Play Video

Setting Up My New Goldfish Tanks

By Solid Gold Aquatics on

Hey guys. It's Jennie. Welcome back once again to Solid Gold. In my last video update, you guys saw me installing the backgrounds, which look amazing, but today is finally the day when we get to add the aquariums to the racks. I know we've been waiting for this moment for so long. Chris is here with me in the fish room.

I wish we had two of you because I'm not that strong for this, so we'll see how it goes, Mr. Silent. Wish us luck guys. Let's get started.

We have the first two aquariums placed on the rack. I know you can't see it too well right now because I don't have any lighting overhead on top of the tanks, but that'll be the next step. Before we put the top two tanks on the rack with the others, we're going to get all of the lights installed and run all of the hose and tubing that has to go behind the tanks because once the top tank is on, we're not going to be able to scoop the rack back against the wall because it'll be way too heavy.

So amazing. Wow. We're attaching one of the drain hoses for one of the aquariums. This is for the bottom aquarium. This is where the overflow leads into and then it drains the water all the way down here and to the sump in the bottom.

On three, we'll lift it up from here to right here and on that side and then push it up. You got it?


All right. Lift it up.

We finally finished setting up all of my custom aquarium tanks. We've got them set up on the racks, which was quite the task, but we did it. We've got the backgrounds installed and the substrate should be getting here in just one or two hours. It's actually on a freight truck out for delivery right now. 600 pounds, 30, 20-pound bags of CaribSea substrate, so that'll be fun to [chuckles] get that unloaded from the track and bring it out here, but once we get that put in the tanks behind me here, they're going to look even more beautiful, but they already look so good as you can see behind me.

I know I've already said it, but I can believe that my tanks are going to look this nice. It's so surreal, but it's really cool that it's finally all coming together. I hope you guys are enjoying the process of watching everything come together. Now while I'm waiting for the substrate to get delivered, I'm just going to give you guys an overview of how the aquariums work. This is systems that I've been talking about for many months now, but they're finally actually set up and running, so now I get to show you guys what I've been talking about this whole time.

I've went ahead and removed the cabinet doors on the bottom of each rack so you guys can see how the filtration is set up. Each two tanks is filtered on the same seamless sump filter. Each rack of two tanks is filtered on the same filter. These filters are set up with a sock tub. That's the tallest part of the sump filter right here and that is going to be the mechanical filtration filtering out any particulates, uneaten food, fish poop, things like that, before the water passes through the biological filtration.

The sock filter tub has a glass lid that you can lift off to help reduce evaporation. Then right in there, you can see the sock for one of the tanks. This is the water coming from the overflow and dumping down through that filter sock. Then on this side, there's another filter sock. The water is coming from the overflow of the other tank here and dumping down into the other filter sock. From the sock tub, the water dumps down through these 90 degree elbows, this one here and that one back there, into the biological filter media chamber.

You can see these filter media trays full of ceramic bio balls. That's the biological filter media where the beneficial bacteria is going to grow that helps clean the water to keep it safe for the fish. The beneficial bacteria will take ammonia and nitrite out of the water and then the end product of the nitrogen cycle is nitrate, which stays in the water for the most part until you do your regular weekly water changes. That's how the biological media is set up on this system.

The water then goes through the chamber completely and this whole thing is filled with biological media with those little trays. There's probably about five trays stacked one on top of the other in here all full of biological filter media. Both systems are already dechlorinated and this system in particular already has my official cycle filter media added to it. This tank already has cycle filter media running on it, so it is completely ready for fish.

I'm actually adding my fish today, which is super exciting. That's why I have my bottle of pure ammonia down here because for the past couple of days that it's been set up and running with no fish but with cycled filter media, I've had to feed the filter media with pure ammonia. I'm just going tor test to make sure the ammonia is all gone out of here before I add my fish and then I'll be able to add them in a little bit.

This is where the two pumps are. Each aquarium has its own water pump to pump the water back to it. Again, we've got a glass lid to help prevent or reduce evaporation. You can see the two pumps down inside of there. We've also got the electrical codes coming out of the pumps. There's this nifty little hole here for the cords to stick out. Then the green tubing is going back up to the siphon stopper returns, which you can see inside the aquariums there. This is the H2 overflow, which is taking the water from the aquarium and bringing it back down to the sump to be filtered. There's the H2 overflow for this tank.

That's how the filtration works. I'll give you guys a view of behind the tanks too, so you can see it from that angle. You can actually see the water flowing back there. We did leave enough room, barely enough room for me to squeeze back behind here if I ever were to need to and I already have needed to a few times, so I'm glad that we did that. Now that all the stuff is set up and running just fine, it's not going to be a regular thing for me to have to access back here, but if I ever were to need to, I just decided to leave just enough room to squeeze back there.

