Rebuilding my entire fishroom

harpua2002

Hello all, I hope you guys have been doing well. It has been a long time since I've been here and for everyone that sent me a PM, I apologize. I'm clearing out my whole PM box, as everything in there is old and has probably been addressed already by someone you could actually get a hold of. I haven't spent much time at all on my usual forums since much earlier in the year. Things were just not running the way they should in the fishroom for a long time, and it became very overwhelming... I needed a break from it so I majorly downsized the amount of fish I had, took a fun job at a pet store for a couple of months, took a break from forums, and hubs and I have been in the planning stages of a complete overhaul for several months. That means every tank needs to get torn down and/or shuffled around so we can make room for the new racks.

The beginning of the process
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Shuffling around
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Ever wonder what happens to store display tanks at the lfs when a store closes down?
Well, sometimes crazy people buy them and put them in their fishrooms.
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They're very tall.
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We still have the metal racks in the middle of the room, but we have started to replace them with wooden racks made of pressure treated 2x4s. This allows us a great degree of control over exactly what tanks we keep, because we can make our racks to our own specifications, whereas the metal racks are what they are... although you can adjust the shelf height on the metal racks, you're limited to what you can fit on the shelves. We also had trouble with crooked tanks with the metal racks that we are not having with the wooden ones.

Our first rack holds twelve 10 gallon tanks.
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This next one was just completed Sunday, and I finished moving the last tank over to it last night. This rack holds eight 20 gallon tanks.
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I've got some fish that need larger tanks, so our next plan is to build two racks to hold two 55 gallon tanks each. I'm hoping we can get started on that this weekend. I need to tear down half a metal rack before we can put up the 55s. If anyone is curious what I'm currently keeping, I'll put up some fish pics later. There is still a ton of work to do and many, many tanks to go up, so stay tuned... :
 

aylad

Hey! Glad to see you back. Your rebuild looks exciting.

EDIT: and of course we want fish photos! Have you forgotten what we're like around here? ;D
 

Angelbear

Wow, everything looks good so far. I can't wait to see more pictures
 

AquaLady

Wow what a long grueling process, but it all pays well in the end. Good luck and happy fish keeping.
 

kevymd

Can I come and live with you? That looks amazing! I'm so terribly jealous. I want to know more!
 

Fashooga

Oh my...that's a lot of tanks to clean!
 

Hayo44

Woow. Good luck !! Looks like a painfully fun process
 

endlercollector

But where do you sit just to watch them? I don't see any room for you
 

LyndaB

So nice to see you! Glad to know that you've been off busy somewhere and that a wall of tanks didn't fall on top of you!
 

harpua2002

Hey! Glad to see you back. Your rebuild looks exciting.

EDIT: and of course we want fish photos! Have you forgotten what we're like around here? ;D

It has been exciting to say the least. I can only imagine what the neighbors think. This is what the driveway looks like (since we no longer have a garage, because it is a fishroom, lol)
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Can I come and live with you? That looks amazing! I'm so terribly jealous. I want to know more!
Sure, but you have to do all the water changes and algae scraping and I can't afford to pay you.

Wow, everything looks good so far. I can't wait to see more pictures
Thank you! I will get some more up soon. I've got a lot of nice fish right now and am expecting some more great stuff tomorrow.

Wow what a long grueling process, but it all pays well in the end. Good luck and happy fish keeping.
Happy fishkeeping to you as well!

Oh my...that's a lot of tanks to clean!
Yes, it is, and this time we are going to put together a drain system once the racks are in place. Then I will be able to drain with a siphon hose into a PVC pipe, and fill from my sink with a Python. There is a utility sink already in the room.

Woow. Good luck !! Looks like a painfully fun process
It has been surprisingly enjoyable, although a little overwhelming sometimes!

But where do you sit just to watch them? I don't see any room for you
I have a desk and chair out there, but when I want to sit and watch them I pull up my little step stool and pop a squat.

So nice to see you! Glad to know that you've been off busy somewhere and that a wall of tanks didn't fall on top of you!
Nice to see you too! Hasn't happened yet, but you never know.
 

endlercollector

You sit on a step stool? I use my daughter's old step stool from when she was too little to reach the sink
 

GuineaPigster

Welcome back!
I envy you!
 

Ziabis

Is all that in your living room? OMG how does your floor hold all that wait? Why do you have all those tanks. Are you a fish breeder/seller?
 

TheBettaBar

Very nice! Is anything besides the LFS rack plumbed? I'm plotting for my next fishroom...
 

GuineaPigster

Also, did you get the LFS tanks from a closing LFS?
 

Graphix

Wow! Amazing! how much does this cost you?! I would think alot, do you plan on making all this money back through breeding and selling? Or all just purely for fun?
Looks so great.
 

harpua2002

Thank you!

