6ft Project

ZoopooZ

New Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
4
Location
S.A, Australia
G’day fish folks,

This is my first post here, so I hope it’s going up in the right section.

I just wanted to chat about my current aquarium project and maybe get a few ideas from y’all in the process.

So, around June of 2020 I picked up a second hand 6ft tank for 100 bucks. It was pretty dirty and average when I got it but it also came with a bare-bone but sturdy stand. The whole 6ft tank idea has been a dream of mine since starting out in the hobby close to 10 years ago and has been a slow work-in-progress due to family commitments, Australian winter, lack of power tools and the fact that I’m moving house in a month or so. The slow progress hasn’t been all that bad - it’s given me plenty of time to research stock ideas and plan most of the build in my head.

For stocking ideas I think I’m set on native Australian rainbow fish. There’s an online supplier here which stocks a number of diverse species at a great price - around $7 per fish.

The native Australian idea is something I’m passionate about and am fully set on. Originally I was trying to source one or two Coal Grunters for livestock but that proved to be difficult as availability was scarce and price was high for that species, so I’ve given up on that idea - maybe another time and another tank, who knows?

Alight, so now for tank progress.

So far, the stand is complete, I’ve added and built some cupboard doors on hinges to hide the filter and hopefully quieter things down. The stand has been painted too. The paint was chosen by my wife to match other furniture in the house and I’ve convinced her the display tank will be a great piece of furniture, even if is is made by myself with hand tools.

The next step will be lighting. I’m a little lost as to how I’ll construct a diy lighting set up for the tank, but I’ve got a couple of ideas floating around my head and am happy to take any advise. I’m trying to keep this project on somewhat of a budget, so a last resort will be buying a 6ft aquarium bar light.

My first idea is to but strip led lights and connectors and build my own bar light. The only problem I can see with this is the bar will be made of timber and I’m not sure if it will rot or get damaged being directly above the tank.

The next lighting idea is a pendant light but built on a free standing, or attached bracket to the main tank frame. This would basically be the same idea with led strip lights but would stand as more of an individual unit and be higher above the tank than a bar light.

The leds I’d use would be 5630 cool white.

The next problem I have is a lid for the tank. Initially I was planning on cutting a plastic lattice sheet to size to fit perfectly above the water. Issues with this could be the lattice blocking a lot of light from entering the tank. An alternative would be to use a steel chicken wire fence that would take the lattices place. Would this rust quickly? Rainbow fish are know for being jumpers, so I want to get something over the top but don’t want to break the bank.

Also, I’ve started to build a 3D background for the tank but I don’t know if I’m going to follow through with it. Any advise on that would be great. I can go in to more details on that build if anyone want to.

Plants will be hopefully native Aussie ones too but still deciding what will be best with the lighting set up I go with.

Here’s a pic of the current build. As I said, it’s a long work in progress but I’m happy to take any thought on what you think should be added to make life easier in the long run. It’s not every day you get to build a set up, and I’d kick myself if I missed something obvious that will cause me hassles later.

Cheers.
 

Attachments

  • 1D567013-7D7A-4ADA-B05E-B20D9A5FD681.jpeg
    1D567013-7D7A-4ADA-B05E-B20D9A5FD681.jpeg
    303.3 KB · Views: 19
  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    286.7 KB · Views: 18

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
24,563
Reaction score
8,718
Location
Perth, WA
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Most rainbowfish do best in water with a pH above 7.0 and a GH above 200ppm.

--------------------
The following link has information about all the known species of Australian and New Guinea rainbowfish.

--------------------
Who are you looking at getting fish from online?
Dave at AquaGreen in the Northern Territory sells fish and native plants online.

If you don't mind getting eggs and rearing the fish up, you can contact the guys in ANGFA and see if they can send you some eggs in the mail.

--------------------
Depending on the tank height, you can buy LED spotlights from Bunnings or any other hardware or lighting store. These can be hung above the tank and work well for taller tanks.

Or you can get 4 foot long fluorescent light units and put daylight globes (6500K) in them. The reason you go for 4 foot light units is because the globes are higher wattage than a 6ft light unit, which is made from two x 3ft light units in the same housing.

If you are building a house or own your home, you can put skylights in above the tank and these provide heaps of light and reduce your lighting power bill. Then you have a single fluoro light unit above the tank to watch the fish in the evening.
 
OP
Z

ZoopooZ

New Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
4
Location
S.A, Australia
Thanks.

Tank dimensions are 183cm (6ft) long, 50cm (1.5ft) high and 36cm (1ft) deep.
The limitation in depth is another reason I’m shying away from the 3D background. Although, the background would probably help with the hardening the water due to the Lime in the cement - but there’s other ways around that.

