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OK so I’m finally starting a thread about my new fishroom. Work on it actually started a few weeks ago but it’s been going really slow. The great master plan went out the window almost instantly. The intention was to have the fishroom almost completely set up before moving the tanks and fish but I had problems getting ready made racks. And right at the last minute I had to simply move everything as is and just work around the current tanks.

Anyway here is a pic of what was done as part of the new house build. Bedroom converted to ‘wet’ room ie tiled and waterproofing applied. They put in the laundry tub and a gas heater which you can’t see.

This is a rough plan I did in SketchUp. I didn’t draw in the racks. Just where I wanted the tanks.

The next step was to get some plumbing done. This was much, much more expensive than I expected and there were quite a few hassles getting a plumber to actually turn up. I won’t bore you with the details and spare myself from reliving it. But the plumbing is done now. I had an extra tap put in which is in addition to the tap over the laundry. I wanted a dedicated tap which I could have permanently setup to go into a couple of large water storage tanks it’s also connected to an RO filter. I’ll get photos of the plumbing and the filter at some stage.

Where I’m at now is building the aquarium racks. After weeks of researching ready-made racks I actually ended up deciding to build them myself out of wood. Probably not that sensible an idea considering I have zero woodworking experience. But the price of building the racks myself was hugely lower than getting someone else to do the same thing and mind-bogglingly lower than getting something custom built in metal. And the good thing is that I don’t have to rely on anyone else. No disrespect to tradies but some of you can be really tiresome to deal with.

Had to buy a power saw and a few other bits and pieces. The power saw really scared me and I proscratinate quite a while before I finally plucked up the courage to get started.

So this is the result of all that cutting. This pile of wood is just a single rack which will hold 2 x standard 3 footers, 2 x custom shorter 3 footers, 1 x 2ft tall, 1 x standard 4 foot. This rack has 6 upgrights, 8 horizontals and 14 width spacers. On the bottom you can see the joints I made in the uprights. Reasonably pleased with those. They’re not as tight as I would like but they’ll work. And I’ll be able to get them better I think on the next rack.

Unfortunately because the old shelving and tanks are already in the room assembling the racks is quite challenging. Can’t assemble outside because they’re to big to move into the room. So I’ve had to assemble them in the room and just work with the tiny amount of space available. Just putting together 3 uprights and 4 horizontals took a good hour on the Sunday and I needed help to hold things up because there wasn’t space to lay anything on the floor. Well actually, I did the holding because the person helping was an alpha male type who despite knowing nothing about how the rack goes together and having not much more wookworking experience than I, still had to be in control of the drill. There was a fair bit of swearing during that hour. And then I had to go to Mother’s Day celebrations and didn’t end up doing any more on Sunday. Yesterday however I managed to do more work on it and I did it all by myself. Hah! I didn’t listen to any of the advice from all the aquarium rack “experts” who have suddenly materialised out of nowhere. Didn’t finish but I reckon the first rack should be done tonight.

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Wow! How slack am I? My last post in this thread was 24/07/2013 and I never took the final photos. Of course "final" is completely misleading. It just means the point where I had to stop building and

Planning on doing a fair bit of work in the fishroom this weekend. Went to Bunnings yesterday to get all the MDF I’ll need for the racks that still don’t have a shelf. Even though the tanks fit fine o

Sometimes fishkeeping doesn’t quite look like you expected. But here’s a tip that I really need to record for myself more than anything—get Bunnings (or whichever hardware store you use) to cut your w

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I remember a while back at a VIC betta meat you telling me about wanting to build barracks.

Is this to house barracks or just any and everything?

Looks like your building a small fish shop!

Looks awesome buy the way

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I'm planning on being able to hold at least 40 bettas in beanie boxes and there will be another 16 in slightly larger tanks (20x20x20cm). I would have liked to have a lot more but I want to be able to breed other fish. In addition to the betta barracks the tanks I already listed in the first post, there will be 18 x 2ft tanks, 8 x 18in tanks and a 4ft x 16in x 16in which I inherited from a friend. I'll be able to control my guppy lines a bit better. And be able to get back into killies. And I'd like to dabble a little bit with cories and dwarf cichlids.

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It's actually not empty. It's FULL of rubbish. LOL. No, not rubbish. The old shelving is in there and a half built rack which hopefully will be finished tonight or tomorrow depending on whether I can make it to Bunnings before they close tonight.

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I'm pretty jealous of this set up. I guess you will start stocking up after aquarama?

