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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Hypothetical Fish Room

Well I've been thinking about this for a while and Finally decided to post it. I know lots of people here wouldn't mind having a fish room. So what would you do with it?

Hopefully we can together make the "perfect Fish Room" I'm not sure how large the limit should be... What is the "average" basement of everyone? I think we should probably start there. Then we can figure out what we would want to fill it up with and that type of thing.

This should be fun! But also realistic. We also want to try to record what everything would cost!

So First Question:

How big should the room be?

-Andrew
 

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I've visited several amazing fish rooms, and while bigger can be better, it just depends on what you're going for.

Anyone heard of Charley Grimes? His place is amazing, and about the size of a one car garage.

My buddy Joe has a basement that is probably 1,000 sq feet, packed with about 150 tanks, and OH MY GOODNESS is it awesome.

Rusty Wessel built an entire house to contain all of HIS fish - WOOOOW!!!

My friend Adam's fish room is a bit smaller, maybe the size of half a one-car garage, but puts up a more than respectable showing. He painted walls black, which I think is a great idea. Looks fabulous.

My fishroom is a one-car garage, which should be big enough if I play my cards right :)

I'd say bare minimum would be 10x10, 100 sq feet, and then up to maybe 1500 sq feet for guys like Rusty and Joe. :)
 

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The Hypothetical Fish RoomHopefully we can together make the "perfect Fish Room" Then we can figure out what we would want to fill it up with and that type of thing.
You have the order backwards. If you are building a fish room the very first thing is to answer the question why. Form then follows function.

If you are breeding livebeares you might want racks of 10 gal tanks.
If you are breeding chilids you might want racks of ~20 gal tanks on a central water system.
If you are breeding plants as a hobby you would want wide, low tanks.
If you are breeding plants as a job you would want a green house.

If you just want a few big planted display tanks then the issue is removing all the unsightly mess.

It all depends on what you want to do!
 

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Blueram kind of hit the nail on the head.

Before building you may want to figure out how to run all the water lines, drainage, etc. Maybe it was Brian's Tropicals I saw how the owner made piping that when he did water changes, the old water would flow right into the drainage pipes. Pretty slick setup, could be even better if planned BEFORE building.
 

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Before building you may want to figure out how to run all the water lines, drainage, etc. Maybe it was Brian's Tropicals I saw how the owner made piping that when he did water changes, the old water would flow right into the drainage pipes. Pretty slick setup, could be even better if planned BEFORE building.
When we were house hunting the wife listed "3+ bedrooms, 2 car garage ..." and I listed "bottom level on concrete slab." I would be happier if the water connection from the laundry was closer or if I had a floor drain etc but as Burks mentioned it is absolutely worth thinking this through first.

My fish room is partitioned by incompatible fish. From right to left:
Clown barbs > 12 yo and ~6" in a planted with sump.
Main display tank with sump
Angel growout (~6mo)
Livebearer in 5 gal planted
Angel growout (~2mo)
Cherries and H. formosia

So basically the number of fish species that will be eaten by others dictates the number of tanks.
 

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What is the "average" basement of everyone?
zero. gotta love california living and "land surfing."

I also don't *think* houses are on concrete slabs here, I think it's all wood frame on the concrete square thingies (with the exception of the garage which are drainless since they're groundlevel).
 

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I've had a couple different fish rooms, and I echo what has already been said. Deciding on the infrastructure is the most important part. A fully operational fishroom requires daily attention. If everything isn't streamlined for efficiency, a hobby quickly turns into a chore for those of us with full time jobs and already constrained free time.

My learnings:
  • Automatic water changes are a neccessity
  • Heating the entire room might be easier, but I quickly learned that I hate being in a room that's 75-80 degrees
  • 2 rows of tanks. Anything higher than 5 feet or lower than 2 is a PITA
  • Bigger tanks > Smaller tanks
  • Having too much live food is better than not enough
  • Keep fish and plants that thrive in your tap water. Trying to change parameters for individual tanks is a losing battle.
  • Have a backup plan prepared in the event you lose power
  • Humidity will destroy most rooms
  • Don't try to save money by building your own tanks.
  • Start with the best quality stock available.
  • Siphon overflows eventually fail. Drill your tanks.
  • Most people don't realize how often your hands will be in the tanks trimming, moving/sorting fish, etc. Make sure they're easy to work in.
  • No Duckweed. Ever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Blueram kind of hit the nail on the head.

Before building you may want to figure out how to run all the water lines, drainage, etc. Maybe it was Brian's Tropicals I saw how the owner made piping that when he did water changes, the old water would flow right into the drainage pipes. Pretty slick setup, could be even better if planned BEFORE building.
Alright I think you guys nailed it. I just quoted Burks because it was a shorter Quote:hihi:

So New first question.

What should it be used for breeding?

I personally want some room, a Rack or two for Inverts. Also some Other algae eaters like Otto breeding tanks, and pleco tanks.

