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Aquairum Log for AR (Formely Living Room Aquairum project)

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Hello all,

This will be a journal about my journey to building out my living room into a fish room. I have a small house. So I do not have a spare room to convert into a fish room. So I have decided to build book cases and entertainment shelving to act like stands for my fish tanks. The total build will be two book cases to surround my TV, which is mounted to the wall, with shelving in between the cases. Then I will build another modular stand and a window seal stand. I have two 36 gallon bow front tanks. They will flank the TV. Then I will have a 29 gallon on the modular stand. Then a 75 gallon, a 5 gallon, and a half gallon on the window seal stand. At least that is the idea.
The two 36, 30, and 75 gallons are going to be native river basin themed tanks. I will be keeping darters in the two 36s and the 30 gallon. Then I will be keeping long eared sun fish cichlids in the 75 gallon. I will be getting a linear air pump to run air to the whole setup and each one will have either a sump or a canister filter with custom 3d printing intakes and outputs. In order to simulate the flow of the rivers.  The 5 gallon is already planted and has 5 ember and 5 neon tetras in it. The half gallon has a female white Betta in it. It is also already planted.

I will update this post once I have the concept pictures and 3d rendered plans done / off my main computer.


Edited by Faedother
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4 hours ago, Daniel said:

I use Fusion 360 too. I hadn't (up to this point) thought of using it for Aquarium stuff. I haven't done any additive, my stuff is mostly machining.

It does a fantastic job on mechanical parts.

Here is the initial concept I came up with, the black cubes are the tanks. The basic render of the plan file did not come out quite right.


Edited by Faedother
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  • 10 months later...

Hello everyone,

Long time, no read. 2020 hit hard around here. Anyways I have made some progress on my living room project. But money ran out. So I was only able to make two out of the four stands.


I have not had the time / money to get the door for it. But I will when I can. But now for a bit of an update;

After building the stands, I first setup my 29 gallon tank, roughly around November of last year. Here is the best picture I have of it. 20201109_184105.jpg.5e262480c2d6fe9963c7c3d0cf09bc09.jpgAt the time it has 1 beta, 5 neon tetras, and 5 cardinal tetras.

Here is the same tank today;


Please excuse the calcium drip on the front. I have cleaned it multiple times and it comes back. But I cannot find a leak. Anyways, the plants have matured and I put the java moss today. I love the tannins in the tank. Because I like the look and I have high hp water, sitting around 8.1 from the faucet. Right now it has 3 neon tetras and 5 cardinal tetras. The beta and two neons died from something. I am not sure what it was. But I put in the Med Trio and everything else survived.  As you can see I have embraced the mulm. I do vacuum up some of it when I do water changes once a month. But otherwise I leave it. I have several small snails in there. So it is food for them. I do not see them often so I am  not sure how many I have. Soon the I will be rescaping the tank to change out the filtration from a hang on back to a ziss filter.

Here is the birth of the 36 gallon bow front tank I setup today. Thanks to the wonderful plants I got from A.Coop. Note that it is not the best picture because it is near the main windows in the living room. So the reflection is bad.

I set it up today. I found out that it is very hard to plant in my substrate because of how big the gravel is. But I got it done. The Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus came in a bit on the bad side. But that is one out of ten plants. I think I got lucky since it was a day late getting here and sat outside for a day. I am excited to see how this tank grows in. I have a lot of hardscape and very little 'ground'. I hope for it to fill in and the hardscape just peeks out. But we will see. I have to let the 36 settle before dealing with the debris. Currently in the tank is Java moss, Cryptocoryne Lucens, Parva, Lutea, Wendtii, Wendtii Green, Tropica, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus, Water Sprite, and one Amazon Sword.


