260 Gallon Planted Build

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Hello,
I’m James and I’m 29 living in Australia.

I’m back in the game after around 5 years off, I recently had a 6x2x2 African cichlid tank that was very successful, sold due to moving house.

Now that I’ve built my own house I’m ready to get back into the hobby once again, I started searching for an 8 foot aquarium and come across a 7x2x2.5 with Starphire glass going ridiculously cheap at $550 aus. It was 1 of 5 custom built tanks set to be installed in a school of some sort and the builder had measured wrong and the tanks wouldn’t fit into the wall cavity’s.
I swooped in and bought one and also have a lot of respect for the builder after he made such a beautiful mistake.

I am building a heavy duty hardwood stand with my father who is a cabinet maker, and plan on running 2x Fluval fx6 canisters.

I’m still torn on what to stock in the tank but I definitely want a planted tank, with a lush carpet and some nice big stones etc.

I’m lea ing towards blue rams, tetras and plant friendly fish of that type.

I will however, need advice on what sort of lighting I’ll need for a tank this deep. I’ve heard T5HO is the go and to have them suspended etc, but I’m not sure about the length of the lights and so on.
I’m also open to having a c02 setup as well.

Any advice on lighting would be amazing!

Thank you!
 

DanniD

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With a tank that big, I'd opt for a large school of rainbowfish (Melanotaenia or Boeseman) or Congo Tetras. The color would be just gorgeous You can also add rams too for the bottom level but some awesome loaches would make for some interesting movement in the tank

Best of luck!
 

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You have tons of options! I only wish I could keep a tank like that. Pearl Gouramis are really friendly and lovely larger fish. They are about 4-5 inches and really neat while also being plant friendly. What type of plants and fish do you like? Preferences? And Kessel lights are supposed to be really great and just amazing.
 
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Ddelpinal said:
With a tank that big, I'd opt for a large school of rainbowfish (Melanotaenia or Boeseman) or Congo Tetras. The color would be just gorgeous You can also add rams too for the bottom level but some awesome loaches would make for some interesting movement in the tank

Best of luck!
Thankyou! I really like the sound of tetras as I have been watching videos from “greenmachine” James Findlay, he’s amazing and he uses predominantly fish like these. Rams also are a favourite of mine so I may add some of those also as they work well with tetras.

Would you have any idea on lighting? I am just starting to explore the options and pendant LED’s could also be an option.
 
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Th
FriarThomasIII said:
You have tons of options! I only wish I could keep a tank like that. Pearl Gouramis are really friendly and lovely larger fish. They are about 4-5 inches and really neat while also being plant friendly. What type of plants and fish do you like? Preferences? And Kessel lights are supposed to be really great and just amazing.
Thankyou for the reply, I would like a nice carpet look growing on the substrate and some finer leaves plants such as Vallisneria, hairgrass and maybe some swords/ferns to grow in the rocky areas. As for fish I really like the tetras/Cory style tanks. I’ll check out the Kessel lights Thankyou for he suggestion!
 

FriarThomasIII

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Fish-jitsu said:
Th


Thankyou for the reply, I would like a nice carpet look growing on the substrate and some finer leaves plants such as Vallisneria, hairgrass and maybe some swords/ferns to grow in the rocky areas. As for dish I really like the tetras/Cory style tanks. I’ll check out the Kessel lights Thankyou for he suggestion!
Do you want warmer water or cooler water fish? Plant wise, are you going to use co2? For a carpeting plant, there is a large carpeting plant that gets super thick and about 3-6 inches tall, depending on if you trim, and would look amazing for such a large tank. I think it's called 4 leaf clover, and I think there is a dwarf version too.
 

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Man congrats on the tank! I can only dream that big of a tank and would like it planted too!
I like the idea of BIG school of smaller fish and few center piece fishes. If I was to do I'd I'll have a big school of Rummy Nose tetra and Cardinal Tetra. Group of Pearl Gouramis, Pair of GBR and Pair of Apistogramma Triple Red for the center piece fish.

For the lighting if you have a budget for it go with multiple maybe 2 or 3 Fluval Planted 3.0, but if you're on a budget T5 lights are still capable and a lot cheaper just need to find the right spectrum bulbs.
With your tank being tall I'd just go with easy carpeting plant I.E. Dwarf Sag or Staurogyne Repens
For the CO2 make sure to go with inline Diffuser/Reactor it's better for bigger tanks instead of the in tank diffuser.
Goodluck and keep us posted!
 

