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Old 08-15-2017, 06:30 PM   #1
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Fish Room revival 3.0?

Hey guys,

SUPER LONG POST

This is going to be a ongoing thread about the fish room I currently have. But first a little intro to me. I'm seventeen and currently a senior in HS and will be attending KSU next year majoring in marketing.

I've kept fish since I was 11 years old and my first tank was a 55 gallon community tank within 2 years that expanded to 4 tanks, which I'm calling "fish room 1." By the time I was 15 I moved all my tanks except the 55 into the garage, built two racks with my parents help and before you knew it I had over 35 tanks and 700 gallons of water down there. I thought I had it all figured out but I was so wrong, I was able to maintain that setup for a good 12 months then without anything being automated along with baseball, girls, work, and school the maintenance fell of quickly. I'm not talking about scrubbing glass you talk to anyone that owns an actual fish room the majority of their tanks aren't going to be show quality. I'm talking about water changes, feeding the hundreds of fry I had, etc. I decided to breakdown all my tanks and thought I was done with fish. In the past three months though I've been revamping the fish room with a all new design mainly focusing on automating/semi automating almost everything. I currently have 13 tanks set up none being bigger then a 55 gallon tank. I have semi automatic water draining along with semi automatic water refills. I'll attach some pictures and go into more details about the changes I've made Click image for larger version

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The first picture is the "good side" of the rack the PVC you see is the water drain system. When I want to drain a tank I open the ball valve and water goes down the pipe and out the garage. This system works so much better then a syphon because I can drain all the tanks theoretically in the same amount of time it took me to drain one before. The PVC inside the tank has a end cap with 3/16 inch holes drilled into it along with a mesh fabric to make sure no fry get sucked up.

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The second picture shows my new lighting setup. Before I had the lights on top of glass lids and while aesthetically pleasing I broke so many kids and so many lights trying to net fish, the new system has the lights drilled into the rack allowing maximum clearance between the top of the tank and rack and makes for netting fish so much easier. The PVC you see in this picture is part of the water return system.

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This is a 75 gallon trash can that has a 800GPH pump in it. To do water changes I simply fill the trash can with water, and let it sit overnight with a couple airlines in it. This removes the chlorine and also stabilizes the PH. Then I turn the pump on and water flows up the PVC and into the 1/4 inch airline tubing that brings it to the tanks. I'll get more pictures of the 1/4 taps later this week.

My air system has also be completely redone, I'm using a jehmco pump (forget the model) that is rated up to 60 outlets and provides more than enough air, the pump sends air throughout another set of 3/4inch PVC that has the same 1/4 inch airline taps that plug into sponge filters.

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This guy right here was one of the first fish into the fishroom and has survived through hell and back and produced hundreds of fry. The rest of his friends (8 others) died when a heater malfunctioned. I also have a male jewel cichlid who is probably 8 years old and was my first ever fish (It terrorized the 55) and has produced hundreds of fry. His female passed away when I neglected the tanks and now he's living out the rest of his life in a tank by himself. He's probably the fishroom mascot and by far my favorite fish. I'll get pictures of him later this week as well.

So as for the fish I keep I currently only have 3 (+some fry)all on there own tank. But all the tanks are still being dosed with ammonia in preparation for the massive semi annual auction that I attend. I plan to keep everything from killifish to shell dwellers.

Last thing is going to be a couple answer to questions that I'm sure you guys have.

1. Do you have a life? Yes I play baseball and will probably play at the college level.

2. What makes you think you won't neglect the tanks again? The fact that I've mostly automated the system will make my life so much easier and the fact that I have cut down on the amount of tanks I have.

3. How much has this costed and do you pay for it all? I've always paid for 99% of everything I've owned for the fishroom, I didn't buy the wood for the racks and I probably haven't bought every can of food. But all the lights, fish, tanks, 99% of the food, and other supplies I have bought and I take pride in paying for everything especially when I was 11 LOL. As for cost I've put well over 2 grand into it all time but everything is so cheap for example I probably paid 100$ for the 40 some odd tanks I've owned. The biggest cost has been the air (250$ for the whole system) water ($200 ish) and food. Good lord I've spent so much money on brine shrimp eggs. The fish have also been super cheap thanks to the fish club I'm apart of. Think 80% off what you would pay at any lfs. But Ive also made a lot of money off breeding the fish and shrimp I've kept and have definitely made a profit and while I don't keep fish for the "business side" it's nice to at the very least make your operating costs back.

