Fish room build

Zach B.

Instead of reviving a year old thread I will just start a new one.

I moved into a house about 16 months ago and planned to turn an old storage room/ workshop into a fish room. Other expenses set me back from building it along with lack of time. I am finally rebuilding my savings and I will soon begin the remodel and build.

I love these threads because I appreciate all the input on what I could do to improve.

Below is a drawing to scale of my final plans and the room build will be complete sooner but will take years to fill in all the tanks on the picture.

Froom.png
Top of the picture will be referred to as top wall, right for right wall and so on.

Quick description of the plan:

The right and bottom walls are cement, and the left and top wall are framed but unfinished.
The plan is to chisel any protruding portions of the cement out then fill in all pits with drywall mud until it is smooth. I will then add drywall to the ceiling and framed walls and run heavy texture over all 5 surfaces. This will give a semi-finished look to the cement wall. I will the apply exterior paint to all the walls. The floor I want to do a plank vinyl floor. The idea is to make it so I can convert it into some sort of craft/workshop room if I where to move for resale value (god forbid).

The stand:

I plan to use the King of DIY method he currently has in place using 2x6 (maybe 2x4 if 2x6 is overkill???) screwed into the studs for the top and bottom frame. In the case of the cement walls I will put Tapcon cement anchor bolts in place of screws. The bracing will be every 2 feet with vertical supports every 4 feet. there will be a bottom layer 1 foot off the ground matching the top. I will keep my quarantine tank(s) and grow out tanks down there. As well as storage for various things. I will run power outlets in outdoor conduit on a GFCI all along the stand so the room will be powered. In the bottom left corner I will put in utility sink that I can set up a brine shrimp hatchery and anyone that has kept fish for a while knows how useful a sink is near your tanks.

Semi-auto water change system:

The wall by the sink shares a wall with a bathroom. The water lines for hot and cold are both in the framed wall already. I plan on teeing off of both lines to get a supply line. I will then tie them into a shower mixing valve and set the temperature from there. The outlet of that will be tied into a Pex tubing that runs the length of the stand. I will tee of the main line up to each tank. I will have a 120 volt solenoid that will be controlled with a smart plug allowing my phone to turn on and off the flow of water and a manual ball valve to restrict flow as needed. Each tank will be fitted with a small 100 gph pump with smart plug control that will pump the water out of the tank down to a 1 and 1/2 inch pvc pipe running the length of the stand and tie into the sink drain and trap. This will allow me to push one button on my phone to drain the tank and one to fill it. I will need to manually add prime or some sort of water treatment manually.

Other ideas:

I initially planned to insulate the walls but the basement hold the temperature well and the room is heated and cooled by a central air system. I live in a low humidity climate so the humidity won't be a problem as the furnace is less than 50 feet away and will disperse the humidity throughout the house. One tank will likely be a goldfish tank and won't be heated. I may also do a hill stream tank that contains cooler temp species. As far as the others I will run heaters on an external thermostat ( Ink bird controller) to heat them it is a much safer solution to a space heater in my opinion. and with my 55g using a 200w heater it only runs a few hours a day as i have the temperature heating to 76 then it won't come back on until 73 with my ink bird heater controller.

Tanks:
I am not going to pretend I know what I will stock in all the tanks as I plan to set one up at a time and get all the maintenance perfected or close to it before I set up another. I have a 55 and the 6 foot 125 g tank (sitting on my garage empty) already I will keep the 55 until I can upgrade it to a 75g as the footprint is the same except front to back. I have a FX6 canister I will use for the 125 but I fell in love with the tidal hang on back filters. I will likely put a tidal 110 on each 75 and call it good. I may even put the FX6 on a 75 for the hill stream setup.

I will post pictures starting as soon as I completely empty the room. I hope to have this done over the weekend but delays are always expected.

Any feedback and or questions/concerns are welcome I believe listening to people with experience will help prevent mistakes.

Thanks!!!
I forgot to mention the 29g tank in the top left is my son's hermit crab tank so it won't be hooked up to the water change system and the 55g lowboy coffee table is probably a pipe dream but would be a fun project.
 

LowConductivity

My 2 cents.
1)Insulate, even though you don't think you need to. Every bit of heat you can hang onto is $ you don't spend on electricity.

2)Carbon block filtration (chlorine), or a catalytic carbon block system to remove chloramine from the auto fill lines to the tanks.

3) ditch the electric filters ($$ to run). Buy a reasonable air pump, build a manifold, and use sponges/mattens/internal sumps driven by air (less $) to filter

I did a reasonable job on points 2 & 3....wish I would have done a better job on #1
 

kanzekatores

Watching :watching: this sounds like a cool project.
 

Zach B.

1)Insulate, even though you don't think you need to. Every bit of heat you can hang onto is $ you don't spend on electricity.

2)Carbon block filtration (chlorine), or a catalytic carbon block system to remove chloramine from the auto fill lines to the tanks.

3) ditch the electric filters ($$ to run). Buy a reasonable air pump, build a manifold, and use sponges/mattens/internal sumps driven by air (less $) to filter

I did a reasonable job on points 2 & 3....wish I would have done a better job on #1

1) The reason I chose not to insulate is I want a nice finished look and don't want to spend the money to frame drywall and insulate the walls. I ran the cost of framing insulation and drywall and compared to the expected energy cost difference and it would take close to 9 years to pay back the difference in my energy bill as my house stays 69-72 year around. I could end up regretting it as paper and reality are always different but I also plan to keep the door open to the room because there will be a litter box, food, and water for my cats in there.

