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DIY 4 Gallon Pico

Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.
I've assembled a small tank that's going to be going into my wife's office at her work. Wanted something small with built in filtration and able to be lit by either a small PC or LED setup.

Made of acrylic 3/16" -- scraps from TAP Plastics, great for learning on
total: 9" wide, 9" tall, 11" long, 2.5" of that in the back is going to be used for the built in filtration/pump, probably be using a foam insert just under the overflow area, and maybe making the middle area into a fuge

It's not quite market quality, but is water tight and the water flow works. I still need to clean up all the edges w/ a torch and there's a bit of cat hair all over it, but for a first or second shot at building a tank, I'm content with it.

from the front: Click image for larger version

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and the back: Click image for larger version

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I'll follow up more once it's up and going. Any input would be greatly appreciated.


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Tank Entry , ‎ DIY projects


  1. matt_longview's Avatar
    Are you going to have anything that will cause the water to pull down into the middle chamber? Most of the water will skim right across the top and you'll lose a lot of flow from going down into the body of it. Maybe you could add a piece 1/2" inside of one of the two and make it go down to 1" or so from the bottom... causing the water to have to flow through the chamber.

    Very cool and clean tank though. I'm looking to do one of these myself actually. :-)
  2. MonKei's Avatar
    I was thinking about that when i was running water through it during the leak test, a bit of the dust that was left over was wiggling around and going up and down in the middle area, so there was some flow..
    I've got an extra piece that's cut the same as the rest of the baffling in there, i may put it in one of the sides of the middle chamber...

    I hope you decide to do it, I know I had a lot of fun (and frustration) with getting this together.. Marc makes it look so easy
  3. melev's Avatar
    I've been doing this since 2004. Practice makes perfect. Looks good so far.
  4. MonKei's Avatar
    Deciding how to do the return, was debating a black spray bar of sorts... I've got a rio 200 in there, so roughly 85 gph @1 foot, which will be the only flow source.. Any thoughts?
  5. melev's Avatar
    I don't really like spray bars. They seem like a nice idea initially but it doesn't take long for them to start plugging up with bits of stuff. If you do it, make sure you can remove it easily for cleaning and or to just take it off permanently. You can make a prototype out of white PVC if you like... and if you have the time and want it black, paint it with Krylon Fusion for Plastics spray paint. Let it cure for 24 hours before submerging it.