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Thread: 3ft Bookshelf Aquarium

  1. #1
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    Default 3ft Bookshelf Aquarium

    so the other day i overheard the missus chatting with my daughter regarding a little fish tank for her.. we'll that was the end of that conversation, i now have a new project

    so i am thinking of going a 3ft bookshelf aquarium (possibly a Mr Aqua 3ft frameless bookshelf).

    What do you guys think of these tanks and do you have any other suggestions i should also consider? What type of filtration would you guys recommend? was originally thinking of getting either a 'small' external like the aqua one nautlis 800 (maybe a bit of overkill?) or a small HOB filter like the aqua one clear view 300 or 500.

    At this point i am thinking more of a low tech tank, in so far as no CO2, make my own substrate (2tonned's mix) and nice (cheapish) LED or even make my own LED lighting if not too difficult.

    I said to myself i wouldnt get more than one tank, but dont think that will be happening

    Looking forward to any suggestions from this knowledgeable forum

    cheers

  2. #2
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    I must say it's the first time hearing "bookshelf". I guess that would be a long-and-narrow. I've been looking at reefs too much.

    If there is a shelf immediately above it, then maybe you can make it a goal to never have to lift the lid.

    Research Studies:
    http://reefbase.org/resource_center/publication/main.aspx

  3. #3
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    DoylecolmCoyle is the expert at these book shelfs. Check out his albums and shoot him a pm.

  4. #4
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    IF you are handy, you can make a LED for this tank very easily with Bunnings aluminium and LED strip lights. You can even add WIFI control etc with minimal cost.

    The only issue is a beautiful mounting solution.

  5. #5
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    @ santamonica yeah its a long narrow tank

    @ rebel.. will def have a look doylecolmdoyle's albums, cheers.. Also yes i am handy so will look forward to building my own.. I can always 'mount' it to the underside of the shelf above that should be ok, unless you can forsee any issues with that? the wifi control sounds heaps interesting, do you have any instructions?

  6. #6

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    A friend gave me this exact tank a few weeks ago along with an eheim pro ecco 200. Good combo in my opinion. If you need to reduce flow you can partially shut the outflow tap.

    My girlfriend is running a nautilus 600 on her 2ft bookshelf. She uses the poppy shaped (looks like a bong) outflow to reduce flow. These can be bought as a set for ~$20 from memory.

    The chihiros aquasky is a really sleek light for these bookshelves, though they don't make a 3ft version.

    Agree with rebel with the LED idea, these tanks are not deep at all so you won't need a powerful light.

  7. #7
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    Yes no issues with that mounting. Have a little space for heat dissipation. Yours will be low light anyways. I bought high CRI LED strip but most 6500k LED strips are 'ok'. It depends on how picky you are with colour.

    https://www.banggood.com/ARILUX-AL-L...r_warehouse=CN

    This should give you three channels if needed although overkill.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Love a good bookshelf tank, pros; they take up very little room, usually only 8 inches deep, cons they are so narrow its hard to scape :P

    You will not need any light to powerful, they are super shallow, specially if you add thick layer substrate, hang the light high above or dim it right down, my first few scapes with the 90cm bookshelf I had the light mounted on the rim, BBA / GSA all took hold eventually even with high co2 and high flow. I recommend getting a low light LED that you can dim or hang high. My 90cm bookshelf tank was the only tank I had that really suffered from GSA on the glass, I think this is due to the narrow width and the glass really catching a lot of light if you cant hang the light high or dim it down a lot, since hanging the light high I have no algae problems so far.

    Also even tho the tank is fairly small (12g) its long so you need a filter than can push the water the length of the tank, I started with a Eheim Aquacompact 40, which didn't have the balls to move the water (perfect filter for a 30cm cube), I switched to a no name brand 700lph canister and that is much better for this tank, I would say 700lph is the min for this style tank, you could probably use a powerhead to help move water, but equiptment stands out like dog balls in these small tanks. Consider where you are going to put the tank, I guess the LFS sold me the eheim aquacompact as its a canister filter designed to sit next to the aquarium which makes sense if you are using the bookshelf tank in a bookshelf... generally you are not going to be able to run pipes etc up to the tank from a canister filter sitting below if you keep the tank in a traditional bookshelf, saying that I wouldn't put the tank on a regular bookshelf, would be to heavy I would think.

    Its shallow, so fish may feel a bit cramped, look at nano fish or fish that are found in shallow streams in nature. Being shallow its hard to plant, to me they look odd with 2 inchs or more of substrate, IMO you are better off not using a soil and just a thin layer of gravel or sand and using plants you can attached to rocks or wood.

    Again being shallow makes it hard to put any equipment in the tank, standard pipes will need to be cut down, most glass lilly pipes dont fit (Cal aqua make a set that do) Skimmers like the eheim skim350 just barely fit, impossible to hide the heater!
    Last edited by doylecolmdoyle; 19-02-18 at 09:21 AM.

  10. #10
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    Make the DIY look respectable and mount it.
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/metal-ma...scent_p1138000

  11. #11
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    @ lord of destruction, thanks for your input mate will look into that filter. also loved the look of the chihiros

    @ rebel cheers for all those links, especially that aliminium cresent mount.. looking forward to making my own LED lights

    @ doylecomldoyle mate loads of good info there, cheers. The bookshelf i am thinking of placing the tank on is actually built into the wall and made of solid wood. Regardless I also though about the weight issue and was going to get around that by adding in an extra bit of wood directly under the middle of the tank (between shelves) for extra support. i was also thinking of drilling pipe holes from below (where i was going to put the canister filter) and maybe turning the shelf under the tank into a 'cupboard' wtih doors to hide equipment.

    I cannot hang the light if the tank is put on the shelf as there is no room but was looking at mounting to the shelf above and from your suggestion make it dimable to i can control the intensity of the light. I will post a pic tomorrow to show the space i was thinking of putting the tank and mods to the shelving.

    My daughter wants colourful playful fish and what better (i thought) than male guppies.. anyone have any other ideas of any smaller fish that would fit the bill? or would these guppies be ok in this tank?

  12. #12
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    Male endlers would be ok but make sure you choose nice small ones.

    Threadfins? Ember tetras?

    More advanced - Chilli rasbora, Rasbora maculate, CPD, etc

  13. #13

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    The chihiros mount is essentially just 2 pieces of acrylic screwed onto the main aluminium casing of the LED's. It then stands on the tank through some of those h shaped plastic tabs that clip onto your glass, preventing it from falling into the tank water. Maybe you could try DIY something similar? Not sure how easy acrylic is to work with but it does look really sleek.

    Kids love guppies, platies and molly's :P

  14. #14
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    Acrylic is relatively easy to work with but I think you will need a CNC to cut it neatly into complex shapes. I have used primitive tools with acrylic and it scratches etc if you are not careful. I agree that the heatsink of the chihiros is very basic and nothing very special. I would not use a chihiros at full power tho because it gets towards 50 degrees, and will degrade the LEDs.

  15. #15
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    I’m really keen on a 3 ft shallow for my next tank. My first two questions where 1) filter and 2) lighting so this thread has helped out with that. A shallow tank is all about simplicity and looks (in my opinion) so not overcrowding with an ugly light will be key. Can you easily find a stand to fit these dimensions? I prefer canister filters (never going back after having one last time around!) and would prefer to store a canister underneath if possible. I will not be able to hang lights either so will have to clip something on.

    EDIT - I just remembered I have about 15 old all studs laying around from some house renovations we did late last year. Could be a good project... although have never built anything like that in my life!
    Last edited by Panda; 06-05-18 at 06:20 PM.

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