As you can see, the green tubing here that is for the siphon stopper returns that is leading the water back to the aquarium from the sump filter. Then where do we have an overflow? We have some overflows that are more accessible on the other side, so I'll go around to the other side and show you guys those. All right, here's an overflow that you can see really well. This is coming from the H2 overflow box inside the aquarium. Water is overflowing or spilling into that hose and then going all the way down. There's the other one there for the bottom tank. Then the hose goes into the cabinet below where you already saw it going into the sock tub on the front.

That's how the filtration works on the tanks. Really, if you know anything about sump filters or wet/dry filters, it's pretty much just the basic sump filter setup with the added layer of having two tanks stacked one on top of the other and both are being filtered by the same sump. What about this partially automated water change system? This is what I'm more excited about because I've never had anything like this before.

In all my years of keeping fish and having multiple aquariums, I've never had any kind of set up where anything at all was even remotely automated, so this is really exciting and I want to share with you guys because, really, it wasn't all that difficult to do and you should be able to do it with your home aquariums as well. Let me show you guys how I took care of this.

As I've already shown you guys, I have this gutter for the waste water that's going to carry all of the water from my water changes, all the used water from the aquariums out to my water management system. I've already shown you guys as well that everywhere that I'm going to have a rack of aquariums, I have a little vertical stand pipe section coming up so that I can connect the drains into it. This is all kept open just so that no water can back up or anything, so air can get in here and keep it from creating a siphon or a suction. It's just better to have it open.

Here are some of the drain lines coming from my aquarium themselves. As I've been talking about, each one is going to have a ball valve, so I can just start it draining and stop it draining by turning this valve right here. This one is for the bottom left aquarium, this one is for the top left, bottom right is right there, top right is way back here, but I can still reach it just fine. The drain hole for the aquariums with the tree-stem backgrounds has been covered up by the background and then the water just drains out through these-- you can't really see it, but through those tiny little sliver of the hole that you can see there.

It's covered with screen mesh. Then on this side, there is another hole which is again, it's right there. You can see the little dent in the tree stump, that's where the other hole is. Then the one up here was a phone 3D solid background. I couldn't have it drained the same way, so I just drilled a hole through the background foam and then put one of these baskets strainers in here to protect the fish from getting sucked into the drain hole as the tank drains, but I'll show you guys right now. I'll just open up one of them to show you.

This is the bottom left tank, you just open it and it starts draining. Very easy water changes. I've also shown you my incoming water set up as well. This water is tied into my waterline for the fish room here and then we have teas with a link of tubing coming down and then this flexible tubing with a ball valve on the end of it that goes to each aquarium. There's still going to be two aquarium racks that are going to go one here and then the other one there, which is why those tubing pieces are still sticking down. They're just waiting for their tanks to show up, but the other ones are obviously set up.

Now, since the aquariums are fully functional, you can see it way up there. That's the water coming into the top tank and then down here the water coming into the bottom tank. Now, coming back around to the front of the aquariums, you can see the water level in the sump has dropped quite a bit. It was right here at the max fill line, but now it's way down here and that's because I drained this tank a little bit but because it has an overflow and it has a sump, the water level in the aquarium doesn't lower, only the water level in the sump does.

Since I had drained this tank a little bit just to show you guys how it works, I'm going to fill it back a little bit just so the sump level gets back to where it was. These spacers in between the two aquariums have sliding doors that open and then they also come off completely if I need to take them off. Then right inside here you can already see the hose for the water coming in to the aquarium. All I have to do when I want to fill up the tank is just open this, put the hose in the water, and turn this ball down right here.

It is just hose-clamped up to the top right there and then you've got the water line coming in through a hole back there. There we have it. Water is coming out. Then I can just fill this tank and it will overflow down into the sump until the sump reaches the level that I want it to be at. I'm going to turn this off and we're done. Obviously, that wasn't a full water change or anything but just to give you guys a little demo of how my water system works for these tanks.

I'm really excited because I've already had to drain and fill these tanks a few times just to get all of the dust and particulates out of the water after installing the backgrounds and setting up the tanks for the first time and it went so much faster than using a python and using the suction just created by your sink. I'm really excited it's going to make maintenance for these goldfish tanks so much easier.

There you have it, guys. That's how my tanks are being filtered and that's how my partially automated water change system works for these tanks. I just saw the trucks for the substrate pull up, so I'm going to help unload those bags of substrate and get them into the tanks.


All right. We just finished carrying in 600 pounds of aquarium substrate. I have Black Tahitian Moon sands sunset gold for one tank. What is this one? Crystal River. That's what it is for the last one. It's the instant aquarium type from CaribSea. I really like this, it's been my favorite substrate pretty much as long as I've been keeping fancy goldfish and fish, in general, because it comes with water in here. The substrate isn't going to be all powdery and dusty when you add it to the tank, it's going to clear out a lot faster.

I'm sweating in this Florida heat and humidity and there's going to be a lot of cardboard clean up to do after this, but it's really exciting. I want to say thank you to CaribSea for providing these substrates for my fish room. They're not sponsoring this video or anything, but they did provide this substrate which was really, really nice of them. I wasn't really expecting that they would provide so much, but they did.