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One thing I want to try in my next tank is to make a plastic divider and silicon it on the bottom and run 2 different types of substrate; sand in front, rock in the back. I think that would look kool.

You have so many options with that size of a tank, i’m jealous.

I’m looking forward to following this build since you are leaning towards smaller fish while most that have this size tank go with a few huge fish.

Don’t forget a large school of corys.
 
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FriarThomasIII said:
Do you want warmer water or cooler water fish? Plant wise, are you going to use co2? For a carpeting plant, there is a large carpeting plant that gets super thick and about 3-6 inches tall, depending on if you trim, and would look amazing for such a large tank. I think it's called 4 leaf clover, and I think there is a dwarf version too.
Yes c02 for sure, I’m going with a griggs reactor as it’s the only way to attach it to a Fluval fx6 I’ve heard and much more efficient on such a large tank. I want to keep Congo tetras/flying fox with some other similar fish like those, I think having large groups of smaller fish in a large aquarium can give a greater sense of scale and I want it to be it’s own ecosystem in the tank. That plant sounds great I’ll have a look!
Thanks!!!
 
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Ryan P said:
Man congrats on the tank! I can only dream that big of a tank and would like it planted too!
I like the idea of BIG school of smaller fish and few center piece fishes. If I was to do I'd I'll have a big school of Rummy Nose tetra and Cardinal Tetra. Group of Pearl Gouramis, Pair of GBR and Pair of Apistogramma Triple Red for the center piece fish.

For the lighting if you have a budget for it go with multiple maybe 2 or 3 Fluval Planted 3.0, but if you're on a budget T5 lights are still capable and a lot cheaper just need to find the right spectrum bulbs.
With your tank being tall I'd just go with easy carpeting plant I.E. Dwarf Sag or Staurogyne Repens
For the CO2 make sure to go with inline Diffuser/Reactor it's better for bigger tanks instead of the in tank diffuser.
Goodluck and keep us posted!

Thanks mate! Yes the fish you have listed are definitely what I’m aiming for, I enquired with Makemyled.com and they recommended 2x 180cm XB triple row panel lights that will cost around $1,000 and that’s around what I expected to pay for a tank this large.
I am going with the Fluval FX6 as waterchanges are a breeze with it and it’s one of the best filters on the market, so as you stated I will need an inline c02 set up which I’ve read the Griggs reactor is really the only way to go with FX6 tubing.

I plan on having some big jagged rocks (all of the same variety) scaped out aesthetically with some plants growing in the crevices of the rocks and as I stated earlier I would like a lush carpet of some sort to blanket the substrate so I will look into your suggestions! I’ll probably add wood and encourage plants to grow into it but the main thing is that it remains balanced and natural looking.
with a tank of this size, how many fish would you stock?
I’ll also be running a wavemaker to create more movement.
 
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Hunter1 said:
One thing I want to try in my next tank is to make a plastic divider and silicon it on the bottom and run 2 different types of substrate; sand in front, rock in the back. I think that would look kool.

You have so many options with that size of a tank, i’m jealous.

I’m looking forward to following this build since you are leaning towards smaller fish while most that have this size tank go with a few huge fish.

Don’t forget a large school of corys.
Thankyou! Yes I’m very keen to get this tank started, the tank you’re describing with the substrate sounds like “Arizona “ by James Findlay, check it out on YouTube.

I’m not rushing the build as it’s my dream tank and I’m going to spend the money and time getting it exactly right!
It’s going to be a challenge working on a tank this big as I plan on having the stand around 900mm tall so the tank is at a nice display height ( I don’t want it too low)
The reasoning for wanting large schools of small fish is mainly to give the sense of scale, but also as I like the look of a huge aquascape with tiny fish acting as if they would in the wild, you can have so much going on in a tank this size with schools of tetras etc, and I would imagine the fish would love their own world of this size lol.

As for the Cory’s is there a reason you would have them? I like the Siamese flying fox also would one cancel out the need for the other?

I’ll keep updating the build starting with the tank when I pick it up next Saturday.
Thanks!
 

