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Fish Rooms

Contents:

  1. Proto-FAQ: Setting Up A Small Fish Room
    by joshua-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us (Joshua Levy) (Fri, 30 Jul 1993)
  2. Building Fish Rooms (long)
    by pjs-at-gvgdsd.GVG.TEK.COM (Peter J. Stonard) (30 Mar 93)
  3. Building a Fish Room, Regen Blowers
    by ()
  4. SFR: raw replies 1
    by ()
  5. New Fish Room
    by Erik Olson <erik/thekrib.com> (Thu, 29 Oct 1998)
  6. New Fish Room
    by Jim Atchison <jim/atchison.com> (Thu, 29 Oct 1998)
  7. New Fish Room
    by Jerry Leong <jerryleong/loop.com> (Thu, 29 Oct 1998)
  8. New Fish Room
    by "Helen Burns" <hlnburns/thefree.net> (Fri, 30 Oct 1998)
  9. New Fish Room
    by Frauley/Elson <fraulels/minet.ca> (Fri, 30 Oct 1998)
  10. New Fish Room -Reply
    by William Vannerson <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org> (Fri, 30 Oct 1998)
  11. New Fish Room -Reply
    by William Vannerson <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org> (Fri, 30 Oct 1998)
  12. New Fish Room
    by Doug Brown <debrown/kodak.com> (Fri, 30 Oct 1998)
  13. New Fish Room
    by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com> (Fri, 30 Oct 1998)
  14. New Fish Room -Reply
    by William Vannerson <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org> (Fri, 30 Oct 1998)
  15. New Fish Room
    by cfonda/sentientconsult.com (Fri, 30 Oct 1998)
  16. New Fish Room -Reply
    by William Vannerson <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org> (Fri, 30 Oct 1998)
  17. New Fish Room
    by MICHAEL SERPA <mserpa/bayweb.net> (Fri, 30 Oct 1998)
  18. New Fish Room
    by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com> (Fri, 30 Oct 1998)
  19. New Fish Room
    by <kathy/thekrib.com> (Fri, 30 Oct 1998)
  20. New Fish Room
    by RDotta7777/aol.com (Sat, 31 Oct 1998)
  21. RE: New Fish Room -Reply
    by "Hemsath, Gay" <GHemsath/alascom.att.com> (Sun, 1 Nov 1998)
  22. Optimum Stands
    by <kathy/thekrib.com> (Mon, 2 Nov 1998)
  23. New Fish Room
    by Dave Gomberg <gomberg/wcf.com> (Mon, 02 Nov 1998)
  24. New Fish Room -Reply
    by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com> (Mon, 02 Nov 1998)
  25. Substrate for fish room
    by thayer/sirius.com (Thayer Syme) (Wed, 8 Sep 1999)
  26. Automatic water changer
    by "D. Grim" <discusdave/hotmail.com> (Fri, 28 Apr 2000)

Proto-FAQ: Setting Up A Small Fish Room

by joshua-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us (Joshua Levy)
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1993
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

                        Setting Up A Small Fish Room

Rev. 0.1  7/10/93

Prolog
------
This is the Summary of information gathered on how to build a Small Fish Room.

It is designed to be a FAQ some day.
Please send all feed back to joshua-at-veritas.com, so I can improve it.
I'm already planning on providing more specific instructions in how
to build stands, and more info on air pumps, but I'll need your suggestions 
on other parts which need to be extended, changed, or improved.

Table of contents:
	SCOPE
	OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION
	PURPOSE
	LIGHTING
	STANDS
		Loading and Sizing
		Buying
		Building
	FILTERING
	HEATING
	ELECTRICS
	FLOORING	

Scope
-----

This posting gives information on setting up a small fish room of 10-30
fresh water tanks (total of 100-300 gallons).  Many of the ideas found here
will help with big single tank set ups, or larger multi tank set ups, but
the target audience is people setting up their first fish room, and a 
pretty small one.  I have gathered from the net far more information than
I can stuff into one FAQ, and am working on a pamphlet or mini-book, which
will be more complete and detailed.

Other Sources Of Information
----- ------- -- -----------

The FAMA book FOR WHAT ITS WORTH VOL #1 edited by ___ ___ contains lots of 
good information on multi tanks set ups in general.  Well worth the $11 it
costs.

The other rec.aquarium FAQs, the postings on "The Monster" tank, and other
postings which are named in the specific sections they pertain to.

Catalogs from various mail order supply places.

Lighting
--------

There was widespread agreement that the back bone of the lighting system
should be 4 foot, 2 tube fluorecent fixtures (AKA "shop lights").  These 
are cheap, flexiable, and widely available.  Four foot fluorecent tubes are
the most cost effective, no matter what type of tube you end up putting in.
You can always add metal halide or VHO lights later.

(Refer to the plant FAQ for information on what sort of light to use.)

Stands
------

This FAQ assumes you want "industrial" stands.  Ones that hold lots of 
tanks, are not too expensive, and don't need to look great.  Also, since
it assumes you're using shop lights,  your stands should be either
4, 8, or 12 feet long.

LOADING AND SIZING

The exact rules about how much weight floors can support are compilcated,
and different at different times and places.  Most home and appartment
floors can support two "layers" of tanks.  Some can support three, but
you should check your local building codes.  This will give you a basic
constraint on height.  The size of each shelf is dependent on the size
tanks you plan to put on it.  There is a posting which contains a list
of common tanks sizes and their exterior dimentions.  Get it.  Also,
remember that you might want to put some tanks "thin side out", for
raising fry, or other purposes where more water is more important than
more viewing space.

BUYING

Most commercial racks are 3 feet wide, but they could be put next to each
other to make 9 foot or 12 foot racks.  In general "heavy duty" metal racks
are not strong enough to hold much water.  Commercial racks with shelves of
3/4 inch particle board will hold tanks, but will sag after some months, or
a year or two.  No one on rec.aquaria reported good long term experiances
with bought racks. 

BUILDING

The most common construction was used 2x4s with 3/4 inch plywood shelves.

If you are going to build this sort of stand, remember that lumber comes
in 8 foot lengths, while plywood comes in 4 food by 8 foot sheets (standard).  
Also a 2x4 is not 2 inches by 4 inches!  Those numbers are before finishing.  
When you buy 2x4s, they are 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches.

Another common construction was cinder block and plank; the planks being
2x12s or two 4x4s or a 3/4 inch plywood sheet, cut into strips.

Example of 2x4 construction:  If you make the shelving 8 feed wide and 16 
inches deep, you can cut three shelves out of one sheet of plywood.  Make 
a frame out of 2x4s for each shelf.  Use 11 more 6 foot 2x4s for verticle 
bracing.  Four of the verticle braces should go on the ends (two per); an
additional four braces front and back (near the corners); one brace in the
middle of the front, and two braces on the back.   Sort of like this (top
view):

     X                   X                   X                   X
    +-------------------------------------------------------------+
   X|                                                             |X
    |                                                             |
   X|                                                             |X
    +-------------------------------------------------------------+
     X                             X                             X

You'll end up using 17 lengths of 8 foot 2x4.  This stand will hold 8 10 
gallon tanks, or 16 5 gallon tanks "thin side out", but that will get very 
crowded.  If you buy a second sheet of plywood, you can make it each shelf 
18 or 24 inches wide, and have plywood for a top.

Filtering
---------

With filtering the first question is central vs. distributed.

Central filtering can cut down the maintenance time considerably.
You only need to clean and take care of one big filter instead of
one, two, or three dozen filters.  Also, it allows you to use a 
more complex filter, and have all your tanks benefit from it.
But, it has down sides, as well.  It forces all your tanks to have 
the same water chemistry, and it means that diseases can spread 
to all your tanks very quickly.

If you go with a central filter, you need to choose a big filter, a water
pump to drive it, a pipe system to feed it, and drilled tanks.  

(See the filter FAQ about choosing a big filter, in the future this
posting should be supplimented with more information on high end filters.)

(See a seperate posting about choosing a water pump.)

