Finally, a fishroom!

GaryE

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
1,508
Reaction score
1,884
Location
Eastern Canada
Until last early winter, I had a large room full of fishtanks. We were selling our house, so it had to go into storage, and I sold most of my fish, or had them staying with a friend who had a ton of space and wanted their fry. For some weird reason, a fishroom isn't seen as a selling point.
I picked my killies, rainbows, livebearers, Cichlids and Corys up a few weeks ago, and have had them in a small room jammed to the rafters with tanks I can barely see into. My new home is 900 km away from where I was, so things couldn't stay with friends any longer.
I've been busy.
I've insulated an already insulated garage, and built a dividing wall in the large outbuilding. When the ground thawed, I got water lines in and out run in, and the water heater in the garage is being hooked up as I type. The wiring's done, and this evening, when the last of the plaster's dry, the painting will begin. While paint dries, I'll be cutting wood and building racks for the 40+ tanks going into this 4m x 8m/12x24 foot room. By Saturday morning, tanks will go in, if I can get a 14 hour day in Friday.
This is my retirement folly.
What's ahead? I've cycled a lot of sponge filters, and have a few canisters running. It will be touchy for a few weeks as everything comes on line. My killies are in single species tanks, with 2 breeders in a 10 gallon (no other fish, and they are small and hardy). So the cycle isn't a worry as long as I keep the water changes coming. This is my 4th fishroom move, although my first to a room I've designed for the fish, and I've learned the limits, and some of the risks.
But still, that will be a challenge.
I won't plumb the room for automatic water changes, yet. I will gradually as I move along. Killies don't call for sumps and central systems. They do like clean water. I will have an air driven system with pipes and valves all around the room, fed by a quality linear piston air pump. The thing itself is very silent, but you'll hear the air bubbles.
The day I moved my tanks (I had to reserve a van weeks in advance) was the coldest day of the year. Murphy's law -27c. The intense cold and a 9 hour drive caused a bunch of my older tanks to crack as they warmed up upon arrival. The thin glass dollar a gallon ones did very poorly, while better made tanks all did very well. Luckily, a local pet store is moving, and they sold me a pile of quality 10 gallons they had planned to use for quarantine. They were strangely drilled (it had been a problem so they were never used) so I bought them cheaply and repaired the drill holes. The ugly fix will be out of sight.
As time goes on, I have to restart the live food, tweak a million things I haven't thought of yet, and get the Corys and killies breeding.

I hope I can have some experiences to share. Right now, the main interest in the room has come from the 20 or so deer that have been guardedly watching the process from the pines out back. The front windows look out to the ocean. That's the only saltwater that'll be anywhere near this room!
 

Back in the fold

That One Guy
Joined
May 25, 2019
Messages
2,552
Reaction score
1,913
Location
Billings Montana USA
My heart soars like an eagle to hear of such things ! To have an aquarium is a fine thing indeed but to have a whole room with nothing but fish ,aquariums and all the associated things of it is a whole other universe. I hope we do see a picture or two of this. As our friends on the Klingon home world say - "Ka' Plaa !".
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
35,139
Reaction score
18,696
Location
Perth, WA
Are you insulating the floor?
I used rubber matts made from recycled tyres on the floor. They last forever, are water proof, and make a huge difference to the temperature.

If you do try them, lay them out for 24 hours before cutting them so they can shrink back to the original size. They squish out and get bigger when stacked at the shop and if you lay and cut them straight away, there will be gaps the following day.
 
OP
OP
GaryE

GaryE

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
1,508
Reaction score
1,884
Location
Eastern Canada
I put a lot of consideration into the floor, and decided to go with concrete. There will be heat loss, but I have no floor drain, and there will be spills. I had a couple of waterproof options, but I put my budget into wall and ceiling insulation. If, after next winter, I see the need to do the floor, I can still move tanks pretty easily, as they won't be plumbed yet. I have to plan for my age - I can still move an empty 120 by myself, or lift a 75, but that won't be forever. That's why I'll develop a water change system eventually.
 

davros

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Feb 27, 2022
Messages
148
Reaction score
118
Location
Northof49th
Matting with some cushion makes a world of difference to one's feet vs standing on concrete- 'cuz you will be in there all day :)
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
35,139
Reaction score
18,696
Location
Perth, WA
Cold concrete radiates cold upwards and cools the tank. Rubber matts are good insulaters and stop that from happening.
 