If you want to breed cories you're welcome to borrow my Corydoras sterbei to start off a line

Seriously awesome - love to see the pics of the finished result. :D

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Your fish room looks great so far! It's fun watching it unfold on the forum! I had a similar experience with the help of an alpha male type when building my barracks out of acrylic and in the end it ended up looking so bad that I was looking at it in disappointment for a few days and decided to take it apart, remove the silicon and start over by my self... Looked a lot better and I was more satisfied that I did it myself in the end!

Can't wait to see more progress shots!!! Loving that its indoors and that you have waterproofed the room! Im taking notes here :D

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One of the things I've learnt in this project is that it's really hard to ask all the questions you need to ask. And when you're like me and you just don't know anything about carpentry or plumbing or RO filters... well let's just say there were a few surprises which I now have to work around.

I wanted to automate the water changes by having tap water go through a filter to remove chlorine, chloramine and other nasties. I also wanted to have an RO filter in the room so I could keep soft water species like wild bettas. So I was delighted when I found this filter which could produce both pH 7 water for most of the fish AND produce RO water when I needed it. BUT I neglected to explain exactly how I wanted to do this to the filter seller (not that he really had anything that would do exactly what I wanted). Anyway, I won't be able to automate quite as much. PLUS the water output is sloooooooow. It would take a day to fill my storage containers. Also there is a huge amount of waste water. You can use the waste water on the garden but it's still too much if I was using it for all water changes. So the plan now is to just go back to using it as an ad hoc RO unit only for soft water species.

I really didn't ask enough questions about how the plumbing would need to work. Although unless you actually have a friend who is a plumber who can explain everything to you, you just have to get a plumber in and go from there. So the plumbing sits a lot higher than I expected and I have had to modify my racks a bit so the lowest tanks will still be higher than the siphoning points. Here are a couple of pics of the plumbing.

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Ok I haven't completely finished the rack. But here's a pic anyway of an almost completed first rack. Another thing I learnt is that you can't have enough big clamps. Or small clamps. Or in-between sized clamps.

I couldn't get far enough away to get the whole rack in the shot.

I could carry on putting it together. Still lots more pieces to screw in. Or I could go watch Game of Thrones... :P/>/>

Oh another thing I learnt is if you make the counter sink hole too deep, it looks really stupid. And you can't fix it.

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Looks great, I'm so jealous!

I agree 100% about never having enough clamps! Carpentry is the part that scares me the most... Not the cutting tools like saws but not knowing how to measure it up accurately and putting it together well... I suppose its a great skill to learn though if your into fish :P

Did you tile and waterproof the room yourself or did you get someone in to do it?

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No. We demolished and rebuilt our house. Not just so I could have a fishroom. :P It was cheaper than renovating and a lot cheaper than buying something else. To get the same result that is. Anyway, a fishroom was part of the plan. For just a little bit more the builder did the tiling and waterproofing.

For a total woodworking noob it has been extremely challenging. Not only am I inexperienced, I'm learning everything off YouTube! Fortunately I had the good sense to do a few test cuts and I made a test joint. But it's far from perfect. I just hope my mistakes don't compromise the strength of the things. This first rack is going to hold 800kg. If it fell on me I won't be getting up again. :byebye: The big rack I'm building next is going to hold 1.4 tonnes!

BTW if anyone wants to 'share' the experience you're welcome to help me build the next one. BYO drill and protective gear and more clamps. :P

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Hey Razzi

Well done on the wood work. Your a DIY guy after all. I did chuckle at the thought of the circuler saw they can be a bit intimidating but hey once you have done it your on your way. Cant wait to see more pics as it progresses. I have some smaragdinas that you can have for your wild collection if you like OK

Cheers

Les

PS I will have some A. stiatum when the weather warms up for your Killi collection

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No the 3D drawing was done in Google SketchUp which I found quite challenging. But that was probably because I was quite impatient when it came to watching the tutorials.

When it came to drawing the actual racks I didn't do it 3D. Still used SketchUp but just made 2D drawings.

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I'm happy to help you 'share the experience' as long as you keep the circular saw away from me (and if it fits my schedule)

I have a power drill safety & glasses but no clamps. I won't alpha male it but don't know a whole lot about carpentry. i can hold stuff!!! :D

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  • 1 month later...

This is what the first rack looked like a couple of weeks ago. Just before I headed off to Aquarama I consolidated all the fish so that it would be easy for my partner to look after.

I've not advanced much further except that I've cleared the old shelving out of the room. And I've added another little tank to this setup to house a new red dragon I bought at the VB meet.

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I've got to find a fish-sitter for three weeks, I wish my partner was that keen!

So we can expect progress photos over the weekend?? You know it'll be fun playing with tools that can cause that much damage. Maybe you need a nail gun :)

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