What else should go in it? Lets try to stay a bit simple... So No Discus at the moment:hihi:

-Andrew

Ohh. And This isn't actually going to be made, But I think that everyone figure that out by the title. But I think that this could really help someone who wants to build a fish room. Maybe after the first "hypothetical fish room" is "Built" We can move on to "Hypothetical FR II" or something like that. So Lets start simple!:hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've visited several amazing fish rooms, and while bigger can be better, it just depends on what you're going for.


I'd say bare minimum would be 10x10, 100 sq feet, and then up to maybe 1500 sq feet for guys like Rusty and Joe. :)
I like the number 1500:hihi:

I think one car Garage is realistic, What do Others think?

Yeah, so now there are two questions...

-Andrew
 

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I wish I had a basement, I think you know what it would look like......DC
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I wish I had a basement, I think you know what it would look like......DC
LOL Well, If I ever move to Il, I can lend you some room lol.

Seems like this will just die for a while and I'll make a more specific topic or something:hihi:

-Andrew
 

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Ok I might as well chime in and list my "fantasy" fish room. I'll never be able to afford it but I can always dream.

Something the size of say...a three car garage (not all used by tanks though)
Concrete floor, water lines and drainage lines along both side walls. The drainage lines would be connected and run straight out to a garden on the side(s) of the building. Two rooms toward the back to hold all the extra stuff (emergency generator, bathroom, ferts, foods, equipment etc.)
One wall with small tanks (ranging from 5-20g) For shrimp, guppies, anything small. And the opposite wall for the larger tanks. A sitting area in the center where you would be able to see all tanks and have visitors. And a lackey to do all the work! :biggrin: lol
 

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Well .. I think I'm pretty lucky because currently have a new house under construction.
If space & money allows, I'd really want a fish room that looks like an art gallery.
A combo of planted tanks with discus & angelfish (separately of course) that are built into the walls & hopefully the other side of the fish tanks are visible from other rooms (I don't know if I make sense).
Since the tanks will be built in, automatic water changes is important.
O .. since someone brought up humidity, how is it 'bad' for having a tank room?
Because this new house is in a tropical country .. so I'm guessing AC 24/7 is a must?
 

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the high humidity that a fish room can generate will rot the wood if not taken care of.

its funny that when alot of people make a fish room they always plan to breed fish. why doesint anyone just make a ton of display tanks like you see in the pics of amanos "base"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well .. I think I'm pretty lucky because currently have a new house under construction.
If space & money allows, I'd really want a fish room that looks like an art gallery.
A combo of planted tanks with discus & angelfish (separately of course) that are built into the walls & hopefully the other side of the fish tanks are visible from other rooms (I don't know if I make sense).
Since the tanks will be built in, automatic water changes is important.
O .. since someone brought up humidity, how is it 'bad' for having a tank room?
Because this new house is in a tropical country .. so I'm guessing AC 24/7 is a must?
I understand what you're saying. Glass tops are going to be a MUST for you and either a chiller per tank or AC.

Where is the house?

its funny that when alot of people make a fish room they always plan to breed fish. why doesint anyone just make a ton of display tanks like you see in the pics of amanos "base"?
I think Most people here aren't millionaires/billionaires So most people want to get some return. Also, At least in my opinion I would rather breed than have lots of pretty tanks sitting around... All I need is one or two nice display tanks.

-Andrew
 

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I'm planning to have tropical fish in the tanks, so I don't think a chiller is needed for the tank.
In contrary, I wouldn't have to spend money on heaters.
The house will be in Southeast Asia .. very humid!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm planning to have tropical fish in the tanks, so I don't think a chiller is needed for the tank.
In contrary, I wouldn't have to spend money on heaters.
The house will be in Southeast Asia .. very humid!
Ohh cool. Now thats a tropical getaway!

-Andrew
 

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For me, the ideal fish room is one where they exist in my bedroom.

Maybe it's just me, but I like aquariums to be where I will be so that I can see them as much as possible. I want to see that the living creatures I've brought into my house are not only surviving, but thriving. I have an eventual goal of having tank(s) that wrap around rooms. They would basically wrap around all the walls and so wherever you look, you see a soothing and beautiful aquarium.

One of the people I know had his previous house designed in a portion for keeping a shark - somewhere in the thousand gallon range. When he would wake up in the mornings, the shark would be looking at him because the window could see through some bedrooms. That's like having a friendship with a sea creature... pretty cool, IMO.

Anyway, back to the topic. I'd like to maybe someday have two rooms like this - my bedroom with all my audio equipment and desk where I work that has a marine tank wrapped around it, and another room somewhere with a tank that is filled with plants, some of the more rare freshwater species, shrimp, etc.

By doing this, the tanks match my lifestyle, which is what I get enjoyment from. I think rooms dedicated to fish are cool and pretty amazing, but it's not necessarily what I'd like to have someday.

Anyway, those are just some dreams and I'm hoping that someday I can achieve it :) For now, I've got basically a smaller version of it and love it :D
 
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