the moment I've got a Fluval 305 running on the 3 foot, so I'll use that to get the tank started, but I'm going to have to grab another canister to run with it, or just a larger canister. not quite sure which way I'm going yet.

Tank inhabitants are going to be Lake Malawi cichlids. It's not going to be a breeding tank, so I'm more than happy to just have a heap of nice display males in it. If anyone has some nice fella's they're looking to offload at a decent price, please let me know. I also have a trio of nice sailfin plecos I'm growing up to add to the tank.

In the dining room we have a nice buffet that is approx 5 foot long. My wife loves the idea of a 6 foot tank, but wants the tank to appear the same length as the buffet. This means there will be 5 foot visible, with half a foot on either side of the tank that can be used for hiding heaters, air hose, filter inlet/outlet and powerhead. Hopefully it'll also mean that the fish can swim in and out of view as well. The wall currently has a Ken Duncan panograph on it, which is great, but a big wall deserves a nice big tank.

The tank will have a black painted back so I don't see all my garage junk through the tank, and so the tank inhabitants really stand out. I've done this on my three foot, and with the white crushed marble and white rock in the tank, they just look stunning. If anyone also has any nice cheap white rock they wish to part with, let me know on that too.

I haven't worked out lighting yet, but I'm thinking of getting the tank in place and then starting to work that out. Any advice on type/tubes etc. I have a couple of ideas, but really trying to refine what I want in my head I guess.

Anyway, must run cause I need to get the kitchen clean before everybody turns up... I forgot to mention that the wall is actually a load bearing wall. Our garage is an addition onto the house and council want me to get a structural engineer to take a look at the wall, do up some plans, and get a builder to put a decent size lintel in. Then it'll be right to go.

Stay tuned... I'll start getting some piccies of the wall/tank etc. once I can track down my digital camera.

Cheers

Dave

PS - A big shout out to Jason, Cherie, Allison and all the team at "All About Fish" in Warners Bay too. They have been fantastic with their support and advice as I've been planning the tank. I'm heading over there to pick up the tank this arvo. Yay!

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G'day Dave,

Good luck with the project it sounds awesome. :thumb

Just some thoughts that come to mind, my brother in law has a thru the wall tank, dining room to garage as well.

What I like about his is that he has the front glass flush with the interior wall and has put like a wooden frame around it, kinda looks like a picture frame, slightly better than a Ken Duncan panograph :lol1:

As the tank extends into the garage he has actually put a sump (my preference) in under underneath it , very quite can't hear a thing inside. If you are going canister you could obviously put these into the garage as well (I am sure you have considered this) I would personally buy a second canister filter, this gives you redundancy in case one fails and also allows you to rotate the cleaning of them.

He has utilised a Universal background in it so as he can remove this to view from the garage when doing serious maintenance (his wife likes this because there is never any splash and dash in the house) perhaps you could try attaching a black plastic background or even some black perspex or similiar so as you can remove it for easy maintenance as well. I also like that idea because for me that is where my beer fridge would be, so I would spend lots of time out there in the garage viewing the tank. <_<

Any way there's some initial thoughts for you to consider, good luck and keep us posted.

Cheers

Ross

Edited by hobcas
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I was also thinking that painting could perhaps not be the best idea. Assuming you are planning on doing maintenance from the garage side, the inability to see the tank from the side could make jobs more difficult than they would normally be.

Will be interested to see this project unfolding!

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Dave.

Congratulations on the new adventure and I hope it works out. I currently am running a 6x2x2 with a couple of cannister filters as well. They are both a Fluval FX5 and had no dramas.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Cheers

gAry

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  • 2 weeks later...

A couple of suggestions based on my 4yo 6' mixed Malawi tank which sits between lounge and dining room on a low dividing wall.

