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About Me

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  1. Hello! I've recently moved and have the space and ability to bring my current fishroom with and expand. My current fishroom lives in an extended family member's office space in a warehouse. It's been great for what it is but I'm so excited to have the fish where I live. In my current room, I use cinderblocks and wood for stands, linear air pump dropped into sponges, and nothing is automated. I currently breed ancistrus, guppies, shrimp, and corys. In theory, I'll have uploaded pictures of the current room! I would be grateful to hear experiences and opinions. What I have to work with - basement approx 10' x 18', cement floor, unheated, water access and we're adding a utility sink, current electric and we're adding more, a floor drain that might work but might not, and a completely uneven floor coupled with exposed, very rough concrete walls. 1. Stands - I'm looking at industrial racks, probably Galdiator, Husky, Kobalt, etc. 2. Tanks - mostly 20 highs and 10s but I might bring some 40s with. Tanks will be positioned short side out to fit more. Final count around 40-60 tanks. 3. Lids - Probably polycarbonate +/- a hinge. 4. Water - EXTREMELY hard. Auto water change? Continue with manual water changes? 5. Lighting - I currently run cheaper aquarium lights, one light over 3-4 tanks. I've been trying the Co-Op light and will probably replace the cheap lights as they die. 6. Heating - I have been heating the current room and had partially settled on an oil radiator heater for the new room. If a do a central sump system, I could in theory heat the room less and put heaters into the sump. 7. Drilling - I have never drilled tanks before but after many videos, we're pretty confident that we can accomplish it if needed. Please see next point on +/- for drilling. 8. Filtration - A part of me is tempted to just continue with the sponge filters and just keep up with everything manually, it just takes so much time though. The other part of me is seriously tempted to create central sumps, say one for each rack. I do quarantine but having multiple tanks on one system would be new for me in my own fishroom. What makes sense with this many tanks? 9. Opinions - Manual water change vs auto water change vs central sump? What would you change? What would you add? What did you wish you knew when setting up a fishroom?
  2. Hey guys, Finally going to implement a fish rack in my fish room, after planning for the better part of the year. It's been one thing after another since we moved into this house, and while I wouldn't say we're finally catching a break, I've decided some other stuff can wait so I can have some fishy relaxation time. I'm planning on utilizing some steel utility racks (Kobalt, 1500lb evenly distributed load per shelf, and I'll be under half that amount of weight) and I'm wanting to implement a semi-automatic water change system - unfortunately I don't have a drain in the fish room (or any plumbing, for that matter), so I'll be using a python running from the bathroom to bring water in during water change time, and want to drill overflows onto each tank, have them drain into a waste bucket, and then use a sump pump to pump the water into the drain (for saltwater) or into the yard/garden (for freshwater). Which pump/brand of pump would you all recommend? I have no experience with these pumps, but it'll have to move a fair bit of water through roughly 25' of hose. Not extremely quickly, but I'll want a decent flow rate. Any tips on diameter of PVC? Not super concerned with the individual lines from tank-to-drainpipe, but the drainpipe itself - is there a way to calculate how big the pipe needs to be to handle X amount of water? I was considering using a 2-3" pipe, but wasn't sure if that was way too large or not enough, and not sure how to find out! I'd like to put a valve on my python, so that I can turn on the sink, have water flowing into the tank, but stop the flow at the outlet of python instead of running back to the sink. Is that possible? I'd just need to stop the flow long enough to move the python to another tank. What kind of valve would I use? I have a PVC python hook that I'm looking to attach the valve to, so I can adapt/size it appropriately. I'm planning on drilling the bulkheads about 25% down the height of the tank, and having a valve behind each bulkhead. That way I can flip the valve, drain the tank, and refill for a true 25% WC instead of just overflowing into the bulkhead. This is especially important for SW tanks, where salt cost makes WCs via overflowing expensive. Any issues with this? Any particular valves I should use/watch out for? Thanks for any tips!
