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Old 11-02-2012, 09:40 PM   #1
cableguy69846
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Fish room.


So, I have some plans to start a fish room in my basement this winter. Need to finish clearing it out, and get some lumber, but I am going to do it for sure this time.

I have two stretches of wall that I am going to be using. One is roughly 60" long, give or take a couple of inches. I am thinking a rack that will put two 20long tanks side by side and three high will fit there.

The other wall is roughly 7' of useable space. I want to do two racks that will hold six 10gallon tanks and one 40gallon breeder. I am thinking a row of three 10gallons on the bottom, the 40gallon in the middle and a row of three 10gallon tanks on top.

The 40's will be used for plecos and the 10's for pleco eggs to hatch and as grow out tanks. I can also try my hand at some smaller cories or tetras in the 10's as well. The 20's will be for shrimp and other smallish fish. All will have air powered sponge filters and shop lights. Don't want to mess around with that many power filters. I am planning on a water storage tank of some sort for WC's, and I want to use a central drain system for draining the tanks for WC's. Not going to use an auto fill system though. I want a little more control then that. I am also planning on a separate circuit for all the electrical and I need to add a water line for ease of use. I have some stuff drawn out, but need to get it to the comp, so I will have to post that later on. An RO/DI unit will be later down the road as I need one for the reef tank anyway. I am thinking a 50 gallon drum for the water storage tank, and I can drain all the tanks directly into the floor drain when I do WC's.

My biggest hurdles are going to be stand construction and plumbing. With all the tanks, will 2x4's with dato joints be sufficient? I am thinking something along the lines of this, only on a larger scale.

As for drain plumbing, I was thinking of this plumbing or this plumbing. They are both essentially the same with minor differences. I am thinking of drilling for 1/2" bulkheads about 3/4 of the height of the tank, so when I open the valves, it will auto drain about 20%ish of the water to be refilled. Would that be sufficient? Or should I lower it? Also for the rack that will hold the plecos, I am wondering if I should sump the system or not. Or maybe sump the two 40gallon tanks and just lose the bottom row of 10gallon tanks and put the sump there. I really would rather not do that though, and think it will be more cost effective to have sponge filters.

Thoughts or ideas? Pictures of your setups? Advice or criticisms? Let me know. I will try to get some pics up of my idea so you can better see it.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:03 AM   #2
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While I cannot comment on the actual design/setup of your fishroom, having over 10 years experience as a cabinetmaker (commercial/residential), I can comment on the tank stand.

A 2x4 stand using dado's is more than suitable to hold your desired amount of tanks, weight, etc. Another alternative to the dado's is to use metal joist hangers, however you will probably find that the dado's provide a "cleaner" look.

Another point worth noting, and I am sure you have probably already thought of this, but make sure when you set the stand up that it is completely level. A slight variation over that great of a distance will certainly be noticeable from end to the other. So, don't forget your shims!

Good luck on your fish room...and many moons from now when I finally convince my wife that a fish room in the basement is a good idea, perhaps I will build one of my own as well.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProndFarms View Post
While I cannot comment on the actual design/setup of your fishroom, having over 10 years experience as a cabinetmaker (commercial/residential), I can comment on the tank stand.

A 2x4 stand using dado's is more than suitable to hold your desired amount of tanks, weight, etc. Another alternative to the dado's is to use metal joist hangers, however you will probably find that the dado's provide a "cleaner" look.

Another point worth noting, and I am sure you have probably already thought of this, but make sure when you set the stand up that it is completely level. A slight variation over that great of a distance will certainly be noticeable from end to the other. So, don't forget your shims!

Good luck on your fish room...and many moons from now when I finally convince my wife that a fish room in the basement is a good idea, perhaps I will build one of my own as well.
I thought of using the joist hangers, but did not like the price. For that much money, I can invest in a good circular saw. That will fuel further builds and such. Not worried about the clean look either. It is going to be in an unfinished basement and not be for display. More utilitarian for sure.

As for the leveling, going to be done before one single tank sees water. My basement floor is pretty uneven, and I don't want any accidents. It does slope toward the drain in the floor though, so that is a plus.

