Play Video

4 New Aquarium Setups

By King of DIY on

Joey Mullen: I've been working on a few of the tanks recently. Obviously, with lockdown, it's really difficult to get fish, but I was out here and I realized only one of these tanks currently has fish in it, so why not play around with the rest. I had a ton of supplies I've been dying to try and see what they'd look like. Today, I just want to run through it with you guys, see what you guys think of the tanks, and we can go from there.

This video mostly is just to show you just these four tanks. We got four new aquariums basically where I rescaped and/or did them a little different, new backgrounds. We'll just start with the first one here and see what you guys think. Originally, this had some wood and a different background in it. I wasn't in love with it. I think I said that right from the beginning. Since there was no fish, I decided, "You know what? Let's just completely switch it up."

I added in a different background. This is a very slim one. All these backgrounds, of course, will be from I know you guys are going to ask me, so that's where they're coming from. I added in a background and a few logs. All of the decorations in this tank-- let's see if we could adjust some lighting here for you and make it a little brighter than it actually is. All of this stuff in here isn't real besides the plants, and the substrate, of course, is real, but these rocks are not real.

They're hollow. No water displacement. Same with these logs. We added in then the substrate, kept it the same. This is just a clay-based type of substrate deal. I took some moss, which I'm having an incredibly difficult time all of a sudden attaching moss to wood. Maybe it's because I don't leave it alone long enough, but I did tie a bunch of it to this wood. We'll see how it does over time. It's not real, but moss will grow on anything.

However, I don't know if it's going to be porous enough. We'll see. I think it'll be interesting to see if we can actually grow it on some fake wood. The plants in the background are doing fine. You'll notice that we also have-- Well, this piece of wood isn't part of the background, it's not, but I realized I had three of these, and it was too late because I already used all the moss and everything else. I just chucked it in the background there, and I don't mind it.

Other than that, the plants in the back are doing pretty well. They pretty much line the entire back. What I hope happens, if I leave this alone long enough, is the plants take over the back of the tank and it looks pretty lush, maybe have a little bit of the wood poking out, and then these two logs tipped over. I don't know. I was just having fun with it. I actually did every one of these tanks the same day. Again, just having fun with it.

I did end up adding the cardinals and ember tetras from the puffer tank over to here. Only one tank had fish and it had all the fish in it that are still here. Moving on to the second tank, this was Tyrese's aquarium. I'll adjust it so it looks more like I see it. There you go. This tank is pretty basic. I was just in love with the background, like absolutely in love with it and I had to try it. Not everything I got came at the same time.

It was a couple of months apart, so as soon as I got other stuff, I was like, "Wow. If I had this first, I would have tried this first because I got a bunch of cool stuff." Again, I just wanted to try it. It's almost the same idea. This wood isn't real and the rocks aren't real, but we do have some real anubias in there. I've had these anubias and I've been ripping it apart and using it, reusing it in tanks for almost three years now. It's the only plant that isn't dying. Well, I can't say that.

I've got tons of plants that aren't dying. One thing I want to show you guys though is the floating rocks. These rocks are floating, and they brace themselves against the braces on top. They're just floating and on the-- Well, Aquadecor says you can use it for your center brace, but they're not strong enough to lift the actual lid up either, so I just float them wherever I want. I like them because I can adjust them, move them, and it gives it a completely different look, offers shadows in the tanks.

You guys can see like a before and after. Let me know what you guys think of the floating rocks. I think it's not necessarily a massive game-changer because it's been done before, we've seen overhangs and cliffs, but it's not necessarily that popular right now. I'd love to know what you guys think. That's going to be a theme for the next few tanks, is that I wanted to try out these floating rocks and see what you guys think.

I don't know. I like them. I like them. You'll also notice that all the lights are now hanging at different distances and angled differently. I've just been playing around with a lot of different things, just enjoying it. I haven't been making a tremendous amount of videos, but certainly, I'm spending a lot of time out here. Hopefully soon, we could start getting in some fish and getting back to the pet store and whatnot, but I'm trying to stay locked down.

You guys know I'm a father of two. I don't want to risk anything coming home, so I've basically been staying in, driving myself stir-crazy like the most of you. What do you think of this tank though? I would say this has a terrarium type of feel. I'd love to know what you guys think for fish should go into this. I was thinking it could even do axolotls, but I'd need to put a chiller on it. I heat the entire gallery and not just an individual tank, so this tank would be battling the ambient temperatures out here.

It probably collected a tremendous amount of condensation, but fish-wise, I even thought snakeheads. I don't know. What do you guys think? I'll let you guys give me some suggestions in the comments below there, but I love the shadows. I think it looks absolutely gorgeous. Of course, I just toss logs in there and whatnot and see what things are looking like, but yes, let me know what you guys think.

This one here, this is an interesting one because when I saw the background, I was like, "Wow. That background in person is far more red and it looks like mud almost, and it reminds me of the Bay of Fundy." If you guys don't know, I'm in Truro, Nova Scotia. The Bay of Fundy is five minutes from my house. When the water exits, it looks just like that.

I'm more and more in love with this saltwater tank every time I look at it. Again, the floating rocks, we already talked about that before.

