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Thread: The Direction I would like to go in.

  1. #1
    DIYFK member B_Type13X2's Avatar


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    The Direction I would like to go in.

    This past summer I bought a 125G and a 90G tank, my original intentions were to set up the 125 with the 90 turned into a sump. I have my stand and everything built all the plumbing supplies sitting here pumps etc. I have everything I need to set up that tank. My thoughts were to make a damn nice apartment aquarium that I could tear down if I needed to and move, but a few weeks back I went and talked to a realtor and discovered that houses had dropped 25% of their value and I could now become a homeowner and that means I could finally have a basement fish/ entertainment room. So I have naturally decided to not go forward with my original plans with the 125, to hit pause on the whole thing because It'll be far easier to move a tank without fish / established media then it will be to move an established system.

    My plan now is to buy a house with an unfinished basement so that I can configure it in any way I so choose. My goal is now to have 3(maybe 4) large tanks (read huge 300+G each), I would like to keep Oscars, goldfish, (these 2 need to be kept as they were what my dad and I originally kept together 28+ years ago.) Arowana, and African cichlids. Now, this is where I would need some guidance, from what I've seen/read I can keep Arowana and Oscars in the same tank, they should not bother one another too much. I could also keep the Oscars, and African Cichlids together (certain types of Cichlids anyway.) The Fancy goldfish will naturally get their own tank, my real struggle here is with the mix between the Cichlids and Arowana, which setup is going to be better for the fish? I should say right now that I am not a huge fan of having too many fish in one tank, I am fully committed to doing water changes and all of that, but we have a very real problem where I live with our water treatment plant adding additional things to the water to help with illness (everytime a plant worker gets the sniffles in the oilfield they dose the water for the whole city.) these are bad for fish so the solution that most serious hobbyists up here go with is running larger sumps to dilute their water further so they can delay their water changes for a few days to let the dosing get out of the system. This is the method I am going to go with and was the entire reason why I went for a ridiculous 90G sump on a 125G tank in the first place.


    The goldfish / Cichlid tanks are going to be 6'X3.5'X2.5' (LWH) to be about 390Gallons each, I will rate them as 350G.
    With the Goldfish tank volume of 350G, you can have 22 fancy (fantail) goldfish (22 Ryukin or 11 Oranda due to size will likely do a mix/ match to get to the appropriate bioload.)

    Cichlid tanks I am a bit unsure of because I don't know where I am going to put the Oscar's as of yet, where they go depends on the stock level in this tank.

    The Arowana/ Oscar tank (maybe) is going to be the big fish tank on my fish/ entertainment room. It is going to run almost the entire length of the wall in the basement.
    Minimum tank dimensions will be 10'X3.5'X3' (LWH) which is going to be about 785G We will call it a 650G tank. My intentions for this tank are to keep 3 Arowana and 3 Oscars together (maybe).

    Now for the aquarium nerd/ fun stuff:

    Before I ever start considering building the tanks themselves the area where I am going to place the tanks, is getting a 4" floor drain placed in, as is the room that is going to be built for filtration. The next thing I will have done is a 3" lip poured from concrete is going to be built all around the area's where the tanks/ stands are going to sit. Once the lip is built I am going to fill this area with pond shield epoxy, That way if there are any minor leaks, the area is enclosed, the water can escape to the floor drains and my basement(which is going to be finished) can be protected from minor leaks. I am going to have the same 3" lip around the room I designate/build for filtration.


    I have decided that all of my bulkheads are going to be run through the bottoms of all of these tanks for aesthetic/ practical purposes. the bigger tank is going to get a 3" PVC for all of its plumbing, the other smaller tanks will be getting 2". I am going to have 3 bulkheads, 1 for water changes, 1 for the run to the filtration room, and 1 for the return. The water change bulkheads are going to all drop into a 6" ABS pipe going to a 4" floor drain on a gravity feed, this 6" ABS pipe is going to be shared among my hospital/ quarantine/ main display tanks. This will be the only common plumbing shared between my hospital/ quarantine/ main display tanks as its going into the drain anyway and not being filtered.

