Read all posts about my new 4ft fish tank.
My previous post outlined what sort of new fish tank I wanted, the equipment and the fish themselves.
I went ahead and bought the new tank. It’s 48x12x15 inch. So it’s a good length at 4ft wide, but very slim. This was the plan due to it being in my living room I didn’t want it to be in the way.
After I bought the tank I had two concerns, being the tank stand, and the tank lids. As the tank isn’t a full set-up like the smaller ones in the shops normally are, it means I have to add everything myself. I like this as the standard set-ups are normally low powered, the filters aren’t normally powerful enough and the lights are normally cheap.
So for the tank lid I thought about getting some thin plastic sheets. The lids are there for two main reasons, to stop the fish jumping out (which they do!). Lids also prevent the water evaporating. Depending on how warm you keep your tank water it can evaporate very quickly. The only problem with the plastic is that it can bend inwards and dip in the water if it’s not supported properly or if it’s too thin. However I decided to go with the other option, which is glass.
Previously I thought getting glass cut to specific dimensions would be expensive, but at £24 I went with it. So I now have two pieces of glass both half the length of the tank. These rest on the glass braces, with one brace in the middle to support them both. The only downside to the glass is that it is quite heavy. Whereas the plastic sheeting wouldn’t be, but we will see how I get on.
The tank stand was more of a bigger issue after I overcome the lid issue. Compared to the lids the stand would cost a lot of money, if I bought it, or if I made it. If I bought a tank stand I was worried it would be cheaply made. Also if it would look out of place as they don’t sell them at 4ft wide, and at small depths.
I needed the tank stand to be exactly 4ft wide. It couldn’t come out too far as it would look ugly in the living room. The sheet of paper that came with the tank told me that my tank would weigh 160kg, full of water. With the tank volume being 140l that would mean the tank itself, when empty, is roughly 20kg on it’s own.
Luckily my dad who’s a dab hand at DIY started building it. Under my strict supervision. I told him it had to be exactly 48 inch wide to not over hang the sides, and for it not to come out too far, maybe a couple of inches more than the tank would be. Also it would have to be very strong, as although the tank isn’t considered very large. 140 litres on your carpet and dead fish isn’t something anyone wants.
Coincidently he had a week off and had already bought three cupboard units from BnQ. When put side by side would be a few inches short of the tank. He then used a dinging room table that was lying around to construct the top and the sides. The table used for the top and sides are oak. The doors being purchased as white, to match my existing furniture. Perfect.
Tank stand cost
The total cost of the equipment for the tank stand came to about £180 which doesn’t include the table we used to go around the cupboards. Although this does seem a lot, and we could probably have done it cheaper. But wee get an incredibly strong, and well made stand that functions perfect, due to the cupboards and doors being purchased.
As the top and the sides were separate parts the top wasn’t exactly smooth. With aquarium stands, along with it having to be very strong to accommodate the weight of the tank and the water. The top part has to either be one solid piece of wood, or sanded so the separate pieces are exactly level with each other. If one part of the stand is raised where the tank sits, eventually it will crack, or slide apart. A grain of sand beneath the tank could potentially crack it. So the best thing to do, it to overlay one solid piece of wood over the top, if there isn’t one there already. So we have applied this. The stand is incredibly strong and stable, as well as being very heavy.
The rest of the equipment I talked about in my previous post has all been ordered from Amazon. These include:
I have already bought two of these for my 64 litre, and 30 litre shrimp tank in the pas, they are beautiful, and very bright. My plants all grow and it looks great on a show tank. Worth the money.
A large canister filter for very cheap. This will be a second filter which is why I’ve gone for a cheaper brand. Never had one of these so I’ll be writing back on how it performs. It will run along side my Fluvial 206. This will give me 1700LPH overall, absolute overkill for my 140 litre tank. This will mean a cleaner and safer aquarium for my fish.
I already have a 100W Eheiem heater but I don’t want it to work too hard, and be on constant trying to heat up my tank. So I have bought a second. As it’s a second heater it will server as a backup encase one fails. They’re brilliant heaters.
I love sand substrate, especially black sand substrate. I don’t think it’s the cheapest but it’s a premium substrate and it will be in the tank potentially for the tanks lifetime. Buying good stuff is a must. I am also going to add the existing substrate in my old tank as it has a lot of those lovely nutrients for my plants.
I’ll be moving the new tank in soon. My next post will be about setting it all up, with lots of pictures!
Read all posts about my new 4ft fish tank.