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Here are some pictures from my past aquariums;

2014 5 gallon with fake plants 1 betta


29 gallon tank in 2014 with fake plants. This is the first time I put in live plants. It did not go well. They died because I did not have the correct substrate and no fertilizers.  I don't remember all the fish that were in the tank. 20140925_144505.jpg.29a22f0a43273978961c9b61849cacc3.jpg

The 5 gallon tank in 2017 after the first beta passed away. I redid the tank and got another beta. 20170926_195141.jpg.ed72fd4ea41a0f5a6cb09ba1cf6f26a8.jpg

Fast forward to March of 2020. 20200319_191119.jpg.d8127ebf4de54714267f0df95910e181.jpg20200319_190354.jpg.87531db961071ce9fe962dbe52b391c4.jpg

Some tank with a new take on the scape. This is the second time I tried live plants. But I had been watching Cory for a while and was more prepared for them. This beta, comet, is the one from my profile pictur20200425_193149.jpg.2011ea447d9d43df40e72e1e0f794db2.jpg20200429_105045.jpg.5ebed27fb4efc3640b685b79b7e6d662.jpg

He was a beautiful beta. But unfortunately due to a mistake I made and learned from.

Here is the 5 gallon in June of 2020.


This is when I got the neons and cardinal tetras and Pearl the Beta. 20200608_133409.jpg.ab04e1babf32bea6adcc9250a0e1f942.jpg

That is pretty much all the photos I have. Even though I have been taking care of aquariums since 95. I don't have pictures from those times. Plus I was not serious about the hobby until 2014. 

Anyways, I hope you all have a great day.


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  • 7 months later...

36 Bow Front as of 2-2-2022. The five gallon has been taken down.

Unfortunately the betas past away along with the tetras from old age. The 29 gallon tank sprang a leak and I had to get rid of it. It was my first tank and I had it since 95. But I could not fix it. So I had to toss it. I am replacing it with a second 36 bow front.

Currently, I have four mollies, Orange, Dalmatian, Black Sail Fin, and a Platinum. Then a small colony of orange neocaridina shrimp, two otocinclus catfish, and three ember tetras. Plus a plethora of snails courtesy of the COOP from the plants I bought. Not that I am complaining. I love snails and was hoping for some stowaways when I ordered the plants. 








Edited by Faedother
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  • 4 weeks later...

A brief update, I setup a new 36 gallon bow front tank. It will be another planted molly tank. I am still cycling it. So it will be a good month before I can add fish. But I have moved over one of my seasoned ziss filters to it, to help.

Initial setup



After planting and tannins leeched out of the wood.



I am still battling cloudy water in my first 36bf. But I hope the sponge filter will help. I think it is a bacterial bloom. But I have done 75% water changes on it once a week for the last two weeks. So I think something else is at play.


However, the fish are doing fine. I have more snails and some of the first are getting big. There are a lot more seed shrimp and the neocaridinas are breeding. So its not all bad. I will be adding CO2 injection to both tanks once the second 36g BF is cycled and balanced.

My brother and I have set up the rack for the Molly breeding project. We are still planning out how we will approach it. How many tanks we want and how do we want to do the culls. But let me tell you, the metal racks that are meant for workshops are a god send went it comes to building racking systems. They are so easy to put together and they can hold 1000 lbs per shelf. 

We cannot wait to get the project up and running. We will first bred, or buy if we can, lyretail sailfin mollies. Then work on the color. I will keep this blog updated as we go. 

Edited by Faedother
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  • 6 months later...

Hello all,

It has been seven months since my last update. Since then, I have had some issues with plants dying for no reason I can find. But other plants growing out of control. However, I have exciting news. My ammio shrimp have been breeding in my fresh water 10 gallon tank. I am extremely surprised but we found new babies today. 20220920_182151.jpg.a41555ca3f50f92270b43da7c7400c45.jpg20220920_182156.jpg.b0657f4dc4da9bdeaef747653285999c.jpg


Sorry for the picture quality. I did my best to get good shots of them. But my brother and I are very excited. We have left the tank alone for the most part. Only doing 2 gallon water changes every other week. We had been feeding Shrimp King food. But it was leaving a oil slick at the top of the tank. Anyone else have that issue?



As for the mollies. They are doing well. We have some good colors developing. We are about to go through our first round of Culling.



Hopefully the next generation will have more of the body shape we want. But we feel like it is going well.

Have a great day,


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