Display Tank

Cairns Australia


I have kept aquariums on and off since I was a kid, but was out of the game a for a few years while completing a degree. I promised myself if I finished the degree I would setup a large planted aquarium for myself.
I completed Uni at the end of 2013 and went about setting up my 8ft planted aquarium in the front room of the house. It was a massive job as I build it into the wall in the living room.
I made a few mistakes along the way in the last 18 months and decided to completely rip it down and start from scratch again with slightly less demanding plants and a more open layout.


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I have an old 4foot tank under the main display tank acting as my sump. The baffling channels all the water flow through large foam filters for mechanical and bio filtration. There are 6 Large 50mm filter pads that I can easily take out and I clean one pad a week and rotate them through so I'm always cleaning the front filter pad with the recently cleaned pad at the back of the line. This seems to work well as I was able to completely rip the tank down and use all new substrate and mostly new plants but keep the filter running after with no spike in any measurements.

The return pump is a laguna 2000 which should be pushing aroung 6000lph through the tank, I also have a tunze pump running a UV filter to keep the water nice and clear.


Lighting for the tank is an 8ft DIY LED light strip. Its made of a heavy duty heat sink hung from the roof. There are currently 112 cree LED's running on the system

50 x cool white
25 x Nutrual White
25 x Warm White
14 x Royal Blue.

I have 4 Meanwell LCM60 drivers for the whites and a Meanwell LCM40 for the Royal Blue string. Each channel is independently adjusted to create a look and brightness that I feel looks best (This has been both fun and nightmare managing this). I have all the parts and at some stage I will complete my Arduino driver to adjust each channel using PWM and create a sunrise, sunset schedule but this has been a project in the works for 12 months or more.

Even during summer when the ambient Temp is getting up to 40 degrees Celcius the heatsink is never hot, sure its warm, but not hot.




44 Fish

2 Bristlenose Catfish Ancistrus Sp
3 Bronze Cory Corydoras Aeneus
16 Congo Tetra Phenacogrammus interruptus
3 Long Fin Rosy Barb Puntius conchonius
11 Pearl Gourami Trichogaster leeri
7 Rosy Barb Puntius conchonius
2 Siamese Algae Eater Crossocheilus siamensis

6 Invertebrate

6 Long Armed Shrimp sp sp

31 Plants

African water fern Bolbitis heudelotii
Alternanthera reineckii "Mini" Alternanthera reineckii
10 Hygrophila Pinnadifiata Hygrophila Pinnadifiata
Hygrophila polysperma ' Sunset' sp sp
Java Fern Microsorum pteropus
Java Fern Windelov Microsorum pteropus 'windelov'
Java Moss Vesicularia dubyana
8 Ludwigia sp 'Mini Super Red' Ludwigia sp 'Mini Super Red'


Aqua Nova 40W UV-C Stainless Steel NUV-40

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frozen squid · beef heart


For the most part I'm a lazy person if I can be. So with that in mind when I put this all together I made sure to plump the aquarium into the main water supply. A qucik water change (which I'm doing at present) involves turn the tap on my return flow so that water is pumped into the kitchen sink drain rather then back up to the aquarium. It take about 5 minutes to empty out the sump which is roughly 125L.

I also have a float valve connected directly into our drinking water filter. Its NOT RO, but we have very stable water with only chlorine added to it. The filter is suppose to remove 99% of the chlorine (I'm not convinced it does) but I don't have any problems with this setup.

All in all, my mid week water change is a five minute job and I don't even need to get my hands wet to do it.

On average you perform a 12.2% water change every 3 days.

0% total water change in September.

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