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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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  • 7 years later...

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 start fishkeeping.

So let's do a bit of catch up on what's been happening in here. I did finish the final central rack and it held my beanie boxes for jarring males. I did not set up a recirculating filtration system for the beanie boxes. So I just had to do individual water changes and we all know how tough that is. I had planned to set up two big tubs for ageing water. This did not get done until 2018.

The big air pump also didn't get setup until 2018 a good 5 years after I purchased it. It was quite an effort setup all the pvc pipe around the room and drill and screw in all the outlets. And of course the air pump lasted all of a week and died while I was away and the house sitters had to deal with it. I still haven't replace that pump so there is currently no centralised air system. Just individual small air pumps wherever I need it.

There was a fair bit of fishkeeping happening in this room in those years despite not being optimally setup. I had a colony of blue angelfish going for a while, double sword guppies, and several betta spawns. But the last betta spawn was in November 2018 and I've really only looked after that one population in the last few years.

The silver lining to lockdown was that my home office is right next to the fishroom. So I slowly started to get into a routine of spending a little bit of time in the fishroom every day. A year of working from home and I now have a couple of tanks of Vienna Emerald type bottom sword guppies from Glenn Ng. I still have a few adults from the 2018 betta spawn that I'm looking after. And I've got my daphnia cultures, adult brine shrimp experiment, and chlorella and nannochloropsis algae cultures that I'm playing with as well.

The intervening years have unfortunately turned the fishroom into a disorganised mess. This is what I'm trying to address before I bring in any more fish. I've started by purchasing 8 drawers which fit nicely under the bench to help me organise this section. And I've put up some shelving above the sink. This has already made a bit of difference because I can now use the bench as intended instead of it being full of random stuff. This is just a start. There is still a way to go to get everything properly setup according to the original plans.

I don't want to make promises to myself that I can't keep. But it seems to me that a nice goal would be to have everything done by 14 May 2021, the 8 year anniversary of the start of this thread. It's only 5 weekends and I already know a couple of those are busy with family events. But maybe with some determination I can get all the major stuff done.

The major things in my mind are:

  • All the boards need to be screwed onto every shelf on the racks. Most of tanks are only resting on the rails.
  • The air pump needs to be set back up
  • All the random bits of equipment need to be in proper storage not just lying around for me to trip over.
  • Several dirty tanks to clean and test for leaks 
  • A leaking tank needs repair or disposal. Same for another tank which has one broken side.
  • The brine shrimp hatchery and daphnia cultures need to move to a better position
  • The central rack needs to be setup as a recirculating system as intended.
  • I want to build an extension to the workbench to give me even more bench space.
  • All the tanks need a pump on a timer, and a float valve so that water changes can be automated. 
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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 on the rails it makes it hard when you want to move tanks around. As you pull a tank away there’s nothing to support it but your hands. Also with a board on the rails you can put smaller tanks in that spot if you want. MDF is highly toxic so a mask is mandatory. It also not tolerant of water so will need to be sealed. I’m being given a 4ft tank today that I’m planning on using as a sump for a recirculating betta barracks. The spot it’s meant to go is currently being used as storage. Those things are meant to go in other spots which don’t have boards yet. 

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Here’s a quick and dirty video I took the other day. The drawers under the workbench and the shelves over the sink are recent improvements. But you can see how much more work needs to be done.

It was a stinking hot day in Melbourne today and I didn’t get as much cutting done as I’d hoped.  Firstly I didn’t realise how hot it was going to get. Although I was out of bed at 8am. I spent the morning doing the regular fishroom chores.

I had the idea that I would clear a shelf that needed a board, cut it, attach, seal it, wait for it to dry, shift the things back on it, clear the next shelf, repeat. Bad idea. I read the can of sealant. Two hours before it’s touch dry and 1 week for full cure!! Pretty sure I didn’t wait the week last time but that was 3 years ago and I don’t remember the details. So the plan now is to clear all the shelves and find somewhere to put everything for a week. Lucky it’s a long weekend. 

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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 wood for you. Unless you’re a skilled carpenter with all the tools and knowledge on how to use them, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle. After cutting all the bits I’d bought I discover I needed more. This time I used their cutting service. He did in 10 minutes what would have taken me a month of Sundays. Doing it myself with only a handheld power saw takes so long to setup, measure, clamp, measure again, check the saw height, realise the clamps are in the way and I need to turn everything around… too hard. 

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