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>So were going to buy a house soon, and Im off in dream-land about having a
>fish-room (plant room?) Anyway, I dont have much money for the hobby right
>now. If you were on a super tight budget. How would you set up a 10*10 room?
>Im thinking one sump for the whole room, shop lights, PVC plumbed, 1 CO2
>canister. What things would you spend money on? Where would you cut corners?
>What would be your must haves? What could you do without?
If you're going to have a basement, you can put the tank on the first floor
and the sumps in the basement directly underneath. You need a beefier
circulation pump for this due to the high head, but it lets you put the
tank where you can show it off and keep all the support stuff completely
out of site (and out of hearing range too :-). If you put the tank over a
girder or near a foundation wall the floor reinforcing necassary won't be
too costly. Just have the builder double up the joists in that section
where the tank will be.
Definatly plumb with PVC. Rigid PVC piping is by far the cheapest way to
go. You might need some vinyl sections near the equipment to allow for
slight movement, but run PVC everywhere else.
For me, I'd probably think about not putting a lot of critters in the tank
right away and save money there. It's easy to add another fish down the
road. Depending on what you plan to keep, this may or may not have any real
effect on the $ you spend.
I'd look at putting a small electrical subpanel (maybe a 6 or 8 space
panel) in the fish room. This would let you very easily add another circuit
someday if you decided you just *had* to run those 2000 watts of new
lights. It also would make it easy to install GFCI circuit breakers, which
I have always found to be much less prone to the false tripping that the
GFCI receptacles seem to like to do. If you want to save some money, just
run somewhere in the range of 2 to 4 *20 amp* 120v electrical circuits to
the room. It's easy to have a circuit used up by just lighting if you have
a lot of tanks that need high light. I'd put in at least two so that you
have one for lights and one for pumps and other equipment.
For a sump, you can build a very cheap and also very good sump by
purchasing a sheet of 1/4" or so polyethelene sheet (get the NSF rated
stuff that is food safe). It's relativly easy to form a tank from the
stuff, and just caulk and screw the corners. If you make it more than about
12" deep you should build some plywood sides since the 1/4" sheet won't be
able to support the weight of water in a deep tank. You can get a 4 x 8
foot sheet of this stuff for about $50-70. That will make about a 100-120
gallon or so sump depending on the dimensions. You can also cut holes in
the sides of this very easily since any hole saw can easily cut the plastic
BTW, for me the lighting and electrical systems would be where I'd cut the
least corners. With the electrical, there is a big safety issue. With the
lighting, well, I'm just big into lighting :-). With plumbing you only have
leaks to worry about which won't kill anyone, and there are a lot of ways
to plumb a system and still have it be functionally OK.
You might also want to seal the floorboards with urethane or some other
water sealer. This way if you do have a big leak someday, at least you
won't damage the structural members of your floor. If you're in a basement
or on some other concrete slab you'd have nothing to worry about. You'd
probably want a floor drain on a slab though -- makes for easy cleanup for
the occasional spill.
UNIX Systems Administrator