4. Why not use a completely automated water system along with one sumo for all the tanks? with where the fish room is located I have no was access to a waterline to even at the very least Tee it off for a RO unit, the reason I don't use one sump or a continuous drip system for everything is because I keep shell dwellers (hard water) and German rams (super soft water) and it would become a nightmare trying to remineralize the RODI water, if I did use an RODI unit I would probably use two and have two storage containers, one for soft water one for hard water. Also I completely agree with the "stable PH > Perfect PH" and have made that argument many times. buttttt when you're breeding fish you really do need the PH to be much closer to "perfect." So what I do is since my tap is super soft to begin with I don't need to touch it for the soft water tanks, and for the hard water tanks I have crushed coral as substrate and or cuttlebone. Also for the hard water tanks they get refilled much slower then the soft water tanks (at most 1/2 gallon per hour" so as to not have massive PH swings.


If you guys have any questions about anything (like how many pounds of brine shrimp eggs I used to go through ) feel free to ask away.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:40 PM   #2
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Fish Room revival 3.0?

Couple things real quick. I'll get better pics of everything especially the fish when I'm not using my iPhone camera (apple even tho your claim the 7 has the best camera it still sucks compared to my mom's old Nikon) I would just edit this into the main post but it is so big my phone is lagging when I try and type (also apple more ram plz.) also ik my grammar sucks and there might be only one period in the entire post and I'll change that when I get to my computer.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:13 PM   #3
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Nice update dude
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:15 PM   #4
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Nice update dude
Appreciate it. How many tanks are you still running?
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:22 PM   #5
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Sup fishdude. Liking the changes. I'd like to see that male jewel, I have some.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:24 PM   #6
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Sup fishdude. Liking the changes. I'd like to see that male jewel, I have some.
Will do. Wish I could wind back the clock to get some pictures of him back when he was guarding fry, his color pales in comparison now.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:49 PM   #7
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Appreciate it. How many tanks are you still running?
I have 6 fw and one sw. I will be shutting a few down soon, electric bill is getting nuts and I'd like to get a little more refined setups.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:24 PM   #8
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Fish Room revival 3.0?

got some pictures of the jewel for ya TRMC.

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thats him today

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this is him when I completely cleaned out his tank when I was redoing the fishroom and I out him in with another jewel who is one of his fry. I thought the other one might've been a female but as you can tell it isnt. His color is nicer in this photo but still nowhere near as vivid as when he was younger.

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this isnt my picture but if I were to see these two fish in a tank today I would think they were my pair from when the male was much younger.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:05 PM   #9
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got some pictures of the jewel for ya TRMC.

Attachment 302700
thats him today

Attachment 302701

this is him when I completely cleaned out his tank when I was redoing the fishroom and I out him in with another jewel who is one of his fry. I thought the other one might've been a female but as you can tell it isnt. His color is nicer in this photo but still nowhere near as vivid as when he was younger.

Attachment 302702

this isnt my picture but if I were to see these two fish in a tank today I would think they were my pair from when the male was much younger.
Beauties!!!
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:13 PM   #10
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Nice, I'll have to get some pics of mine here
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:15 PM   #11
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So, from the 1st picture showing pvc lines from tanks, what makes that work? What creates the siphon?
Is it the lateral pvc tube being lower? Haven't messed with this much.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:15 PM   #12
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Nice, I'll have to get some pics of mine here


I saw your video on of them. The one guy is an absolute stunner. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure there are at least two separate species that share the "jewel cichlid" catch all term. I believe one of the species stays dark red throughout its life and not just when breeding/showing off. I could be 100% wrong though.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:19 PM   #13
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I saw your video on of them. The one guy is an absolute stunner. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure there are at least two separate species that share the "jewel cichlid" catch all term. I believe one of the species stays dark red throughout its life and not just when breeding/showing off. I could be 100% wrong though.
You are correct Hemichromis bimaculatus and guttatus. I believe my guys to be guttatus.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:25 PM   #14
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You are correct Hemichromis bimaculatus and guttatus. I believe my guys to be guttatus.