Yes, I sit on a folding stool thingy that has two steps, it's in that photo with the lfs systems lit up. I thought those were called step stools! lol

If you guys wanna see some fish, here are some of my favorite fish that I keep right now. I have a lot more fish than this so I'll get some pics up later. Warning, I spend more time on maintenance than photography so my pics suck! hahah

my leleupI eating some spirulina brine tonight (these are in the house, not the fishroom)

my new Labidochromis hongI red top (these are in one of the store systems, and will move to a 55 soon)- looks extra blue because there is one 10k and one actinic bulb over the tank

my avocado puffers eating snails (these are also in the house)
 

Graphix

wow! Your fish are just awesome! Good luck.
 

Ziabis

the puffer video is so cool and the background music ROCKS!!!
 
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harpua2002

Is all that in your living room? OMG how does your floor hold all that wait? Why do you have all those tanks. Are you a fish breeder/seller?
No, it is in a converted (closed in) 2 car garage. I do have a 40 long, a 20 high, a 46 bowfront, and a 120 gallon in the living room though.
I breed what I can, and yes sometimes I sell fish. I do not have anything right now though.

Very nice! Is anything besides the LFS rack plumbed? I'm plotting for my next fishroom...
The lfs systems are actually 2 systems of 3 stacked tanks, each roughly the size of a 75 gallon tank. Each one is basically 2 75 gallon tanks on top of a sump. The display tanks are divided, the sumps are not but each one has a nice wet/dry filter with a ton of media.

These are all we have plumbed right now, but there are more in the planning stages. The rest of the room runs on a Sweetwater aquatics regenerative blower.

Also, did you get the LFS tanks from a closing LFS?
Yes.

Wow! Amazing! how much does this cost you?! I would think alot, do you plan on making all this money back through breeding and selling? Or all just purely for fun?
Looks so great.
A lot. I won't go into the specifics.
I'll make as much back as I can. It is a full time job for me.
 

Ziabis

Wow you mean you do this just for the enjoyment of the hobby. Dang You must be an expert. I have troubles taking care of my 29G.
 

harpua2002

wow! Your fish are just awesome! Good luck.
Thank you! I have my local club to thank for most of my awesome fish. If anyone reading this has a local aquarium club, join it and support it. I've been in the hobby for a little over ten years now and I've learned more in the past 4 years since joining my local club than I had in the previous 6 years.

the puffer video is so cool and the background music ROCKS!!!
Thanks! I took these puffs home a couple of months ago when I was covering a couple shifts at the pet store and someone brought them in. No regrets! They are seriously cool fish.

And yeah, my background music ROCKS because when I go out there to do maintenance I turn on stuff that ROCKS. I got a soundbar/subwoofer combo just for the fishroom yesterday so I can rock louder. lol.

This is the song that was on when I made the Labidochromis video, go see these guys if you haven't already.

Wow you mean you do this just for the enjoyment of the hobby. Dang You must be an expert. I have troubles taking care of my 29G.
The more I learn the less I know. A few years after I started I might have called myself an expert. But then I met many actual experts and realized this was not the case.
 

tropicalfishlover

Welcome Back! The tanks look great.
 

Angelbear

I love the videos, and you do have some nice fish
 

Ziabis

This is the song that was on when I made the Labidochromis video, go see these guys if you haven't already.
I watched the video several times. Awesome music. Thanks for the introduction.

The more I learn the less I know. A few years after I started I might have called myself an expert. But then I met many actual experts and realized this was not the case.[/QUOTE]
 

harpua2002

Yeah, that band is ridiculous.

I have some fish pics to share, they're all terrible but the fish are great. lol

Otopharynx lithobates (we have a group of 5)
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Xystichromis phytophagus Christmas Fulu (have a group of 5)
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Apistogramma gibbiceps female guarding eggs- this was the first spawn from a small pair, and she ate them the next day, but they'll figure it out eventually
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Dicrossus filamentosus proven pair
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Apisto alacrina, growout tank
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Apisto hongsloi growout tank
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Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' male, I'm expecting 2 females for him tomorrow!
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Wild Apisto agassizI male (I have a pair)
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African Rift Lake cichlids have been somewhat new territory for me, because although I have some experience with them at my lfs jobs, the water here much better suited to soft water fish. I haven't bothered much in the past but I've added a few species to the collection, as you can see, and I'm buffering my water to keep them alive (and hopefully breed them). Rift lake cichlids do not live long in our unbuffered tap water.
 

Lucy

HI harpua great to see you.
I was wondering what you and hubby were cooking up!
 

harpua2002

Great to see you too! As you can tell from the pics, we have been up to no good and it's only gonna get worse.
 

MJDuti

ah, welcome back! good luck with your new venture. can't wait to see what you get! if you were close I would love to help you and your husband. only us aquarists would find all that fun.

(sorry, time for a cheap plug)...for all the newer members: many of us, myself included, have bought from Harpua in the past. she gives you quality stock, and plants, for a very reasonable price. not to mention she usually throws something extra in for you. very respected in these parts.
 

Aquarist

Hello Harpua!

So nice to see you back on the forum. Looking forward to hearing more from you! I've missed you!

Ken
 

ryanr

Nice to see you back Harpua!

Exciting times

Any plans for marine?
 

APColorado

Welcome back!!! I'm excited to know that you are oaky.
 

Disc61

Welcome back Harpua, looks fun!!! maybe one day myself. I love your Red Tops, have a few myself. look forward to watching this thread.
 

