Upside down Aquarium

You would think, with all the water I have had on the floor in the last week, that I would not want to try something as crazy as an
upside down fish tank.

Uh-huh. Not me.

Yesterday, during lunch break, I slapped together an inverted tank to put into my nanotank.

You see, upside down fish tank is only telling half the story, you need a regular side up tank as well to make them work. Have you ever done dishes, and pulled a glass out of the dishwater upside down? Notice how the glass stayed full right up until you pulled it out of the water? This fish tank works the same way. You put the upside down tank into another container of water, and suck all the air out of it.

Brilliantly simple, really. I saw it on YouTube.

Upside down aquarium
Upside down aquarium

This is what the upside down tank looks like right after I made it. Notice the two open areas on each end. This allows the fish to swim into it.

Inverted Aquarium in my nano-tank
Inverted aquarium in my nano-tank

Looking down the length of my nano-tank (nanotank means VERY small fish tank – mine’s 4 inches by 4 inches by 4 feet) you can see the inverted tank at the far end. It’s just a tad on the wide side, so didn’t want to go in on one side. I guess my home-made aquarium isn’t perfectly square. I cut the end pieces myself.

Upside down Aquarium in a regular Aquarium
See the 2 platys in the lower right?

Here is the inverted aquarium looking at it from how you would normally see it. There are two fish in it here, you can kinda pick them out against the busy backdrop.

My upside down tank in my nano tank on my 75 gallon aquarium
My upside down tank in my nano tank on my 75 gallon aquarium

The whole mess sits on top of my 75 gallon tank, and is actually functionally part of the 75 gallon tank.

You see, Nano-tanks can be VERY difficult to manage do to their extreme small size. They don’t have any thermal mass, the water can go bad in a matter of hours if something starts to decompose in them. Just fussy tanks all the way around. I cheat, I have a 75 gallon ‘buffer’ tank to act as a filter for my nano tank. Yeah, Yeah, I know. I cheat.

The inverted fish tank is just a prototype. I will probably only keep running it for a few weeks until I make the next version of it (read that as Months or Years).

Not quite as impressive as it sounds, is it?

What do you think?

Homemade Aqaurium Weir Siphon Overflow Box

First off, what is the world is an aquarium weir siphon overflow box?

Well, everyone knows what an aquarium is, and that I like my fish tanks!
Most people are familiar with a siphon – a hose that allows you to drain water out of a container over the side of the container.
A weir is basically a long dam where the water overflows for the full length of the dam.
An overflow box is a type of aquarium filter.

So, basically, I am making a dam, that siphons water out of a fish tank.
The neat thing about doing it this way, is that the siphon won’t ‘break’ when the water level gets too low, as the weir (or dam) will hold the siphon. Quite a clever setup actually. I wish I had thought of it.
I read about this probably well over a year ago. I did a quick search, and found the same site! http://www.melevsreef.com/acrylics/overflow.html

So, with a quick look over their instructions, I completely disregarded them as to measurements, and made up my own. I just wanted the concept.

So, after much scientific analysis, here are my measurements. Yeah, Yeah, I mocked it up in cardboard. I did actually take a measurement! I measured the inside of my 4″x4″x4′ nano tank. The idea is that I will make a ‘stream’ fish tank like nobody else has!


So, from the 1 measurement, I made it square, as an overflow box MUST be BOX shaped, or it’s an overflow rectangle, and, well, we just can’t have that. I started cutting away at my plastic.

This is a high-precision operation I run hear. Silicone my tolerances! I taped the two sides together, and cut them with a coping saw.

After many long, excruciating seconds calculating the flow rate for the whole contraption, I just held the damn thing up to the tank and eyeballed how high I wanted the water to be in the tank and made the weir element that tall.

Here you can see the start of the inside of the siphon element. You can start to see the difficulties assembly will incur, due to the various bits and pieces getting in the way of sealing the seams. It can really only be assembled from the inside out and be able to be sealed. (high tolerances, remember?)

This is what the completed unit would look like. It’s just taped together here, waiting to be cut apart and glued together.

This is what it looks like hanging on the side of the tank. Pretty cool looking, I think. I need to add the outflow pipes yet. But you can get the idea. The water will overflow the weir on the right side, inside the aquarium. The water will be siphoned over to the left side, where it will overflow the second weir into the outflow box.



Remember those high tolerances. Yeah, you know, measure twice, cut once. Don’t let the ruler slide around as you cut. I have a leak. I turned the thing upside down, and filled the siphon area to see if it will hold water. Nope, my work ‘sucks’ air. No worry. 100% Aquarium silicone to seal up the leak. **grin**

Kitty take bath

No photos tonight, just a funny story.
The kittens loved sleeping up in the passthru, right? Well, they haven’t been up there in a couple of weeks that I have seen. I moved the boxes that they used to get up there. I figured it was safe to put the tank up there.

WRONG

Katie was making dinner tonight, and I was in the kitchen, slowing her down. The Kitchen door was closed with the cats in the living room. We heard a SPLOOSH! Turn around, and Brother (my male kitten) is in the kitchen, along with about half an inch of water from the microtank. Well, this seemed an opportune time to give Brother a bath. In he went. It took about 3 seconds of doing the backfloat before he realized it was wet. He laced me pretty good! Down my wrist and across my palm.

He is so nice and soft and silky now.

My Microtank

 Well, Here it is. I think it fits quite nicely in the passthrough.

 The view from my living room into the Kitchen.

 The view from my Kitchen into the living room. I am planning on making a tall bar to go against the wall. The tank will be quite dramatic there.

 I am going to plant microsword and Glosso from this tank into the new microtank once I can get the goofy thing lit up well enough. I am thinking of getting a 2 bulb 4 foot fixture and making an oak hood. I will need to run the filtering through the hood too I think, so I only have 1 place for power and water lines.

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Leaking Tank

 What is the first thing you do after coming home the night after making a new fish tank? Fill it full of water of course! It leaks. Not bad though. I filled it with 3 gallons of water to see if it was water tight, and I had a slow leak. about 1 drip a second. Not to bad considering how messed up the silicone turned out after my trying to smooth it too late into the curing process.
 So, I cut the sealent out. I left it assembled, just cut out the inside silicone and trimed up the outside as well. I re-sealed it tonight. I am thinking tonight I put down a good bead and it should be 100% water tight now. It all LOOKS much better at least.

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