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Mixed Malawi Tank
Started as a 55 in wall filtered by canister. Moved to 210 w sump after a year. Needed a much bigger hole in the wall. Lol.
2 years
Color and pattern
210 Aqueon Reef-Ready

Wall still under construction. I wanted a border less design so the tank is flush with the back side of the drywall which covers both the trim on top and bottom and the silicone on the sides.

Yes, there are way more species than most on this forum have in one tank. Mix of mbuna, peacocks and haps with both males and females. Some chasing, but overall very peaceful. And so much color!

Lit by a pair of 48” Fluval Aquasky lights that overlap in the middle. So the lights are almost a diamond pattern which gently darkens the sides like a vignette. I went overboard on programming but it looks soooo good.


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Back side of the tank looking through to the living room. There’s a rubberized black cloth that usually hangs on the back side so it’s usually black from the front, but I can still see in the back when I want to.

Sump is a 40g Fluidized K1 setup. Red plumbing is dirty water from the tank; blue is filtered returns. A bit excessive, but I got the colored pvc on sale.

The manifold visible at the top feeds a UV filter to the right of the tank with a spare output for future. (Aquaponics?)

There’s also a 3/4” clear tube at the back which comes from an Auto Top Off system I’m very proud of. It’s gravity fed using inverted 5gal water bottles like a drinking water dispenser. No moving parts so it can’t flood. I can post more of the design if people want to see it.

K1 is fluidized by two wavemakers pointed diagonally up the left baffle. There are also some big airstones which are a bit loud, but silent on the other side of the wall.

The pump is off in this pic and you can see a lesson I had to learn the hard way: make the baffles high enough to block the K1 media from flowing everywhere. I had to extend one of them after making a mess. This pic is after the only sump overflow I’ve had. Caused by leaving the room while filling the tank with a hose. Yay for moisture alarms!

The tank has dual overflows so I’m running a full 1” siphon (gate valve) plus a 1” overflow (ball valve) from each. Three of the four lines can clog without an overflow. Total measured flow is 1100 gph. The returns run up the back of the tank and through four nozzles.

I’m happy to detail or highlight any part of the system. It’s been running flawlessly for two years (except for the occasional user error).

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Your tank is beautiful! I really like the clean look of the viewing side and a Nice collection of fish too. What a setup - may have more questions when he starts plumbing and sump setup. Thanks Deborah