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
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.
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.
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.
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.