The solution for piping water is the the same as for piping air: PVC.
It is cheap, easy to work with and common.  PVC is typically sold in
20 foot lengths for less than a dollar.  (It is cheaper than 1/4 inch
air line.)  There are many books on home plumbing which cover working 
with PVC.  It involves epoxy, but you can rapid prototype by friction
fitting the parts, and then epoxy it when you're sure it is what you
want.     

(See a seperate posting by Howard Rebel about drilling tanks.)

Even if you use a distributed filtering system, you may want to have
a central air pump.  This is actually the most common set up:  one big
air pump driving one or more filter(s) in each tank.  You have your 
choice of UGF, box filter, or sponge filters.

(Refer to the filtering FAQ for information on what sorts of filters to
use for individual tanks.)

For a central air pump, you have three choices: a big normal pump, an air 
compressor, or an air blower.  A big, normal pump is something like a Supra
IV.  This pump is about $50 mail order, quiet, and can drive 30 tanks.
An air compressor is designed to provide relatively little air at high
pressure, while an air blower is designed to provide relatively large
amounts of air at low pressure.  Pressure is measured in PSI (pounds per
square inch, while amount of air is measured in CFM (cubic feed per minute).
Many mail order places have a selection of compressors and blowers for
$100 - $300 dollars.  Wet Thumb Aquatics is particularly good.  Some common
air pumps and their stats are listed below:

+--------------+---------+---------+------+-------------------------------
|     Name     | max PSI | max CFM | Cost | Notes
+--------------+---------+---------+------+-------------------------------
|   Supra IV   |   16    |   2.2   |  50  | Aquarists agree: very quiet
+--------------+---------+---------+------+-------------------------------
||||||
+--------------+---------+---------+------+-------------------------------

Cost is approximate mail order, in U.S. dollars.  Max CFM is achieved against
no back pressure, and under max pressure, almost no air is actually moved.

Air compressors and blowers are used for many purposes, and are available
from various industrial suppliers and mail order places, in addition to
aquarium supply houses.  You should avoid pumps which require oil, both
because they require regular maintenance, and because they often require
a filter after the pump to ensure there is no oil in the air.

Heating
-------

Heating is pretty simple.  If you have a central filter, you can heat that
with a "fireplug" type heater, or several large heaters.  If you do not 
have a central filter you can either heat the room, or heat each tank
with its own heater.  From a cost point of view, heating each tank will
always be cheaper (less waste), if your house heat is electric, or if
you use a stand alown electric heater.  No one knows the exact economics
if you can heat the room with gas or oil.

Electrics
---------

You may want to install a ground fault interupt plug in your fish wall.
(GFIs are discussed in more detail in the Electric FAQ.)

Most circuits can carry at least 15 amps of power.  A small fish room will 
not require more than this, so you should not worry about blowing breakers 
from pulling to much power.  Of course you can always blow a breaker by 
shorting.  
 
Flooring
--------

Your fish room floor should be covered with something, especially if you
are using a carpeted spare bedroom.  Plywood can be used to help distribute
the weight of the tanks, while water proof plastic can be used to minimize
water damage from spills.  A combination is probably best.


Building Fish Rooms (long)

by pjs-at-gvgdsd.GVG.TEK.COM (Peter J. Stonard)
Date: 30 Mar 93
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <1993Mar29.052900.1176-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us> joshua-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us (Joshua Levy) writes:
>Well it looks like I will soon be moving to a place which has an
>extra room.  I'm hoping to turn it into a fish room, or at least
>a room with a fish wall.  
Oooo, I'm envious!

>My basic question is this:  Is there any
>good source for information on fishkeeping on this scale.
Several regulars here are keeping multiple tanks on this scale,
you'll probably hear from them. Would you like to compile the
responses, post a summary, submit it to the FAQ??

I'll start the ball rolling for you:

I have eight tanks in a room that was once a bedroom. 2 x 55gal,
2 x 29 gal, 2 x 20 gal, 2 x 10 gal. All are freshwater and on
either stands or shelves. One of the shelves is attached to a
wall, something I couldn't do in an apartment. 

Lighting is controlled by a single timer, most tanks have 
commercial hoods and the plant tanks have a twin 40W shop light 
fixture, over glass covers. All lamps are fluorescent. 

Condensation from the tanks forms on the single pane windows
each night about two-thirds of the year. This could lead to
rot or mildrew on the wooden frames.

Hanging plants soften the look and some have grown towards the
shoplight and dangled roots into the plant tank.

When I rewired the house I added many more outlets to reduce the
clutter of extension cords and adaptors. I don't have a GFI
on the room but many in this group think you should. It was
my intention to add a second circuit with a wall mounted timer
to control a second set of outlets just for the lighting. This
got shelved while I find a solution to the problem of not 
being able to control flurescent lights from the digital timer
I bought. (A relay would work, I have to find the time to try
it before poking more holes in the walls).

Air is provided by a couple of pumps (Whisper 1000 and DynamasterII)
driving large diameter vinyl tubing (3/8in) and homemade PVC
pipe (1/2in) manifolds with brass valves as required. Two tanks 
are on their own Luft G pump.

All tanks are heated by electric aquarium heaters, I'm switching
over to Ebo-Jager brand as they are submersible. Most tanks now
have two heaters for reliability, as the temperature would fall
quickly if one broke. The fry tanks require carefull control.

I keep the house cool during the winter, and simple shut this 
room off by closing the door while I'm away. Summers here are 
mild so I don't have air conditioning, rarely do the tanks reach 
more than 82F, and only for a few days per summer.

Suggestions, comments:
The dynamaster is too loud! I Plan to move it and run PVC pipes 
under the crawlspace (only one foot high space, any skinny 
volunteers??).

Running water and a drain would be very nice, I get plenty of 
exercise ferrying buckets of water :*). Waste water goes on 
the garden during the summer, siphoning water out the window 
came to an end when I built a deck near the two windows. 
Water-change water is stored in a Rubbermaid 18gal container, 
not a pretty sight. 

Stuff used daily like siphon tubes, buckets, and brine 
shrimp jars are handy but untidy.  Test kits and dry food, 
nets and some spare parts are in another Rubbermaid 18gal 
container, which is just as ugly as the first :*)

The room has hardwood flooring that I refinished and coated with
marine varnish before the fish stuff arrived. Keeping it
dry is a lost cause - the tanks don't leak but I'm sloppy. I
keep a few towels that I use exclusively for spills.

My single floor house was build back in the 1930's when dimension
lumber was full size. The framing looks like it could support
a second level, so I don't worry. Modern buildings are required
to support 75 - 100 lbs per sq ft, I believe. Stacking tanks
more than say two high could require some additional bracing.

Think twice about building tanks into walls etc. Having access
to the rear, even if all you do is look for that shy Pl*co, is
very necessary. I suppose having two rooms, one for viewing and
one for the tanks and support stuff would be ideal....

>A book would be ideal, but a chapter in a book, or a magazine article
>would be fine too.  Thanks for any help.
There are a couple of photos and a description in the early
chapters of the Baensch "Aquarium Atlas" a must-have book anyway.

>Joshua Levy  (joshua-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us)

++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++
Peter J. Stonard        +                                /^\  /^\
Grass Valley Group      +                       /^\     /   \/
Grass Valley, CA. 95945 +                     /     \ /    /  
pjs-at-gvgspd.gvg.tek.com  +     Fish keeper in the Sierra Foothills
++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++
If it looks like; sounds like; quacks like; an Opinion. It's mine.


Building a Fish Room, Regen Blowers

by dxf6-at-po.CWRU.Edu (Dean Fear)
Date: 30 Mar 1993 22:35:52 GMT


I currently have a "fish basement" with 7 tanks set up w/ 5 needing to be
setup and several more to be purchased.  I am in the midst of organizing it
by building stands etc.  One suggestion I have is that for air you might
consider purchasing a regenerative blower.  These cost about $300 new. 
I was lucky enough to get a 1 year old one for about $200.  The 1/8 hp
model can drive about 200-300 outlets (1 outlet = 1 box filter/sponge
filter in a ten gallon tank).  This is obviously a great deal of power, just
the kind of thing that the guy on Home Improvement would use.  It will
conservatively handle 30 - 40 assorted tanks.  Nonetheless, it is very quiet
and supposedly energy efficient.  I have so many different air pumps that by the
time you add up how much they cost ie a Whisper 1000 -at- 45 bucks each it
quickly adds up to what the blower would cost.  The blower provides you
with a great deal of flexibility, in that you probably aren't going to grow
out of it!  However, if you only plan on having 5 tanks it might not be
worth it, but with 10 gallon tanks going for $6 and 55 gallons going for
$90 they just keep on showing up at my house.