  3. I'm currently going through the process of setting up a 180 gallon aquarium with the end goal of a planted community tank with a school of Discus, Cardinal Tetras, Rummynose Tetras, Sterbai Corys, and a pleco or two. The project is no light undertaking, so I thought this would be a great place to document the process. Not only do I want to be able to look back years down the road, I hope I can educate and entertain others along the way. I know me, and know I am going to ramble here, but that's what a journal is for, right? For starters, this is all new to me. I've only been keeping fish for a little overr a year. I wanted to keep fish for well over a decade now, but I never got around it. Finally, my father-in-law got my daughter a Betta for her 1st birthday last year, and that kicked off my obsession. That quickly upgraded to a planted 36 gallon community tank and a 6 gallon cube for the Betta. Now, I finally got my wife on board with, or at least not objecting to, setting up a large aquarium in the basement. Bonus points because my now 2-year-old daughter loves the hobby too. Loves feeding the fish and always asks to go to the fishy store. Once that green light was given by my wife, I started browsing Facebook Marketplace for the aquarium. The goal was something between 125-180. After a while, 2 180s popped up at the same time. One was older with wood trim and wasn't drilled. The other (the one I got) had black plastic trim and was predrilled with what I guess is called reef-ready. The seller never had it set up and I think he ended up with it after buying a storage locker at auction. It seemed to be in okay shape from my limited knowledge and was $400 so I rolled with it. I also knew I wanted to run it with a sump, so I set out to find a 75 gallon aquarium for that purpose. Interestingly, I found one right away and after talking to the owner about it, I had his 180 gallon. He let it go after moving and seemed to have gotten out of the hobby. He sold me the 75 gallon for $50. After getting both home and in my garage, I started watching videos on cleaning used aquariums and that sent me down a rabbit hole of resealing them. I decided I was going to tackle that project. The seams looked to be in great shape. No bubbles in the structural part of the silicone whatsoever, but the silicone I would be replacing had seen better days. While it was still pliable, the edges were beginning to dry rot, and peel back. It did hold water though. I filled it, added citric acid to scrub the salt off, and it stayed full for a few hours with no issues. after cleaning it, I quickly drained it though because my garage was not completely level and I didn't want any added stress to one seam over another. I ordered Momentive RTV103 Silicone after reading several reef forums. I also picked up several kinds of razors from Lowes and got down to business. Thanks to my dad, brother-in-law, and best friend, we were able to move it down to my basement so I could work on it in a heated space. Plus that's where it will eventually be set up. Currently, I have both overflow boxes removed, and silicone cleaned out of 2 of the 8 seams. It'll be a long process, but I enjoy these DIY projects. Tonight, I did find a pretty decent chip in one of the side panels below the silicone seal. That has me pretty nervous, but If it was there prior and I make sure its completely covered, I should be okay. At least I hope I'm okay because a new 180 gallon aquarium isn't in the budget currently. For the sump, I plan to only have 3 chambers. The first chamber will house a series of mechanical filtration most likely with sponges and filter floss. This area will be about 6 inches wide. From there I plan to have the water flow up through an 8 inch wide chamber full of bio media. The baffle here will be about 14 inches tall so from my math, could hold about 8 gallons of bio media. After that, the water will fall into a large return chamber (34x18). If I have the water filled up to 14 inches in the sump, the return chamber should have about 37 gallons of water in it. I'll house the heaters, and a few sponge filters here to help with aeration and to have seeded sponges if I need a quarantine tank set up fast. My goal is to run an auto water change system out of the return chamber. I should be able to drain about 20 gallons of water out of that chamber and still allow my return pump to run. In theory, I think as long as the pump speed doesn't vary, changing water from the return chamber should just lower and raise the water level in the return, meanwhile, nothing changes or is noticeable in the display tank. All of that happens with the return pump staying on. I could be totally wrong on this but I couldn't find anyone running a setup like this. Maybe there is a reason for that, but it sounds like a fun idea to me so we'll see! I have about 80% of the materials purchased to finish the build. I went with a Sicce SDC 6.0 pump and Sicce Scuba Contactless heaters. I'm going to build the stand out of 2x4s and 2x6s. I will eventually wrap the stand in a nice plywood and stain it, but I want to get the tank resealed, set up, and running before I worry about the aesthetics. I also find water chemistry super fascinating. I will start out by saying, I don't think you should chase parameters. It's probably best in most situations to let acclimate your fish to your water. With that said, my tap water would supply an amazing African cichlid tank, but isn't ideal for the fish I want to keep. To remedy this, I purchased 4x 30 gallon food-grade drums so I can mix my very hard and alkaline tap water with RO water. This is another element of the DIY process I really like. I'm still working on the logistics of it, but ideally, I can set up the tanks to automatically fill and mix the right amount to get softer water around a PH of 6.8 or so. I manually do this in my Betta's tank now, but with the drums and float valves, I think I can automate the process and consistently have a stable source of water without chasing parameters with additives. More updates to come! Heres the tank how I got it. Taking the old black paint off the back All Cleaned Up! The joints seem to be in great shape 75 Gallon running citric acid through it In the basement, Overflows off, and starting to remove the silicone Defect in glass Box of goodies! 30 Gallon Drums!
