Marc's fish room build

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MarcW
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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by MarcW » Wed May 29, 2019 6:12 pm

Unfortunately I've noticed one of the L095 isn't looking too good, it seems to have some sort of plaque in patches and the fin rays are becoming exposed on one of the pelvic fins.

Any ideas? I'm starting to think I should treat them all for parasites, I have been doing 2 water changes per week on this tank, one of 20-25% (what I have left in the IBC after doing a 50% change on the other tanks in the fish room), and the other is a big 50% water change a couple days after.

Thanks for any suggestions/comments.
L095.jpg
L095_2.jpg
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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by MarcW » Thu May 30, 2019 4:06 pm

I found that fish dead today, apart from the crud on it, it looked healthy ish, I'm surprised it died so quickly.

I have a feeling some may have more parasites than others as a few others are starting to get sunken eyes.

Not wanting to lose any more I have dosed the tank with Flubendazole after 4 days I'll do a 50% water change and dose again.

Pictures attached in case any causes jump out at people.

Yesterday the dorsal membranes looked intact and fine, does this give a clue to the issue, some other fins were eroded in this way before it died, not to this extent though.
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IMG_20190530_144329.jpg
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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by MarcW » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:40 pm

Firstly the remaining 3 L095 are doing well, what I believe to be the female is looking especially chunky!

I've been putting in a rain water collection system, to reduce my reliance on RO, I now have a 1000 liter container with two stages of filtration, mesh on the down pipe, and then some 30ppi poret foam just before the water enters the container. I spent a while thinking about a first flush system, but didn't bother in the end, I'm planning on just disconnecting the down pipe and hosing down the roof after long periods of dry weather.

This system is then connected through the garage wall and into the water room, where I can pump it into an IBC to warm up if needed in the winter, then from there into the tanks.
Slabs laid ready for container, slabs on the right are for my small preformed pond.
Slabs laid ready for container, slabs on the right are for my small preformed pond.
Mesh filter on the down pipe.
Mesh filter on the down pipe.
Poret foam as a last barrier before water enters container.
Poret foam as a last barrier before water enters container.
Return through the wall to water room, and overflow.
Return through the wall to water room, and overflow.
I just diverted the whole drain pipe to ensure maximum water collection, then added an overflow for excess water, I don't mind a bit of overflow onto the path, as 1 inch pvc was the biggest I could easily fit, hopefully it will suffice most of the time!
I just diverted the whole drain pipe to ensure maximum water collection, then added an overflow for excess water, I don't mind a bit of overflow onto the path, as 1 inch pvc was the biggest I could easily fit, hopefully it will suffice most of the time!

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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by Jools » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:16 pm

Looks great, what's an IBC?

Cheers,

Jools

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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by MarcW » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:12 pm

Thanks Jools it's just started to rain here so hopefully I'll wake up to something in there.

The Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) also ~1000 litres is in the water room at the back of my garage, they are standardised palletised storage, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caged_IBC_tote.

Reasonably priced for such a large container, probably because they are so commonly used/mass produced. Brand new they can be picked up for £130 to £150, and reconditioned (cleaned/serviced) can be had for £70+.

To put it in perspective the black potable 1000 litre tank I have to store rainwater cost over 2 times what an IBC does. Presumably because its not produced in such quantities.

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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by dw1305 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:16 pm

Hi all,
MarcW wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:40 pm
I've been putting in a rain water collection system, to reduce my reliance on RO, I now have a 1000 liter container with two stages of filtration, mesh on the down pipe, and then some 30ppi poret foam just before the water enters the container. I spent a while thinking about a first flush system, but didn't bother in the end, I'm planning on just disconnecting the down pipe and hosing down the roof after long periods of dry weather.
Quality job.

cheers Darrel

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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by naturalart » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:06 pm

Thanks for the share. Love the build, especially the move to a linear air pump.

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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by MarcW » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:53 pm

We had a very long power cut today I'm glad I have the battery back up but today it wasn't enough.

From 07:50 to 17:35 we had no power, the battery bank lasted until 14:30, at which point the eta for restoration had changed a few times but was currently 15:00, so in the meantime I rigged up a 'temporary' solution, I do not recommend anyone try connecting their fish room to their car though :)). The wood is propping the bonnet up to shelter the battery as it was raining at the time!

After about 45 minutes of my car sitting idling on the drive hooked up to an inverter and a big extension cord the eta changed to 18:00.

I'd had enough by then so went out and bought a small generator, after I'd sorted fuel and oil, then setup the generator it was only running for just over an hour. But at least I have one if needed in future.

The power is only restored by hooking up our sub station to a generator! Although a little larger than mine!
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IMG_20190812_201613.jpg

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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by MarcW » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:22 pm

Last night wasn't much fun, the power went out just after midnight, apparently someone forgot that the generator supplying power to the whole street might need some more fuel! The helpline informed me that the fuel was coming from 65 miles away :-\.