1. buy MUCH bigger canister filters with higher flow rates than you initially calculate based on volume. The reason is that:

- you will likely be attracted to and buy more fish over time

- some fish grow quite big

- any algae / bacteria growh in the tubing will slow flow rate so more flow means longer between cleans

- some fish will breed. You may think you are buying all males but when small, mistakes are easily made and sometimes you might want a female to encourage your male to colour up and display

2. Buy 2 big canisters and set up one with just noodles and no filter mats. This will be for biological filtration only and only need cleaing once or twice a year, if at all. The second canister, just fill with filter mat materials. This will be your particulate (poo) filter and will require cleaning every 4-8 weeks.

Good luck and enjoy the result.

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  • 4 months later...

Well guys and gals, I haven't really posted much on the forum so far, so hopefully I'll make up for my silence with this "little" thread!

It's taken a while to muster up the courage but I'm finally going to put a nice little six footer in the wall between my Dining room and garage.

So, here's the plan.......

Stay tuned... I'll start getting some piccies of the wall/tank etc. once I can track down my digital camera.

Cheers

Dave

Come on bloke, progress report plz. ;)

You know you want to: IPB Image:thumbup:

IPB Image

Old Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, guys and gals, I have actually finished the tank, but it's taken me ages to get any of the photos together etc. I'm making up for lost time, so there are a few photos coming your way now!

My wife was away in Fiji while all of this was going on, so she didn't get to see any of the mess (thankfully), but she also had our digital camera with her, so I had to use my dodgy phone camera. Nonetheless, the following photos are a good record/reminder of four days of really hard work!

Marking out the hole and cutting through the plasterboard...

IPB Image

Drilling the centre hole and knocking out the first brick...

IPB Image

Finishing the hole and marking out where the header and gal lintel were gonna go...

IPB Image

Starting the stand from the garage side...

IPB Image

The finished stand (places the tank very high up :confused: )

IPB Image

Finished hole ready for tank...

IPB Image

I'll have to track down where I've put the finished tank images and add them up here tomorrow night I think. In the mean time, it gives you a bit of a teaser. Stay tuned.

dave

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I really didn't want to be so high off the floor, but there is a 3 foot difference in floor level from the dining room to the garage, so in order for the tank to be a good display height it had to be that high. makes setup and maintenance very difficult, but i don't mind too much. I'm using a ladder to feed at the moment, but have plans to build a platform to stand at some point in time.

The shelf below where the tank sits makes for a great place to put my Fluval FX5 and all my tank stuff, and I've just added a couple of breed tanks there too.

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Thank you all for the kind words. It's really nice to have the tank up and running, but I'm starting to run into some issues (apart from being a royal pain to clean etc.)

After a couple of weeks with pretty steady readings, I'm now having issues with green algae growing over my rocks and my nitrate levels are through the roof.

PH is at 8.4

Ammonia is at 0

Nitrite is at 0

Nitrate is at 80ppm.

I've started cutting back the time the light is on, I'm keeping a good eye on how much food the fish are getting. I know I have a massively stacked tank, but I was hoping that the Fluval FX 5 and two powerheads would be adequate filtration for the tank.

I'm doing weekly 30% water changes to try and keep things in check, but it appears to be getting worse.

In my filter I'm running Matrix, Zeo-Carb, Phosphate removal pads, Purigen and have just put in some Seachem DeNitrate. I'm really hoping that this starts to get things under control.

Is it just that I haven't given enough time for the bacteria to start breaking things down in the filter (the tank has only been running for about three weeks), or am I missing something.

Any help would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

Dave

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I've added some old filter media (from my other canister filter) to the FX5 to see if I can get those nitrates down and it appears to be working but unfortunately too late for two of my fish. RIP to my Maylandi and an incredibly beautiful (and big) Kadango Red :(

After finding the Maylandi and Kadango Red last night we did a water test and Ammonia and Nitrites are still 0 and Nitrates had come down to about 10ppm.

In order to get rid of the algae I've been using AlgaeFix, and was wondering if that has inadvertently poisoned the fish. We did a 40% water change and added some melafix to help the matter.

When testing the water this morning, I'm back down to 10ppm nitrates.

Any thoughts?

Edited by kbdwizard
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