2) This is a similar deal to the previous one the cost of a 4 stage inline water filter I priced out at around $300 with a 6 month filter replacement cost of about $90. you compare that to the cost of 2 gallons of conditioner for the same 6 month period and it is about $60 every 6 months vs the above costs. I have very clean tap water I had it tested in a lab so outside the chlorine I will probably stick with conditioner.

3) I will consider this but the energy cost of 4 of the power filters is not much and I would likely rather use a pump driven internal sump for better circulation than an air drive matten style filter. If i was running 20+ tanks I would definitely do this but with 4 and maybe some temporary tanks underneath it i would think the benefits would be rather small.

please correct me if I am misplaced on anything I am saying above I don't want to dismiss your suggestions outright I just want to express my rational for why I didn't do these things.
 

LowConductivity

1) The reason I chose not to insulate is I want a nice finished look and don't want to spend the money to frame drywall and insulate the walls. I ran the cost of framing insulation and drywall and compared to the expected energy cost difference and it would take close to 9 years to pay back the difference in my energy bill as my house stays 69-72 year around. I could end up regretting it as paper and reality are always different but I also plan to keep the door open to the room because there will be a litter box, food, and water for my cats in there.

2) This is a similar deal to the previous one the cost of a 4 stage inline water filter I priced out at around $300 with a 6 month filter replacement cost of about $90. you compare that to the cost of 2 gallons of conditioner for the same 6 month period and it is about $60 every 6 months vs the above costs. I have very clean tap water I had it tested in a lab so outside the chlorine I will probably stick with conditioner.

3) I will consider this but the energy cost of 4 of the power filters is not much and I would likely rather use a pump driven internal sump for better circulation than an air drive matten style filter. If i was running 20+ tanks I would definitely do this but with 4 and maybe some temporary tanks underneath it i would think the benefits would be rather small.

please correct me if I am misplaced on anything I am saying above I don't want to dismiss your suggestions outright I just want to express my rational for why I didn't do these things.
All fair points. Build it for what you want to do with it. I'm fairly far north, insulation and power consumption probably matter more here. IIRC, I spent $60 on 3 10x2.5" filter housings. My water is very good, and the residual chlorine out of the tap is less than 1PPM, so I spend $46 every 9-12 months for a new sediment, and KXmatrix carbon (2) after blasting 12-1500 gallons a week through the room.

Post pics as you go. Fishrooms/fishroom builds are awesome!
 

Zach B.

All fair points. Build it for what you want to do with it. I'm fairly far north, insulation and power consumption probably matter more here. IIRC, I spent $60 on 3 10x2.5" filter housings. My water is very good, and the residual chlorine out of the tap is less than 1PPM, so I spend $46 every 9-12 months for a new sediment, and KXmatrix carbon (2) after blasting 12-1500 gallons a week through the room.

Post pics as you go. Fishrooms/fishroom builds are awesome!
I will look into it, my water test showed i had 1.9ppm free chlorine and the monthly city testing shows 1.5 PPM. I am no chemist so I don't know what they mean by free chlorine but there was no report of chlormine in either report and by that I mean it wasn't mentioned at all only free chlorine. If I only need to replace it once every 9-12 months then maybe will use this option I was trying to go with the safe route of just using water treatment because I know it works. Is there a good test kit I can get for chlorine?
 

LowConductivity

I will look into it, my water test showed i had 1.9ppm free chlorine and the monthly city testing shows 1.5 PPM. I am no chemist so I don't know what they mean by free chlorine but there was no report of chlormine in either report and by that I mean it wasn't mentioned at all only free chlorine. If I only need to replace it once every 9-12 months then maybe will use this option I was trying to go with the safe route of just using water treatment because I know it works. Is there a good test kit I can get for chlorine?
I bummed a digital Hanna meter from a friend. I needed automation with the volume of tanks, its nice having water changed at night. If I were doing less, a LB of sodium thiosulfate is probably the best bang for the buck.
 

Zach B.

That triggered a memory when you said sodium thiosulfate I can get a pound of it for $10 locally. I may just do that since I am afraid of full automated water change because I don't have overflow protection on my tanks and I am too afraid to drill them myself. I will just go down and do a 10-20% water change based on flow rates I assume will take roughly 5-10 mins twice a week on each tank.

I have a theoretical question If I did lets say 5 gallons on the 125 gallon tank the 1.8 ppm would get diluted down to .07 ppm based on water volume. Do you think I could get away with a tiny water change with every feeding I feed twice a day without chlorine treatment?
Just an interesting thought. I am not a risk taker when it comes to my fish so I would probable just dose the tank anyway but just a thought.
 

LowConductivity

That triggered a memory when you said sodium thiosulfate I can get a pound of it for $10 locally. I may just do that since I am afraid of full automated water change because I don't have overflow protection on my tanks and I am too afraid to drill them myself. I will just go down and do a 10-20% water change based on flow rates I assume will take roughly 5-10 mins twice a week on each tank.

I have a theoretical question If I did lets say 5 gallons on the 125 gallon tank the 1.8 ppm would get diluted down to .07 ppm based on water volume. Do you think I could get away with a tiny water change with every feeding I feed twice a day without chlorine treatment?
Just an interesting thought. I am not a risk taker when it comes to my fish so I would probable just dose the tank anyway but just a thought.
Math looks right to me. 18ish L of chlorinated water/ 475ish L tank. I know people who do. I dont, but I'd bet that gasses off pretty quickly.
 

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