And as for the fish room, maybe bring up that having tanks all over the house can be solved with one central tank room? I have 4 fish tanks between my and my wife's room and our baby's room (we live with her parents to help out with my father-in-law.) So, moving all the tanks to the basement makes more sense in this instance. Might work with your wife too. If nothing else, it is worth a shot.

Thank you for the feedback. I will try to get some schematics up in a day or so.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:28 AM   #4
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The idea of 'all the tanks out of the house' was a big incentive for my son to help set up my fish room. There are 2 dozen tanks (almost 800 gallons) and a pond (about 150 gallons) out there in a greenhouse sort of set up, that used to be all over the house. Only 2 are still in the house: 125 and 72 gallon tanks.

Mostly I used the cabinet style stands they had, or some CMU stands. The smaller tanks are on some Home Depot Garage style shelving.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:07 PM   #5
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The idea of 'all the tanks out of the house' was a big incentive for my son to help set up my fish room. There are 2 dozen tanks (almost 800 gallons) and a pond (about 150 gallons) out there in a greenhouse sort of set up, that used to be all over the house. Only 2 are still in the house: 125 and 72 gallon tanks.

Mostly I used the cabinet style stands they had, or some CMU stands. The smaller tanks are on some Home Depot Garage style shelving.
I really want to expand my breeding setups. Right now, I have one tank really dedicated to that, but I need a couple more. And there is no more room in our room for them. So, this is the option that makes the most sense to me at the moment. Also, then I will have somewhat of a man-cave to retreat to from time to time. The only two tanks that will not go down there are going to be my 20high that is in my daughter's room and my reef tank. As for shelves, the ones at HD are all really expensive and not really "cut to fit" so to speak, for my application. If I had a bit more room and funds, I would go that route for sure.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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OK. I finally got some diagrams of the stands together to better explain things. First, let's talk about the 20long stand.



This shows the complete rack and the detail on the underside of the shelf.

The left image is the complete front view of the rack. Maybe I should put a legend on here first.

Brown - 2x4's for the shelf frame
Red - 1/2" plywood for the shelf top
Purple - 2x4's to support the shelf.
Tan - 2x4's to keep everything together
Yellow - 2x4's for extra support
Blue - 2x4's for added support


Ok. Back to the picture. Use the above to see what I am talking about. The blue and yellow is where the tank frame would rest. All three shelves would be made like this. On the left is the front, the middle is the side, and the right is the underside of the shelf. The tanks would fit in between the supports so the rack could fit in the space allotted. The whole thing would be +/- 60" wide and 20" deep.



This is without the outer Tan supports and it shows the top of the shelf with the plywood on it.



And this is the top minus the plywood. The yellow and blue would be attached to the brown with datto(sp?) joints. Those are where the tank frames will rest when setup.

Now on to the 40gallon/10gallon rack. Same legend as the above.



This is the complete shelf. The views on the right are the shelf the 40breeder will sit on.

The top one is the shelf top down with no plywood.
The second one is the shelf top down with the plywood on.
The third is the shelf underside.

The next one is the rack minus the tan supports on the sides and it shows the shelf the 10gallon tanks will rest on.



On the right is the shelf.
The top is the shelf top with no plywood.
Second is the top with the plywood, and the bottom is the underside of the shelf with the plywood. The dimensions of this rack will be +/-40" wide and 20" deep. And I will have 2 of these. I am still working on exact dimensions and will get them up soon. Also need to plan out the plumbing.

I hope this makes sense to everyone out there. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:50 AM   #7
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Way too much wood yet it isn't as strong as the stands in this thread.
I'd trust these more any day of the week
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...=176148&page=4

Sometimes less is more. This is one of those times.

Why are you putting plywood under the tanks? Support is only along the outside edges. Plywood is just making it heavier without any functional gain.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:47 AM   #8
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The design Graphicgr8s linked to works extremely well and involves far less materials.

