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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The New Fish Rooms

For those of you who do not know me, I am the leading all time point winner in the IFGA (International Fancy Guppy Association).  I primarily breed fancy show quality guppies (although I have a number of other aquatic interests as well).  After a rather tumultuous period in my life, in April of 2011, I purchased a new home with one-half acre of flat land.  I had always wanted a detached fish room or fish house as it is called around the stead.  So goes the chronicle of that journey.  I decided to build two rooms of 120 sq. ft each to avoid having to file plans and get permits from the city.  My father builds portable barns for horses out of glavanized metal frames, and had the first fish room ready within a week of my request.  Here is one of my Dad's full sized barns. Pretty cool, huh? (click on the pictures to get a larger version)

The barn at my Dad's ranch, built from scratch by his crew.

The fish rooms are going to be a ways from the house. It will keep up my boyish figure. The first room will be placed just to the left of the olive tree in the photo.  This was taken in May 2011.

This is the view from the location of the second fish room site to the house.  The brush needs to be cleared before we can set the forms for the concrete slabs.

The brush has been cleared and the forms for both rooms are being built.  After this photo was taken, 12g welded wire was put in the forms to prevent cracking of the slab.  You can see the floor drains in place.  I put them in the night before in the dark.  The slabs were poured the very next day and the first building went up 48 hours after that, in June 2011.  I built two rooms 10' by 12' because the city does not require permits on buildings 120 sq. ft. or less.  Permits and plans would have driven the costs up to the moon.

It only took 1/2 day to put up the first fish room.

Galavinzed metal frame with metal roof

Skylight, 35" x 60".  In the end, these will be dual-glazed for insulation.

2" x 6" framing to accommodate R30 insulation.  All the wood has been sealed with Thompson's Wood Sealant.  All the gaps have been filled with foam and all the seams caulked.  You have to open the window to close the door (joke).  The bottom of the studs were soaked in diesel oil, because you know I am going to flood the place.
With the window added, dual glazed, vinyl, nice!

Looking out the door.

The entrance.  Next up, the finished product.  Regrettably, I did not take pictures of the construction phase.  You can see the slab for the second room in the background.

Here is the main work area with a rack of ten gallon tanks on the right.

Brine shrimp hatcheries.  I have finally figured out this water and discovered the secret ingredients required for 95% hatches.

4000 watt, 220 volt heater that never comes on.  Well almost never.  Only when the temp is below 30 degrees F.  Could have gotten by with out it.  The dehumidifier keeps the room plenty warm.  The room has R30 insulation all around.  The ceiling is 12'6" at its apex.  1 1/4 " airline just below the heater.

Another shot of the work station.  It always looks like this (sans beer or wine).

Racks on the East wall.

Ceiling fan with dual glazed skylight.

Rack of 20 five gallon tanks used to house fry from birth to about 6 weeks..

Work station looking out the window toward the house.

Another view of the East wall.

Two linear piston pumps that feed into a one and one-quarter inch air line that encircles the room.

Older Chinese model.  I will replace this with an Alita when it dies.

Alita, smaller form factor, very powerful, whisper quiet.

I drain the the brine shrimp water into the sink via the hose in the picture.

Work station from the West wall.

East wall.

Humidity and temp monitor, $8 on Amazon.

Even with the skylight above the tanks, no algae problems.

Meds, foods and supplies.

Bristol Shubunkins from David Lains (  I am really happy to get these.  One month old.  Can you believe it?  If only I could get a guppy to grow like this.

Four 30 gallon longs will go here.

Four 20 longs will go on the end of this rack of 5 gallon tanks.  West wall rack to the left, not complete.  Identical to East wall rack, 10, 10 gallon tanks, 4, 15 gallon tanks and 5 30 gallon tanks.

Incomplete West wall rack.  Needs one more 15 and 3 more 30s.

Two and one-half gallon breeder tanks on the North wall.  Fives are on the bottom level.  Two are missing for disinfection.  Just to the right of these tanks will be a rack holding 8, 15 gallon tanks.

I have completed the drip system for the breeder tanks you see in the photo above this one.

Fridge.  Yes I can reach the top shelf.

Brine shrimp and black worms.