  4. Hello everyone, So i've essentially got an infinite amount of H2O at my disposal now that i've automated all my water changes using carbon block water filters and overflows. I'm wondering wether there's a limit for how much you can change the water before it will affect the bacteria or fish? Is 200% a week overkill when you're heavily feeding and the water being changed "gradually throughout the week" is pretreated, heated and oxygenated etc? I want to be able to over feed bucket loads of brine shrimp and not worry about clouding or ammonia spikes by doing 20-30% water changes on a drip system throughout the day. In an ideal world i'd have a drip system to feed live brine shrimp every 2 hours as-well but that's a problem for some other high-tech automation Nerm to work out 😅 I've successfully drilled all 20 of my Grow Out and Conditioning Tanks with 1/4 inch holes for attaching quick connect pipes and irrigation tube for draining water. Now drilling a few more for auto water top-offs and extra drainage on bigger tanks "it's painfully slow but doesn't really need to be much wider pipe with a drip system". Everything seems to be going smooth so far, for now i'm manually topping off the tanks every other day and they drain themselves to about an inch or two from the rim of the tank. 🤞🏻😅 I've also discovered adding a length of tube to an elbow or T-Fitting will bell siphon the tank to as low as you want and then you can fill to just under the outlet hole until you're ready to do another water change, top it off and let it siphon back down again! 😄 I use tap water filtered with carbon then catalytic carbon blocks (which filters out the chlorine + chloramines that I've discovered Melbourne Water has a small amount of in Australia) Now the plan is to set up a water pump on a solenoid to automatically fill the tanks each day through the inlet hole with a couple gallons of treated water from a big water drum hidden upstairs in the pantry haha (and auto dosing a dash of prime into the drum every other day to combat the excess ammonia that is generated when you filter out chloramines with carbon) Or perhaps I could be using Purigen or some other ammonia sucking resin for that 🤔 The third hole is going to be plugged or just extra drainage for now, but at some point I might use it for mixing RO water into specific tanks with fish that like super soft water or to trick Corydoras into breeding i've heard haha 🤣 Perhaps it can be my Brine Shrimp Dispensing Inlet when someone invents a live Brine Shrimp Generator hahaha
  5. I've been zooming into all of Dean's fish room tours, but haven't been able to figure out the following: -What brand of pump does Dean use in his bucket? Can anyone recommend one similar? -I see the solenoid valve outputs to 1/4 fridge tubing, which then Ts off to individual tanks. How does he route it? I remember one video where he has the 1/4 tubing filling up a PVC tube, others he has going directly to the tank. How does he plumb it so he can do 1 rack at a time, rather than 1 row around the fish room? Hopefully this question makes sense. Thanks for any help! Blake.
  6. Hello everyone firstly if your taking the time out of your day or night to read this then thank you. I am on a journey in my life right now! we are buying a big beautiful house built in the 1920,s! it comes with already built into the yard a 100-200 gal koi pond! exciting yes I know that's what made us want it. however the yard isn't that big its pretty got a above ground garden trough built in the yard which my brain is racking ideas could I turn that into a pond/tank too or do I keep it a garden grow food or just some pretty flowers a lot of decisions to be made. however like I mentioned above the house its self is nice size I'm actually gonna get to build my fish room. like sure right now I have 8 tanks spread through a duplex but that's not a real fish room obviously! plan on turning my 135 into a community tank as a center piece moving the Large cichlids to the three hundred gallon pond for now tell I can afford and build my 2kpond in the basement the dinning room is gonna become the fish room do to its size and shape! cant wait to set it up and do some videos at any rate! for the real stuff in truth though I been in the hobby for a few years or more but I'm still a NOOB! when it comes to advanced stuff in the hobby. I run all my tanks in the basic ways most I have is canister filters I have tried to build my own using Cory's video but that's as advanced as it gets. I'm curious to know how one sets up an auto water changing system. do all your tanks have to be drilled to do so? secondly to that what system do I purchase and where do you recommend getting it from. if you know of a great video for the product your suggestion that would be nice too. I have used Cory's Wi-Fi plug so I assume that would be necessary as well to function the system its self. next subject would be floor testing as mentioned above the house was built in the 20's it has all wood floors from what I seen when i toured the house the floor's are made from 2x6 in most spots. however I question how sturdy they are as mentioned I want to load the dinning room with a bunch of tanks done some research your average 2x4 can hold 700lbs so do I just go down in the basement and put 2x4,s under all of the beams. with a house that old should i just get a bunch of actual floor jacks. the concern there is cost I'm not rich moneys tight and tied up in the house its self. and last but defiantly not least SOLAR POWER! for those of you that have a fish room large tanks or ponds etc. its no secret that when you start running that many big tanks in your home store or whatever you have. your electricity bill is gonna start rising along with other bills and I'm just wondering if anyone has converted to solar power if its possible if it would even be worth it. or if you have used any solar powered items in the hobby that you actually stand by. I only have used a solar powered fountain for my pond but it don't have a storage feature so only works when sun is hitting it but at any rate been seeing a lot of solar power adds getting emails etc. so truly has me curious if anyone has any experience with any of the above feel free to leave your input thank you in advance.
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