OP
OP
GaryE

GaryE

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
1,508
Reaction score
1,884
Location
Eastern Canada
I can get the recycled tire rubber mats, but they cost an arm and a leg here. All waterproof flooring options were up there, partially because of pandemic pricing. Forestry is big around here, and there was no slowdown. The trucks were running and the mills were producing, and yet the price of wood has gone up 400% (it was higher last year before fuel shot up. It has dropped to a 400% increase). I wish I'd been able to build this before the materials costs skyrocketed.
I'll go hybrid for that - I'll do mats on the open floor where I walk around.
It isn't purpose built - it's a 40 year old garage the previous owner used to hoard broken appliances he was someday going to fix. The entire building is 30 feet by 32, and heating that would have been foolish.
If I didn't have fish already, and if I had a bit more of a budget, I would have worked on the floor to even it more (it's old) and would have put in a floor. But that would be expensive, and I chose to focus on reinsulating walls and the attic. A problem with moving a fishroom is the fish have to get into good conditions as soon as possible, and this has been a few weeks already. Here, the waterlines have to be buried deep, at at least 4 feet, so that was a big one. I had to wait until the ground thawed, so the fish are impatient.

I'm heating with electric baseboard heaters. Electricity is reasonable in cost here. Early experiments say that if I set the thermostat to 18, I get 21. We're still in early Spring, which gives us days around 8-9 and nights around -7, so that's a fair indication. I will lose heat, and my toes will be cold in January/February, but the floor gives the least heat loss compared to the walls and attic.
I only intend to heat a couple of tanks, and the rest will be at room temperature. Species that like it cooler will get the lower racks.

My previous garage fishroom also had a bare cement floor, and it didn't get very cold. The room was not nearly as well insulated as this one now is, so I'll gamble. If it proves too cold, you'll know it from this project journal. All my racks are modular (2x4 - nothing slick) so they can be moved if I have to adjust.

Adjusting is half the fun!
 

dR3ws3r

New Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
40
Reaction score
11
Location
Virginia
Cold concrete radiates cold upwards and cools the tank. Rubber matts are good insulaters and stop that from happening.

Not to be all engineering-like and I understand what you are saying, but the 2nd law of thermodynamics is that heat flows from hot to cold. Cold does not flow into heat. Removing the heat from the room can happen through the floor but since heat rises, and what is below the floor "can" be colder, the sensation your feel is that the bottom of the room is cooler. That is one reason why people run ceiling fans in reverse during the winter to circulate the warmer air up top outwards and then hopefully down towards the floor. As the heat tries to conduct through the floor, the rubber insulates the heat loss and reduces the time it takes. If no heat is added within the room then the room will eventually reach the temperature of the outside. The insulator just reduces the time it takes, and slows the process thus saving you money.

In regard to insulation and r-values (higher = better insulation)

Dense Rubber Flooring0.2501.30
Recycled Rubber Flooring1.1002.20

Now pink board has an r-value of 4-5. In my opinion, if you want to insulate the floor you would be much better off using pink board, and many basements are finished this way. BUT the wisest money would be spent on insulating the ceiling and any drafty doors or windows as that is where most of your heat loss will come from.

Just trying to help.

Drew
 

itiwhetu

Naturally First
Pet of the Month!
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
8,445
Reaction score
6,074
Location
Hokitika, New Zealand
Not to be all engineering-like and I understand what you are saying, but the 2nd law of thermodynamics is that heat flows from hot to cold. Cold does not flow into heat. Removing the heat from the room can happen through the floor but since heat rises, and what is below the floor "can" be colder, the sensation your feel is that the bottom of the room is cooler. That is one reason why people run ceiling fans in reverse during the winter to circulate the warmer air up top outwards and then hopefully down towards the floor. As the heat tries to conduct through the floor, the rubber insulates the heat loss and reduces the time it takes. If no heat is added within the room then the room will eventually reach the temperature of the outside. The insulator just reduces the time it takes, and slows the process thus saving you money.

In regard to insulation and r-values (higher = better insulation)

Dense Rubber Flooring0.2501.30
Recycled Rubber Flooring1.1002.20

Now pink board has an r-value of 4-5. In my opinion, if you want to insulate the floor you would be much better off using pink board, and many basements are finished this way. BUT the wisest money would be spent on insulating the ceiling and any drafty doors or windows as that is where most of your heat loss will come from.

Just trying to help.

Drew
Flanders and Swan, was taught this at Uni the lecturer played this. I have never forgotton
 

emeraldking

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
2,634
Reaction score
3,859
Location
NL
Yep, also I'm very curious once you've finished the fishroom and hope for some photos...
 

Most reactions

trending

Top