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Aquarium Makeover!

By King of DIY on

Speaker: During the renovations, one of the tanks that we moved fish from was the Uaru from over here to over here. I took a couple of logs, popped them in the tank, and tossed in a piece of, or at least a mat of Java fern. They quickly ate the Java fern that I mentioned.

Well, having a couple of logs in there didn't look so bad. I'm going to add in some more greenery, and I'm satisfied with that tank. I was lying to myself, I knew I could do better. This story starts outside.

You guys remember the time I took you around back of the shed and showed you my wood? Well, I went back out there and I started contemplating what I could do for these guys. They do have a pleco within the aquarium. That is a wood eater, so I wanted to add in more natural wood. With that said, I realized that there was other tanks I wanted to use certain types of wood for because I only have Manzanita as well as Malaysian. Now, there is a tank that I'm using a lot of Manzanita in, and I figured, well if I use that in other tanks as well, they're all going to start to look similar and the same.

I want all of these guys to look dramatically different. I realized I'm going to have to use Malaysian wood, but the Malaysian wood that has smaller sizes that could fit in this tank are all blocky. I guess I could stack them all up. That doesn't look good, I knew it then. Those giant pieces of wood caught my eye. The pieces that used to be in the 2,000-gallon aquarium, the pieces that are considered landscape sizes both over six feet long. I realized I'm probably never going to put them back in the 2,000 and clearly, I don't really have any other tanks to fit them in other than the 375 which I don't plan to put them in there. What if I just cut them in half? That hurt. The wood's dead, it didn't feel it, but I felt it deep inside. This beautiful landscape piece, I went ahead and just cut it in half. I cut it to the length of a four foot aquarium and I've got to admit, I created a one of a kind piece of wood that I know nobody else will have, not only because of the shape and wood grows in all different types of sizes and shapes, but it just fit this tank absolutely perfectly. I decided that we're going to go with this scape.

I went and started draining the tank, took out everything from the aquarium, and if you remember I've got two plecos in here. We've got a vampire pleco, which is black with white dots, and then, of course, we also have that royal, which is a wood eater. That royal, but it wouldn't come out of the log it was lodged in. That's something that happens with plecos is they can extend their pectoral fins as well as their dorsal fin and you can't pull them out for anything, no matter what. I did have to wait quite a while for him to naturally come out and then jerk that wood out of there and that was time-consuming. I had to sit there patiently and wait, jiggle the wood here and there and it eventually came out. With a bare aquarium, I was able to drain the tank, and the reason for draining is because I have braces on the tank. That piece of wood was too big. With these custom aquariums, I can remove the brace as long as the water level has dropped, almost emptied, and then remove the brace and put in the wood by myself.

I cut this perfectly. There's only a couple of inches on one side. You know what I call that? An inch, maybe three-quarters of an inch, 18 millimeters on one side. It was cut absolutely fantastic and reaches the entire height of the aquarium but it's only a narrow piece, only taking up maybe eight inches of width in its deepest place. The reason why I've added this piece of wood to such a big aquarium, or such a considerably small aquarium for the size of Uaru which can get up to 10-12 inches is because of two reasons. One, I planned only to have a pair in here, and when we get the pair the rest will come out. Second is these guys are not really an active swimmer. As we watch them, we can see that they're more of a dormant, methodical, purposeful swimmer that prefer coverage and places to hide. Timmy is in the back there. You can tell that these guys don't need a tremendous amount of open swimming space, but if that is the case and it tends to happen, and we might need to change it, it's no problem. We can rip this piece of wood out and do something different but the wood was just not enough. I decided I'd bury this in rocks all around the base, making it look like the piece of wood collapsed into the water on top of a riverbed that started here.

Then the greenery. I went with some silk ferns which is-- A lot of people think they're plastic plants when I did some sneak peeks on Instagram, but they are a silk plant that I just got at my local craft store. You can go ahead and grab them but they do need to be soaked in warm water for a few hours just to release anything that might have collected on it from the store that you don't want on it. End result, I think it's an absolutely amazing tank. I think it's perfect for the Uaru that's warm in colors. This tank is warm and inviting. I'm not sold on the ferns, for sure. This is where you guys will come in. Let me know what you think. Should we go with the ferns? Some are put into the background, another one back here in here. I also have other plants that I picked up, which is more of a grass type, and I have multiple sizes. I'm thinking of maybe switching to this one which might look a little bit better because the ferns are not necessarily an underwater plant. This looks more like an underwater plant. Maybe it's a Sagittaria or something like that or some sort of a Vall. I don't know what this could be, but the ferns definitely don't grow under water. I just thought they looked lush, green, and completed the look of the tank.

Most importantly, this aquarium looks incredibly different from everything else. We set this tank up with one piece of wood, a box that I've already had that I collected locally, and three silk plants that I simply got at my local craft store. This is yet another aquarium that you could potentially replicate, not have a tremendous amount of scaping skills or money, and still create something beautiful. I think it just comes down to considering the fish that you have and having a vision and trying to pull that together. I hope you guys enjoy this aquarium as much as I do. If you do, let me know in the comments section below. More importantly, let me know if you think I should switch the plants out. This tank isn't done completely, but I think it's on the right track. The only thing that I would change is the plants. I just might. Let me know in the comments section below what you guys think and what you think of this aquarium. Obviously, in time, the fish are going to outgrow the scape obviously.

Like I said, we'll narrow this down to two fish and that is the end result and the end plan for these Uaru. Yes, if you guys want to see more of this aquarium or the other aquariums that I'm currently setting up, make sure you subscribe. If you're not already I can assure you, you guys will enjoy and love all of these aquariums. Maybe not this. This is definitely my favorite aquarium when I'm looking at it but if I'm looking at that one over there, that's my favorite aquarium. Susan got her own little plant too. In this aquarium, I still want to add a substrate, a brown substrate, to complement the background, almost the color of that stuff that's already in there. We're going to add in maybe some rocks just near that bottom here if I could find some that match that color, but I just draped. These are a plastic plant that I also got at the craft store that I thought looked like maybe a tree branch from above fell in the water. Susan loves it by the way, she thinks it's so fancy. She thinks she's so cool now with her plants. [chuckles] I think this side just looks so much different.

Anyways, guys, that's it. I hope you guys enjoyed the update to the Uaru aquarium, as well as Susan's fancy new digs. This tank will complete here in the near future, but I'll see you guys in the next video.

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.

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