A good source for blowers is Wet Thumb Aquatics (313)725-0960

BTW I am keeping in mind that I will eventually move, so I am making the
stands modular so I can get them out of the basement.  Also, you can save
a lot of space by facing small tanks like 10gal 20H and 29 with their ends
out.  Obviously, you lose some visibility by doing this but for growing fry
out this may not matter that much.  One last suggestion, you can use "egg
crate" for lids instead of buying covers or hoods.

I'd appreciate any further postings/summaries on this subject as I chisel
away each weekend in my basement.  Gotta love that Radial Arm Saw!!!

Thanks,
Dean

Am I warped or is all wood at the local Builder Rama Square Depot?


SFR: raw replies 1

by joshua-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us (Joshua Levy)
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1993 04:49:36 GMT

Here are the replies I got to my posting asking for information
about small fish rooms.  I've started out with my original post:

----------------
~From: joshua-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us (Joshua Levy)
~Subject: Building Fish Rooms

Well it looks like I will soon be moving to a place which has an
extra room.  I'm hoping to turn it into a fish room, or at least
a room with a fish wall.  My basic question is this:  Is there any
good source for information on fishkeeping on this scale.  A book
would be ideal, but a chapter in a book, or a magazine article
would be fine too.  Thanks for any help.  

Joshua Levy  (joshua-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us)


----------------
~From: mar-at-athena.mit.edu (Mark A. Rosenstein)
~Subject: Re: tank dimensions?
~Date: 29 Mar 1993 21:58:14 GMT

Here's something I pulled off the net last year with standard tank
dimensions.
					-Mark

~From: pjs-at-gvgdsd.GVG.TEK.COM (Peter J. Stonard)
~Newsgroups: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria
~Subject: [All] Handy Info (Tank sizes)
~Date: 17 Oct 92 00:14:24 GMT

I recently bought a couple of aquariums locally, they are made
by All-Glass Aquarium Co. of Franklin, Wisconsin, and came with
a sales catalog. 

In the back of the catalog is a table of technical information
(tank sizes, weights, capacities etc.) which is very handy.

I've reproduced it here, with permission of Roger Ritzow, co-owner
of All-Glass Aquariums. Also, thanks to Sharon at All Glass 
Aquariums for her help.

Finally, I'm just a happy customer, and I have no commercial
interest in seeing this material distributed.

Tank Size	Exact Outside Dimensions	Weight	Weight	Tempered
		(inches) (L x W x H)		Empty	Full	Bottom
		(Including frame)		(lbs)	(lbs)

2 1/2 mini	12 3/16 x 6 1/8  x 8 1/8	2.6	27
5 1/2 Gallon	16 3/16 x 8 3/8  x10 1/2	7	62
10 Leader	20 1/4  x10 1/2  x12 9/16	11	111
10 Long		24 1/4  x 8 1/2  x12 5/8	16	116
10 Gallon	24 1/4  x12 1/2  x12 3/4	21	170

15 High		20 1/4  x10 1/2  x18 3/4	22	170
15 Show		24 1/4  x 8 1/2  x16 5/8	22	170
20 High		24 1/4  x12 1/2  x16 3/4	25	225
20 Long		30 1/4  x12 1/2  x12 3/4	25	225
25 Gallon	24 1/4  x12 1/2  x20 3/4	32	282

29 Gallon	30 1/4  x12 1/2  x18 3/4	40	330
30 Gallon	36 1/4  x12 5/8  x16 3/4	43	343
30 Breeder	36 3/16 x18 1/4  x12 15/16	48	348
33 Long		48 1/4  x13 1/2  x12 7/8	52	382	X
37 Gallon	30 1/4  x12 1/2  x22 3/4	45	415	X

38 Gallon	36 1/4  x12 5/8  x19 3/4	47	427	X
40 Breeder	36 3/16 x18 1/4  x16 15/16	58	458
40 Long		48 1/4  x12 3/4  x16 7/8	55	455	X
45 Gallon	36 1/4  x12 5/8  x23 3/4	66	515	X
45 Long		48 1/4  x12 3/4  x19		60	510	X

50 Gallon	36 7/8  x19      x19 5/8	100	600
55 Gallon	48 1/4  x12 3/4  x21		78	625	X

60 Gallon	48 3/4  x12 7/8  x23 7/8	111	710	X
65 Gallon	36 7/8  x19      x24 5/8 	126	775
70 Gallon	48 7/8  x19  	 x21 5/8	165	865	
90 Gallon	48 7/8  x19 	 x24 5/8	182	1080	
100 Gallon	72 7/8  x19      x19 5/8	189	1180	

120 Gallon	48 7/8  x25 	 x25 5/8	230	1430
125 Gallon	72 7/8  x19      x23 5/8 	236	1480
150 Gallon	72 7/8  x19  	 x28 3/4	358	1850	
180 Gallon	72 7/8  x25      x25 3/4	430	2230	

20 X-High	20 1/4  x10 1/2  x23 3/4	32	232
30 X-High	24 1/4  x12 1/2  x24 3/4	41	340
50 X-High	30 1/4  x12 3/4  x30 1/2	98	590
80 X-High	48 7/8  x14      x30 3/4	200	990
110 X-High	48 7/8  x19      x30 3/4        228	1320

10 Hexagon	14 1/2  x12 9/16 x18 3/8	12	110
20 Hexagon	18 3/4  x16 1/4  x20 5/8	23	220	X
35 Hexagon	23 1/4  x20 3/16 x24 3/4	43	390	X
60 Hexagon	27 1/4  x24 1/8  x29 1/2	110	750	X
26 Flatback	36 1/4  x12 1/2  x16 5/8	42	300	X

4 Designer	8 1/4	x8  1/4	 x18 7/8	9	49
6 Designer	8 1/4	x8  1/4  x24 7/8	10.5	70
10 Designer	13 5/8  x13 5/8	 x19		18.5	115
15 Designer	13 5/8	x13 5/8  x25		25.5	175

++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++
Peter J. Stonard        +                                /^\  /^\
Grass Valley Group      +                       /^\     /   \/
Grass Valley, CA. 95945 +                     /     \ /    /  
pjs-at-gvgspd.gvg.tek.com  +     Fish keeper in the Sierra Foothills
++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++
If it looks like; sounds like; quacks like; an Opinion. It's mine.
----------------
~From: mark stephens <stephens-at-kong.gsfc.nasa.gov>
~Subject: Re: Building Fish Rooms
~Date: 30 Mar 1993 13:07:04 GMT

~Subject: Building Fish Rooms
~From: Joshua Levy, joshua-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us
~Date: 29 Mar 93 05:29:00 GMT
In article <1993Mar29.052900.1176-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us> Joshua Levy,
joshua-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us writes:
>Well it looks like I will soon be moving to a place which has an
>extra room.  I'm hoping to turn it into a fish room, or at least
>a room with a fish wall.  My basic question is this:  Is there any
>good source for information on fishkeeping on this scale.  A book
>would be ideal, but a chapter in a book, or a magazine article
>would be fine too.  Thanks for any help.  
>
>Joshua Levy  (joshua-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us)


For What It's Worth (the book) from FAMA has some fish room setups. 
Mostly, as I've found out, you are on your own.  What I did was pester
everybody at my two clubs (killie and regular fish) about what they had. 
Most folks seem to go with a simple fish wall from 2 by material with a
central air pump and sponge or other air driven filters.  Pythons are
typically used to change water.  That way you don't have to figure out
much, like how to drill holes in tanks and work with pvc.

