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Old 07-13-2009, 09:16 PM   #1
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Question Building a Fish room

Iím in the process of starting to build a dedicated fish room. Itís in my garage and size wise will be about 17í by 14í. Iíve been picking up tanks from craigslist.com and have planned my layout of the tanks. Have water supply figured out and it will be heated by a new furnace I installed last Winter. Using OSB for the walls because Iím on a budget (currently unemployed). Figure I can make it more fancy later on. Lotís of insulation and a vapor barrier behind the OSB walls. Looking for ideas on details on power layout, lights, water, drain runs, etc.

I would love to hear from anyone who has built a fish room to say what didnít work, what works great, or what they would have done differently if they had to chance to start over again (where Iím at).

I Googled around but didnít find anything with much in the way of details so I thought Iíd try this post where fish people hang out.

I'm currently breeding angel fish and trying RCS. Might expand more but will stay with FW. And yes, this is going to be fun.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:05 PM   #2
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All I can say is IMO most imprtant thing is to ensure you have dedicated breakers for that many tanks. Good Luck, dont be stingy with pics of the build.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:26 PM   #3
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Ted’s Fishroom Ľ Fishroom -
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:03 AM   #4
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I had seen his and I already had my setup in the basement. Problem I have is moisture causing high humidity in the whole house. Plus it stays cool there causing the heaters to work harder. Must not be an issue where he is at.

Ideas I found on others sites for heating make more sense. Keep the room at the proper temp and you don't need indvidual heaters except for special cases. In a dedicated room that's easier than in a home with people. But this is why lots of insulation is in order. Easier / cheaper to heat and cool.

He also missed the need for GFC in the electrical. I have a large panel ready to handle all my power needs so I'm pretty good there. I do my own wiring and I plan to mount the outlets up high to keep them away from wet conditions as much as possible.

I don't use much air except for fry tanks so my little air pumps should do just fine as opposed to other rooms that install large air systems.

Many of the rooms I found also had fancy tanks stands. Something I won't worry about on the first round. Function comes first.

I got the first wall up yesterday and hope to get more done today. I'll post pics when it starts taking shape.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:36 AM   #5
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I love the idea of a fish room, i would definitely make/have one if i had enough room! Good luck and i hope all goes well.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:36 AM   #6
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Huh?

What do you want to do with this fishroom? FW? SW? Breeding? Propogation?

The best thing I had going in my modest 20 tank fishroom was sponge filtration. Bare bottom for breeding and fry tanks made things a ton easier!
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:04 PM   #7
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Why build a fish room? Because I like fish...

I'm currently breeding angels and been trying cories for some time with no luck. Also just setting up a RCS colony. (We'll see how that goes). Will probably try others in the future.

I have several 10, 20, & 55 gal for my breeding and others as show or species tanks. Most will go in the room.

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The best thing I had going in my modest 20 tank fishroom was sponge filtration. Bare bottom for breeding and fry tanks made things a ton easier!
I do the bare bottom already but I'm glad you mentioned the sponge filtration. I've done that in some of my fry tanks and found that inadequate. I'm a big fan of "You can't have too much filtration". I mostly use HOB's except in my show tanks where I use canisters.

I've seen other fish rooms setup with sponge filtration exclusively. Why did you like the sponge filtration? It's not too late for me to move in that direction.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:15 PM   #8
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I'm just tagging along, but regarding filters:

Couldn't you build a central filtration system for the grow out tanks? I can understand sponge filters for the fry tanks, but wouldn't it be more beneficial to incorporate a central sump or wet/dry filter? (Then again its not necessarily "cheap"..)
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:27 PM   #9
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I've seen other fish rooms setup with sponge filtration exclusively. Why did you like the sponge filtration? It's not too late for me to move in that direction.
Because it's cheap, low energy consumption, and does a great job if setup correctly. I ran 10 20G filters (on 10s) and 2 10G filters (on 5s) with this Aquarium Air Pumps & Plumbing: Coralife Super Luft Air Pump and kept perfect water conditions.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:12 PM   #10
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Because it's cheap, low energy consumption, and does a great job if setup correctly.
OK. The low energy consumption makes me interested. As I added more tanks I did see my power bill spike a little. I'm going to have to look into this. These days that is what we have to look at when building something new, which is why I'm putting so much insulation in the room.
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:50 PM   #11
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Talking Video of the Fish Room Project

I finally put together a 10 min video / slideshow of what I've done so far.

Good or bad I have plenty of room to add more tanks.

You meet Myrtle the turtle too. She loves my culls....

YouTube - Fishroom Project
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Old 10-09-2009, 04:15 PM   #12
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What an awesome idea. I know you want to do things on a budget but when it comes to the electrical I would definitely get a licensed Electrician in to do the work. With the amount of tanks you want it's not worth risking everything just to save a few bucks. Also remember to use the correct insulation as you probably know sharp temperature fluctuations aren't good for your fish.
Anyway good luck, you should take pictures as you go along step by step and then post them here I'm sure people would love to see your progress.
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:20 PM   #13
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im jealous
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by partypalooza5 View Post
I'm just tagging along, but regarding filters:

Couldn't you build a central filtration system for the grow out tanks? I can understand sponge filters for the fry tanks, but wouldn't it be more beneficial to incorporate a central sump or wet/dry filter? (Then again its not necessarily "cheap"..)
to put it simply, it would mean that all of the tanks connected. if one got a sickness, it would travel to all the tanks, and that would be a disaster.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:02 PM   #15
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Central filtration would be nice but not really feasible in my room. That works with custom tank walls but I'm using tanks picked up cheap from craigslist.com scattered around the room. Plumbing a central system would be very difficult. I've focused on HOB's so maint is easy enough and I can add chem filtration to a single tank if needed.

I wanted to point out that on my largest 225 gal tank the video shows my DIY HOB system that so far is working great. It holds 14 gal and is fed by 2 powerheads each rated at 300 gph. It's full of lava rock and house plants that feed (happily) on the water to remove nitrates. It's sort of like a pond bog filter. I used stuff/junk laying around so I have maybe $15 in it. The tank was free too. It's from a school display that was running back in the '80s. I had to re-seal and build a frame (with more junk I had) but so far it's working great. BTY - GE SilconeI sealant works great. Used it in several tanks with no problems.

It's getting chilly here lately but the heat system is doing it's job nicely so the tanks are staying in the mid to upper 70's with no tank heaters. I'm hoping this proves to save in overall operation costs. This whole project was based on a tight budget as I've been laid off since January...
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:20 PM   #16
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WOW! I am jealous and now I want my own fish room lol! Looks GREAT! And you have a ton of fish! Was that one tank of fish following you? LOL! Next thing you should do is go into the tank building business! Oh, and love the turtle, she's cute!
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