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Setting up a fish room


Michiel
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Hello hello hello

I am setting up a fishroom in the house

I am planning to add one wall at a time (total 2 walls, extreme hey).

I will be using reconfigurable pallet racking.

Major obsticle: room is just more than 12 feet

Is it better to have:

1. 8 tanks of dimension 3 x 2 x 2 (cost)

2. 4 tanks of dimension 6 x 2 x 2 (cheaper)

3. 4 of 2. above divided in half with removable perspex. (cheap and extent stock)

I have had some wild ideas in the past... the pool is back online and the 3500l in the garage now has lots of plants.

The wife and I believe the cost will be a little over 2k with a payback period on 1 year @ 17 fish per 3 fter. per year. This does not include fish which is not an issue.

I will need a lot of help with this project!

Thank you in advance

Michiel

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Hey Michiel good luck with the project.

The first question I would be asking myself is what fish do I want to keep, although it sounds to me more like you aren't so much worried about what fish but how much you can get for their fry. Either way you need to have some idea on this front before proceeding.

For example if you want to keep a Tang tank of multies even a 3x2x2 is potentially too big, however if you wanted to keep and breed a frontosa colony, 6x2x2 is probably the minimum size.

Perhaps a combination of both sized tanks would allow greater flexibility or alternatively you could divide the bigger tanks. Have you given any consideration to having some smaller grow out tanks for the fry say standard 2fters side out may be the way to go.

Next I would ask myself how am I going to filter the tanks / heat the tanks / supply oxygen.......

One thing I would love in my fishroom is a drain.

Keep us posted as we love a project. :thumb

Cheers

Ross

Edited by hobcas
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G'day mate, how's things up Newie?? How are those Mpanga coming along??

I think for versatility you should go with the 8, 3 foot tanks. Or maybe a combo of both....maybe a single 6 footer for larger fish (can be divided later as suggested) and 3 or 4, 3 footers for breeding.

Some species (depending on which ones you're planning on) will do a lot better if left in a tank by themselves and some don't mind sharing a tank with other species. Therefore having a combo, or more 3 footers gives you the flexibility for whichever species you go for.

Even 3 footers can be divided with mesh to split fry colonies if you need the extra tanks.

Good to see your still working on the pool!!!

Cheers mate.

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If this is a breeding fishroom I would use 3 foot x 2 foot x 18 inch high tanks but turn them all end on so the end panel becomes the front. You dont need the 2 foot tank height which requires thicker glass and almost doubles the cost of tanks, plus the vertical space saved allows for an extra layer of tanks. Finicky breeding fish will appreciate the extra privacy and security the 3 foot distance provides. I am assuming you are room heating so the running cost of heating one tank or 300 tanks will be the same.

Hopefully you realise you will need approx 3 times the grow out space as breeding space. Footprint space is more important than water volume for growout, especially if you have auto water changes/constant flow through.

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Thank you very much

The recoverable cost is due to the wife again. She wants a payback period of one year.

It is not really about how much I will get for fry but all the different fish I could keep.

I see what you mean with the price of tanks. That way I can have a lot of grow out tanks if placed side by side.

The room will be heated naturaly with the sun in summer and with a heater in winter. I will have to see what the temp drop is as the room has always been hot. Current water temps are around 25-27 with the window open.

I will plumb the whole system with drilled inlet/outlets and one or two sumps depending on how many tanks I could fit in.

Thanks for the advise. Now I can plan some more at work.

Kimo, the fish are happy and getting fat. I got two more for new blood as well over the weekend.

Have a loverly day

Michiel

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Hi again

So I have taken fishdance's advice and asked for a quote on 12 x 3 footers.

For plumming, I have thought to make the outlet hole 40mm and in the inlet 18mm. Both are standard sizes so I can use bath drains for the outlet and PVC irregation tubing for the inlet.

The tanks will be placed with the 2 foot side in front with both inlet and outlet holes drilled on one side in the back.

Another question is, what size sump should I use as I might add another 6 tanks later on the 3rd tier.

