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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I think I’ve finally reached a point where I can start posting about my display tank build.

In the fall of 2008 my wife said she would like a fish tank for Christmas.
Seemed like a nice idea.
A friend and coworker suggested I check out cichlids. I’d never heard of them, so like anyone else in these times, I Googled them.
They looked cool! Cichlids, specifically mbuna, it was going to be.

The next step was a trip to my LFS.
The stock available was overwhelming - but not as overwhelming as all the hard-to-learn names.
I’ve since realized the value of Latin names; all the fancy made up trade names only serve to complicate and muddy things.

Since I was originally planning on getting a 10 gallon tank, buying a three foot 38 gallon tank seemed like a massive upgrade. I was worried that my wife might send me back!

The realization that a 38 gallon tank is way too small for mbuna is where my story begins.

In the spring of 2009 we renovated our first floor; this was my chance to fit in a big tank.
Our house was built in 1914 and there’s an apartment in the basement.
So the weight of a large tank couldn’t sit just anywhere.

Plan ‘A’ had a built-in 4x2x2 120 over a support column in the middle of the house.
A neat idea that wasn’t great for viewing – I was going to cut a window in my planned background to work around this:



Then we changed our minds on the location of the kitchen, which created an opening on a 74â€Â
 

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Bring it on, can't wait. I'm scratching together the components for a 150 gal 4'X2'X30" high tank. Not sure what Africans I'll use yet, I'm a novice at best, but I'm reading threads like this to get ideas. :popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Plumbing.

Trolling the DIY forums for the better part of two years exposed me to more ideas and methods that could possibly be hooked up to one tank.

The first killer idea I saw was the addition of a Drainage Valve for my canister.
I bought a new FX5 for $200 a year and a half ago – too good a price to even bother comparison shopping.

The same thread from which I stole that idea also had a UV Sterilizer plumbed into the canister.
Although superfluous, I liked the option of zapping all those nasties in what will be a plant-free tank.

I wanted to include a surface agitator since I don't plan on having any of the outputs aimed toward the surface.

I also wanted an In-Line Heater. One less piece of equipment to hide.

And ball valves to regulate the whole deal.

Among my rejected plumbing ideas were Wave Makers and Fluidized Bed Filters.

To increase my filtration and water flow as well as not over-plumb my FX5 I decided to add a Fluval 405.

Forgive the awesomeness of my Google Sketch prowess:


So...a quick trip to the LHS to buy some PVC, et cetera.

That’s when the whole thing ground to a halt.

FX5 has 1â€Â
 

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I love these types of threads, :thumb:

if it wouldn't be too much trouble could you pm. me info. on the industrial plastics supplier for future reference,thanks

:popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
PM sent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The stand might be on its way, but I've had a busy week of drinking with long lost friends - new post soon.

kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Aquascaping.

A basic black painted back ground always looks nice but I’ve done that before and wanted to try something more ambitious.
I’ve seen some nice DIY BGs over the years but I’ve seen some that look…very…DIY.
Something that kinda sorta looked like the lake wasn’t going to fly in a six foot display tank.
I’ve always loved the convincing natural look that can be ‘bought’ with polystyrene back grounds.

Finding said back grounds can be a chore.
In Canada, I found the best place to be Gills N’ Fins.
Patrick is a super-easy guy to deal with and packs his stuff for shipping with great care.
On one of my orders we had a misunderstanding that he corrected right away – he clearly knows his customer service.

I tried a dry run on a 15 gallon Tanganyikan set up a few years ago that turned out fairly well.



The build thread is here if you have some time to kill.

But really, a two foot tank with no brace and two holes to cut was not that much of a challenge.
And the more I thought about it, the more I thought that just dropping a 72â€Â
 

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Lookin good,I just ordered the 72" malawi background today,from P.Eriksson,after I get it,next stop John at N.A.F.B
did you get a custom stand made,my tank wont fit a "normal stand"
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
newforestrob said:
did you get a custom stand made,my tank wont fit a "normal stand"
Yes. Stand building seems fairly straightforward if you have tools and a little know-how, neither of which I have. So custom it is.

To be covered in the next instalment...

kevin
 
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