Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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ghostgirl 12-24-2010 12:15 PM

Planning on building a coffee table tank!!
I have a 20 gallon tank that I am going to convert into a coffee table! It will have a hinged lid that will be lined with plexiglass and the lights will be built into it. I am going to use an undergravel filter to avoid the unsightlyness of a regular hanging one. The heater will be in the corner and hidden by plants. All cords will be in the corners between the glass and wood. All the cords will be gathered and attached to the underside of the table and an extension cord will be under the carpet and run to the outlet behind the couch. All wood will be painted black (all sides even ones that won't be seen to insure uniform beauty). Black small gravel with a variety of different plants of all shades and colors. As for the fish I am thinking Mickey Mouse Platy, blue mystery snail, gold inca snail, and a few others for color variety. Not sure on the number of each yet I am going to check the AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor stocking site first. Construction begins in the spring! I am so excited!!!

ghostgirl 12-24-2010 01:32 PM

5 mickey mouse platys, 5 rummynose tetras, 3 mystery snails, 3 algae shrimp, 2 african dwarf frogs and 1 gold inca snail.

zof 12-24-2010 03:00 PM

Sounds interesting, keep us updated with pictures as your build comes along!

bearwithfish 12-27-2010 10:24 AM

will this be viewed from the top and sides?my thought here would be taking a typical strip light and putting some velcro on the bottom of it and then on the side of the tank to hang the light there to get the most light with out it creating a ton of glare or having it exposed to the water... this also makes the housing available to hide cords in....

thefishboy 12-27-2010 03:26 PM

SAounds good!! Kepp us updated especially with pics!!

SinCrisis 12-28-2010 09:59 PM

very interested to see this build, maybe you should enter the DIY contest?

redchigh 12-29-2010 10:51 AM

The problem I see is the plants...

Live plants don't work well with an undergravel filter. If you insist, you may want to use the potted method.

Then you have to worry about light, which will prevent you from seeing your fish from above....You could build some lights to set on top of the table, (using CFLs) so you can still see the fish from above...

For minimal equipment, look into my soil technique. Don't need a filter at all that way.

ghostgirl 12-29-2010 11:15 AM

redchigh thank you. I did not know about the plants and undergravel filter. As far as lighting I have a few possible ideas. One is to use 2 thin strips on both long sides at the edge. Another is to use 4 shorter ones at the corners running up and down. Everything is still in the planning stage. I am still looking to see what is out there as far as equipment and what is creatable (I have friends that are electricians and "inventors" ). Originally it was going to have a wood top but then I decided that wasn't as attractive as a clear top. Once I get a better understanding of equipment and things I can start to actually draw everything up. If I decided I want it for the playroom then I am going to end up using fake bright colored plants and decor anyway. I still have quite a bit of pre-planning to do.

SinCrisis 12-29-2010 11:19 AM

reverse UGF fixes the plant issue though doesnt it?

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