Thank you for your help

Michiel

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Hi Michiel,

I would not go for 2 high unless you really like the size. I have 1 6x2x2 (display), 2 6x2x18, 1 4x2x2(display), 2 standard 4' tanks, 12 2x18x18, 2 standard 2' tanks and several smaller ones. After running this configuration for around 2-3 years I wish I had something like 2 4x2(w)x18's(h), 2 3x2x18, 2 4x18x18, 2 3x18x18's, 4 2x2x18's maybe 3 2x18x18's, a couple standard 2's if it could fit off course. I would still have have by 6x2x2 and 4x2x2 in the house.

The 6x2(w)x18's are a pain the butt when you are trying to catch holding females and the size is just too big to justify having just 2 colonies in it. But if you have 3 or 4 colonies only 2 will breed well while the others will probably not or have very few mouthfulls. The 2x18x18's are not big enough to grow fry out completely so you need to use too many tanks or have a malawi colony in. For example I have 4 2x18x18's full of Afra fry trying to get them 4-5cm. 2x18x18's are generally to large to keep a breeding pair of tangs like shellies or julies :dntknw:

I hope to split up one 6x2x18 into 2 3x2x18's or 3 2x2x18's so I can split of my maingano\yellows and my Nkhomo reefs and Cobwe. At the moment they are together and the peacocks just don't breed.

So what I am saying is really need to decide what kind of fish you intend to breed first then move onto tank sizes. Retrospect is 20/20 and given the oppotunity I would change things dramatically . So if you want to breed big SA, Tangs or Malawi haps then get big tanks to go witht he fry tanks. If you are into medium SA, tangs or malawi's then go for a variable configuration. Like someone said you need to have about 3 fry tanks for each colony.

What my fish room is missing is medium size tanks with them I would be much happier.

I drive most of tanks with air driver filters (run centrally off a LP60) and have 5 (2 6x2x18's and 3 2x18x18's tanks on a sump. I would like split my system into 1 6x2x18's and 3 2x18x18's and then add 3 more tanks to the 1 6x2x18's. Sumps reduce can reduce maintainance but can also cause problems liek disaese etc..

Another piece of advice is try to get into someone's fish room to see how they have set it up. Failing do heaps of research on google. This response is a bit disjointed but you get the idea.

HTH

cheers

Rosco

Edited by rosco
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Thank you Rosco

So if I have 12 off 3 x 2 x 18 and 3 off 4 x 2 x 18 that should suffice?

i could also halve the 4 fters as the species change to make smaller tanks.

I also have 1 off 2.5 x 18 x 18, 1 off 3 x 18 x 18, 1 of 2 x 18 x 18 and about 5 smaller ones. These will be running in isolation from the others and used only when needed. The smaller ones being air filterred only.

If the ratio is 3:1 for grow out and colony, I could keep 5 colonies.

These will include 1 EY, 1 Lab mbamba, 1 Ps Elongatus, 1 T Moliro and 1 Afra Cobwe. I also have some haps and will keep the Elec Blues and the crimson tides and move the rest on. I might change this as some rarer fish become available on the forum.

I will run a central sump for the rack with air filters too.

I have only seen Vis's setup which was pretty proffesional and will go and speak to the tank supplier about setting it up technically.

"One thing I would love in my fishroom is a drain"

Not a bad idea as I would have needed another pump to do water changes through the window.

Please let me know any further ideas as it is obvious i am lacking in experience (but would like to get better). I previoulsy kept Killifish which is so much easier but not as interesting.

Thank you very much

Michiel

Edited by Michiel
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what are the dimensions of the room? This will be a factor in deciding tank sizes.

Why not go to 18x18 tanks? You would save more on tanks.

Air is a cheaper option and is another way to save some money along the way.

What are you making the walls out of? Insulation should be used in all walls and in the ceiling IMO. This will help regulate the temp some more and will save on heating costs in winter.

I also wouldn't plan on making your 2 grand back in a year.

Josh

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Hi Josh

The 2 grand is just to keep the missus happy. I hope she doesnt read this!

The walls are platerboard. The room also has a large window and gets very hot. With all the doors and windows open, the temp sits at about 25 on a cloudy cool day like today.

The lenght of the room is 3.8m. I am looking at some pallett racking tomorrow with for uprights to help with weight and 3 sections of 1.2m = 3.6m in total. I will be taking the matting out and put down rubber. I will also reinforce the floor from below but it is fortunetaly right above the main concrete supports.

In a 3tier config I could problably get 18 of 3 x 2 x 18' in.

If needed, I will heat the room with a heater but I have been sleeping with the fan on throughout the year. It gets pretty hot in Newcastle.

