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New Tank

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    im starting with a new tank no hood or base

    any suggestions on either would be well appreciated

    if anyone has drawings for either that would be good

    how many lights will i need the tank is 6ft x 18in x 2ft

    you gotta just love d.i.y.



    Hey JB,

    A few quick points;
    It’s very important for a tank that size to have the top of the stand perfectly flat! if not it may tweak the glass and cause a disaster. I build my own stands, mostly with simple 2x4s. I’m a carpenter/cabinetmaker by trade so I have the tools and know how. It depends on you whether you’re up to the task?

    I like to use glass tops. I usually buy the commercial ones made for the specific tank size. I like them for several reasons; they make a good seal, easy to clean, and you can set all sorts of lights on top.



    i understand about the importance of it being 100%level

    i also think i like the idea of a glass top but im not exactly sure what it would look like as ive never seen one before




    Level & flat aren’t the same thing. Level is good, you’ll see the difference at the water line at the top of the tank if it’s not. Flat, all four corners and everything in between on the same plane, is imperative! That flat plane can be tipped forward, backward, or to one end, and still be flat.Some people add different kinds of foam mats to the top of stands/under tanks. I’ve never liked this personally.

    Another thing I like about glass tops is that you don’t see them, only the lights that you choose to put on top. Lights can also be hung from above.



    are there any other tips i need

    for instance i would like the intake pipes for the filter to be almost invisible can you get glass ones?

    what about heaters ive currently got a fluval e200 i think its a good heater because you can raise temps in 0.5 deg increments i was just going to add a larger one at other end of tank or can you suggest a different heater to use the tank capacity is 112 uk gallons
    as the temps in northern ireland rarely exceed 20 deg c in summer a heater will always be needed

    i was also thinking about using led lighting but what are the pros and cons or is it just down to the size of the bank balance

    if i dont use leds how many tubes should i get

    i really want to hit this perfect first time



    Hi mate,

    I’d go for a pair of heaters in case one fails or sticks “on”.

    You can get glass inlets, not cheap mind!

    LED’s are expensive and you need a few of them – never used them personally and not sure of their effectiveness.

    As to number of tubes – are you trying to grow a few plants, have a heavily planted tank or just have lighting to see the fish? I had 4No. 58Watt interpet T5’s on my 5x2x2 tank, this was heavily planted.



    appreciate this i noticed today that poshsouthernbird has a 6ft tank same as mine and she is runnin 2x 5 ft tubes
    i would like a good few plants to help combat algae also
    what is a good heater are the ones ive got ok fluval e series
    only thing i dont like about them is that they are in black plastic and cannot be laid sideways for whatever reason
    when you say that the glass tubes are expensive like how much?
    i will be runnin 2 filters but unsure whether or not to put both at one end or one at either end
    to try and create a flow in one direction from end to end
    i dont know what is best as some of my fish prefer calmer surroundings
    like i said in previous post i want to get this right first time and will wait until i get it all sorted in my head before making it a reality





    Hi Martin – you read right, I do just have the two T8 tubes. With the caveat that I know next to nothing about tropicals and pretty much everything I do know is based around goldfish …

    The tanks can hold four tubes but I find it heats the water up too much for the goldies, plus they don’t really like uber-bright lighting. I must admit that my plants are not very demanding and I do tend to stick with ones that I know will be ok in lower light. I’ve based my planting on Diana Walstad’s low tech tanks – she uses ‘cool white’ lighting and ‘plant grow’ lighting. This is American so I interpreted this as ‘sun glo’ and ‘flora glo’ from Hagen. Hagen used to do a ‘high noon’ tube, not sure if they still do but that worked quite well alongside a flora-glo one when I had the four foot tanks with three foot tubes. Arcadia do similar tubes although can’t remember off the top of my head what the official names are. I’m no plant expert but what plants were you looking at getting? All depends on what ‘finished product’ you are trying to achieve with your tank. If you don’t have any firm ideas on species yet then I can recommend a browse of either the plantsalive catalogue (you can send off for a free one, hope it’s ok to post a link Plantsalive catalogue ) or Jared’s ebay shop (again, hope ok to post a link Biotope Aquatics ) as both these list the plants’ requirements so you can judge which will work and which might struggle. Have never tried LEDs and again, very limited knowledge on this, but I’m led to believe that Cree LEDs are the way to go for the amount of light they put out versus power consumed. I could easily be wrong on this but it might give you somewhere to start with Google.

    If you are running two filters have you considered two 300w Rena Smartheaters? Don’t know if you are familiar with these but they fit onto the intake tube of the filter (assuming 16/22 tubing and ‘hardware’) and the water goes through them as it goes into the filter. Mine don’t see much use as they are only on 22 to stop the temps dropping too much overnight in the winter (our house is not warm!) but they are meant to be quite efficient and help prevent ‘hot spots’ around traditional heaters if flow isn’t too good. Admittedly they are black plastic and can’t be laid sideways so maybe that’s not much help! If finances permit you could have a look at the Eheim thermofilters which have the heating function built into the filter. If you’re concerned about accuracy of heaters maybe have a look at using a thermo controller, I know someone who breeds goldies and she uses one attached to her heaters to give much more accurate control over the temps, she uses one called Lucky Reptile Thermo Control II.

    Just a note on filter flow seeing as you mention some of your fish prefer calmer water – I have to be a little bit careful about flow as the goldies aren’t brilliant swimmers and an over-strong current could see them pinned to the glass – I have a spray bar on mine pointing along the length of the tank; the flow goes along the top, down the far ‘wall’ and then along the bottom and back towards the spray bar end so the quietest area of water is under the spray bar. The intake is at the opposite end to the spray bar so there is decent circulation but nonetheless there is still the slight ‘circular’ movement to the water. I have two long air stones at the back (parallel to the back) to help pull water up from under the spray bar. The top of the water moves quite quickly but I can turn down the spray bar output. I also use plants and bogwood to break up the flow a little but you need to be careful about creating ‘dead spots’ in the water where it doesn’t circulate.

    Hope that helps a little, have fun with your new tank lighting article



    wow a wealth of information thanks

    i wouldnt like to see your phone bill



    QUOTE (JazzBora150 @ Apr 6 2011, 07:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    wow a wealth of information thanks

    i wouldnt like to see your phone bill /biggrin.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”:D” border=”0″ alt=”biggrin.gif” />



    This sort of thing:


    If I wasn’t a lil’ bit tipsy i’d find you a UK link – think aqua essentials do these.

    I’d put a filter inlet at either end with both outlets in the middle (not sure if it’s cause i’ve drunk a bit but that doesn’t sound right – i’d put the spray bars from the filter to the tank at either end with the return to the filters from the tank in the middle) nice even flow and CO2 distribution around the tank then.

    Your heaters are fine – camouflage them behind some plants.

    Did we speak about plants before? in terms of fast growing stem plants to begin with to combat algae? Can’t remember?



    gathering up equipment as we speak
    im starting to get a real buzz about his tank
    thanks for your information



    @ plaamoo

    ive now got my base made and let me say it was no easy job

    in fact its probably overkill as far as construction is concerned but worth all the effort

    the top of it has a piece of 3/4 ply which is covered in 1mm aluminium both sides
    it is what the tank will sit on

    i will shim the stand to sit perfectly level once i have it all in situ

    the aluminium isnt in the photo but is perfect for the job

    i took onboard all your suggestions but cant source a glass top in my wee country
    so im going to have to settle for a conventional hood type

    many thanks


    Attached files



    Looks great Martin! Inset doors, no easy task! Good luck getting it all running.



    Wow, nice work Martin!

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