I also recommend triple checking the exact dimensions of the tanks because sometimes they are a little longer/wider between the different manufacturers.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:55 AM   #9
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And it's how I built mine in my fish house. Most of my tanks have metal stands. My 12 22 gallon breeders however are on wood. Built just like shown in the thread. Because mine are so tall however I just screwed it to the wall so if my 3 year old thinks it's a ladder he's safe. From falling, not from a spanking for climbing my tank racks.

BTW I used 2 x 4's for the legs only. The horizontals are 2 x 3. Still overkill.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Way too much wood yet it isn't as strong as the stands in this thread.
I'd trust these more any day of the week
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...=176148&page=4

Sometimes less is more. This is one of those times.

Why are you putting plywood under the tanks? Support is only along the outside edges. Plywood is just making it heavier without any functional gain.
I am still in the process of reading that entire thread. But I did see the racks and the numbers breakdown on them. I may go with that type instead. Thanks for the link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deeda View Post
The design Graphicgr8s linked to works extremely well and involves far less materials.

I also recommend triple checking the exact dimensions of the tanks because sometimes they are a little longer/wider between the different manufacturers.
Definitely going to triple measure the plastic rim on the tank. I know they run a bit bigger then the glass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
And it's ow I built mine in my fish house. Most of my tanks have metal stands. My 12 22 gallon breeders however are on wood. Built just like shown in the thread. Because mine are so tall however I just screwed it to the wall so if my 3 year old thinks it's a ladder he's safe. From falling, not from a spanking for climbing my tank racks.

BTW I used 2 x 4's for the legs only. The horizontals are 2 x 3. Still overkill.
I am going to be attaching the top to the floor joists to keep them from tipping over.

I lol'd at the tank racks as a ladder comment. I have a soon to be 9 month old who is into everything.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:04 PM   #11
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One thing I found when doing my rack is the tanks are all little bit different. Optimum size was suppose to be 34" x 17" x 10". I found a few that were a little but larger. I just made the stand 1" larger and they all fit fine. Remember, the 2 x 4s are 1.5" x 2.5". Assuming you put your horizontals in standing tall that gives you a total of 3" of wood for the tank to sit on. It doesn't need all that wood in reality so if you're off even 1/2" it won't matter a hill of beans.

Little G is pretty good about things like that. I've been fortunate in that regard. And he knows which fish he likes to watch.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:12 PM   #12
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One thing I found when doing my rack is the tanks are all little bit different. Optimum size was suppose to be 34" x 17" x 10". I found a few that were a little but larger. I just made the stand 1" larger and they all fit fine. Remember, the 2 x 4s are 1.5" x 2.5". Assuming you put your horizontals in standing tall that gives you a total of 3" of wood for the tank to sit on. It doesn't need all that wood in reality so if you're off even 1/2" it won't matter a hill of beans.

Little G is pretty good about things like that. I've been fortunate in that regard. And he knows which fish he likes to watch.
Yeah, I have a lot of the actual wood dimensions written down just so I don't measure wrong. And I am going to put them standing tall. More strength that way. Now I need to redesign my stands. Lol.

All I know at this point is that mine likes blue fish.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:18 PM   #13
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His favorite is the black window cleaner fish. And he loves going to the blue fish store. Sometimes the yellow one too.

Remember, if you build the stand a little wider/deeper it still works. There is enough play with 3". And even if you totally screw up and make it 4" you can sister in a 2 x to make up for it. Going the other way is more troublesome.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:22 PM   #14
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His favorite is the black window cleaner fish. And he loves going to the blue fish store. Sometimes the yellow one too.

Remember, if you build the stand a little wider/deeper it still works. There is enough play with 3". And even if you totally screw up and make it 4" you can sister in a 2 x to make up for it. Going the other way is more troublesome.
Lol. She tries to grab the fish through the glass. It is funny.

Going to try to measure 3 times and cut once. Not sure how well that will work out though. Lol.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:59 PM   #15
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Lol. She tries to grab the fish through the glass. It is funny.

Going to try to measure 3 times and cut once. Not sure how well that will work out though. Lol.
I build a lot of stuff with wood. Rarely do I ever use a tape measure. I have found that the surest way to make a mistake is to use one.
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