So I got to use my generator again, from about 00:30 to 03:20, as the battery bank hadn't had much chance to charge and only lasted just over 30 minutes, unfortunately I didn't get much sleep, but the fish are doing well :)) .

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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by Yams » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:50 pm

Haha you seem to be pretty resourceful when it comes to power outages, luckily. Those little L082 are really cute. Love those polka dots.

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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by bekateen » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:07 pm

Yams wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:50 pm
Haha you seem to be pretty resourceful when it comes to power outages, luckily.
Hi Marc,

Yes you are working hard at that. In Central California this summer, our utility provider (Pacific Gas & Electric, PG&E) is threatening to turn off power to large areas of the state on hot dry windy days because of the risk that their equipment might spark wildfires, like the ones in years past that destroyed entire towns, the worst of which killed about 90 people.

Those threatened power cuts will be for up to 5 days at a time. How does a fish keeper prep for that, other than storing a lot of gasoline on hand for a generator?

Fortunately, my fish are small and so are my tanks. The problem is my tanks are spread throughout the house, and a whole-house generator is not an option for me. Currently, three action plans I have in place for the tanks in the event of such a shut-down are
  • Immediate large (90%) water change in all tanks to get water as clean as possible.
  • Refill tanks only to about a depth of 6-7cm and perform frequent WC during a multiday power outage.
  • Do not feed fish during power outage.
I've considered in the past using APC type battery power for air pumps but from what I've read they won't last long enough to aerate tanks for up to 5 days at a time. So I'm hoping and praying that shallow clean water will experience enough passive diffusive oxygen exchange to keep fish alive for days.

I appreciate that it's a risky strategy, but so far I've found none better given the arrangements of tanks throughout my house.

Good luck with your fish.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by MarcW » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:59 pm

Wow Eric, that sounds like a challenge, 5 days would be a struggle for anyone.

The first thing that comes to my mind is consolidating the fish, providing they have similar needs and won't eat each other! If you can get all the fish into 2 or 3 containers, maybe the laguna pre formed ponds, I have one outside, see the UK summer pond thread I started. They have a big surface area and are quite shallow, also easy to move and store when not in use.

If these could be temporarily put close to each other in a garage/guest room/porch then you might get away with using a small low powered air pump to run a seasoned sponge filter, or an air powered box filter with media from existing cannisters, fairly easily. Combined with a couple water changes over the 5 days should get you through.

Some of the small air pumps I have (marketed as for ~100G tanks typically with 2 outlets) only use 5-6 Watts, and would power 2-3 air driven filters, especially in shallow water. Paired with a deep cycle (often sold as marine or motor home batteries) with say a 50Ah capacity, and an invertor should see you through the 5 days.

Of course you need the battery, a charger, invertor, and new containers/ponds, unfortunately the cheaper invertors have a higher parasitic load and would likely consume more power than the small air pump!

However what if the 5 days turns to 6 or 7? It'd be nerve wracking that's for sure, and a small generator or perhaps some sort of solar powered battery bank (the kind hikers/campers use to charge cell phones) would add piece of mind. I've seen some small USB airpumps which could be powered from a battery bank similar to those which are popular for cell phones that may be worth looking at, they may even be cheap enough to buy several so you can keep the fish in the tanks they are currently in. Then maybe charge the power banks from the 12v socket in a car if needed, providing you are driving somewhere so you don't drain your car battery too much!

Apologies for rambling on, hopefully something there will be of use :-).

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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by bekateen » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:31 pm

Hi Marc,

Thanks for the suggestions. There are some good ones there.

Yes grouping fish is needed. Sadly, too many of my tanks are overstocked already, so consolidation into current tanks offers little improvement; but the idea of moving them to a few pond-like structures is good.

PG&E has already turned off the power to a few county areas this summer, but not for more than a day so far. Many here regard the PG&E plan as more of a vindictive threat to punish Californians for suing PG&E in court for responsibility/liability for the fires. From a practical point of view, the "power off" threat is far worse of a fire threat if you think about it - imagine hundreds if not thousands of residents in dry climates starting up diesel- and gas-fueled generators outdoors, presumably in random and unpredictable garden conditions. Tell me there's less fire threat with those on a 41C - 44C day with high wind and zero humidity than there would be by leaving the power on.

Many of us in California hope and pray that the PG&E proposal is more of a scare tactic than something that will come to pass. Myself, I don't live in the wildfire prone area, but my county is along the transmission lines from the valley to the mountains. Wish there was a better way to assess the risk.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by MarcW » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:41 pm

I agree with you on the fire risk, lots of people starting up generators which may have never been serviced/not used for years, spilling gas, or leaving the hot exhausts near dry vegetation seems more likely to cause fires than presumably reguarlly maintained and regulated power transmission equipment.

