We spent months trying to figure out a way to have our fish somewhere comfortable and at some point it was decided we get a 16 gal and divide it into 6 but somewhere along the lines of that it seemed unfair since they'd have such a small space to live in and soon we bought a separate ... Smaller tank (6 gallons) for the two plakats and the 16 g was kept for the four bigger tails.
The next hurdle was what were we going to use to separate them, we had loads of suggestions from people eg plastic canvas, glass with separate filters as well as heaters ... Mesh around a frame and finally perspex which is what we ended up choosing for this project. It wasn't the cheapest alternative but seemed the safest.
We began to cycle three filters in the smaller tank just over 3 weeks ago to get it over and done with, we opted for the fishless cycle using fish food and it ended up working quite quickly apart from a few mishaps, one being the food which clumped together and formed a slime which slowed us down since we had to siphon it, clean the rocks, filters (in old water) and remove the stuff completely (apart from the broken down bits).
and so yesterday it was built ... We ended up making it so the dividers were securely kept in place with perspex struts. It was also made so that the filter and heater had separate compartments with large flow holes.
This is the back;
Actual dividers (before plastic protective sheet was ripped off)
All slotted together;
The decorating isn't completely finished yet with the need for live plants as well as silk plants and ornaments, we also want to completely remove the plastic plants.
The filter was added in as a last minute decision since we were going to wait till it was cycled but after testing it, it finally came up zero ammonia reading, nitrites were still fairly high but slowly dropping and finally our first reading of nitrate !! So we felt it was safer than them living in unfiltered 1 gallon bowls which showed up as 0.5 ammonia (I felt bad).