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The Puffer Fish Aquarium

By King of DIY on

Joey Mullen: Today we finally set up Tyrese the fahaka puffer’s aquarium. I mentioned previously you guys know that we will be giving Tyrese one of these 120s. When I unbox this background from Aquadecor Backgrounds, I knew it had to be for Tyrese. I'm going to do an all-black tank because the rock here casts a tremendous amount of shadows on itself. It is a darker grey so I decided I’m going to use a dark black substrate as well.

The substrate is technically a plant to tank substrate and it's originally from the 375 if you guys remember. I ended up using almost all of it, starting off with just a basic coating on the substrate just to see what it’s going to look like. Then the rocks, this is where I had to get creative. You'll notice I took one of the empty rocks. These are just hollow rocks that don’t float. You'll notice that I tipped one upside down and buried it in the substrate while not putting anything in it. These are going to be for plants but the problem is, is the fahaka will rip them apart.

I wanted to make sure that these were hardy plants that the fish wasn’t going to eat that are commonly available, easy to keep, don’t necessarily need a substrate. We were going to have them in later on, but I also knew I wanted to add some wood in here just to finish it off. I always find a tank looks way better without the water. Until you get water in it, then you're looking at it in a different light.

The first plants I added were a pretty interesting combination. The first one I wanted was a-- I don’t even know if I’m going to say this right but it's a Pogostemon, [laughs] I think that's how you say it, Erectus. Basically, it's almost like the Anacharis that we're also are going to use. It ends up being a pretty tall and fluffy plant. Basically, I’m just trying to create a fluffy lush area that complements the aquarium, that’s easy to grow, that if the puffer rips it apart it's not a huge loss but this is a plant that he probably will. Although I did get small portions of it will grow quite tall. I know it's difficult to see that now.

The other plant that I ended up adding to one of the other cups was the Anacharis Najas. Now this again, it doesn’t need a substrate but I’m adding it into a planted tank substrate just to make sure that it does well. I do want these plants to survive but again if this doesn’t work out, we'll have to make some changes, that puffer could potentially rip all of these apart. A couple of the same plants went in this tank. The Erectus got two of the dishes and then the final dish, which I used to actually do this with PVC pipes and containers or bowls and then bury it in a--

Because not a lot of times that you can afford to fill an entire aquarium with planted substrate but you might want to have some plants in there. This is something I used to do many, many years ago. I just kind of clued into it recently where I’m like, "Wow I can just turn one of these rocks upside down that I’m not using. If they do get unburied it still looks like a rock.” I felt like I still want to experiment with some stuff so I took some Riccia. I believe this species was called fluitans or fluitons, however you want to pronounce it. You guys know I’m not good at pronouncing these things, which is fine. You know what I’m trying to say.

Basically I just tied it to one of the stones with some sewing thread and what I hope happens is it does well and it spreads all over the rock. This is a plant that can be tied to rocks or branches or what have you. It doesn’t necessarily need a substrate. Once again, all these tanks so far are not using complicated plants. Anybody can use them. As for the wood, I didn’t have much flame moss and that’s what I’m using here. I think it looks fantastic because it stands out and grows outwards. That’s why I call it the flame moss. Another easy, medium easy moss to keep just tied it to the sticks with some sewing thread once again and popped it in the tank, let this tank clear up for 24 hours and I think I ended up looking pretty phenomenal. I think there is a long ways to go with it but let’s take a look at it now.

Okay, this might actually be a bad time to view the tank because the lights are actually dimming down for the evening but as you can see, we built the substrate up a bit that is quite tall. This wood wasn’t sinking at first so I had to bury it. Even this one over here has a rock on it just holding it. I’ll be able to remove those eventually. It will be interesting to see what happens with this tank. A lot of the Anacharis fell out and went into the power head there but hopefully, the moss will spread and we'll be able to propagate that, move it around. I’m not sure how things are going to make out in this tank but I’m going to give it a few days for things to settle and then I’m going to move Tyrese to the tank.

As for filtration, we're using a canister on this. A very simple filtration, you can see the input. I just hid it behind the crack. You guys wouldn’t ever seen it either way. I figured I could just hide the input and output and nobody will see it and I won’t have to manipulate the background at all. Even though it is Styrofoam, it would have been simple and easy to do, I thought let me try this and see if it works first. I actually did all of these dry before I siliconed it in so I knew what I was going to be doing. Then this output and input are just back there, canister filter down below, very simple set up.

Most people are using canister filters on this sized tank. Some use sumps. I’ve shown you how to deal with the sump, I’ve shown you how to build the sump. Now we're moving on to canister filtration, which I believe in my opinion is going to be a lot more relatable for you guys. As for stocking, that’s where things get pretty exciting. I hate that the lights are shutting down for the night and I don’t really want to manipulate them but let me show you who's coming.

What’s up bro. Tyrese is in his tank right now, in his quarantine tank. It's really just a holding tank although this is the quarantine area. He will be going into this tank. He's put on some size guys. I know that he might not look like it on camera with that big yellow belly. Oh, he’s so gorgeous. We have all these floating Anubias as well. Maybe we'll put that in the tank for a floating plant but yes, he's doing phenomenal. I think he's going to enjoy that tank. I fear he's going to rip the plants apart but he hasn’t been doing it in this tank, which is-- I’ve been floating them in here, see what he does.

He has a problem with planted plants, plants that are in a substrate. He loves to rip them out and just cause problems. He rips them out and creates a little bed within it and I think that's what they do in the wild, but he will be going in that tank. I think you guys are really going to find that to be a phenomenally beautiful aquarium once he's in there. However, he's not going in alone. Tyrese will be getting some tank mates. In fact, it's going to get quite a bit of tank mates. The Cardinal Tetras are going to go in with him. There's too many of these guys and they're too small, too fast for him to probably show any interest in but we'll try it out temporarily. I think he's going to be just fine.

He's actually been in with some Tetras to try him out and see what happens and he just leaves them completely alone. His diet does not include Tetras, but I’ve got to keep snails away from him. Obviously, the Uaru are still in here. We haven’t moved them as of right now. Clearly, I told you in the last video that these guys will be going soon but the Uaru and the Umbee Cichlid in one tank and Tyrese the puffer and the cardinals in the other. I think that's going to end up turning out to be a beautiful tank. I think Tyrese will enjoy the company and distractions. What are you doing? Hey, you can’t eat them.

There you have it. We’ve got to start moving fish over here within the week, transfer all their biological media to the new filtration. Probably to a big water change and toss the fish in. I think it's going to be pretty interesting. I’d love to get you guys’ thoughts on this aquarium. Is it too busy, too much going on it or it is just right? What do you think of that background as well? I think it's gorgeous. I love it. I didn’t like it at first but now I do, once it's in the tank with a couple of pieces of wood.

Hopefully, [chuckles] these plants really take off. These guys are supposed to get pretty bushy and tall, same with the ones over there. Of course, we know that an Anacharis definitely gets quite large. I’m not holding much faith for the Riccia. I don’t know what's going to happen there but we’ll see in due time. What do you guys think of this tank? Do you think it was simple and easy to set up? It was simple and easy for me to set up but I’m definitely curious to know what you guys think of this tank.

Let me know in the comments section below and we can keep going. We still have a saltwater tank. We’ve still got to set this tank up, finish it off and then we've got two and we haven’t even touched yet. Plus I’ve got to do a 700-gallon. [chuckles] We have lots to do guys. If you don’t want to miss it, make sure you subscribe or you will miss it.

[00:10:04] [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.

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