    I am unsure of what I want to do for filtration, I am considering making each tank have its own sump/filtration so that they are their own independent systems. But I am also considering building a shared sump with a volume of 600G and tying all my display tanks into 1 system My sump system would need to have a 600G capacity, and I will be making sure that the sump is higher off the ground then the display tanks. Whatever I decide on this 1 large sump vs. 3 smaller sumps I plan on laying them out the same way, the inlet will go through mechanical filtration, the compartment next to mechanical will have my algae skimmer/ nerite snail colony (or Amano shrimp Colony.), after that we will go into biological filtration then through mechanical filtration again before going into the return compartment. The only difference will be in size, either a large 600G system or 2 -150G and 1 -300G Sump filtration.

    My current 125/90G tank/ sump configuration is going to become my hospital / dedicated quarantine tank until I achieve a stocking level that I am happy with and will no longer add any more fish to my main displays. I will likely convert this over to an aquaculture tank where I grow aquarium plants and will find itself into my filtration system. (I'll place it adjacent to the filtration room wall, and plumb it in off Y Valves so that I can Isolate it entirely by closing/opening some valves. This way I can use it as a hospital tank when necessary or it can be a giant terrarium/ aquascape when not in use in that manner. The only time I will have fish in this tank is when something new comes in or something is sick. With the fish, I plan on keeping I have accepted that having planted tanks is just not something that is going to work out, so this will be my planted / nitrate absorbing display.

    I am also playing around with the idea of having an additional 125/ 40G sump setup opposite the hospital tank that I was going to raise Shrimp / smaller feeder fish in. Now I realize this is a hot topic in the hobby, let me be clear on this, my fish are going to eat pellets/ grocery store Tilapia, scallops, and shrimp dosed with additional vitamins ala Joey's fish food video. I don't intend for these fish/shrimp to be treated in a cruel manner, I intend on raising them and when/ if their numbers get too high to cull them in this manner. I am not going to be doing this for my own sadistic enjoyment or to torture an animal. I will also be keeping insect colonies for this purpose as well, these fish/insects will not be the staple diet of the fish I keep more of an enrichment activity / rare treat. I will take advice on the best way to set up a feeder tank like this but if you're going to only comment on how cruel this is/condemn it, I don't need to hear it because I've heard the debate and I largely agree with the cruelty aspect of fish store feeder fish, that is why I am going to set this up in the most ethical manner I can, the fish kept here although feeders are going to live a very nice environment with clean water, they are going to be allowed to spawn, they are going to live as full a life as they possibly can before ultimately being consumed by my other fish. And rather than perpetuating the feeder fish industry/ potentially introducing parasites to my own fish I am going to do this myself.

    Other Considerations:

    Because of the Humidity associated with having large quantities of water in my basement I will be approaching this in 2 ways, first everything in the basement is going to be built/ covered with mold resistant materials, I will likely be building the walls out of cement board, I will also be running a dehumidifier system that I will have tied into my HVAC system. The intention here is that the heat from the dehumidifier will go into my HVAC to heat the rest of the house/ basement to hopefully offset some of the electricity cost of running such a setup.

    The house I get will largely be determined by the practicality of the main floor living space, and how much space is available in the basement. I expect to spend a minimum of 40,000$'s on achieving this goal/ renovating The basement for this purpose. I am also heavy into gardening / growing my own food, so I will be exploring the practical considerations of using my aquarium water while doing water changes to water my garden. I am not sure if I will do this by using an inline pump/ Y valve and pump the water outside via a 2 " line into a hose and watering the bed that way or if I'll just use a small pump, drop it into my big tank and run the line outside via garden hose.