Changing individual tanks is way too time consuming for me.  I'm at my
personal limit with four tanks.  I came across only three members with
centrally filtered fish rooms and gleaned good advice from both.  A good
pet shop may be another source of advice.   If you can tie your plumbing
to the house water, water changing can be automatic or a simple lever
turn (I'm assuming FW here!).  

I have one plan in MacDraw (Macintosh format) and can send to you or
anybody else interested.  It's just a schematic, not the 'real' thing. 
Faxing is also a possibility, but I'd prefer not to abuse the government
too much!

     mark

----------------

~From: pjs-at-gvgdsd.GVG.TEK.COM (Peter J. Stonard)
~Subject: Re: Building Fish Rooms (long)
~Date: 30 Mar 93 18:43:25 GMT

In article <1993Mar29.052900.1176-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us> joshua-at-homespace.mtview.ca.us (Joshua Levy) writes:
>Well it looks like I will soon be moving to a place which has an
>extra room.  I'm hoping to turn it into a fish room, or at least
>a room with a fish wall.  
Oooo, I'm envious!

>My basic question is this:  Is there any
>good source for information on fishkeeping on this scale.
Several regulars here are keeping multiple tanks on this scale,
you'll probably hear from them. Would you like to compile the
responses, post a summary, submit it to the FAQ??

I'll start the ball rolling for you:

I have eight tanks in a room that was once a bedroom. 2 x 55gal,
2 x 29 gal, 2 x 20 gal, 2 x 10 gal. All are freshwater and on
either stands or shelves. One of the shelves is attached to a
wall, something I couldn't do in an apartment. 

Lighting is controlled by a single timer, most tanks have 
commercial hoods and the plant tanks have a twin 40W shop light 
fixture, over glass covers. All lamps are fluorescent. 

Condensation from the tanks forms on the single pane windows
each night about two-thirds of the year. This could lead to
rot or mildrew on the wooden frames.

Hanging plants soften the look and some have grown towards the
shoplight and dangled roots into the plant tank.

When I rewired the house I added many more outlets to reduce the
clutter of extension cords and adaptors. I don't have a GFI
on the room but many in this group think you should. It was
my intention to add a second circuit with a wall mounted timer
to control a second set of outlets just for the lighting. This
got shelved while I find a solution to the problem of not 
being able to control flurescent lights from the digital timer
I bought. (A relay would work, I have to find the time to try
it before poking more holes in the walls).

Air is provided by a couple of pumps (Whisper 1000 and DynamasterII)
driving large diameter vinyl tubing (3/8in) and homemade PVC
pipe (1/2in) manifolds with brass valves as required. Two tanks 
are on their own Luft G pump.

All tanks are heated by electric aquarium heaters, I'm switching
over to Ebo-Jager brand as they are submersible. Most tanks now
have two heaters for reliability, as the temperature would fall
quickly if one broke. The fry tanks require carefull control.

I keep the house cool during the winter, and simple shut this 
room off by closing the door while I'm away. Summers here are 
mild so I don't have air conditioning, rarely do the tanks reach 
more than 82F, and only for a few days per summer.

Suggestions, comments:
The dynamaster is too loud! I Plan to move it and run PVC pipes 
under the crawlspace (only one foot high space, any skinny 
volunteers??).

Running water and a drain would be very nice, I get plenty of 
exercise ferrying buckets of water :*). Waste water goes on 
the garden during the summer, siphoning water out the window 
came to an end when I built a deck near the two windows. 
Water-change water is stored in a Rubbermaid 18gal container, 
not a pretty sight. 

Stuff used daily like siphon tubes, buckets, and brine 
shrimp jars are handy but untidy.  Test kits and dry food, 
nets and some spare parts are in another Rubbermaid 18gal 
container, which is just as ugly as the first :*)

The room has hardwood flooring that I refinished and coated with
marine varnish before the fish stuff arrived. Keeping it
dry is a lost cause - the tanks don't leak but I'm sloppy. I
keep a few towels that I use exclusively for spills.

My single floor house was build back in the 1930's when dimension
lumber was full size. The framing looks like it could support
a second level, so I don't worry. Modern buildings are required
to support 75 - 100 lbs per sq ft, I believe. Stacking tanks
more than say two high could require some additional bracing.

Think twice about building tanks into walls etc. Having access
to the rear, even if all you do is look for that shy Pl*co, is
very necessary. I suppose having two rooms, one for viewing and
one for the tanks and support stuff would be ideal....

>A book would be ideal, but a chapter in a book, or a magazine article
>would be fine too.  Thanks for any help.
There are a couple of photos and a description in the early
chapters of the Baensch "Aquarium Atlas" a must-have book anyway.

++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++
Peter J. Stonard        +                                /^\  /^\
Grass Valley Group      +                       /^\     /   \/
Grass Valley, CA. 95945 +                     /     \ /    /  
pjs-at-gvgspd.gvg.tek.com  +     Fish keeper in the Sierra Foothills
++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++=++
If it looks like; sounds like; quacks like; an Opinion. It's mine.


----------------
~From: dxf6-at-po.CWRU.Edu (Dean Fear)
~Subject: Re: Building a Fish Room, Regen Blowers
~Date: 30 Mar 1993 22:35:52 GMT

I currently have a "fish basement" with 7 tanks set up w/ 5 needing to be
setup and several more to be purchased.  I am in the midst of organizing it
by building stands etc.  One suggestion I have is that for air you might
consider purchasing a regenerative blower.  These cost about $300 new. 
I was lucky enough to get a 1 year old one for about $200.  The 1/8 hp
model can drive about 200-300 outlets (1 outlet = 1 box filter/sponge
filter in a ten gallon tank).  This is obviously a great deal of power, just
the kind of thing that the guy on Home Improvement would use.  It will
conservatively handle 30 - 40 assorted tanks.  Nonetheless, it is very quiet
and supposedly energy efficient.  I have so many different air pumps that by the
time you add up how much they cost ie a Whisper 1000 -at- 45 bucks each it
quickly adds up to what the blower would cost.  The blower provides you
with a great deal of flexibility, in that you probably aren't going to grow
out of it!  However, if you only plan on having 5 tanks it might not be
worth it, but with 10 gallon tanks going for $6 and 55 gallons going for
$90 they just keep on showing up at my house.


A good source for blowers is Wet Thumb Aquatics (313)725-0960

BTW I am keeping in mind that I will eventually move, so I am making the
stands modular so I can get them out of the basement.  Also, you can save
a lot of space by facing small tanks like 10gal 20H and 29 with their ends
out.  Obviously, you lose some visibility by doing this but for growing fry
out this may not matter that much.  One last suggestion, you can use "egg
crate" for lids instead of buying covers or hoods.

I'd appreciate any further postings/summaries on this subject as I chisel
away each weekend in my basement.  Gotta love that Radial Arm Saw!!!

Thanks,
Dean

Am I warped or is all wood at the local Builder Rama Square Depot?


New Fish Room

by Erik Olson <erik/thekrib.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

For me, 1) enough clearance between rows to get in and muck with the tank,
and 2) put in enough light to keep floating plants... I swear they are
what keep our tanks from becoming too nutrient-choked when we don't have
time for water changes.  I guess maybe also 3) get everything leveled up
and painted before adding the tanks.

