A work in progress:
I just moved into a house from an apartment and the first project... A fish tank of course! Or better yet, a fish room! I currently have a 55g tank and was limited to what I could have by living in an apartment. Now that I've got a house, the sky (in reality square footage) is the limit! When I got the house I knew that I wanted to use one of the rooms in the basement for a bigger fish tank. So I began to come up with a plan.
The room is 10 ft. by 12 ft. with no windows and a door leading in from the other basement room. I knew I wanted to building the tank into the wall so that you could see it when you walk down the steps. This limited me to about 6 ft. the tank length could be realistically. Depth could go back as far as I wanted but needed to leave room for the 55g which will turn into a quarantine/frag tank along with two water storage containers that I plan to get for a mixing/RODI station. The tank size I had come up with would be something between a 250 or 300. What actually happened was that I ended up with a 200g which I'm happy with. It will allow for more free space in the room and will not be so cramped. I plan on putting in a stand with a 2 or 3 20g tanks so I'll have a bit more room for that as well.
The Execution: There's always something!
So I began to cut some of the Sheetrock out of the room in order to; rerun some electrical wire, make room for plumbing and cut out the whole for the display. What I found... water damage. Super! This had come up in the home inspection before. There was water damage near the electrical box (which is in the fish room, NOT Ideal, I know) and they "Fixed" the problem. In reality, they just pulled out everything around it and patched it back up. So what I was left with was mold in the isolation (yes, open cell aka "fluffy" isolation which isn't supposed to be in a basement due to the fact that it holds moisture) and on back of the Sheetrock along with partially rotted 2by4s. So what to do now? Everything must go! I pulled out everything along both exterior walls (interior walls were fine), got a dehumidifier to get rid of the moisture and painted the block walls with sealer.
That brings us to the current status of the Fish room project. I do have the tank and stand in the room. The information below is about the tank and stand along with future plans.
The Tank: A 200g DD that I got from JayH on the forum.
The Stand: I built with 2x4s and plywood with PondArmor Waterproofing. I will paint the rest of the stand with a black all-surface-enamel and add stained wood trim pieces later on.
- It has two trough underneath serving as my sump
- One will hold my filter socks and protein skimmer
I will drill two holes and use uni-seals to connect the two troughs at one end
- Second will be a refugium, housing chaeto and bio blocks
Plumbing: I am back and forth with what to do. The tank has 4 1in. holes drilled in the bottom of the tank near the back with one 3/4in. hole for a drain. The overflow boxes have been pulled out (they were old and broken) and I'm not keen on putting them back in. Obviously the risk of not putting in overflows back in is that if the bulkheads leak... I'll have to drain the whole thing. I have considered drilling the side of the tank and using the low profile overflow boxes and running plumbing out the side. That way I am not having to have pipes run up the back of the tank and giving me more room in the tank. However, like everything in this hobby, that will cost more money and eat up more time.
Aquascape: Currently looking to put rock up along the left and right side of the tank with an island of rock in the center.
To do List: (which seems like everything!)
Finish the room
- Paint the walls (thinking about going with a medium blueish/gray)
- Paint the floor (using a garage floor epoxy which is gray)
- Finish the sheetrock, mud/tap/sand/paint
- Re-seal the Tank (the seams are fine, I'm just redoing the kalk on the inside of the tank just in case. Plus, the kalk used was black which I'm not a big fan of)
- Plumb, I need to make up my mind but leaning towards leaving it the way it is with no overflows and assume some risk (fingers crossed?)
- Fill and cycle tank, cyclying shouldn't take too long since everything in the 55g will be going into the 200g.
- Get water containers for RODI and mixing station (any ideas on this???). Also plumb this into the system. Ideally I'd like to make this whole thing "low maintenance" which I feel like is an oxymoron in this hobby.
- Move the 55g to the fish room. It's currently in the dinning room with all the construction going on I didn't want it downstairs.
Thoughts, Comments, suggestions are all welcome! New to the forum and thought I'd share. Happy Reefing!