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Building a Fish room


andrew
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I have decided to turn half of my carport into a fish room. It is all ready under the house roof so it will just be a matter of filling in the walls. Any suggestions on how much light, should i insolate, what to include, etc would be greatly appreciated. thank

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Hi Andrew. Welcome to the forum. :lol:

I think you want to use the best insulation you can find. The temperature in the fishroom needs to be kept as stable as possible throughout the year regardless of the outside temperature.

You'll need to balance out the pros and cons of a window. It can help to have natural light coming in but you might need to have it double glazed to maintain temperature. You also lose a bit of wall space. But it might make it less claustrophobic in there.

Are you going to heat the whole room? It may be more economical to do that. One of those new split system airconditioners may be able to heat all the tanks more economically than individual heaters.

It's an interesting project. I hope you're going to give us progress reports with pics so we can share in the joy. :)

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some things to consider:

insulation - if you are building walls get fibro bats and put them under the fibro as you go. Use Villaboard, not plasterboard.

Seal with a waterproof sealant and use enamel paint. make sure you seal the ceiling as well. If the floor of the house forms the roof of the new room, put a sheet of plastic ontop of the floating ceiling. you don't want ANY moisture getting into the floorboards, joists etc.

Ensure EVERYTHING is termite proof. Cap, seal, spray and monitor. Victoria may not be as bad as QLD for termites, but fishrooms are magnets for them.

Alternative - line with styrofoam. You can get sheets cut to size at the manufacturer. Go for cold room density - it is stronger.

Cold room panelling is the best, but hard to come by.

Seal all skirting boards top and bottom. Don't let water seep back behind or underneath. Seal all wall cracks etc likewise.

Anywhere that is cooler than room temp with have condensation form. This leads to mold, mildew and rot. try to anticipate and pretreat.

Drainage - will you have a floor waste? If not, can the floor be sloped so the moisture runs away from the house? Where is the water source for the room? Do you need to allow room for a storage drum (200L - 1000L)? Will there be a sink? Where will the water waste run to? Will you have to bucket water out or can you have a drain go through the wall?

Heating: Individual tanks or whole room? Heating tanks will cause all of the glass to fog constantly with condensation. No real harm, but you will have to wipe the fronts to see in and make sure the drips do not rot something.

Heating the whole room makes it more comfortable to work in during winter, but that does depend on your heat tolerance. Do not use an oil heater - they are WAY to expensive on power. Cheap fan heaters on the lowest thermostat setting do quite well. They will only last a season, but are cheap to replace. Split systems are ideal, but a lot of cost up front. How serious is the hobby? What are your long term plans?

Think ahead about which way the door will swing, how wide is should be (can you carry a 2ft tank through?) Seal and paint it as per walls. A solid timber door (exsternal) is better, the standard hollow ones (internal) will warp at the base and start to pull apart.

Natural light not necessary and a window lets out lots of heat, drips condensation, will algae and moss up at the corners and be just another thing you have to fully seal.

If you are going to run electrical cabel - put the sockets in the ceiling. That way they will not be splashed with water and you don't have to think about tank layout before putting them in. Run the lights and the power on separate circuits. You WILL trip the RCD at some stage and it's easier if you aren't stumbling around in the dark!

HTH - J

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks alot Bettarazzi & someone, I would have put more windows in if not for your advice, I am still putting some in as it will be outside our spare room window and we still wont light in there, but i will double glaze them.I would not have thought of villa board but it will be perfect, the ceiling sockets are a great idea and I will try the fan heater. I realize ventalation would increase heating costs, but would it be worth it to get rid of some mould problems? thanks Andrew Will show progress.

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  • 2 months later...

It is not as large as i would like to many windows to because of the bebroom its next to, its 6m by 2.4m. i can't wait to get it all set up either it seems to have taken a livetime, as i have not had time to spend with my little fishes. Anyway iam finally getting some out the kitchen, dininng room floor, bedroom, some of the ones on the veranda.

I still have some angelfish fry on the veranda, how old should they be before i can move them? my son still has a spawn in his room to but i don't think he will let me move his tank,i wouldn't either if i could lie in bed and watch them.

now the angels have spawned again 11 days busy little things, i still haven't even made a stand for their tanks i guess the kitchen will have to do again.

anyway heres the latest pics.

Picture138.jpg

Picture127.jpg

Edited by andrew
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I brought the stand on ebay, it was even local for me {first for everything] it came from a lfs. It is made out of 19mm steel tube welded together. I striped it back to the frame and replaced all the chipboard shelving for plywood put some timber edging on stained it and sealed it with a marine sealer. Rewired it completly, even my electrical skills made it 100 times safer and neater. Almost looks like new.

Cost. The 9 tanks incuding stand cost $360. Most of the materials i used were left over bits and pieces. To try to give you an idea of a DIY price i spent $25 on timber, $45 on stain and sealer.One sheet of ply would have done it about $50, eight 6m lengths of 19x19 steel [sorry couldn't find a price] and some lights, there is a thread or two on lights but i think a 4 foot light is about $35

The only thing I would do differant is leave at least 20mm to get the tanks in easier.

I would still love some idea about what age it would be safe to move angels.

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The only thing I would do differant is leave at least 20mm to get the tanks in easier.

It looks nice and neat though with the tanks all butted up against the frame. But that would have been a funny moment as you go to put a tank on the shelf and realise there's no room for your fingers. :) How much room is between the top of each tank and the shelf above?

I would still love some idea about what age it would be safe to move angels.

I think you can move them any time as long as you keep their conditions as close as possible to what they've been in. So aim to use the same water their in currently and do it quickly so the temperature doesn't drop too much. And use the same sponge filter. Are you going to move their whole tank or are they going into a different tank? Using the same tank would be safest. That way you can just siphon out enough water so that you and a mate can lift what's left over. Then you just move the whole lot in one go, fry and all. That would be the least stressful for them. Then you just pour the water that you took out back in and you're done.

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