  - Erik

-- 
Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com

On Thu, 29 Oct 1998, Mike Jacobs wrote:

> Folks.............A request.  In about 3 weeks my new fish room will begin
> to take existance.  From the ground up it will be about 16' x 16' attached
> to the house as an add-on....standard 8+' high ceiling.  Concrete brick
> walls and a cement floor with about a 1/2" slope/5-6" to a drain......it
> will have it's own heat/air conditioner, and all new 2x4 stands to be made
> as I choose.  By the way I am in St Pete, Florida and thusly the concrete
> walls..........I figure about, depending on size, 60-70 tanks all facing
> lengthway out....no short ends of tanks.
> 
> What I would like to ask of you guys is if this were your new room what 1 or
> 2 things would you insist on in terms of making a fish-room
> work............to raise apisto's of course.....;-)....this is an apisto
> list!!!
> Remember,  this is from the ground up.............I am really excited and
> there are alot of you out there that I really respect and enjoy.....give me
> a hand.....thanks!
> 
> Have fun and help me make this 30 year dream happen....throw in your
> suggestion!
> 
> Mike
> 
> Mike Jacobs
> Math Instructor, Center for Advanced Technologies
> Lakewood H.S., St Pete, Fl.
> mfjacobs@geocities.com
> mikejacobs@ij.net
> 
> 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This is the apistogramma mailing list, apisto@majordomo.pobox.com.
> For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help,
> email apisto-request@majordomo.pobox.com.
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> 


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New Fish Room

by Jim Atchison <jim/atchison.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Mike,
A few things to think about with the new room. I have been
building/remodeling  my hatchery for the past year and have wished at
times that someone would have written down all the interesting things I
have "discovered."
Plan your water disposal system prior to your water delivery system.
Cities flood because of poor drainage planning...the inbound plan was
already in place.
Plan for channels/chases between tank rows and in columns. You will want
your room to be flexible over time...adding new electrical or plumbing
runs is a pain in the neck through 4x4s in the wrong place.
A work table is paramount...give up some tank space for a person space.
My stereo is a critical need. I spend hours with the fish and the music
helps.
My heater is controlled by a wall mounted thermostat...the fan by
another. Don't rely on the equipment internal controls...they are cheap
and can fault easily.
Leave a 1/4 inch (+) between the tanks. I place visual dividers between
some tanks and the gap has made it much easier to remove tanks for
cleaning.
I am amazed at how often I use the workbench, the power tools, the
torch, the bench vise...
likewise, I thought with a temperature controlled room I would never
need a tank heater...and so under wired the rooms. I am currently adding
more plugs.
If you really want to see your fish your choices of stand systems is
limited to two rows (levels) of vertical racks or three rows in steps.
That lower level just doesn't get the attention of the middle and upper
levels. If you are planning a semi-commercial venture...the bottom space
will more than likely become tanks...just beware that those tanks
require the same care and the middle row (my favorite).
Lighting is an issue that you should design for up front...it's coupled
with that channel/chase idea earlier. I use ambient lighting from the
ceiling fixture for most tanks.
A sink is nice. I would like to have had hot water though.
A refrigerator is nice.
My microwave is valuable.
The blower is great...it's the exhaust that makes most of the noise...I
built a muffler. The air pipes should be designed along with the tank
racks. Use radial electrical corners for better efficiency.
Good luck,
Jim
--
High Prairie Farms
Freshwater Aquarium Fishes
San Rafael, California
415-472-7294 (phone)     415-472-7971 (fax)
http://www.atchison.com/highprairiefarms.html
LIVE FOODS!  http://www.atchison.com/live.htm



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New Fish Room

by Jerry Leong <jerryleong/loop.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Since apistos are going to be the main occupants of the fish room, I would
suggest a high efficiency (high pressure) RO system, with storage tank for the
water.  If the storage tank is inside the fish room, it could also act as a heat
sink to help stabilize the room's temperature.  Unfortunately, the high
efficiency RO systems require electricity to power the pump which would boost the
pressure to increase the efficiency of the system.  Then there's the problem of
transferring the water from the storage tank to the individual tanks...

Mike Jacobs wrote:

> Folks.............A request.  In about 3 weeks my new fish room will begin
> to take existance.  From the ground up it will be about 16' x 16' attached
> to the house as an add-on....standard 8+' high ceiling.  Concrete brick
> walls and a cement floor with about a 1/2" slope/5-6" to a drain......it
> will have it's own heat/air conditioner, and all new 2x4 stands to be made
> as I choose.  By the way I am in St Pete, Florida and thusly the concrete
> walls..........I figure about, depending on size, 60-70 tanks all facing
> lengthway out....no short ends of tanks.
>
> What I would like to ask of you guys is if this were your new room what 1 or
> 2 things would you insist on in terms of making a fish-room
> work............to raise apisto's of course.....;-)....this is an apisto
> list!!!
> Remember,  this is from the ground up.............I am really excited and
> there are alot of you out there that I really respect and enjoy.....give me
> a hand.....thanks!
>
> Have fun and help me make this 30 year dream happen....throw in your
> suggestion!
>
> Mike
>
> Mike Jacobs
> Math Instructor, Center for Advanced Technologies
> Lakewood H.S., St Pete, Fl.
> mfjacobs@geocities.com
> mikejacobs@ij.net
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This is the apistogramma mailing list, apisto@majordomo.pobox.com.
> For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help,
> email apisto-request@majordomo.pobox.com.
> Search http://altavista.digital.com for "Apistogramma Mailing List Archives"!



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New Fish Room

by "Helen Burns" <hlnburns/thefree.net>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998
To: <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>

Mike,
You will have plenty space in a 16'x16' but make room for your needs.  i.e.
workbench, chair and a radio as you will be spending hours in there each
day.
1.    A sink
2.    Brine shrimp hatchery for all the apisto fry.
3.    Ensure all electrical sockets are installed above the top tier.
4.    Fans on the roof to circulate the hot air.
5.    Tanks lighting on a time switch.
6.    Extractor fan.
Best of luck.
Helen.
-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Jacobs <mikejacobs@ij.net>
>What I would like to ask of you guys is if this were your new room what 1
or
>2 things would you insist on in terms of making a fish-room
>work............to raise apisto's of course.....;-)....this is an apisto
>list!!!
>Mike



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New Fish Room

by Frauley/Elson <fraulels/minet.ca>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

For a new fishroom, I'd suggest a couch, or at least a comfy chair with
a view of at least a few favorite tanks. My fishroom's 4 months old, and
already I regret the fact that while I've effectively used every inch
designated for my dwarf cichlids, I made a work space for a hobby. You
have to be able to comfortably watch the show. You also should have
space all the weird little necessities - live food, places for
artificial incubation, killies, coffee cup holders... and a good work
table area.
Have fun.
-Gary  
Ps In Florida. How about some natural sunlight?


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New Fish Room -Reply

by William Vannerson <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

>>... throw in your suggestion!<<

First, take lots of pictures so we can vicariously live your dream!

Among other tips I've heard, lots of GFI outlets.  You should consider
putting in separate circuits for the fishroom.  If you have a box with
circuit breakers, as apposed to fuses, you could use a GFI breaker. 
Then the entire circuit will be protected.  This is good for lighting too if
you use individual strip lights on the tanks.  I recall one story of a fish
keeper who instinctively grabbed (successfully) a strip light as it fell into
an open tank.  Luckily the GFI breaker tripped immediately.

Seal the floor with a good paint or an epoxy flooring.  Concrete is porous
and dirty water will be "absorbed" and contribute to the overall odor.  A
floor squeegee might be a nice addition to push water towards the drain.

If you plan on central filtration, consider running two sets of pipes.  One
for soft water and another for neutral or hard water.  Also, use flexible
tubing as water leads from the supply pipes to the tanks and as waste
returns to the drains.  This will let you take tanks on and off line easily. 
Jim Robinson's presentation in Cincy this summer on his system was
great.  Simple and easy to follow.  Carl Doering in Detroit filmed it so you
might want to give him a call if you're interested.

Provide some comfort for yourself.  Aside from the stereo and fridge,
which were already suggested, plan for a couple of chairs or stools so
you and your friends can be comfortable while enjoying your fish.  A
phone with a speaker phone capability would be nice.

A bookshelf, a cabinet for dry food and meds (with a lock if small
children may be present), a small filing cabinet for records, a white board
or chalk boards to write notes or schedules.

Lastly, a wall calendar with each of the apisto list members' names
penciled in for trips to visit ;-)

Actually, one of those wall planners from a stationary store would be
nice, perhaps in place of a white board.  Not only could you schedule
water changes, note when pairs spawn, when bags of peat need to be
wetted (killies), but you could also track shows, auctions and LFS sales.