Those are hit or miss with a lot of people, so it will be interesting to see now that the tanks are cycled and/or at least cleared up and looking good. It would be interesting to see what you guys think. The final tank is probably going to be a game-changer for many of you guys. I really like that one. Yes, this is going to be a saltwater aquarium. I'm trying to grow algae, and as you can see on some of the rocks, we can adjust the lighting here, you can see specks growing here and there and all over it.

I find that looks absolutely gorgeous. The downside is, it doesn't care where it grows. It's going to grow on the substrate and everything, so this is just a quick gravel vac. We'll deal with that. Basically, I've been ensuring that this stays cycled. I'm keeping high nutrients and lights on even longer than I'm supposed to, but again, I want to grow that algae. I want it to look more natural and less pristine and clean. It is growing on the back panel as well, which I'm totally fine with.

This tank, originally, I wanted to do butterflyfish, which we might still do. However, it's ready to go. I'm thinking we're going to put predators in it. We're going to put the puffer in it, for example, so we can have a saltwater and a freshwater puffer, see how they interact. I don't know. We'll see what you guys think. Finally, Tyrese's tank. Tyrese used to be right there. We just shuffled them over here. I got to say, he seems far happier over here. I don't think he liked all those tetras.

He never ate any of them, but I think he was just constantly stressed out about them like, "Bro, why are you guys here? Why can't I eat you? Why won't you get in me?" He's just constantly staring at them. If you're ever wondering if a puffer is dormant, like a lot of the times when I walk up to the tank, he's laying down, but again, I'm just turning the lights on, just coming in here type of deal, but for the most part, he's always out and about and active within the tank.

He has a little bit of plants in here as well. If we look, we can see them. I don't know if you'll be able to see it great, but yes, maybe over on this one, you can see it sending out runners and roots. This has only been a week or two, so that's a good sign. I hope what will happen there too is we'll get big bunches. That's an Anacharis as well, so it's great for nitrates. He's not eating them.

For the first time, he's not ruining his tank, and it's been a couple of weeks, so I'm hopeful. I had some of these logs. Actually, I got a lot of these logs and I just tossed them in there as well. I don't know if I like them, but I feel without them, it now doesn't feel the same. Black substrate in this tank and the background again is hollow, but it's far more thicker.

It's probably 6, 7 inches at its deepest spot. However, it doesn't take up water.

The floating rocks in this one, I'm in love with. These are gorgeous, just beautiful. The lights are angled toward the point where the actual plants are, and that's pretty much it. He loves it. He's far more active in this tank than he's ever been before. I don't know. I think this is my favorite tank out of them all, except I could sit in front of all of these tanks now and figure out what I like the best about it and what I'm enjoying about it.

I got to say, I'm really liking this layout so far. We'll see how this tank does with this moss, and if that doesn't work out, I'm really going to have to take planting a little bit more serious as opposed to doing the bare minimum and crossing my fingers, which is what we've typically done. Again, a lot of things are growing and doing quite well. It's just the moss I'm struggling with. Typically, I believe I put weeping moss on that, which isn't great for attaching to rocks and whatnot a lot of the times, in my experience.

Yes, ultimately though, everything's looking good. I'd love to get your idea on a couple of things. One, should we do the puffer in this tank? It would be pretty cool to see how they'll interact between the two. I still have to set this tank up. The original wood background is going back into this tank. Tyrese, yes, he's about 7 or 8 inches now too. He's way bigger than he looks. These are 120 gallons. They're 4-feet long, 2-feet tall, and 2 feet front to back.

These tanks are a lot bigger than they might appear, but I am using a wide-angle lens. Obviously, tetras can go in almost any aquarium, but what do you think we should stock there? This one is so unique. I'm at a loss. I don't know. It's almost begging for Africans, but we've done that, we've done Tanganyikan, we've done Malawi. We probably should move on to something else, snakeheads perhaps. They're not illegal here, so I can get them.

This tank I feel is done. I'm not going to touch him anymore. He likes it. I like it. I think he just likes it that he's in the open and he's not like looking over a 2,000-gallon tank. He can actually see me at all times, so that might have an-- and puffers are really personable fish, so I think he's just enjoying that a little bit more. Yes, that's a bit of an update on some of the little things that I've been doing trying to just tinker around out here, dwindling time, seeing what I can do.

I hope you guys like these. If not, let me know why or what we should do, what we shouldn't do. What was your favorite? What type of fish we should do? Anyways, I'll see you guys in another video here shortly. If you guys want that puffer moved, we'll get him going because that tank is cycled, and I just don't know how we'll get him out of that 375-gallon. Their lights aren't on yet. I just turned all these on for the video. Yes, that's it. Let me know what you guys think.

[00:11:40] [END OF AUDIO]

About King of DIY

Joey is THE King of DIY, and when he built his gallery of aquariums he chose the Custom Aquariums rack system with 120-gallon tanks...a lot of them!

Joey Mullen is also known as the king of DIY, uarujoey or the DIY fishkeeper on social media. Providing education and inspiration for aquarium enthusiasts on YouTube, he is also the author of The Ultimate DIY Handbook; for the DIY Aquarist. His channel is about educating all levels of fish tank hobbyists who are passionate about caring for fish and keeping an aquarium of their own. Joey's aquarium rack systems were custom made by our professional fish tank engineers, here at Custom Aquariums.

Please watch the King of DIY's videos for some helpful information and great tips on diy aquarium keeping.

View More

Connect with King of DIY