Ryan P

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Fish-jitsu said:
Thanks mate! Yes the fish you have listed are definitely what I’m aiming for, I enquired with Makemyled.com and they recommended 2x 180cm XB triple row panel lights that will cost around $1,000 and that’s around what I expected to pay for a tank this large.
I am going with the Fluval FX6 as waterchanges are a breeze with it and it’s one of the best filters on the market, so as you stated I will need an inline c02 set up which I’ve read the Griggs reactor is really the only way to go with FX6 tubing.

I plan on having some big jagged rocks (all of the same variety) scaped out aesthetically with some plants growing in the crevices of the rocks and as I stated earlier I would like a lush carpet of some sort to blanket the substrate so I will look into your suggestions! I’ll probably add wood and encourage plants to grow into it but the main thing is that it remains balanced and natural looking.
with a tank of this size, how many fish would you stock?
I’ll also be running a wavemaker to create more movement.
I'm no sotcking expert but I think it's going to be a good size and **** of a fun to watch!
I suggest getting 2 Fx6 if you can afford them. And a decent wave maker is ideal.
Please keep us posted just having the thought of it gets me excited. And watching the progress is gonna be fun!!
 

FriarThomasIII

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Maybe for tankmates for the congo tetra;
metallic green corydoras (brochus spendans) make excellent fish for larger tanks, and look really cool and are nice and fat and cute.
maybe some serpae or black phantom tetra? in a large school there is no fear of fin nipping, as they keep it to themselves.
anything with the same nature as the congos are fine, and nothing smaller or else they will bully the other fish.
 
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Ryan P said:
I'm no sotcking expert but I think it's going to be a good size and of a fun to watch!
I suggest getting 2 Fx6 if you can afford them. And a decent wave maker is ideal.
Please keep us posted just having the thought of it gets me excited. And watching the progress is gonna be fun!!
Cheers mate! Yeah I was thinking about getting 2 of them, I shouldn’t have a problem with filtration that way. I’ll definitely be running a decent wavemaker too, the lighting I’ve been recommended for this tank is this type

It’s a long way away yet, but when I finally start stocking the tank it would be best to slowly add fish over a few weeks/months?
 

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Following with just a few questions:

-Did you plan on doing a soil substrate/dry start method for a carpet or what are your plans in that sense?
-If you get the good lighting/co2, I think monte carlo looks super cool and it would creep over your rocks

Cant wait to see the result in time, good luck!
 
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KirkyTurkey said:
Following with just a few questions:

-Did you plan on doing a soil substrate/dry start method for a carpet or what are your plans in that sense?
-If you get the good lighting/co2, I think monte carlo looks super cool and it would creep over your rocks

Cant wait to see the result in time, good luck!
Thankyou! I was planning on using a good Quilty aquarium soil but I haven’t done much research on a dry start method, I’ll check it out. I was just planning on planting everything together once the hard scape was finished. I like Monte Carlo it’s a nice plant so that’s definitely up the top of my list.
 
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KirkyTurkey said:
Following with just a few questions:

-Did you plan on doing a soil substrate/dry start method for a carpet or what are your plans in that sense?
-If you get the good lighting/co2, I think monte carlo looks super cool and it would creep over your rocks

Cant wait to see the result in time, good luck!
Oh boy, I just looked into the dry start method and it looks great!
 

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Fish-jitsu said:
Oh boy, I just looked into the dry start method and it looks great!
Fish-jitsu said:
Cheers mate! Yeah I was thinking about getting 2 of them, I shouldn’t have a problem with filtration that way. I’ll definitely be running a decent wavemaker too, the lighting I’ve been recommended for this tank is this type

It’s a long way away yet, but when I finally start stocking the tank it would be best to slowly add fish over a few weeks/months?
Always good to add fish slowly in my opinion
if I only had the patience I woudl've done DSM too but cycling is already too long LOL
 
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Ryan P said:
Always good to add fish slowly in my opinion
if I only had the patience I woudl've done DSM too but cycling is already too long LOL
Cheers, I have an 18gal tank I’m going to experiment the DSM on, I’ll let you know how it goes.
 
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Ok, so I picked up the 260gallon over the weekend and it’s now sitting in my garage, the future fish room here’s a few pictures, they don’t do it justice to how big it actually looks in person.

Now I just need to plan the build for the stand, that will be the next step.

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