6ft Project - 414.0 liters/approximately 106.4 U.S.


Hey guys,

this is my first attempt at making any sort of thread of this nature, I'm not sure if anyone will be interested but nonetheless I can keep track of the progress. If anyone is interested then thanks for your time and I look forward to your comments.

I had been tankless for several years now despite having had some decent setups in the past. Recently I came into possession of a seriously run down 6ft tank and decided to start a new setup myself.

The steel stand has been discarded, there were 3 layers of thick enamel paint to remove (see insane artwork below), this was done with a blade style scraper as I was hesitant to use chemicals - I won't lie, it took forever. Simply used water with a huge amount of dishwashing liquid (Sunlight) as blade lube. The pine canopy needs sanding, reinforcing and re-sealing (will add once complete)

The plan is to create a riverine biotope, with loads of wood and plants. I will try to stay away from using pressurised CO2 and stick to a low tech installation which I have had success with in the past.

The process has just begun so there isn't much to look at as yet, hardware as follows: (this will change with the process)

Tank - 1800mm x 560mm x 46 mm - 10mm glass, there is a solid pine canopy which still needs some work.
Filter - Tetratec ex700, 2x internal powerhead filters (will take the powerheads out once water is clear and add another canister)
Lighting - Currently 2 x 4ft LED tube lights, these are only rated at 4500k so they won't do when I get the plants in.
Cabinet - Solid wood, will hold canisters and all other bits and pieces, the cabinet stands almost 3ft tall so the tank is quite high.
Substrate - Base is cleaned garden soil covered with cleaned river sand, covered with a mixture of Silica and Seachem Flourite.

I am thinking mainly dwarf cichlid varieties, several corys, a single breed of schooling fish (undecided) and maybe a few little odds..

In my sons 2ft tank I have temporarily put all the plants I'm beginning with, his guppies must feel like the have been dropped into a jungle.. there are several varieties of sword plants anubias, java moss and java fern as well as some sword grass and couple of other bits and pieces.
The wood has been picked up on my travels out and about. Fortunately we have a lot of indigenous trees which make for great, decorative wood (including MopanI ) these were found lying about in the local nature reserve which is about 1 mile from my place. despite being nicely weathered there is still a fair bit of tannins seeping out.

below are some shots and I will keep them coming as I go, planting begins tonight !



getting there... oh so slowly

the plants added last night are the bits and pieces ive picked up over the last few days, there will be more intensive planting happening as soon as my lighting and hood are sorted..

The challenge here has been the 360 degree nature of the layout, I have always had tanks with a front/back so making the tanks visible from all angles has been quite a challenge to plan and I'm sure will be more of a challenge as the plants grow in..


Interesting. I look forward to see some of the progress and what kind of dwarfs you decide to pick in the end


Keen to see it finished.


thanks for the responses guys, much appreciated. I will keep adding pics as it goes but as I only manage to squeeze in a few hours after work its been slow going.. the progress above began last weekend so hopefully will get a bit more done this weekend.

Thanks again for the comments.

Right, so I managed to get some light planting done but Idon't want to overdo it as yet. Stock Is pretty limited round these parts rightnow so I have put in some staples..

My lighting is also an issue as the 4ft bulbs are not cutting it. the water isstill quite heavy with tannins which may be partially to blame.

Current Lighting: (these are temporary)

2x Jewel 4ft T5 tubes (red and blue)
1x12000k red light 4ft
1x6000k white LED tube 4ft (these are my experimental lights, I intend to useonly LED tubes going forward)

Current Plants:
Several Amazon sword varieties, (echinodoruscordifolius, Echinodorus amazonicus, Echinodorus Angustifolia, Echinodoruspalaefolius,)
Chain grass - ((Dwarf Sagittaria (Sagittariasubulata))Bacopa - Bacopa CarolinianaHornwort - Ceratophyllum submersum
Java fern - (Microsorum pteropus)
Crypto - (Cryptocoryne petchii)
Anubia - (Anubias barterI 'Coffeefolia')
Glosso - (Glossostigma elatinoides)
Java Moss - (Taxiphyllum barbieri) not yet in the tank,sitting in the small grow tank..

Floating - (Lemna minor) - these came nicely hiddenunder the Anubias leaves... I have managed to get rid of most of them but willkeep a few and clear them with my water changes.

As per my earlier post I have used an experimental substrate and dosed usingExcel.

Livestock:I have begun to add some life but as yet I'm still not entirely surehow the stocking will go, I am still aiming for dwarf cichlids but only whenthe tank has settled and is more established.
Currently we have:
3X Pepper Corys
3x Bronze Corys (because a tank with no Cory's is unimaginable)
12x White Cloud Minnows
4x Pearl Gourami
several Ghost Shrimp caught in the river down the road.

The major challenge here is still the fact that the tank needs to be viewed from 360 degrees, positioning of plants so that they won't obscure the view has been challenging as I can't adopt the old tall at the back short at the front story... anyway we will see how it goes as they fill in.

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