I'm pretty sure mine are bimaculatus. I could ask the person that I got them from if I needed. That's the nice thing about buying from the club, everyone knows exactly what species hey have.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:11 PM   #15
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Even among people in the know, this is one of the most mislabeled species. I recently read a report saying bimaculatus were near extinct in the hobby, and 90% of captives are actually guttatus.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:29 PM   #16
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Even among people in the know, this is one of the most mislabeled species. I recently read a report saying bimaculatus were near extinct in the hobby, and 90% of captives are actually guttatus.
would 100% believe it, with a fish that looks so similar whatever is the cheapest and easiest to obtain is going to be the fish that the stores and wholesalers sell.
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:44 AM   #17
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Was in the garage until 3:00 AM working on rearranging some stuff. I've managed to clear a 59 inch section of the wall for another possible rack. Thinking the same thing as far as tanks (9 10 gallons, 4 20 longs.) need to get the parents ok at some point preferably b4 October but we shall see. Right now they have no idea what the section is for but I'm sure one of them will make the connection.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:32 PM   #18
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ok so I made good progress today on the garage, and managed to clear a 60 inch section out. buttttttt I've run into at least one issue




as seen in the pic the cinderblock wall extends 4 inches out. The only reason this is an issue is because in order to turn the 20 gallons sideways I need a stand that is 30 inches deep (plus like 2 1/2 for the legs) and if I were to do this the stand would stick out quite a bit and make the pathway feel cramped, the other side of the garage is completely occupied by lots of weightlifting equipment and a treadmill, so I have a couple options. I can either build the rack deep enough to turn 10 gallons sideways and just do like 10 10s on it and be done, or I could move the 10 gallons I currently have on the built rack and put them onto the new rack and put 20 gallon longs in place of the 10s. option one would allow me to have (4) 20 longs and (17) 10s. option 2 would allow for (8) 20 longs and (10) 10s. either way I feel like the proportions are kind of screwed, only having (4) 20s really limits the amounts of fish I can being growing out at once, I usually put the breeding pairs in 10s and move the fry into a 20 right before they're sold at like a 1 1/2. the other option gives me a lot of more 20s but very few 10s. ideally I would want like (8) 20s and (16) 10s. I'll run some measurements again and see how feasible it would be to make the new rack house 3 shelves of (5) 10 gallon tanks which would result in (8) 20s and (15) 10s. It would be super easy considering the ceiling is 10ft except for the fact that the garage door track thingy is right above where I want to build the new rack.

I also have to convince the parents to allow me to build the new rack but I assume its will be somewhat easy, after all I used to have 2 racks :sneaky:

I have a couple other ideas swirling around that I'll be asking about at some point tonight I'm sure. I could also build the second rack in the basement but realistically having the fish room split up on two different levals would be hard to deal with along with draining water and a second air system.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:32 AM   #19
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Fish dude, you might consider majoring in marine biology with a minor in marketing. You will likely eventually be a CEO of a commercial aquarium or zoo. At your age most of us were trying to maintain a ten gallon tank of mollies and swordtails. When I went to college, study, basketball practice, parties and other distractions led me to neglect my little tank in the dorm.
I'm sure you will be more disciplined. Lol. Impressive accomplishments.
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Old 08-17-2017, 04:14 PM   #20
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Fish dude, you might consider majoring in marine biology with a minor in marketing. You will likely eventually be a CEO of a commercial aquarium or zoo. At your age most of us were trying to maintain a ten gallon tank of mollies and swordtails. When I went to college, study, basketball practice, parties and other distractions led me to neglect my little tank in the dorm.

I'm sure you will be more disciplined. Lol. Impressive accomplishments.


Appreciate the kind words. I did at one point want to major in marine biology but it's not a big interest to me anymore. Opening an aquarium store or working for one of the big distributors is on my list of things to do though
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