I have an existing fish room whose dimensions are 22' X 14'.
In this room exists a chimney, Water Heater, and a furnace.
The door is in the corner on the long end.
So, outside of the furnace and water heater, this is a pretty ideal room.
Prior to the remodel this room housed about 41 tanks ranging from 5 gal fry tanks to 125 gal tanks.
As I mentioned earlier, this room is pretty open. I built it with large aisles so that you can see the fish, not feel cramped walking around, plus the fish are calmer when you are not constantly walking close to the tank fronts.
Because I breed frequently, I needed to upgrade this room so that I wasn't constantly tripping over hoses while doing water changes. With this many tanks, you are constantly doing water changes and I eventually got lazy and stopped putting the drain and fill hoses away each night. I knew I would just be dragging them out again the next night anyway. This is what necessitated the need for an auto water changing system....not only to make things easier for me, but safer as well.
This upgrade centers around 3 sections of tanks: 1) a wall of 30 longs that I will change into a wall of 40 breeders, 2) a wall of 20 high / 15 gallon tanks that I'll uprgrade to add tanks and drains, and 3) a revamped fry tank rack.
My previous 30 gallon rack was pretty good although it had some problems. The tanks were too close to the walls and the moisture facilitated mold growth, the wall was white...not good for photography or breeding, and it didn't have adequate electrical outlets or drains.
Here is a crude pic of the wall of 30 long tanks:
If you could pan around you'd see that there were 4 more tanks in this corner and all were 40 gallon high tanks.
The first thing I had to do was auction off the inhabitants of these tanks....and while I got rid of most of the fish, I still had to set up some temporary tanks in the adjacent family room. Here is a pic of those tanks, plus you get to see how messy the entire basement became during the remodel:
If you ever remodel your fish room I recommend that you sit down and list all of the tasks that will need to be done prior to doing anything. I found that many tasks depended on another task being done prior to being able to move on. Before I built the first rack, I had to seal the basement wall and replace an existing glass pane window with glass block. These tasks not only took time, but also took money out of my wallet that I had planned for the actual fish related materials. It was essential to bolster this room because I live in Ohio where winters are cold. The glass block will really help keep my energy costs down. I also painted the wall with the best exterior paint I could find. Exterior paint not only has mold inhibitors in it, but it also holds up to moisture very well. Here is a pic of the wall ready for the next steps:
I installed this glass block window too. If you want to know how I did it, just let me know. It wasn't hard, time consuming, nor particularly expensive:
This wall will be home to six, 40 Gallon Breeder tanks (36" Long X 18" Deep X 16" High).
Next I had to add drains for each of the tanks. Each tank has it's own drain that tee's into a 1 1/2" pvc pipe that runs the length of my basement to an existing drain. The pipe pitches toward the drain at a drop rate of 1/4" per ten feet. The 1 1/2" pipe is plenty for the drain system because each bank of tanks will auto water change separately. Therefore the total flow through the pipe will be minimal at any one time.
Here is a pic of the drain system that two tanks will share:
Next I needed electrical for the room. With nearly 50 tanks pulling power for heaters, pumps, filters, and lights, I didn't want to overload the house circuits. So I pulled 85 feet of #6 wire the length of my house and installed this 50 amp panel. The panel will host 14 circuits and I'll use 11 for the fish room:
Each section of tanks has it's own circuit for heaters and it's own circuit for general power to run filters, accessories, etc.
The lights for every tank in the entire room will operate off of one industrial timer. My fish room will automatically turn on and shut off lights as one unit. I will add Moon lighting to help keep from shocking the fish. So main lights off, then moonlight off 1/2 hour later. This eliminates the dozen or so lamp timers I currently use. The timers themselves use power as well...so there's the power savings. The sections of tanks themselves are wired to provide general power and a separate outlet for heaters only. In this pic you can see the power that I have for each pair of tanks. You see on the right two outlets for heaters only and then a gang of four outlets for general power:
If you redo your room, make sure you have someone who knows how to wire. In this pic you can see how complicated it can get - it seems like there are dozens of wires and it's easy to forget what wire goes to what outlet:
This entire room runs off of one Won Brothers AP150 pump that's hooked into 1" pvc pipe that runs in loops throughout the room. This pump pulls only 90 watts. I keep a rebuild kit and an extra pump on hand for emergencies. This pump sits on a shelf higher than the tallest tank in the room. It is sitting on a 1/2" piece of rigid foam that sits on 5" of memory foam.
This keeps noise and vibration to an absolute minimum:
Here's a pic of the initial tanks being set into place:
Prior to being put on the rack, they were drilled for a 1" bulkhead and then painted on three sides. This makes the breeding fish feel more comfortable since they can't see the fish in the tank next to them:
I'll stop for now, but I want to leave you with two thoughts lest I forget to tell you.
1) There is no good time to revamp an existing fish room.The best time to make changes is before the first tank is filled. It's been crazy trying to maintain tanks while working on the upgrade and there's a tendency to put off water changes to work on the remodel.
2) Invariably the fish will spawn while you are short on tank and you'll end up with tanks on the floor or tanks on an errante piece of furniture like these demasoni that just had to spawn before I had a tank for them in the room: