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  1. #1
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    Getting Ready for the basement

    When I moved into this house last summer, I built a fishroom - breeding aquarium fish has been a passion of mine for over 20 years. Recently, I've decided to sell off almost all of my breeders and want to convert the room into an aquaponics room. I'm having my electrician friend come over on Monday to help me lay out the ceiling lights and distribute the power load.

    Here's what I have right now:

    Standing on the right side by the crawlspace


    From beside the empty rack


    Where I want to put a big FT


    What's growing in there now


    Jason M.

  2. #2
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    Re: Getting Ready for the basement

    The space I have for a FT could fit something around 5'x3' footprint. There's a local guy selling food-grade IBCs for $125 - I don't think I can build anything for less!! The problem, of course, would be getting it into the basement!! I remember Roger commenting about how he squeezed a cut-off one through the door; but, I don't need to cut it off for a grow-bed...
    I have a friend that has a few cans of Zavlar that he'd sell to me for a great deal. Has anyone made a plywood tank coated with this stuff? I think I'd have to fibreglass the corners before painting the Zavlar on. I think using a pond liner would be a lot easier inside a plywood box, but it might add significant cost.

    Ideally, I have at least 300 gallons of FT. I'd like to have all of the stands holding GBs fed from the FT eventually, getting rid of the smaller systems completely. Any other suggestions from you guys who've done basement projects?
    Jason M.

  3. #3
    Moderator JCO's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ready for the basement

    Looking Great...keep those pictures coming and keep up the good work.
    JCO
    Irish eyes are always smiling but
    • "In the eyes of the world, you are only as good as your last success"
    so never forget
    • "MAN IS ONLY LIMITED BY HIS IMAGINATION"

  4. #4
    Members topz's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ready for the basement

    Rubbermaid makes a stock tank that hold 300 gallons runs about 200$ at my local tractor supply store. There was even an off brand that was similar in size but cheaper in cost. Hope it helps man keep the updates coming.

  5. #5
    Members Roger L.'s Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ready for the basement

    Hi Jason. That's a nice room you have there. As your laying out your lights be sure you get plenty to the lower levels too. As far as the fish tank goes, how big are the entrance doors and stairwell to your basement. My house was built in the 40's and had very narrow doors and stairwell. The amount you would have to cut off the IBC will be limited to that space. You need to cut off the top anyway to open it up for the fish. Also don't forget to put insulation under the tank to keep the floor from sucking all the temperature from the tank. I hope you gave your breeding up because you were tired of it instead of just for room. Aquaponics would be the perfect companion hobby to that.
    At what point did our government cease to be of the people, by the people, and for the people?

  6. #6
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    Re: Getting Ready for the basement

    Quote Originally Posted by topz
    Rubbermaid makes a stock tank that hold 300 gallons runs about 200$ at my local tractor supply store. There was even an off brand that was similar in size but cheaper in cost. Hope it helps man keep the updates coming.
    I'm planning on running a CHOP(2) system, so I'd have to build a stand to raise up a stock tank, but that may not be too hard with some cinder blocks.... I'll have to take a look around what suppliers have to offer around here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger L.
    Hi Jason. That's a nice room you have there. As your laying out your lights be sure you get plenty to the lower levels too. As far as the fish tank goes, how big are the entrance doors and stairwell to your basement. My house was built in the 40's and had very narrow doors and stairwell. The amount you would have to cut off the IBC will be limited to that space. You need to cut off the top anyway to open it up for the fish. Also don't forget to put insulation under the tank to keep the floor from sucking all the temperature from the tank. I hope you gave your breeding up because you were tired of it instead of just for room. Aquaponics would be the perfect companion hobby to that.
    Roger, when you moved yours inside, do you remember how much wider your IBC could be than your doorway? I need to squeeze through a 32" door to get downstairs. I'm not completely giving up breeding, but I want to put time into growing food for my family over the winter. I still have a few tanks going, and that one tank in the pics is full of juvenile cichlids - about 50 of them are growing basil, sage, oregano, peppers and zuccini (haven't pollenated any flowers, yet). However, in order to grow quality aquarium fish, I find the nitrate levels have to be much lower than that needed to produce fruit. If I can find an affordible source of tilapia, I'll go that route; otherwise, I'll go with goldfish.
    Jason M.

  7. #7
    Members Roger L.'s Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ready for the basement

    I'm raising tilapia also. I got mine from a place out in Kansas I believe. I can look that up if you need me to. Not sure how the border crossing would be though? My door is also 32" so you will have similar issues that I did. The IBC is easy because once the top is cut off you can fold it over some for extra clearance. What is the issue is the cage. I cut my cage just above the first cross bar and just nearly got it in and down. Mine was a 275 gal. model, the 375 will be even taller. I could hold about 225 gallons in the tank but would need a top to prevent jumping. I keep about 150 gal. now and have a 75 gal. breeding/nursery tank also. Good luck. I'll be watching your progress.
    At what point did our government cease to be of the people, by the people, and for the people?

  8. #8
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    Re: Getting Ready for the basement

    A friend of mine was going to sell me a 230 gallon aquarium and stand for a decent price (around $500), which I was giving some real thought to b/c I could (relatively) easily get it into the basement - it's only 24" wide.
    He's building a 1000 gallon pond for his basement! I told him that I was thinking about building something in the 300-500 range, as it'd cost less and he offered to sell me a piece of glass he has from an old 300 gallon tank, and some zavlar he'll have left over from his project. I told him I didn't need the glass, as it'd just be a stock tank... that's when he brought me to his back yard to show me a 300 gallon stock tank he's not using!! I think I found my tank!!

    It's a swimming pool style - cylindrical, only about 30" high, 4.5' wide and sits on the floor. If I use this tank, I can't see myself doing a CHOP style system... unless I modify the design slightly to have the FT act as the sump, and use the sump as overflow feed to the FT.
    The problem I see with this is that I only have a 75 gallon sump - with evaporation, I don't know if there'll be enough flow to engage the sump-pump if I'm running a few beds. Anybody have some ideas on a design, given the space I've shown above?

    Thanks!
    Jason M.

  9. #9
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    Re: Getting Ready for the basement

    I'm thinking of doing a system similar to the Barrelponics set-up with the pump in the FT. I have most of the pipe and fittings, it's just a matter of deciding on a pump. Any good recommendations on a pump that won't suck up young fish?
    Jason M.

  10. #10
    Members Roger L.'s Avatar
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    Re: Getting Ready for the basement

    Currently using a 396 gph pump off of amazon here. It's about to be to small with the addition of my breeding tank and swirl filter. Aim high as far as pumps go.
    At what point did our government cease to be of the people, by the people, and for the people?

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