Any chance you could silicone in the plug and move all the fish to a bath tub?! I guess that wouldn't go down too well!

Hopefully it is just a bluff and it won't come to anything, I also hope there isn't a repeat of last year's fires they looked devastating.

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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by bekateen » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:49 pm

Agreed.
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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by Viktor Jarikov » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:28 pm

Wow, Marc! ... Wow, Eric!?

Great write-up Marc, I appreciated it. Looks like utility workers can be clueless anywhere, even in the highly civilized England too :)

After hurricane Irma (4th category, 120-140 MPH sustained wind) that hit Naples, Florida, USA straight on with its eye on Sept 10 2017, we have not had power for 9 days. I managed to run the fish room on a single 7000 running watts generator, water half level, pumps half capacity, almost no feed. That's a thousand of fish, perhaps about a thousand of pounds of combined weight. The roof over the fish room "gone with the wind", so full Florida sun blazing... I believe Eric you can do it. You don't need whole-house as in back-feeding the electricity from the generator into the house circuitry but a bunch of extension cords should suffice.

I'd surely practice the drill before the actual thing, if it ever comes to it.

Just keep a stash of gasoline. Use gasoline stabilizer if storing for long times, even a year or longer. I use Marvel Mystery Oil. I had to add 5 gallons of gasoline every 6 hours to keep mine running uninterrupted. You are supposed to stop the generator when refilling. I didn't. It'd be a huge pain to unplug everything, close all valves, then reverse. Just add carefully and don't spill. I too stood for hours in lines at gas stations.

All in all, this can be dangerous. When messing with electric power, lots of things can go wrong, especially when saving time, labor, money, etc. and cutting corners.
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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by bekateen » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:23 pm

Thanks Viktor. That sounds like good advice. I'll look into a smaller sized generator, since I'm only managing less than 200 gallons total at home among 9 tanks spread across 6 rooms of the house.

Moving the fish from 10 gal tanks to centralized totes might be the best way to simplify that.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by MarcW » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:28 pm

Turns out they didn't learn from the last time they forgot diesel for the generator, it happened again this morning! Luckily my batteries had charged enough to cover the 1 hour outage, so I didn't have to break out the generator.

Reading Viktors post, I would lean towards a generator in your situation too, I didn't think of daisy chaining a few extension cords so you could leave tanks and fish in the same place, no manufacturer will officially say its OK, but I'm sure we all do somewhere in our homes!

If it's just low powered filters/air pumps then you can fairly easily work out the load and be confident things will be OK.

This would work especially well if you had notice of the cut so you could set it up, if you didn't have any advance warning and may be out when the cut happens then you need to look into transfer switches and things get more expensive and slightly more complicated.

My generator is just a small one 700w, but that should be plenty to run 10 tanks with mid sized external filters. The downside is the fuel tank is small so it only runs for 2-6 hours depending on load.

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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by kvnbyl » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:21 pm

i moved from a place that had a lot of outages (Cambridge MA)., of all places to a place that has somewhat less issues and the very first thing that went into the downsized house went was a 14,000 watt standby generator.
how much are my fish worth? how much are yours worth?
my days of staying up all night and fueling a generator are 1. dangerous and 2. over,
big expense. yep. worth it? absolutely,
the last big outage was during a blizzard 2 years ago, 10 degrees /f and blowing like crazy, i sat in the fish room and listened to the heat going on and off. it powers the ac too, 3 circuits for the fish
i have neighbors who are very elderly and they came over, they probably would not have made it.
i let people charge phones.
was it a lot of money?
Yes it was, but having heard first hand of someone from the local fish society talk about losing thousands of dollar of breeding stock it didn't seem as bad
i'm not pushing my do -gooder tendencies as i have relatively few but knowing the family was warm on one of the worst days of the year was priceless (not an add!!)
the generator was 5,000 installed and yeah i bought a lot less fish that year and put off the 180 probably forever.
don't know about you but the local electricity companies here are doing no upkeep ( the electric wires on top of of the poles are almost without insulation) and installing no new capacity while condos are going up everywhere so i consider it a good investment, it's 10 years old and i maintain it and it runs like new
i consider it one of my better investments

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Re: Marc's fish room build

Post by Bas Pels » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:30 am

Looks terrible to be needing such a device.

Once I had a presentation about the Dutch high power lines, and to summarise it to what's important, the Nijmegen area, where I live, is the area with the least power problems in the country. In fact I can't remember whether I ever had a problem lasting for more than a few hours.

That makes it for me a lot easier keeping fishes: As long as I can have a lack of power for an hour, I'm safe. And the way it is now, I can just outwait such an hour.
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