Finally, I'd consider adding a PC. I've toyed with the idea of networking a
couple of PCs in my house.  I now have two, my original 6 year old box
that's in the kid's room and my new one in our 4th bedroom.  When I build
my fishroom, which won't be anywhere along the scope of your's, I'm
thinking of have the monitor and keyboard in the room with the CPU in the
adjoining room to protect it from the humidity.  It sounds crazy but with
the price of hardware coming down, you can get a low end box for
under $500, maybe even less second hand.  The PC would be useful for
keeping notes and for reference (I often copy interesting threads and
web pages onto disk for future reference.)  Networking would be nice to
allow for printing to the other PC's printer and exchanging files.  The
networking hardware can be bought new for about $100.

Oh, one more thing... have fun!!

 
Bill Vannerson
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/william_vannerson


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New Fish Room -Reply

by William Vannerson <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

>>I would suggest a high efficiency (high pressure) RO system, with
storage tank for the water.<<

Consider a rain barrel to collect nice soft rain water.

Bill Vannerson
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/william_vannerson


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New Fish Room

by Doug Brown <debrown/kodak.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Great ideas folks. As I just bought a house with a sprawling basement I
have been thinking about these issues myself. (Beds, living room furniture
- huh?)

Some ideas:

- Paint at least one wall black or dark blue or green behind tanks.

- No windows. I know the fish look great in natural sunlight but the darn
algae doesn't.

- Leave room for a few house plants.

- Use that pretreated deck wood for racks. Use bolts so I can take it apart
if I need to!

- I would also love to figure out a good cheap way to be able to slide the
tanks out of racks to clean them.

- A sink big enough for a 10G tank.

- All lights on a single timer.

- At least one serious display tank - my dream would be one of those cool
corner ones with the bowed front.

- Supra IV air pump, enough for 30 tanks easy.

- Safety first: GFI and painted non-slip floor.

- If you have the space a cool idea I saw was to have the utility table in
the middle of the room with cabinets underneath. This guy eventually hung a
light over it and put plant tanks on it.

- My biggest concern is water. I think I've decided my first system will
just be my RO unit running into a plastic trash can with an overflow valve,
and a big submersible pump to top off tanks.

-Doug Brown
debrown@kodak.com



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New Fish Room

by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

> What I would like to ask of you guys is if this were your new room what 1 or
> 2 things would you insist on in terms of making a fish-room
> work............to raise apisto's of course.....;-)....this is an apisto
> list!!!
> Remember,  this is from the ground up.............I am really excited and
> there are alot of you out there that I really respect and enjoy.....give me
> a hand.....thanks!
I would implement a de-humidifier some how.

Kaycy


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New Fish Room -Reply

by William Vannerson <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

>>- No windows. I know the fish look great in natural sunlight but the
darn algae doesn't.<<

My space hass a well window near the top.  There's a plastic cover
over the well on the outside so it only gets indirect light in the room.

>>- A sink big enough for a 10G tank.<<

Unfortunately, my plumbing arrangement in the basement won't allow for
a sink in the same room (unless I want to rent a jackhammer to install a
new drain line.  But I will be putting a sink in the basment and I will be
installing a kitchen counter top next to and perpendicular to it.  I'm going to
install the counter top at a hieght equal to the top of the sink.  This will
give ne a good wwork ssurface for tanks and such.  FWIW, the counter
is also were my fermentors will be when I'm brewing a batch of
homebrew!

The fishroom/workshop (Oh! Did i forget to mention that this will be my
workshop too!) does have the house sump pump in the corner.  This will
at least protect me from accidental water spills.  I'm also considering
using it as a drain for waste water, but I'm sure this is a good idea,
espacially in the winter.

Any thoughts?

>>- I would also love to figure out a good cheap way to be able to slide
the tanks out of racks to clean them.<<

Empty tanks or full tanks?  I can't think of a cheap way to handle full
tanks.  Ed Warner, a 40 year killie keeper in Rockford, IL., has a great
system for cleaning his tanks (about 200).  He nets the fish out and puts
them into new tanks.  He than marks the dirty tanks with a grease pencil. 
A local neighborhhod kid comes in once a week and cleans the tanks
that are marked and refills them.  Of course these are all bare tanks for
raising killies for sale.  But it is a nice idea to have someone else clean
tanks. <g>

Bill Vannerson
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/william_vannerson


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New Fish Room

by cfonda/sentientconsult.com
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com




Here's the few things I would insist on:

1)  Ceramic tile floor (large tiles)
2)  2 or 3 Central Filtration systems (to allow keeping more than one type
of water chemistry), using overflow bulkheads on each tank draining to
sumps...
3)  "Automatic" water change system... Tap flows into a Carbon filter, then
into a DI unit, then into the tanks (using a IV bag hooked into the line to
dose with conditioners)... outflow would be from an overflow bulkhead on
the sumps draining into the house plumbing.
4)  The ability to take any tank off-system at a moment's notice... (using
valves)

There are lots of other things I would want, but I think that these are the
most important to me...

Have fun,
Cliff



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New Fish Room -Reply

by William Vannerson <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

>>I would implement a de-humidifier some how.<<

And perhaps an exhaust fan.  Maybe a humidistat/thermostat could
automatically regulate the fan.

Also, there was a discussion on the killies list a while ago about using
the water from a dehumidifier pan as a source of neutral water.  Some
were for it, some against, and a few were doing it without any ill affects.
 Of course, your millage may vary.

Bill Vannerson
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/william_vannerson


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New Fish Room

by MICHAEL SERPA <mserpa/bayweb.net>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Mike Jacobs wrote:
> 
> Folks.............A request.  In about 3 weeks my new fish room will begin
> to take existance.  From the ground up it will be about 16' x 16' attached
> to the house as an add-on....standard 8+' high ceiling.  Concrete brick
> walls and a cement floor with about a 1/2" slope/5-6" to a drain......it
> will have it's own heat/air conditioner, and all new 2x4 stands to be made
> as I choose.  By the way I am in St Pete, Florida and thusly the concrete
> walls..........I figure about, depending on size, 60-70 tanks all facing
> lengthway out....no short ends of tanks.
> 
> What I would like to ask of you guys is if this were your new room what 1 or
> 2 things would you insist on in terms of making a fish-room
> work............to raise apisto's of course.....;-)....this is an apisto
> list!!!
> Remember,  this is from the ground up.............I am really excited and
> there are alot of you out there that I really respect and enjoy.....give me
> a hand.....thanks!
> 
> Have fun and help me make this 30 year dream happen....throw in your
> suggestion!
> 
> Mike
> 
> Mike Jacobs

	Mike, Don't make the same mistake I made. I made the isles
	between the tanks too narrow. It was out of neccessity, but
	I'd have been better off with fewer tanks and more isle space.

	My next room will have 40 inch, minimum, isles.
	
	Keep in mind the importance of accessibility!

	Have fun.

	Michael


-- 
Michael Serpa * Bay Island Orchids
2311 Pacific Avenue * Alameda, CA 94501
Tel: (510) 521-8245 *  Fax: (510) 865-1787
http://www.bayislandorchids.com


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New Fish Room

by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

If he doesn't keep humidity under control, all of the wood in the room
(walls, racks, ceiling, roof joists, etc.) will eventually be damaged. I
would address this with some combination of exhaust fans and/or a
dehumidifier hooked up to a humidistat.

Since he's looking at doing mainly apistos, he'll need a source of soft
water. Properly plumbed (mainly to avoid too much metal) the
dehumidifier can be a source of water. I would rig something along the
line of a hot water heater to store the water from the dehumidifier
(supplemented with the output of an RO unit) to maintain the water at
78*.

The "waste" side of the RO can be drained to a second tank and used to
water the yard, used for fish that don't need as soft of water etc.

I'd use a motor home style water pump (automatically activates when
pressure drops) along with irrigation valves/timers to do daily water
changes on the tanks in sequence. The tanks would be plumbed with
overflows to maintain a constant level. (Thus the water changes would
also correct for evaporation at the same time.) 

