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The fish room expansion

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:13 pm
by Tim Craig
It started out as little more than a designated storage space during the basement finishing project.
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I cleared the space, ordered the acrylic, and got set up to build some tanks and sumps.
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I put together a work table with hold down bars to make it easy to router trim the acrylic pieces.
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Here I’ve put together the sides.
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Securing the sides to the top.
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The finished units set up for sealing the inner seams.
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With the tanks and sumps complete, I began work on the racking. I first installed separate circuits for the electrical.
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Racking complete and ready for finishing.
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Racks finished, tanks and sumps in place for fill testing. Each sump was to service both tanks above it.
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Painting the backs and sides of the tanks.
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Finished tanks in place.
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Drip trays for the wet/dry systems.
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I installed LED light ropes in a pine box. I later swapped the LED’s out for fluorescent fixtures because they were cheaper to run.
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The boxes were mounted so they could be swung up out of the way.
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Next, I started the plumping. I used external durso’s for drains.
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Internal drain with strainer.
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There’s also a center drain that does some skimming and sets the water level.
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The returns are pvc with three sets of holes drilled to direct the return to the top, middle, and lower levels.
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The sumps were fitted with drain and fill lines to make water changes easy.
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I valved off the tank returns so that I could adjust the flow to each level.
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The tank return line was taken up above both tanks and then split off to each from there.
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I used a set of valves off of the sump pump to direct the flow to either the tanks or the floor drain.
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Finished units with tank plumbing in place.
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The sump drains were all directed to one floor drain.
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A 70 gallon storage tank is used to refill sumps after draining. 70 gallons is enough to do two racks at once.
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The electrical switches for the fill pump, circulation pump, and heater.
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The storage tank is filled with a ¾” supply line tapped right from the house main supply. It fills the tank in about 4 minutes.
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The finished room.
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Complete with computer system.
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Here’s a video after initial stocking


It’s been up and running since November 2009. All is still going well. Other than occasionally tightening up a bulkhead fitting, no problems or issues.

Thanks for looking.

Re: The fish room expansion

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:45 pm
by slimbolen99
WOW.

Thanks for sharing. Wish I would have seen your stand construction before I started mine. I went with single 2x6, for the front and back beams...wish I would have gone with your double 2x4 construction.

Looks like a fun setup to have!

Re: The fish room expansion

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:05 pm
by Dan Woodland
Sweet looking set up Tim. Great Work. :shock:

I'll have to pick your brain about working with acrylic at the next meeting. Dan

Re: The fish room expansion

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:20 pm
by Tim Craig
Thanks, yeah, height was critical, so I went with the doubled 2x4's. I've done that with all of my basement racks now.

Acrylic is great to work with, very easy, just not cheap. Happy to help if I can.

Re: The fish room expansion

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:17 pm
by Piotr Koba
This is really really nice. Great job done, and Tanganyika themed setups make it even better looking. If there were bunch of planted tanks it wouldn't look that nice. :)
BTW I always envy people who are able to do some DIY for their fishroom... :lol: (as I'm all fingers and thumbs in that matter)

Re: The fish room expansion

Posted: Sun May 01, 2011 8:26 am
by Marko Lenac
nice job! I only wonder if a copper tube is ok to use for the fishes? thank you for your info!

Re: The fish room expansion

Posted: Sun May 01, 2011 8:48 am
by Tim Craig
Thanks, copper pipe is fine. If it wasn't, we probably couldn't keep fish as most homes nowadays have copper supply lines.

Re: The fish room expansion

Posted: Sun May 01, 2011 11:37 am
by Bas Pels
copper is fine - but in case the water has been still for a while- you're just back after a vacation, for instance - I will drain the first few liters

My fishhouse has warm water coming from the top floor, through a copper tube. This is approx 7 meters, and will contain (I estimate the tube @ 9 mm) approximately half a liter of water. I rather flush this after a hollyday

Re: The fish room expansion

Posted: Sun May 01, 2011 8:07 pm
by matthew1884
How long did it take you to finish this project. and can you most more pictures of your stand construction?

Re: The fish room expansion

Posted: Tue May 03, 2011 3:45 pm
by Tim Craig
matthew1884 wrote:How long did it take you to finish this project. and can you most more pictures of your stand construction?
I started in Sept 2008 and finished and filled and stocked in Nov 2009. Here's all the pics I have. (In no particular order.)

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Re: The fish room expansion

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:56 am
by Violet
OMG Tim it looks unbelievable! Great job, I wish I could handle a hammer and nails as cool as you do...