Angelbear

Love the pics. Glad everything is going well.
 

kevymd

Sure, but you have to do all the water changes and algae scraping and I can't afford to pay you.

I take payment in cheap food and bad paperback novels. When can I move in?
 

harpua2002

ah, welcome back! good luck with your new venture. can't wait to see what you get! if you were close I would love to help you and your husband. only us aquarists would find all that fun.

(sorry, time for a cheap plug)...for all the newer members: many of us, myself included, have bought from Harpua in the past. she gives you quality stock, and plants, for a very reasonable price. not to mention she usually throws something extra in for you. very respected in these parts.
Awww shucks!!! <3

Hello Harpua!

So nice to see you back on the forum. Looking forward to hearing more from you! I've missed you!

Ken
Missed you too Ken! I hope all is well with you and Chef.

Nice to see you back Harpua!

Exciting times

Any plans for marine?
Afraid not Ryan. You probably know that I have kept some marine tanks in the past, but I'm not going to have time to care for marine tanks with everything I have going on with FW.

Welcome back!!! I'm excited to know that you are oaky.
Yep, doing great! Hope you are well also.

Welcome back Harpua, looks fun!!! maybe one day myself. I love your Red Tops, have a few myself. look forward to watching this thread.
Well, I will have plenty of updates as we build and add, I'm glad to have you guys along for the ride!

Love the pics. Glad everything is going well.
Haha thanks, I wish I had better pics to share!

I take payment in cheap food and bad paperback novels. When can I move in?
Aww, I'm sorry. My paperback novels are mostly good.
 

bolivianbaby

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's SO GOOD to see you back on the forum! Was even better seeing you and the fur/finned kids today, though. *hugs*
 

harpua2002

LOL... yeah, guess who helped me out with some more teardown today! Always fun to hang out, my dear BB.

Thanks to her, tons of progress was made today. We now have room for the 55 gallon stands.

Before
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After (Ewww, I need to sweep!)
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Lilibeth_Seasong

Good to see you again! The fishroom is looking great!

It is so nice that you and BB know each other in real life. Wish I could meet a few of you in person as well.
 

harpua2002

Funny story, we live about half an hour away from one another, and we met when I needed to sell a 55 gallon a few years ago, on Fishlore!
 

harpua2002

Lots of progress today. BB came over again and we got the last metal rack torn down. She also cleaned a bunch of my tanks for me while I was moving everything off the rack, which is awesome because that's one of my least favorite jobs. LOL.
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I also got a special treat- I was able to get a few pics of my female Paralabidochromis chromogenos 'Zue Island'. It was really cool because I haven't seen much of these fish since we bought them. These and the Christmas Fulu that I have are my only experience with Victorian cichlids.
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bolivianbaby

Yep! We were major slackers today! rofl!

*sticks my cold feet under the furkids to warm them up*
 

harpua2002

Picture time.

Otopharynx lithobates (this tank is temporary)
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Crystal red shrimp
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Purple fire guppies
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*edit* I have no idea why that apisto photo has double posted lol
 

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harpua2002

More progress!
We got the 55 gallon stands done and the tanks on. They're still empty, but I'll work on them this week. My African cichlids need more space, so right now that is the plan for all 4 of these tanks.


And some more pics...

Apisto alacrina juveniles


Apisto hongsloi juveniles


Yellow shrimp
 
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Graphix

Awesome! Wow that is a lot of progress, I just got one tank filled up in that time
 

macca

I got an immediate headache at the sight of all your tanks lol. Beautiful setup though and it's a pleasure meeting someone who is highly passionate about this hobby. I actually thought I've seen it all.... Boy was I wrong!!
 

harpua2002

We have plans for a drain setup that should make the water changes a breeze. Our last setup got to be kind of a nightmare, but the way things are going this time around is a lot more functional, and easier to maintain.

Until we can get that drain put in, I either drain out the front door down the driveway with a 50' Python hose, or use buckets for smaller tanks if it's too cold to drain out the door.
 

harpua2002

My 55 gallons have sponge filtration running and sand substrate. Not much else to report. There is a club meeting this week, which means there will be a "mini-auction", and I will have to do my best to restrain myself from buying more fish!
 

IchthysMan

Wow, this thread was a perfect way to close out my work day... I still have 30min left, but close enough.
I want to show my wife this thread to see if she'd be cool with me doing the same to my garage... well, maybe half my garage

gotta leave room for the pool table

Eagerly anticipating the progress, thanks for sharing!!
 

harpua2002

Added quite a bit yesterday... This rack holds 1 75 gallon on the bottom, and 4 10 gallons on the top.
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Then we added 8 more 10 gallons, plus 2 5.5's on the bottom shelf.
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Today hubs built us 2 stands that will each hold 8 20 gallon tanks, so we'll be adding quite a bit this week too.

I made the mistake of looking at the wild-type livebearer auctions on Aquabid last night, so it couldn't have come at a better time! I have Poecilia picta 'Laguna la Malaguena', Heterandria elegans, and tangerine tiger shrimp all on the way this week.
 

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