As far as the water parameters go, the 3 footer I had set up would sit regularly around 7.5ph. As far as kh levels go, I have no idea and gh levels would sit around 40. Just tap water and nothing else was used at water changes. BUT, I’m not setting this tank up until I move interstate so I’ll have to suss out the parameters once I’m in the new place. A quick google shows that Adelaide has a similar ph from tap water and a higher gh - sitting around the 80ppm area.

I’ll be placing an order with aquagreen for the fish. Originally I didn’t consider rainbows and was looking through the endless list of Aussie predators from other sites. In the end though, I think rainbows would be better suited since the tank isn’t all that wide. Personally, It will also be better to have a schooling fish rather than a stand alone monster tearing up plants.

Good idea with the Bunnings spotlights. I was looking at a few of the aquarium hang-on-back lights (the type you see on nano tanks) but they were starting to get pricey, especially if I’d need four or so to get enough coverage. I’ll look in to that a little further.

Thanks for the advise.
Mental notes taken: look in to Bunnings lights and rainbows like hard AF water.
 

ClownLurch

Fish Herder
Joined
Apr 21, 2020
Messages
1,115
Reaction score
1,389
Location
North Of London
Best of luck with the new tank there mate. Gonna be a beauty. @Colin_T is yer man for rainbowfish stuff on here.....and most other stuff as well tbh.

Speaking of which I think that’s the first time I’ve seen @Colin_T not mention his mates rainbowfish site on a rainbowfish thread! What’s going on?
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Expert
Tank of the Month!
Pet of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
12,656
Reaction score
7,195
Location
Lawrenceburg, KY
Hello and welcome to the forum! :hi:

A 6ft tank for only $100? Awesome find! That’s very rare they sell for that cheap.

Can’t wait to see how this build goes. :good:
 

mcordelia

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
635
Location
michigan
How exciting! @WhistlingBadger and @Stan510 also maintain large tanks with rainbowfish, they might have some thoughts as well if you want to pick their brains. I like the stand, it is very pretty!!! I am very slowly working on a 6ft 125 gallon tank setup myself, it's currently sitting in the garage waiting for the holiday craziness to subside :D
 

WhistlingBadger

Fish Herder
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Messages
1,402
Reaction score
2,536
Location
Wind River Country, Wyoming
Hello! I look forward to seeing this develop. A native rainbowfish tank is a great idea. Are there any other Aussie native fish you can use? I know there is an Australian native algae eating shrimp, very similar to an amano shrimp, that might be worth looking into.

For a backdrop, look into using blue insulation foam. It is much, much easier to work with than concrete or (heaven forbid!) styrofoam, and you can buy it in 1 inch slabs so it doesn't take much room. You can paint it with Drylok concrete sealer (do you have that in Australia?) colored with concrete pigment, and it looks very much like stone. (make sure you get sealer without fungicide or other additives) Glue it in with some silicone and you're good to go.

Good luck!
Thomas
 
OP
Z

ZoopooZ

New Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
4
Location
S.A, Australia
G’day fish guys and girls,

I know this is an old thread but I thought I’d provide an update on the slow-burn aquarium project.

I’ve moved in to my new place and the tank is in position. I’ve opted out of doing a 3D background that I was half way through constructing. The main reason for this is my concern on stagnant water building up behind the background and contaminating the rest of the water in the tank.
Instead, I’ve painted the back exterior of the tank black, which will hide most of the hardware. This was easier than I thought and was able to accomplish it by forking out only $6. I just used acrylic paint from Kmart which in total was approximately 200ml. This allowed me to roll on 3 coats.
The paint stuck to the glass a lot better than I thought. However, it is “fragile”. I was able to scrape a fair chunk of paint away with my watch when moving the tank back in to place.

I’ll be looking at cycling the tank this week, or at least starting the process.

At this point, I have no plants but will be looking at picking up some trimmings from marketplace or gumtree. These probably won’t be native Aussie plants like I envisioned, but that can be replaced further down the track. Right now I just want to get the ball rolling. I’ll be picking up some substrate soon as well, probably just a gravel.

Lighting is still not built but I’ll be going ahead with purchasing led flood lights and building a housing unit for them. I’m thinking of trying to get away with using 2 x 50watt lights and using a 3ft led light bar from another tank when required. The 3ft light will be used in the meantime and should provide ample lighting

More updates to come as I progress slowly.

Again, any advise, pointers or general comments are welcomed.
 

Attachments

  • A6DA554B-EB4E-4ED5-ACEE-1B6789CDC5CE.jpeg
    A6DA554B-EB4E-4ED5-ACEE-1B6789CDC5CE.jpeg
    210.3 KB · Views: 6
Top