Thought i might take my time, make a tutorial while making my own dividers and stick this up for anyone wanting to do it too but doesnt quite know how yet
NOTE; i decided to use my cycled big tank for males only and buy another smaller one for sorority... maybe 20g or 15g. ghost will be going into whats the sorority now. i want him to recover no matter what. he deserves a big tank.
Masking tape (NOT selotape as it does not come off easy enough)
Aquarium sealant or aquarium silicone (must be adhesive)
Crafting mesh (also known as plastic canvas for cross-stiching)
It makes your life much easier if you choose mesh the size of your sections.
This avoids stiching parts together.
Report folder binders (for my 6 sections i needed 16)
Black duct tape (to cover front joining seams of binders, see pics)
Camera and of course your tank!
Make sure ALL your equipment and work surface is clean.
Ensure yourself that ALL the products you use are NON-TOXIC.
I recommend nothing else but aquarium sealant or aquarium silicone.
Have lots of kitchen paper at hand incase glue goes where it shouldnt.
Otherwise it can be removes later with a razor blade (for this, let it dry fully)
Do not handle food or chemicals during your work.
I recommend buying extra material incase something goes wrong!
1st of all, read throught all the safely tips...
I would also suggest ensuring that your tank and equipment is clean. The tank will need a good clean afterwards anyhow, but it makes your life easier if the equipment is clean
Then, measure the width of your tank. Do this by measing the inside of the glass. Inside edge of tank to opposite inside edge of tank. I subtracted 2mm from that to ensure a straight fit that will not creese the mesh.
Measure your mesh, and cut it to size. The mesh should go right to the top edge of the tank! When you leave a few inches of room on the top without water this will ensure your betta cannot jump over the mesh! The top of the mesh should NOT be flush with the water surface!!!!
I needed 5 mesh pieces. Cut the amount you need
Then, I cut the binders to size. Unfortunetly they were a few inches too chort so i had to piece them together. If this is the case make sure you stagger the joints. This means a long piece of binder bottom left and short piece above it AND then short piece bottom right and long piece on top. This will prevent the mesh from collapsing! See picture below!
Cut all sections. Then, re-measure them and make sure there are no mistakes. If it all fits, you can now measure and mark the distances between the sections. Make sure they are all even and straight! Measure the top and the bottom for this.
NOTE: when marking with the masking tape remember from which side of the masking tape you measure from!!! Masking tape is normally 2.5cm wide, which means you could be at least 2.5cm off if you get it wrong.
When it is all marked out, start which sticking on the binders with the aquarium sealant. Make sure the binders have an even strip of sealant on them and you push them firmly against the tank glass. Repeat this for ALL binders, front and back of tank.
NOTE: the binders should go nearly to the bottom of tank. Not more than 1cm of a gap and this gap MUST be generously(!) covered with gravel! If you have bottom feeders such as Cory's, take into consideration that they might dig deep into gravel below the mesh!
For the front, I used black duct tape to hide the sealant seems on the glass! This works great and makes it look neat and professional You can use colour btw! Be creative!
After all this is completed the sealant needs to fully dry out. Read the container or instructions for this. I'd leave at least 2 days pass! Then, you can clean up any mistakes. Scrape off excess sealant from glass with new blade, cut down binders should they have ended up sticking above the tank walls etc etc etc. Also, you can now give the tank another good clean to ensure there is no debrit in it from the process.
Now, give your mesh sections a wipe or wash down, and simply slide your pre-cut mesh into the binders. I added some extra little sealant dots along the binders and mesh back and front to ensure the mesh will never slip out of the binders! you never know! ;-X
NOTE: I also added binders at the top of the mesh dividers. 1) for extra support and 2) it looks very tidy too
DONE! Then, fill your tank with decor etc....
AND POST PICS!
Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and that it was of help to some of you
very well done. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ducktape idea. That is my bigggest peeve on my 10g divided. I have loads of exeess silicone on the glass and blue spines! looks terrible for a planted tank. Thanks so much.
I also have an add-on now!
I always thought about how to solve the problem of one filter and a divided tank! here is my answer!
i bought a normal internal filter, tall enough and suitable for the litres of the tank. I bought a fluval extra silent... works the treat AND has a very strong powerhead which i needed for my plan.
It came with a nozel for adjusting the flow and it has 2 holes which, again, was a great find.
Then, i cut small sections out of the top of the mesh to fit the hose. i secured everything with a dot of sealant to prevent anything from moving.
I got a piece of garden hose that reaches over all compartment, pushed it onto the plastic add-on piece of this filter. Then, i cut small holes into the hose above each section and added a stopper to regulate the flow at the end of the hose (for this, i stuck a smaller hose into the garden hose and clamped it with a jubilee clip until the flow was suitable)
The result was a perfect flow of clean water over all sections. Also, to my surprise, I get alot of bubbles from the hose. This helps with aeration and I dont need an airpump