If the "waste" side of the RO unit is being used for fish, than the
overflow from the tanks should be plumbed for irrigation and/or grey
water applications such as feeding it into the supply lines for the
toilets in the house. If the "waste" side is being used for irrigation,
etc. itself, then I would take the overflow from the tanks and feed it
back through the RO unit to recover part of the water. (The RO will
remove virtually all of the nitrogenous wastes from the "clean" side and
concentrate them on the "waste" side.) 

I would also consider some form of sterilization for the water, either
ozone or UV, to prevent the cross-contamination that can occur with a
central filtration system.

Plan for the maximum size of the fish room and scale items accordingly.
If you're going to have 75-100 tanks, then plan on a blower, not air
pumps. Similarly, figure out approximately what size water change you'll
want to do per day and figure out what the total gallons/day will be.
This will help you determine the size of the RO unit you'll need, how
large your waste handling system will need to be, etc.

Also, don't forget to include enough valves to be able to completely
shut down a given tank if needed. (Air, water supply, etc.) 

Another possibility for a "central filtration" model that is currently
being used by some commercial (food) fish growers is to run the "waste"
water from the tanks to hydroponic beds where the plants consume the
ammonia/et al. The "waste" from the hydroponic system (now clean water)
can be fed back to the fish tanks. You get a second "crop" and the only
increased expenses are the extra plumbing and a couple more pumps to
move the water around. You could attach a greenhouse to the side of your
fish room, or possibly just devote the top level of your "fish racks" to
the hydroponics and put on a greenhouse style roof.

It all depends on what you want to accomplish, and what your budget is
in terms of time, space and money.

-- dj


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New Fish Room

by <kathy/thekrib.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com



Just a few additons, to what has already been mentioned.

I like the three rows of tanks, more fish space...but it is true I look at
the bottom row less...good fry grow out tanks...or spawning tanks for
shy/stressed fish.

We have different wattages of light over the rows to allow different
plants to be grown...from low to high tech.  On rack has CO2 as well.  
The lights are housed in white rain gutter (DYI lighting) with end
pieces...looks quit good from an aesthetic point of view.  Are old light
blinds were wood which is cool, this set isn't...always trying new things.

We do have a futon in our fish room opposite the gorgeous planted tank.
Have held more than one fish party in the room (it is carpeted in the
basement), and people crashed on the floor.  The futon also lets out to a
full sized be for those who "want to sleep with the fishes".  One guest's
comments was on the ambience provided by the heaters as night lights.

There is stereo piped in.  The whole house is hooked up to and controlled
by the computer.  Including the water for my rose garden as well.  There
are also conveniently placed control pads in other rooms besides the TECH
room (home of The Krib).

It is fun to come home and crash, relax and eat dinner with Erik down in
the fish room.

We also have a few other tanks not seen in Eriks article...including the
oak leaf tank, the 75 gallon planted, another crypt tank, a terrarium, and
a 50 cylinder.  We dream about a 125 gallon....but don't think the
upstairs would hold it and don't want to give up the futon for downstairs.
The next house  :)

There are definetly trade offs, convenience for tanks. It is nice to dream
and think of things to change.

Have fun

Kathy





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New Fish Room

by RDotta7777/aol.com
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

In a message dated 10/31/98 6:36:40 PM Eastern Standard Time,
IDMiamiBob@aol.com writes:

<< > Have fun and help me make this 30 year dream happen....throw in your
 >  suggestion! >>

Earlier I remember someone suggesting suspension-type drawers for easy pull
out (with the tank full).  It just might be possible to do that if the 2x4's
were lag bolted into the walls.  I did that with 2x4's in my basement with a
product called "tap-crete" screws.  You drill a hole, fill it with regular 3
in 1 oil and then drive the self boring screw into the concrete block.
However, this wasn't for a fish room so ymmv.   Just my two cents.

Great thread, btw.

Rich D'Ottavio


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RE: New Fish Room -Reply

by "Hemsath, Gay" <GHemsath/alascom.att.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998
To: "'apisto/majordomo.pobox.com'" <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>

Mike

Don't forget to include an electrical / power back up system.

Also would be interested in your finial solution / plans for the new
fish room as you see it now with the changes you have added before
construction begins

Gay


	-----Original Message-----
	From:	Mike Jacobs [SMTP:mikejacobs@ij.net]
	Sent:	Sunday, November 01, 1998 8:11 AM
	To:	apisto@majordomo.pobox.com
	Subject:	Re: New Fish Room -Reply

	Folks...........Your response to my Fish-room was beyond
expectations!  I
	have really changed my plans to incorporate some of the ideas
you have
	mentioned.  In order to accomplish the changes, I have changed,
for starts,
	the size to 18 x 20'.  I will, with pictures and a web site show
all of you
	what happened from the first brick to conclusion.  BTW, a bunch
of you
	mentioned air supply......I have a blower already that is about
2 or 3 times
	the size I need.........I ran into a bargin on the blower about
2-3 years
	ago when a fish store went out of business.  It's ment for 200 -
300 tanks
	and at the most I'll have now is 80 - 100 (about 30-40 of them
will have
	apisto's) so I have air coming out of my ears.....it is a
pleasure.  No,
	it's not as a "selling fish" move to make money......it's just
to have a
	nice place to raise fish.

	Thanks all..........I knew I could count on you.........OK Frank
- back to
	apistos!.........;-)

	Mike

	Mike Jacobs
	Math Instructor, Center for Advanced Technologies
	Lakewood H.S., St Pete, Fl.
	mfjacobs@geocities.com
	mikejacobs@ij.net



	
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Optimum Stands

by <kathy/thekrib.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Bob,

One very key this you mentioned is to keep the bottom row off the floor.
We didn't do this for our first fish rack...and it was a pain.  With our
second 3 tier one it is...much nicer.

Kathy




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New Fish Room

by Dave Gomberg <gomberg/wcf.com>
Date: Mon, 02 Nov 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Don't forget provision to recycle the water change water.   It makes great
fertilizer for plants and can be sold if you work on it a bit.  $.25 for
all you want from the water barrel.  Pays the water bill.


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New Fish Room -Reply

by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com>
Date: Mon, 02 Nov 1998
To: kathy/thekrib.com, apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

kathy@thekrib.com wrote:

> Erik is working on a semiautomatic water changing system, that is not
> computer controlled though.  Basically ball valve/float controlled.  

Kathy,

I don't know if you and Erik have looked into it or not, but the system
I've seen used a couple of times involve using an irrigation timer
system
to control adding water to tanks and a standpipe (or other overflow) to
remove the excess water. You can measure how long it takes to fill a
given
set of tanks and then figure out how often and how long you want the 
irrigation timer to send water to those tanks. For best results, you'll
probably want the fresh water to enter the tank near the bottom (to
force
circulation) but that isn't strictly necessary. Also, you'll want to
remember that some of the water going in is replacing evaporation, not
doing
a water change and the effective water change is slightly less than if
you
removed and then replaced water. (You're preforming a dilution, not a
replacement.)

The two biggest problems with implementing a system like this are
getting 
all the tanks drilled and what to do with the water coming out of the
tanks.

This is the basic system I intend to use when we convert a garage to a
fish 
room in a year or so. I'll also be using valves at each tank so I can
keep a
tank empty if I need to. Also, I'll be planning to recycle the waste
water
after filtering it. (Either RO for apistos or hydroponics for other
fish.)

Just my 2 cents.

-- dj (Kaycy's other half)


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Substrate for fish room

by thayer/sirius.com (Thayer Syme)
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 1999

Scott,

Don't discount concrete with a floor drain yet...

I would vote with Bob.  Go to a local flooring expert, and discuss your
needs and desires.  To solve the eyesore problem, you can dye the concrete
or inset tiles or flagstones.  As for the cold factor, you can do what many
folks do.  Warm water infloor radiant heat.  This stuff is the greatest.
Case in point...