Now, I also want to say a couple of videos ago I asked you guys to help me decide which rock background I should use for my favorite goldfish variety which are the butterfly telescopes between this rock one and that rock one. Then after I started setting them up, I realized that they're just a little bit rough. I'm sure the fish will be fine in them but just to air on the side of caution, I'm going to put the eye type goldfish, so my butterfly telescopes, maybe some bubble eyes or celestials if I get them down the road in these tree stump backgrounds because they're a lot smoother, a lot less rough, a lot less chance for the goldfish to damage their eyes on them.

In the end, I agreed with you guys that this black and white one was the prettiest for the butterfly telescopes to be in, but I decided to go with this one because I think it'll be safer for them in the long run.

It's been about five hours now and as you can see behind me, the tanks now have really cleared up quite a bit. I love how each and every tank is so unique and so different. Really stands out from the next but as a whole, they all go together really well, which is what I was really hoping for and I'm really glad that I pulled it off, you guys. I pulled it off. This is probably one of my two favorites. I have two favorites, I can't pick. It's the fake rock one that has a little bit of goldish and tarnish hues in the rock.

With that one, I went with the Tahitian Moon sand black substrate. This one over here is my other favorite. This is the one that has really supernatural looking roots coming down. With this one, I went with the Crystal River substrate. Then this one over here, some people are calling the Nike swoosh. This tank turned out really well with the black Tahitian Moon sand and then the one down here has the two big tree stumps and I went with the Sunset Gold sand in this one.

I really like how they all turned out. It's almost time to add some fish, but I also want to show you guys when I started opening the substrate, I noticed that CaribSea also included some other rocks that looks really cool. I can't really decide how I'm going to incorporate these into the aquariums yet, or maybe I'll save them for future projects or for my reptile and amphibian tanks. We've got some big black river rock here which I think could look really cool maybe in one of the goldfish tanks or even in some of the adult frog tanks. It'd be really cute to see them hopping around on those.

Also, excuse me, Palmer. Excuse me. Then also, these ones over here, these are called their Exotica Mountain Stone, but these are really, really cool. They actually might go with the color scheme of the Nike swoosh tank because they look like they're black and white. I'm sure those colors would pop out a lot more once they're underwater too. Maybe I'll put some of those in that tank or I don't know. Let me know what you guys think.

I'm leaning towards keeping these tanks really, really, really simple to the point where they might almost be boring, but that's why I wanted such sculptural backgrounds because the background itself would be the interest of the aquascape in addition to, of course, the beautiful fancy goldfish that are going to go in here. They are really going to be the main focal point of these tanks anyways.

It really is best to keep your goldfish tanks really simple and minimal anyways. I might just leave it how they are with the really sculptural cool backgrounds and then the sand substrate. Add the fish in and see how they do and then maybe after that I'll think about adding other things, but I just want to make sure that the fish are going to be safe in here. I have noticed that whenever I add larger elements sitting on top of the substrate, they tend to get a lot of fish poop that collects underneath them.

That's my hesitation in adding things to the tanks. I just don't want to create more cleaning work for me than it is really completely necessary and I want to make sure the environment is healthy for the fish, first and foremost. Well, there's really not much left to do now, but add the fish. I am so excited because this whole fish room rebuild project has been going on for about a year now, I would say. I think it's been about a year.

You guys have been with me every step of the way, things have really shaped about here. It's really, really hard to think back and remember how this building used to just be an empty shell, an empty metal shell with nothing in it at all and a roll of door and no windows. Now, look at it. It's a beautiful functional fish and other animal room and it's amazing. These videos are getting way too long because I'm really excited so I'm talking a lot, but in my next video, I will be adding my goldfish to their new home, in this tank right here.

There's also going to be a lot of footage of my fish just swimming around, being their adorable cute little goldfish selves

in that video.

Stay tuned for that. Thank you guys so much for watching. I hope you love the new tanks, and you are going to be seeing them a lot more in the coming videos, so stay tuned. Thank you guys. I'll see you next time. Until then, stay gold.

About Solid Gold Aquatics

Jennie’s fish house is outfitted with Custom Aquariums rack systems that include standard glass aquariums for her fish collection, amphibious tanks set up a bioactive vivariums, and Custom Cages Hybrid H2 reptile enclosures.

"I'm Jennifer Lynx and Solid Gold is about goldfish and all the other pets in my life - aquatic or not! Fancy goldfish have long been the main subject of my channel, but as an animal lover I have many other pets that I make videos about too. Here you'll find goldfish, discus, plecos, other aquarium fish, axolotls, poison dart frogs, leopard geckos, rabbits, cats, and more. Subscribe to see new videos about them every week!"

Jennie's mission is about promoting the goldfish hobby and inspiring better goldfish-keeping practices.

View More

Connect with Solid Gold Aquatics