    The aquariums are going to be mounted around 2' off the ground so I am playing with the idea of making a cinderblock support stand with 2X6 cross braces to support the stand. This should provide just enough room for myself or a smaller person to enter into a small crawl space beneath the tanks to address plumbing concerns. Although after having it laid out I may decide to go with more headroom, this decision is going to largely affect the entertainment aspect of this room as I fully intend to wall / ceiling mount 3-55" TV's either above the large Arowana / Oscar tank or on swivel mounts, (Think up and down like trap doors) directly forward of the tank. Basically, I wanna ensure that I can get into my aquariums by having my entertainment system drop down / swing out of the way when I do tank maintenance. I need to make sure that this does not interfere with my ability to either 1. view the fish. 2. clean the tank 3. View the TV when I want to watch movies/ hockey games with friends.

    The Sump / Filtration room is going to be framed out with 2X8's so that a 4" ABS line can fit comfortably in between the wall studs. This room if I ever sell the house can be converted into a laundry room/bathroom or removed entirely.

    Finally, I have always used my TV's as computer monitors as I am also an Avid gamer and enjoy having a big screen to game on, this past summer I built my own desk so that it can take Castor's, I currently mounted a 55" TV to the desk itself and the whole thing can be moved by simply unplugging the power bar from the wall. What I am going to do is frame out a couch, It is going to be built to look Rustic, but I will have it apolstered so that it is very comfortable. It will be centered up between the 2 shorter tanks with the main display tank in the foreground. TV's dropped down for games/ gaming. Behind the homemade couch I am going to anchor my homemade desk which is going to be the command/ control center for the theatre/ fish room. This will enable this space to be a Fishroom/ Theatre/ office all in one.

    Joey has an Aquarium Gallery and its amazing I want to have an Aquarium movie theatre/ Office.



    So here comes the question part, what am I overlooking here? Are my tank mates appropriate? (Cichlids with Oscars or Arowana with Oscars.) Is tying all 3 of my display tanks filtration together appropriate? Has anyone else thought of tying their dehumidifiers into their HVAC? Should I heat the room or put a small inline water heater right before the returns on the cichlid / Arowana tanks? (I will not put an in tank heater anywhere in this system due to a horrible personal experience which stopped my hobby altogether in 2008.)

    I want to do this correctly, and I want to have this system last for as long as I live in my home which could be foreseeably the rest of my life. And I am okay with spending money to make things proper.
    WoodFill and paint will make you the handyman you Ain't.

  2. #2
    DIYFK member jbolinger30's Avatar


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    Ok as far as stocking Oscar's and arowanas come from the same region of the Amazon. So water parameters are the same and I have seen them being kept together peacefully. The Africans on the other hand may be an issue as most of them would be small enough to fit in the mouth of the arowana and they come from a different region so I believe they need much harder water. I may be wrong they may be compatible but keep up your research until you find the right answer. Keep us updated on your "fish room" once you find your home.

  3. #3
    DIYFK member B_Type13X2's Avatar


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    Oh no, the cichlids are going into their own tank, I was contemplating on which tank to put the Oscar's in, I was thinking either with the Arowana or with Cichlids like green terrors. I am almost 100% certain I'll be housing the Oscars with the Arowana because they seem to leave each other alone.
    WoodFill and paint will make you the handyman you Ain't.

  4. #4
    DIYFK member jbolinger30's Avatar


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    I have a friend who a few years ago had an oscar with a jack Dempsey and a green terror I believe. They are all south or central American cichlids for the most part their water parameters are the same the only thing you need to worry about is their temperament. Maybe if you got everything as a juvenile and they're housed together their whole life they shouldn't be as aggressive.

  5. #5
    DIYFK member jbolinger30's Avatar


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    But to answer the other questions..
    Is tying all 3 of my display tanks filtration together appropriate? If the parameters of these 3 tanks are the same, sure why not as long as all the fish are quarantined before introducing them to the system.
    Has anyone else thought of tying their dehumidifiers into their HVAC?
    I haven't personally thought of doing this but I'm sure it's been done..
    Should I heat the room or put a small inline water heater right before the returns on the cichlid / Arowana tanks?
    The only way heating the room would be more efficient is if the whole room was tanks. Personally I make a diy holder for my jager heater and have it as part of filtration on the tanks with a canister. Tanks with a sump I just put it in the section with my return pump. You do not want any equipment in an oscar tank.

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