Hex Tank Now Set Up!

  1. filtered_light Member Member

    Hi all :)

    I'm planning a new tank, and it's a big part of what brought me to seek wisdom from the fishlore community, so I figured I should start a thread for it.

    Friendly advice is welcome. :)

    The tank I ordered on a really good discount is a 28 gallon acrylic hexagon that is about as wide as it is tall, so not super tall. 21"W x 20"H

    So far here is what I'm thinking.
    Filter: Fluval U4 (in-tank)
    Additional (hand made) air-driven back-up/extra filter.

    Heater: I have a cobalt neotherm 25 for my nano 5G and I like it. Thinking maybe (2) 50watt cobalts or something for this tank but haven't tried the dual heater idea before so welcome thoughts. I've read that some people use two heaters to try to reduce the chance of catastrophic failure if one gets stuck on, then the other will hopefully still shut off and it will be harder for the smallish heater to boil the fishies.

    Substrate: thinking thin layer of fine black sand for corydora fun and some easy, low-light live plants, such as java moss, marimo, water wisteria, maybe some Amazon sword or something a little vertical.

    Right now I have 3 peppered corys that I want to move into this more suitable size tank so I can get them a proper school of Cory friends. So at least 6 total corys.

    As many tetras of one type (neon or cardinal, most likely) as make sense, given the corys. Would love to find room for a couple otocinclus too, but not sure whether or not that is realistic without shrinking the tetra school too small.

    That might be it for fish, or, depending I maybe could swap out something for a small pretty top level fish, TBD. Want to keep to South American soft water types that all enjoy similar water.

    Would love advice on a snail that doesn't become 1,000 snails. And if folks think I could add a couple shrimp or if they'd be lunch. (My corys are fine w adult shrimp, but not sure about tetras?)

    So lots of things are still up for debate and it'll be a month or more until it is ready for fish.

    Really excited to have a new tank that is decent size!
  2. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Sounds like a nice project
    If you're keeping the peppered corys then I'd suggest having neons rather than cardinals as they'd do better in the cooler temperature the peppered prefer.
    Don't forget the pics as it progresses, we like pics :)

  3. filtered_light Member Member

    Thanks @Coradee - yes I've been a bit worried about temperatures and cories, there seem to be so many different recommendations. My first tank heater wasn't really adjustable, it just kept things at 76/77 so when I got a better heater It's been around 76F and they seem happy and healthy and their tank handles the bioload perfectly. One time the heater accidentally got unplugged and the biological filter seemed to crash a bit.

    Do you have peppereds and if so what temp do you keep them at?

    PS- will def post pics as soon as I get the stuff! Hopefully they will deliver by Friday.


    Here is a peppered in the meantime.
  4. Fanatic Well Known Member Member

    Sounds good to me, I can't wait to see further progress!
    Nice Peppered Cory, he's hungry.

  5. filtered_light Member Member


    New tank finally arrived! So excited. Also realizing how long it is going to take to get it set up... leveling, scraping, cycling...

    Still, step one, check!

    *PS- Before anyone says it, I know long shallow tanks are better, but this is what I have, can't fit anything longer in a small space, and it is only 20 inches tall and 21" wide, so it's not a deeper-than-tall tower. Please don't rain on my parade. Thanks!
  6. vikingkirken Well Known Member Member

    I think hex tanks are cool, a lot of people just stock them improperly. You're sticking with little fish though. Sounds like it's going to be neat!
  7. filtered_light Member Member

    Thanks for the support! And yes, so far I'm basically planning a small group of peppered cories and a small group of neons, that's it, so hopefully they won't be a huge bioload. It might just stay those, or if there is room and stability I might think about adding one other species that is happy solo or in a pair. But that decision is months away at minimum.

    I'm also trying to read up on low tech planted aquascaping, so I can give them good cover so they feel safe. Crossing fingers :)

  8. vikingkirken Well Known Member Member

    A single nannacara anomala (golden dwarf cichlid) would be a cool centerpiece in there. One of my must-have-someday fish...