My mother lives in Maine, and 10 years ago put concrete in the floor of a
new room and greenhouse.  She has to bring all her plants inside for the
winter and the greenhouse is not big enough.  The plant vessel of choice is
a wooden tub about 18" in diameter.  The concrete floor is dyed a dark red
color, and has plastic tubing laced throughout.  The circulating water is
only heated to 80 deg or so, and the floor is always warm under foot.  As
the heat rises, the room is also heated.  Heated evenly and without drafts,
radiators, or other fixtures.  When it comes time to water the plants, she
just runs a garden hose from the kitchen sink, and slops water about from
container to container.  Even some of the water that gets into the tubs
seeps out. It gets all over the floor, runs down the drain, and what
doesn't is evaporated pretty quickly by the heated floor and the dry winter
air.  The convenience can't be beat.

Cost? Very competitive.  Sure installation cost a bit more, but
operationally it is pretty good as the water is not heated to radiator
temps, and is handled by natural gas.  It also recirculates so that it
doesn't need massive heating on each circuit.  What is surprising is how
effective this floor is.  The new room and green house are not on a
foundation.  They are effectively just enclosed, insulated decks built off
the side of the house with latice skirts.  I think the floor schedule was
joists, plywood, 4" of foam, and 2" of concrete with heating pipes.  Maine
can get plenty cold in the winter.  The first year with the new rooms
convinced her she had done the right thing with 35 consecutive days below 0
deg F, and the house stayed cozy.

A few throw rugs would hide the floor as much as you wanted, and could be
moved when anticpating spills.

Thayer

>Date: Tue, 7 Sep 1999 09:02:54 -0500 (CDT)
>From: Scott Slezak <saslezak@theory.uchicago.edu>
>
>I'm not thrilled with concrete because I intend to live in the room as
>well.  It will actually be an office/fishroom.  So concrete is an eyesore.
>Also, I am in Chicago, which means concrete basement floors in the winter
>are very cold.  So I'd like something covering it, even if it is just a
>layer of vinyl flooring.
>
>Has anyone figured out a way to insulate basement floors and still put
>tanks on it?
>
>scott
>
>
>> What's wrong with concrete?  You can seal it if you feel the need, but it is
>> really ideal for the purpose.
>>
>> Bob Dixon


- ----
Thayer Syme
San Francisco
Model Aviation Home Page
www.sirius.com/~thayer/modelhp.html


Automatic water changer

by "D. Grim" <discusdave/hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000

Hi everyone,

There seems to be good response to Scott's inquiry re: Automatic Water 
Changers. This was originally sent to another member a few months ago. I 
decided to update it to my current tank situation and post it here as an FYI 
to anyone who might be interested

My water changing device is constructed of Rainbird and Toro Irrigation 
equipment, primarily. I will use a drilled tank as I describe the system. 
All of my own tanks are drilled, and they are all on this system. A drilled 
tank uses bulkhead fittings as I am sure you are aware. There must be a way 
for the water to go into and exit the tank without flooding the floor. I 
wanted this option even when I was not in the room. I use the 1 inch 
bulkhead fitting in my tank for the standpipe. I use 1" pvc pipe glued to a 
1" slip x 1" MPT fitting. The top of the standpipe in my All-Glass 125 g 
tank is level with the bottom of the vertical slits in the overflow. Use 
teflon tape on the male threads of your standpipe assembly. You may need to 
play with the standpipe length according to your filter flow rate, etc. An 
overflow box (like those on wet-dry filters) would work the same as a 
standpipe on your undrilled tanks. This will drive up your parts cost 
somewhat. The bottom part of the 1 inch bulkhead  on my tank is female 
threaded (just like the top). I use a 1" x 1/2" threaded reducer bushing and 
then use a 1/2" MPT x 3/8" barbed fitting. I then then use 1/2" OD x 3/8" ID 
polyethylene tubing to connect to the 3/8" barb. The poly-e tubing is what 
carries the waste water to the drain. I have a basement under my fish room 
so my drain line goes thru a hole I drilled in the sub floor behind the 
aquarium to a drainpipe in my basement. Just make sure the drainage point is 
lower than the tank, of course, as this is a gravity feed drain system. You 
could have it drain outside or into a utility sink, or whatever will work 
for you. You may wonder how the water in my aquarium gets to the filter as I 
use the bulkhead originally intended for this purpose for the standpipe. I 
use canister filtration, and use the intake for the canister and just hang 
it into the overflow area. It works great. I also keep a small sponge around 
the top of the standpipe to prevent any large debris or snails from entering 
the standpipe and clogging the drain.

The next section covers how to put water into the tank. My planted tanks get 
RO water and my other one gets tap water, so the configuration is different 
for the planted tanks. For the planted tanks I have my RO unit (50 gpd-Kent) 
dumping into a 45 gallon Rubbermaid trash can. There is a Little Giant 
submersible waterfall pump (La Bomba, about $65 from Home Depot) It has a 
26' head height, so pumping up 14 feet to my tank is no sweat. The pump goes 
to PVC Tee and to either of two Rainbird sprinkler valves ($14 from Lowes or 
Home Depot) connected to it. The valves are 1" FPT on both sides so the 
output side must be reduced to 1/2" and then use a 1/2" MPT x 3/8" barbed 
fitting (from Lowes). Then use 1/2" OD x 3/8" ID vinyl tubing to deliver 
water to the aquarium. I use polyethylene tubing on the drainage side 
because it is stiffer than vinyl so there is hardly any chance of it kinking 
and preventing the water from draining. The vinyl tubing comes up thru a 
hole in the subfloor behind the tank on the other side from where the 
standpipe is (it would not be very efficient to have the water entering and 
leaving the tank at the same location, would it?). I control this with a 
Toro sprinkler timer (Home Depot or Lowes about $35) The difference with my 
planted tanks is that you have to install a pump start relay for the 
submersible pump. This pump is not needed for my 90 gallon Discus tank as 
household water pressure flows the water to it. For the 90 gallon I built a 
PVC manifold that allows me to attach one of the above mentioned valves to 
the same water source (tap water). The valve turns the flow on or off when 
controlled by the timer. I also control the water that goes to my RO unit by 
means of a valve connected to the same PVC manifold. The pump start relay is 
available at any sprinkler system supply place. A pump start relay is 
basically a 12 volt switch that will turn on a household (120v) current when 
energized. In other words, the sprinkler timer will turn on the pump start 
relay, and the relay will turn on the pump. These are used by people who 
irrigation out of ponds, rivers, etc., where they do not use household water 
presure. Mine cost $22. Sprinkler timers are low voltage systems, so they 
are not very dangerous. My sprinkler timer is mounted on a wall in a closet 
in the fish room. Wire it with sprinkler cable (same area as valves, 
sprinkler timers, etc in Home Depot or Lowes). The timer allows multiple 
on/off times, and run times from 1 minute to 4 hours. I use adjustable flow 
Rainbird valves. This allows a fairly slow flow rate of water into the tank. 
I do small amounts of water several times a day. That way you do not have a 
severe temp fluctuation in the tank. I have my valves adjusted on all three 
tanks to flow approx 1/2 gallon a minute. The volume is adjusted by the 
amount of time you keep the valves open (using the timer). My 125 gallon 
planted tank gets new water 4x daily for a total of 5 gallons a day. My 90 
gallon discus tank (bare bottom) gets new water 8x daily for a total of 24 
gallons a day. My 65 gallon planted tank gets new water 5x daily for a total 
of 2.5 gallons a day. The water to the 90 gallon is run thru an in-line Omni 
Whole House Water Filter (behind the valve). These are about $22 each and 
have a life of 15,000 gallons (Lowes or Home Depot) or three months. The 
filter catridges are the 5 micron GAC type and cost about $5 each (cheap). 
This removes chlorine going to the 90 gallon.

The system has been up and running for over a year now without any problems. 
Additionally, the RO unit and the reservoir in the basement are each inside 
containers plumbed with bulkhead fittings serving as overflow/leak 
protection. These empty into the same drainage point the tank water goes. 
The drainage point is the stub for a basement toilet. I modified the PVC cap 
to accept the drain line from the tanks/overflow bulkheads.

The wiring looked a bit intimidating at first, but it was not a big deal.  
It was a great project for a gadget freak like myself. This is a broad 
overview of my system. If anyone has questions or needs clarification please 
email me off list.

Regards,

Dave
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