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Mike's Viquarium
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Mike's Special 10 Gallon Viquarium Project
10 Gallons Continued...
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I gathered up all my supplies and plans...rolled up my sleeves...and got busy.

Spacers...

spacers

These bottom spacers are tupperware icecream sandwich makers (hey...you use what you got right?). I placed them evenly around the bottom of the tank on the side that the landscape will be. The bottom of the tank needs to be free from gravel so the water can circulate to the pump.

Egg Crate and Screen...

egg crate

Next: Cut a sheet of egg crate plastic large enough to cover the entire bottom side. Also cut a piece of screen the same size and attach it to the egg crate with plastic strip ties. Place it on the spacers. Note: If I was doing this tank again, I would have extended the egg crate to cover the entire bottom. That would make for a more efficient biological filter.

Pump cage...

pump cage

Find something to use as a cage around the pump so gravel and any waste material won't be sucked into it. Again, tupperware works great! Drill holes in the sides to allow water to enter and cut down the height of the container to fit level with the egg crate and screen.

Insert cage...

cage insert

Place the pump cage into a hole that you had previously cut in the egg crate/screen piece. Oh, didn't I mention that? Well you need to do that before you put it all together. Otherwise it won't work.

Pump and Tube...

pump insert

Once I was sure everything fit properly, I put the pump into place. The tube coming out of the top was the biggest concern though...how tall should it be? Once you set the water flow on the pump it is fixed unless you want to take the entire thing apart to change the flow! Yikes! You can change the length and diameter of the tubing in order to alter the flow also.

Rock Wall Divider...

rock wall

Cut a sheet of glass to fit across the width of the tank. The height will be determined by how deep you want the tank for the fish. Glue it into place with silicone. Glue some slate rocks to it so it looks like a rock wall.
Note: At the bottom of the glass divider you see that the eggcrate/screen has been cut and bent down to provide for the water to filter, but the gravel to stay put. A word about glue: This silicone glue is more difficult to get off the glass so use it sparingly. :o)

Rocks, Gravel, etc...

rocks and gravel

I purchased the gravel at the pet store. Then I went to the river and found some really cool rocks. I also found some native plants and a small piece of log with moss growing on it.

River Base and Landsaping...

pipe for river

Things are starting to come together now. It took alot of gravel to bring the level up. Next time I might make everything much lower. I used a piece of rain gutter pipe for the base of the river. The rain gutter is cut in half to lower the sides of it. Under all the gravel is a piece of styrofoam packing material to take up some space. I have about 125 pounds of gravel in this tank!

Notice near the tubing there is a plastic square. This is a basin to hold water that is pumped out. I fabricated it out of an old cake lid from the store. You can use anything that will hold the water and funnel it where you need it to flow. Otherwise the water will just drain through the gravel to the bottom.

sloping river

The drain pipe has a slight slope to it so the river can run down to the fish tank.

Finish the Landscape...

adding stuff

It's time to make it look like a real life landscape. I found some really neat plants and rocks and log pieces. The water was a bit cloudy at first but it soon cleared up.

adding plantlife

Lighting...

lighting

I made sure to buy the light hood for the top. It looks great in the evenings with the lights on.

Platform for Frogs...

inside tank

Since I had planned to get some frogs I needed a place for them to climb out of the water. Large river rocks were piled in the corner. They also like to hide behind them.

Tools and Materials

*Tank
*Silicone Glue
*Tupperware Containers
*Eggcrate Plastic
*Screen
*Pump (Rio 600) & Tubing
*Rain Gutter Pipe
*Gravel
*Rocks
*Logs or Driftwood
*Plants
*Critters
*100 watt submersable heater

Terminology

Eggcrate=Plastic sheets with an eggcrate textures and holes.

Critters