    Or an apistogramma!
  9. filtered_light Member Member

    I'm also pondering white cloud minnows, or maybe small danios instead of tetras, since the water should be cooler maybe they would be hardier.
  10. filtered_light Member Member

    Progress update!
    Finally got my manzanita! Playing with tree-like positioning. Filter is running in a big bucket with seeded media, a heater, and a little safestart+. Leveling the tank and positioning decor planned for tomorrow night.

    Corys have black sand in their temporary tank now and they LOVE it. So much happier with fine black sand than light color larger sand. They are so cute.

    Stocking plan is pretty much figured out I think:

    6 peppered corydoras (paleatus)
    8-12 glowlight danios (Celestichthys(?) choprae)

    Eventually maybe an amano shrimp or two, if algae. Or a Nerite snail. Inverts tbd.

    Will start out with their current plants which are Amazon sword, water wisteria, and lots of java moss, probably some duckweed whether I want it or not. More plants will be purchased, but that will be enough to get the Corys moved.

    Aiming for low 70s F temps, tending toward soft and a bit below neutral pH.

    And my 5g for my betta is finally almost cycled!

    It's been forever, but getting close to having tanks actually set up. Excited to see progress. Thanks for all the advice!

  11. Mausie Initiate Member

    Cool manzanita! Where did you get it?
  12. filtered_light Member Member

    I ordered it from a place called Manzanita-Driftwood.com

    I didn't know anything about them before this, but the site had wysiwyg pieces with measurements so I could select ones I liked, and a third piece free deal. Very happy with service and pieces.
  13. filtered_light Member Member

    Finally finally got my peppered corys into their new home last night and the seem to be adapting well. Whew.

    Wanted to be sure it was precycled so I ran the new Fluval U4 submersible filter in a bucket with a bunch of seeded media and a heater and TSS+, and in parallel seeded a bunch of seachem matrix in the biofilter of their old tank's bio chamber for a few weeks, then used the seeded matrix to fill a homemade bubble filter.

    Everything seems ok so far. Need lots more plants and to complete their school once I can QT some new peppereds, but so far so good! And I have a QT set up for a little school of glowlight danios, which I plan to start quarantining soon. Yay progress! I ordered this tank 5-6 weeks ago, so it has been a long set up.

    Oops almost forgot pics:
    a58892e5e4bb49a228f07ca9e3c79107.jpg b724b4f1f112c5c9f78bb1c217384b6d.jpg 46506e62ba0b3c5b3a96fda184b32b41.jpg
  14. BHK3 Well Known Member Member

    Your tank is beautiful!!! I'm going to be setting up a 9 gallon cube tank soon and this has given me some inspiration. :)
  15. filtered_light Member Member

    Oh thank you! Since hexes have vertical space and I knew it would take awhile for plants to establish I decided that setting the wood up like little trees around a clearing might be nice. It's my first attempt at any kind of planned decor, so it is awesome to hear someone likes it.

    This was my concept sketch. It has a ways to go but so far I'm enjoying it.

  16. BHK3 Well Known Member Member

    I can't tell from the photo - are you going to tie moss to the tops of the branches to make them into mini trees? :-D
  17. filtered_light Member Member

    That's currently my thought, yes. I mean they won't be exact like master aquascapers can do because it is super low tech, but I'm gonna try it. I'm also fond of the bare wood too though so if it doesn't look good I can change it.

    The plastic anemone is hopefully just temporary to make the corys feel at home while I get more bottom plants.
  18. vikingkirken Well Known Member Member

    Tank is looking great, the branches give such a natural woodland stream effect! Some marimo balls would look neat in there.
  19. filtered_light Member Member

    Thanks Viking! I do have a couple in there but the lighting isn't set up properly so you can't see the Marimo against the black sand. Will post with light once I finish wiring.