Anyone have experience with making a "dry" basement "wet?"
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > DIY


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-30-2010, 03:38 AM   #1
Scuba Steve
Algae Grower
 
Scuba Steve's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 84
Default

Anyone have experience with making a "dry" basement "wet?"


Unfortunately, mine is not plumbed. No sinks, toilets, nothing. Years ago, I ran a 55g native tank in my basement. Carrying 5 gallon buckets filled with water up and downstairs was a drag. I thought I was being clever when I bought a pump and pumped water out a basement window and ran water from an outdoor spigot through a hose (drinking water safe) through the same window. This was still such a major production that I (gasp) took the tank down and have had it in storage ever since.

After a many-year hiatus, I am back to keeping an aquarium. This time upstairs, where space is at a premium. I only have room for a 29 gallon (high tech) and am salivating over some of the a-ma-za-zing larger aquariums in these forums. (Thanks for making this such a fun and informative place, by the way.)

A DIY automatic water changer system I read about yesterday got me thinking about keeping aquariums in the basement again.

There are many pros: utility carpet covered cement floor, plenty of power outlets, lots of wall (and floor) space, small windows that don't let in direct sunlight, an awesome sectional couch to sit/lay on when viewing the aquariums... (besides being right next to my PC for easy uploading of gorgeous pictures with my posts...)

The cons (as far as I can see) are:
1. No water access. My guess is that a plumber and $$$ could make short work of this.
2. No drain. Again, I bet a plumber could resolve. Water would ultimately have to be pumped about 6 feet up (if at the floor level) to the main drain pipe located in the wall behind my computer. I know this is where my dishwasher and washing machine discharge goes.
3. Heavy tanks plus stairs equals a PITA when new tanks come home to live.
4. Plumber$ are expen$ive.

Anyone have any experience with bringing water into their "dry" basements? Any suggestions? I would love to hear anyone's story (or saga), but am especially interested in DIY solutions.

Thanks in advance! (By the way, this is my first real post after lots an lots of lurking. OK, its really my second, but my first was only 2 sentences long in praise of my beloved kuhli loach...)

Scuba Steve
Scuba Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-30-2010, 03:55 AM   #2
tuffgong
Wannabe Guru
 
tuffgong's Avatar
 
PTrader: (40/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: DC/MD/VA
Posts: 1,453
Default

For water changes, depending on how far the run is between tank and spigot you could get a Python and just get as much extra tubing you need to reach your tank. I've been to several big box stores and LFS that have Python's in use with at least 150' of tubing.

Regarding your drain. How about a large 50 gallon tub with a very strong pump in the tub. The pump is hooked up to some plumbing that runs to wherever your drain is. When you need a drain in the basement all excess water needs to somehow end up in that tub where it's pumped to the drain via the plumbing.
__________________

Dollar Store Dirt Tank - 20g - Albino Sterbai Cory Fry Tank
Fraternity of Dirt #30 - SunSun Pimp Club #20 - Eheim Pimp Club #412
tuffgong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2010, 04:04 AM   #3
Scuba Steve
Algae Grower
 
Scuba Steve's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 84
Default Re: Anyone have experience with making a "dry" basement "wet?"

Thanks for your response! I like the tub idea. I could get a float activated sump pump for it. Maybe a 50 gallon rain barrel would work. I have a 50 foot python right now. Not long enough to reach from upstairs, unfortunately. I am also enamored with the idea of a permanent basement water supply. My wonderful wife lets me keep the basement however I want. Keeping a hose permanently snaked through the kitchen down to the basement might be a violation of my marital contract... LOL.
Scuba Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2010, 04:33 AM   #4
Craigthor
Planted Tank Guru
 
Craigthor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (188/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dubuque, IA
Posts: 9,628
Default

Got pictures of incoming water lines and the drain, depending on how they are ran you could jsut tap into the water line for feed to basement and possibly the same for sewer.

Craig
__________________
Rebooting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
Craigthor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2010, 04:57 AM   #5
Hoppy
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hoppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (74/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18,792
Default

Plumbing isn't a difficult DIY job, until you get into installing 3-4 inch diameter sewer pipes, and even that is easy if you can use black ABS sewer pipe. The sewer pipe run out to the main sewer is probably almost as low in the yard as the basement floor, so installing an extension into the basement is doable. (For that I would pay a plumber.)
__________________
Hoppy
Hoppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2010, 05:38 AM   #6
Scuba Steve
Algae Grower
 
Scuba Steve's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 84
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Plumbing isn't a difficult DIY job, until you get into installing 3-4 inch diameter sewer pipes, and even that is easy if you can use black ABS sewer pipe. The sewer pipe run out to the main sewer is probably almost as low in the yard as the basement floor, so installing an extension into the basement is doable. (For that I would pay a plumber.)
I wish that were the case. The main line going out of the house is about 6 feet above the basement floor. As is the incoming water.

I know it (or at least something that is connected to it) is ABS, as I had to hire a plumber 4 years ago to replace a section of the original cast iron with ABS because it had sprung a leak in my wall.

I have an exposed section in a small room under my basement stairs... happens to be where my hot water heater is as well. Could be a good place for a utility sink with a tub for a sump below it.

Here is a picture:



The black pipe is the outflow to the main sewer line. The two copper lines go to and from my hot water heater. If I took out the shelving, does this sound doable? (Yes those are aquariums being stored above the carpet rolls through the doorway.)

