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View Full Version : Fish room do's & donts



stevenjohn21
12-28-2013, 06:53 PM
I'm in the process of moving house, although I have not found "the one" yet, it will have a basement so i can turn it into a fish room. I'm looking for tips from those with established fish rooms... If you were to start over in your room , what are the things you would change and things that are a must ?
I'm a total beginner when it comes to plumbing/electrical side of things and don't want to make errors that will cost me in the long run.
Thanks in advance

caricell
12-28-2013, 08:59 PM
-Make sure you have multiple 20 amp circuits in the room.
-If you are going to have any kind of floor covering, get an industrial grade (tight nap) carpeting with NO padding underneath (straight on the slab).
- Buy an industrial size blower, and wet-vac

Pierre
12-28-2013, 09:21 PM
Plan... Several months ago Larry Jinks did a presentation on his fish room. You definitely want to have a central air and WC system in place. Depending of your budget, you can even make the WC automatized. I would have a central air for heating as this will eliminate the need for one heater / aquarium and eliminate the risk "fish soup". I believe that Larry has a central filtering system and a separate generator in case of power failure.

I like a concrete slab slanted to the corner of the room to evacuate the water and avoid mold that may develop with humidity if you choose to have a carpet. Definitely have a faucet / sink in your basement and a fridge. And as Larry said, multiple amp circuits.

ahud
12-28-2013, 09:43 PM
I don't have a dedicated room yet, but I still spend time planning it lol. Heres what I found:

-Drill the tanks for easy water changes at a minimum.
-Really think about what you enjoy in the hobby, what types of fish, and if you like to raise fry. Use that info to select tank sizes/number of tanks. I often see post about people unhappy with their tank sizes.
-Personal opinion, I think standardization makes everything easier.
-Build with energy savings in mind
-Plan for humidity

stevenjohn21
12-28-2013, 10:32 PM
Thanks for the quick replies . Like I said I'm a beginner at this and I really can't afford (who can?) to make mistakes so I have been reading up on dealing with humidity , automated WC systems etc. a couple of things I would like to ask
1) would a ceiling fan be enough to move air around and create less humidity?
2) by slanting the floor a certain way (towards a floor drain) how do you make the racks level ?
3) for easy WC are there only 2 options ? Drilling tanks or over flows ?

Obviously I don't want to syphon each tank individually into a bucket but I would like something that is neatly done and out of sight.... If possible.

Demonfish
12-28-2013, 10:59 PM
I would plan more. Leave bigger aisles. Use iron racks instead of concrete blocks (more tanks in the same space). I would put my tanks lengthways instead of endwise. Putting power filters on the ends of tanks requires custom lids.

I doubt ceiling fans would do the job. We ended up putting in both a "utility sink" and a heat pump before the basement was tank friendly. IMO both are "musts". If I were doing it over, I would build a fish "room" with insulated walls, doors, and ceiling. Use the fiberglass no paper wall board. Heating the room is more efficient and comfortable than the tanks, but if you don't keep the humidity in, the tank level drops and you get musty stuff elsewhere in the basement. A floor drain with a concrete floor sloped to it would be best, but houses aren't commonly done that way here as they are in the North. In the north, basements slope to the center drain and a sump pump pumps water out of under the floor, its intended to deal with seepage, but is very useful for fish rooms..

Mopping up a thin layer of water all over the level floor is no fun at all. Don't do carpet on the level at all.

All tank racks on concrete floors must be shimmed. Whether they are deliberately sloped or just wavy, basement floors are seldom level.

Out of sight in a fishroom has never been a concern for me. But you can make a "display side" and a "behind the scenes side" like a store or public aquarium does.

I really like the idea of "easy water change" with pvc that both drains and fills with the turn of a knob. Best is separate fill and drains where water does not mix between separate tanks. But you could also do a single system where water is centrally filtered and you do the water change from that.

ronv
12-29-2013, 08:53 AM
IMO the most important thing to consider when buying a house is the plumbing and that the room is big enough to meet your needs. Everything else can be added later. Plumbing, especially the under floor drain, is either there or it's not and it is important.

ahud
12-29-2013, 04:58 PM
Thanks for the quick replies . Like I said I'm a beginner at this and I really can't afford (who can?) to make mistakes so I have been reading up on dealing with humidity , automated WC systems etc. a couple of things I would like to ask
1) would a ceiling fan be enough to move air around and create less humidity?
2) by slanting the floor a certain way (towards a floor drain) how do you make the racks level ?
3) for easy WC are there only 2 options ? Drilling tanks or over flows ?

Obviously I don't want to syphon each tank individually into a bucket but I would like something that is neatly done and out of sight.... If possible.

I like stuff to have a nice clean look as well, but a clean look is certainly the exception to most fishrooms I have seen lol. It goes back to what I said earlier, its all about deciding what you want. Some people want to use every inch of the room for tanks, which tends to give a cluttered look. The Swiss tropical guy did a nice drainage system that is not too unsightly. So there are ways to keep a clean look, while also having a smooth working room.
http://www.swisstropicals.com/Swisstropicals%20Fishroom.html

stevenjohn21
12-29-2013, 06:18 PM
Thats a great link, thank you !
If i can get it to look half as good as that then i will be happy.

ahud
12-29-2013, 07:10 PM
Here is another great link. http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=204626

You can see he was more interested in seeing the behavior and interactions versus raising a lot of fry initially, hence the big tanks with comfortable viewing. He did add smaller tanks later on for fry and grow out I think. Finding that mix is the key to a enjoyable room from what I have seen.

Demonfish
12-29-2013, 09:02 PM
basements are rare around here, You only find them in houses on a slope. We were able to add plumbing and HVAC but it was expensive and adding a floor drain would be a royal pain. Definitely look for the stuff already done.

stevenjohn21
12-30-2013, 12:12 AM
I must admit I am limiting the search of a home due to wanting a basement, however I don't see any other way of having a fish room unless there is a basement.
Tomorrow the house hunting continues !

schillbw
12-30-2013, 07:58 AM
When I was on the hunt I had the same mentality. Just make sure your agent knows what you want up front. If you can, get on georgia mls and narrow your searches to basement homes only. We were able to see many houses before finding the one.

ahud
12-30-2013, 12:02 PM
I plan on having my fishroom in a detached garage/shop. A lot of the UK fish keepers have "fish sheds", which is basically just a small building that's insulated and plumbed, I like those as well.