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So what do you guys think? Think this product will work OK? I emailed Dr. Novak and he stated he was going to check it out. I also ran the idea of using plastic box filters to make small BCB's for 5-20 gallon tanks that I keep in. Anyone done this yet?
I use a small basket in a 10G with only an air stone to move the water around it. It works just as well as my sump lol. Doesn’t look that great though.

I find a plenum is much nicer for a small tank. But if it’s used as a utility tank I just use the basket / air stone method.


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I use a small basket in a 10G with only an air stone to move the water around it. It works just as well as my sump lol. Doesn’t look that great though.

I find a plenum is much nicer for a small tank. But if it’s used as a utility tank I just use the basket / air stone method.


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Any pics of that small basket with airstone? Where do you place the air stone in relation to the basket?
 

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Any pics of that small basket with airstone? Where do you place the air stone in relation to the basket?
I won't win any awards for aesthetics but this is what it looks like. I don't think it matters where you place the air stone because the clay will draw ions into itself. A little bit of water movement just helps.

 

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Nice, I used very similar 'pencil baskets' in my planted sumps. I like the use of the mesh bag to allow for holding even more. Yeah, that tank is going to stay ammonia free with a BCB that large in a 10 gallon, lol. Brilliant plan honestly for a holding tank.

I just found snails in my 135 sump, smh. Cichlids are gonna eat them until I can't find anymore.
 

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I used three of those baskets for my 40G long Saulosi tank. All the filtration is internal, and I went with baskets instead of a plenum because I wanted a lot of rocks.

I found some large flat saw cut basalt pieces for the bottom of the tank, and I sprinkled about 2 cups of white pool filter sand between the flat rocks just to cover the glass. I put the three BCBs near the back of the tank with gaps behind them and also between them. Then i stacked smaller basalt rocks in front and on top of the BCBs. I have a wave-maker to move water and a small Ehiem skimmer in the corner but nothing else for filtration. You can see one of the baskets in the second image.

I precycled the BCBs before setting up the tank, and they're just passing the 10 week mark now. The tank is holding at about 5ppm nitrates before weekly 30% water change. I have 8 adult Saulosi, and I hope increase the numbers a bit with offspring over time.

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Another great idea and well done on the execution, tank looks fantastic. And I'm glad you posted this tank, because I'm considering setting up my first African Cichlid tank in decades. I just need a few weeks to wear down the wife into 'letting me' set up another tank. I'm probably going to copy you on this, haha.
 

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Another great idea and well done on the execution, tank looks fantastic. And I'm glad you posted this tank, because I'm considering setting up my first African Cichlid tank in decades. I just need a few weeks to wear down the wife into 'letting me' set up another tank. I'm probably going to copy you on this, haha.
Thanks! I might still need some kind of mechanical filtration, but so far I’m easily able to siphon up the debris when I’m changing water.


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Yeah, I'll probably run a couple HOBs I already have, but I don't want to build a new sump or buy another canister, since this will not be in a good spot for it. I'll probably set up a plenum and then hide a couple BCBs in the rock work with the Aquaclears on the back for mechanical. I'll probably have the HOBs dump back in above the BCBs to help the flow around them. This got me thinking about a lot of possibilities. Wonderful job hiding the baskets.
 

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It’s really quite easy to stack the rockwork around the baskets, but I spent a good half hour picking through rocks at the landscape supply place to find the right shaped rocks.

Good idea with the hobs and the plenum too!


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I used three of those baskets for my 40G long Saulosi tank. All the filtration is internal, and I went with baskets instead of a plenum because I wanted a lot of rocks.

I found some large flat saw cut basalt pieces for the bottom of the tank, and I sprinkled about 2 cups of white pool filter sand between the flat rocks just to cover the glass. I put the three BCBs near the back of the tank with gaps behind them and also between them. Then i stacked smaller basalt rocks in front and on top of the BCBs. I have a wave-maker to move water and a small Ehiem skimmer in the corner but nothing else for filtration. You can see one of the baskets in the second image.

I precycled the BCBs before setting up the tank, and they're just passing the 10 week mark now. The tank is holding at about 5ppm nitrates before weekly 30% water change. I have 8 adult Saulosi, and I hope increase the numbers a bit with offspring over time.

View attachment 143593

View attachment 143594
Truck loads of rocks lol. Thought of increasing water level? I just don't like to see the water level + when hidden water column looks bigger/taller. I love your aquarium "stand".
 

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Truck loads of rocks lol. Thought of increasing water level? I just don't like to see the water level + when hidden water column looks bigger/taller. I love your aquarium "stand".
Eventually I’ll build a proper stand and canopy for it. The canopy will come down a bit to hide the water line.

The rocks take up about 10 gallons of water. I’ve rearranged them a bit since then to open up the little passages a bit wider for the fish. It doesn’t look as nice, but I found they were fighting in the narrow spots a bit too much.

I find it’s better if they can see behind themselves.


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Eventually I’ll build a proper stand and canopy for it. The canopy will come down a bit to hide the water line.
The rocks take up about 10 gallons of water. I’ve rearranged them a bit since then to open up the little passages a bit wider for the fish. It doesn’t look as nice, but I found they were fighting in the narrow spots a bit too much.
I find it’s better if they can see behind themselves.
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The base looks great! I would not change a thing.
 

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The base looks great! I would not change a thing.
Yeah, I'm happy with the base, as it's almost a substrate free tank. As a anoxic filtration concept it also works very well. I'm finding the downside is it being a bit too restrictive having to hide the baskets, so I'm considering this a work in progress for now. I may end up going with your overhead sump idea, or else repackaging the BCBs in different size/shape containers.
 

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Yeah, I'm happy with the base, as it's almost a substrate free tank. As a anoxic filtration concept it also works very well. I'm finding the downside is it being a bit too restrictive having to hide the baskets, so I'm considering this a work in progress for now. I may end up going with your overhead sump idea, or else repackaging the BCBs in different size/shape containers.
Top sump for bcb needs a lot of work and nobody likes it 🤣 .. as in aesthetically. I consider it a cheap way to house bcbs and depend on gravity for filtration instead of overflow hoopla.
 
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