Here is another thought... Will the copper lines affect my fish/inverts/plants if I tap into them? I have read that it is death to corals in SW setups. I thought I read that inverts (shrimp) don't do well with it. I suspect that water coming from these copper pipes wouldn't be too different from water from my sink upstairs. It is all connected anyway and I don't seem to be having any problems with my ghost shrimp after 30 days.

Assuming that the copper pipes are not a deal-killer, I think it might be time to start doing some budgeting... I sense a plumbing project and more aquariums in my future...

Thanks again for your comments. It is exciting to be able to "discuss" this with folks who can get as into it as I tend to.

S.Steve
Scuba Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2010, 01:24 PM   #7
Craigthor
Planted Tank Guru
 
Craigthor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (188/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dubuque, IA
Posts: 9,628
Default

You could probably tap both cold and hot from the incoming and outgoing copper lines there. depending on where there is a shut off wouldn't take long to split them and put a Tee inline with each then plumb over to a utility sink. If you did it yourself I would Start adn setup the sink and do all the plumbing from the sink over to close to the main lines. Once there I would put a couple of ball valves close so you can shut off the flow should there be a leak or needs to be worked on. Then while the wife is out for the day shut off the water drain the lines and cut them apart. make sure they are good and dry uswe lots of flux and solder in some tees and finish the few pipe pieces to get you water.

For the drain you will probably have to use a tub and a sump pump since your water line is so high. Might be worth consulting a plumber to see what they say.

Craig
__________________
Rebooting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
Craigthor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2010, 02:14 PM   #8
jmhart
Wannabe Guru
 
jmhart's Avatar
 
PTrader: (37/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 1,619
Default

I agree with Craig's thoughts for the utility sink....and about getting a plumber for your drain issue.

I kind of have the same drain issue. My sewer line is lower than my aquarium, but there are too many doors in the way, so I couldn't run a drain line to my sewer without a pump. I made it a non issue by running a drain line out a window and into a rain barrel, so that when my tank drains, it goes in the barrel for use in the yard. If you have the ability to pump the water outside, you might consider this.
jmhart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2010, 03:15 PM   #9
Scuba Steve
Algae Grower
 
Scuba Steve's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 84
Default Re: Anyone have experience with making a "dry" basement "wet?"

Thanks so much for the ideas! much to think about...

S.Steve
Scuba Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2010, 03:17 PM   #10
deeda
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Medina, Ohio
Posts: 952
Default

You could always install a sump pump crock in your basement floor then discharge the water to your existing sewer drain using a sump pump with a check valve. This would also help catch any discharge water when the water heater leaks or fails.

I can't understand why this wasn't done when the home was built unless local codes prevented it due to building codes or the water table in your area.

You could always have a plumber come out to give you a quote for the sump pit and see if it is feasible to install it. Have them explain to you (details please!) how it would look. Then, if you are comfortable with doing the work yourself, do it. You could always pull a homeowners permit from your local building department, if it's permitted in your jurisdiction. If your home is newer, the building department should have the basement floor thickness and if there is anything located under it that prevented a sump installation at the time of the home being built.

Are you hooked up to city sewer or do you have a private sewage system?
__________________
Dee
__________________
Eheim Pimpette #270
Eheim Pro II 2028; Classics Series -2215, 2217, 2260, 2262; Pro 2229 Wet/Dry
deeda is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2010, 04:57 PM   #11
Scuba Steve
Algae Grower
 
Scuba Steve's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 84
Default Re: Anyone have experience with making a "dry" basement "wet?"

My house was built in 1940 and remodeled several times, so many things seem sorta goofy to me. The hot water heater sprang a leak 10 years ago and it was a huge mess with no basement drain. I am on the city sewer system. A sump well below floor level sounds expensive, but good.
Scuba Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2010, 03:41 AM   #12
Diana
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 7,488
Default

There is a pump available here (CA) called a Drain-O-Saur.
We use them in outdoor bar-b-que units when the client wants a sink, but the waste line will not gravity feed.

Plumbing is not that difficult, but making sure the connections result in sterile/sanitary solutions is VERY important. For example, in adding a waste line from the basement, that discharges uphill to the main sewer is asking for a nightmare if it is not done correctly.

I agree with the above: Hire a plumber to do the drain right. Ask him also to put a Tee in your copper lines for hot and cold. Then you can use PVC (or C-PVC) to plumb the supply lines to the basement. (PVC is easier than copper)

http://www.little-giantpump.com/drainosaur.htm
This would go under the 'laundry sink' (renamed the 'fish room sink') and you would do water changes into this sink.

A standard sump pump set up could work. If you will be tossing bits of algae in there, make sure the pump handles solids.

If you have any intention of selling the house get permits and inspections on the work so there is no question that it was done right.

Last edited by Diana; 06-07-2010 at 01:12 AM..
Diana is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2010, 03:42 PM   #13
Scuba Steve
Algae Grower
 
Scuba Steve's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 84
Default Re: Anyone have experience with making a "dry" basement "wet?"

Wow... didn't think of the issue with solids. Thanks for pointing this out. I checked out the Drainosaurs from your link. Pretty nifty. A consultation with my friend the plumber is in my future!

Now I just need to win the lottery so I can get all this done immediately.

On second thought, if I won the lottery, I would rather buy a better house with a dedicated fish room. :-)
Scuba Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2010, 03:45 PM   #14
Spachi
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: St. Charles, MO USA
Posts: 143
Default

With a vat of old water sitting in the sump would any of you be concerned if a snail egg or two getting in there and starting up a little colony?
Spachi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2010, 12:50 AM   #15
Scuba Steve
Algae Grower
 
Scuba Steve's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 84
Default

Not sure I would care too much...
Scuba Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012