Thank you very much. I need much help

Michiel

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Please let me know any further ideas as it is obvious i am lacking in experience (but would like to get better). I previoulsy kept Killifish which is so much easier but not as interesting.

Michiel

Each to their own, and best of luck with the fishroom project, but I think that is an interesting comment. 'Killifish' is a pretty broad category. Care to elaborate?

- Michael

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Yep Killifish.

My brother in law is a prolific keeper and once spawned, will hand over some eggs. Mostly african from Gabon, Zaire etc and further south.

It wasnt really my thing and found cichlids while in Austalia. We have always given little value to them as some of the species have now been included as invasive species. We used to fish these.

Unlike cichlids, killifish can be 'mailed' as eggs. Keep them in a fridge for a while and they are ready to go.

They lay there eggs on a string of wool and is easy to harvest. Just need lots of small tanks with a 1:1 ratio with peat moss and away you go.

Very dull though. No interesting display behaviour with mating and certainly no joy in watching a mother rusty with mouth full.

Anybody want some eggs I will see what I can do

Have a nice evening

Michiel

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One thing to keep in mind given your current thinking on what fish you would like to keep is that Malawi and Tanganyikan cichlids prefer different water parameters, whilst there is some obvious overlap, ideally they should not be filtered from the same single central sump.

Also you should consider control valves on all the inlets and outlets on your plumbing, that way you can isolate a tank from the main system if you encounter problems, disease or have an empty tank.

I personally use an air driven filtration system, cheaper very efficient, I had some good input when I installed mine Air driven filtration

If you have a need to you can always add a canister filter on to certain tanks like the Trophs etc. or maybe just do air driven filters on your fry / grow out tanks.

Cheers

Ross

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Many countries are more fortunate than Australia in what killies they can access. Where abouts are you from? What killies did you keep?

I myself have kept and bred killies for over 10 years, with varying degrees of success. Some are easy to keep and breed, such as those you more commonly see in your LFS. Others are not, like many of the harder to come by 'annual' species.

But killies come in all shapes and sizes from all over the world, and do in fact display many interesting behaviours. Jordanella floridae will make and defend nests. And blue gualaris can get to the same size as some smaller mbuna, although they don't have as much 'mass'. Males can be almost as aggressive toward each other too!

Most killies are also brilliantly coloured, certainly enough so to rival many cichlids.

Like I say, each to their own, but I can't see it said that a rusty is more interesting than a killie in objective terms. They are equally great fish, but in different ways.

I hope people can continue to keep mbuna and killi side by side, as I do, as fish that all call the same continent home :hug:

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Ross

So you only use air filters?

I am thinking about both since overkill is better than underkill. I was hoping to use the same water as I have found having isolated tanks make it very diffiecult almost inpossible to recreate the same parameters as before.

Mike

They are certainly beautiful!!!!!!! I have only kept africans since I were bred there. My favourite being Australis..go figure

Like I said, if you want anything Killifish african let me know and I will see what I can do.

Have a nice evening

Michiel

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Why not go to 18x18 tanks? You would save more on tanks.

The piccies I saw of Josh room were fantastic. It was well organised and all his tanks were 18x18. That is what I am after. Well what I really want is Matthew and Aline' s fish room :notworthy: . superb.

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Why not go to 18x18 tanks? You would save more on tanks.

The piccies I saw of Josh room were fantastic. It was well organised and all his tanks were 18x18. That is what I am after. Well what I really want is Matthew and Aline' s fish room :notworthy: . superb.

Any pictures of Aline's room?

So if i go 3 x 2 x 18 on one side, I can fit in around 30 or so tanks of the 18 x 18 on the other wall. Not much more and need an additional sump though.

With Tang's and Malawi's, cant i just mimik lake tangyanika as they are more finicky and let the malawis adapt to this?

With all the tanks I will need to keep them stocked so this might be the main problem. My wife might be able to help but I will never be able to go on holiday again :shock:

Control valves are a very good idea. i know the outlet should be larger than the inlet and thought of 40mm outlet (i can use cheap bath bulkheads) and 18 or 19mm inlet

The pump however is ready for 40mm. How to I reduce this to 18/19mm? Will I need a manifold to manage flow since some tanks will be higher than others?

Thank you kindly

Michiel

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