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"Fishroom" on a Grad Student's Budget in a 615 sqft Apt

So with the covid crisis and the end of the spring semester, I'm starting up some fish tanks. I'm Not sure you can call it a "fishroom" per say, but its definitely something 1589192019393.png


Anyway I thought i'd keep a log here to share my progress and get some feedback and advice from forum members as things come up.


I live in a 615 sqft apt (with my spouse) in graduate campus housing at Berkeley so space is tight.

Tank list:
3x 40 gallon breeders
1 x 29 Gallon breeder
1x 18 gallon bucket
1x 27 gallon plastic bin


I was able to score the 40 breeders for $1 a gallon, and the 29 gallon with a stand for even less! Also the plastic bins came free! (did i mention that i am in school and trying to make this work on a budget?)


To house the 40 breeders I shelled out $63 online at home depot on these Edsal brand shelves. 1589192890114.png
The shelves hold 800 lbs each, with one set of shelving able to hold up to 4 40xbreeders, amazing! These stands won't arrive for another few days though.


One of the 40 breeders will be heavily filtered (at least 2x Aquaclear 70s, maybe even 3?) and is staying inside. Here I'm trying to keep a pseudo-central/south american planted community tank. Its going right next to our kitchen table, and is meant to be a bit of a showpiece for the apartment,

For this tank I'm trying to keep a central/south american planted community tank, but want to try to leave room (or create room either with plants and rocks or outright dividers if need be) so that some of the species might be able to breed (making a separate thread to discuss this idea of a "community breeder").
1589194415413.png


The 2 other 40 breeders, the 29 gallon long, and the two bins are going out on the patio. Out there I have access to electricity for lighting and heaters, and have a linear piston air pump (from Jehmco), with sponge filters and tubing for days. I've also got a couple more HOB filters. I installed a rack on the back of the 29 gallon stand to hold the airpump's manifold. Its clearly early days, but ultimately I'm going for a clean look here, as my girlfriend likes to use the patio for video conference calls.

1589195565807.png1589195700324.png (yes thats my blue accord behind that shrub. I've got this tiny patio and then a sidewalk on the other side of that wooden fence, and then parking for my neighbors)


After a few hours work:
1589196181298.png1589196228256.png (the 29 gallon came with a big pile of rainbow gravel (aka clown barf) which i'm having to shovel out before i can clean it... ah the joys of used tank buying).


These will be my first truly outdoor tanks and i'm undecided: should I out right keep cold water fish (or shrimp?) or do I try to raise the temps in these tanks by enough to be able to keep warmer water fish?

The summer here calls for daily highs in the mid 70s, and nightly lows in the low 50s. Also these tanks will not be exposed to direct sunlight at all during the day.

Almost a priority for me is that i choose easy to breed fish (though preferably not livebearers). At the moment i'm considering a couple colonies of white cloud mountain minnows (one gold one silver), as I hear they are pretty temperature tolerant.


I also have lights i can use to help with outdoor plant growth. Any ideas for easy to grow plants in these conditions? At the moment i'm planning on keeping the outdoor tanks bare bottom, but would love to give eggs and fry some cover.


Thats all for now, my next steps are to do some tank and filter cleaning, and then build the 40 racks when they arrive. Will keep this thread posted!

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FishEggs

CCA Members
Staff member
You could certainly heat the tanks outside if you wanted. It's definitely doable. Just a matter of increased electric bill. Might have to get a slightly bigger heater to keep the temp up over night. I did it in my outdoor pond last year to give my fish a longer season outside. There is definitely more risk doing it. If heater fails on it will cook the fish faster giving you less time to catch a malfunction but you could maybe set up a temperature alarm or something.

White clouds would not need a heater and be just fine out in those temps.

I've found that hornwort will grow in just about no light. Other options could be guppy grass or for rooted plants, like cryptocoryne, just use a small pot or bowl with some substrate to put the plant in and use root tabs. Still a basically a bare bottom tank and easy to clean and you can move the plants around or take them out easily.
 

Goonie

CCA Members
You could also use porthos growing out of the tanks you get a nice root system inside and a nice looking vine goring outside may could use the plants to keep the area "clean"

not sure on the temps though
 

DiscusnAfricans

President
Staff member
I remember the days of having to be creative with limited space, but glad you can make something work though. I think it's always trial and error to see what works and functions well. Having an understanding partner makes it much easier though.
 
The 40 breeder stands came in today, so there was a flurry of activity. The Tanks are all now in the right positions, but theres still plenty of wiring for heaters and lighting to do. Also my sponge filter tubing and what little electrical wiring that is up is still a mess...

1589629063625.png


I also got kick started by a very generous gift of plants from a member of the SF Aquarium Society who was breaking down his heavily planted tanks. Crypts for days, cultures of java moss and pearlweed, and a few other goodies i'll be happy to nurture. I also hoarded as much of his filter media scuzz as possible to seed my tanks (MMMmm tasty scuzz), and set up my two water aging bins.

1589629119416.png

For the interior tank, it was good to finally get it up off the floor, but I will have to wait for a shipment of a few bags of eco-complete to arrive before I can fill it with water. Hopefully that will be tomorrow.
1589629224784.png


Check out the new view from my desk!
1589629170438.png



Im already starting to scour craigslist, aquahuna.com, and elsewhere for livestock. Getting excited!


Will continue to post as things develop

1589629015646.png
 

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CichlidDan

Members
The 40 breeder stands came in today, so there was a flurry of activity. The Tanks are all now in the right positions, but theres still plenty of wiring for heaters and lighting to do. Also my sponge filter tubing and what little electrical wiring that is up is still a mess...

View attachment 23395


I also got kick started by a very generous gift of plants from a member of the SF Aquarium Society who was breaking down his heavily planted tanks. Crypts for days, cultures of java moss and pearlweed, and a few other goodies i'll be happy to nurture. I also hoarded as much of his filter media scuzz as possible to seed my tanks (MMMmm tasty scuzz), and set up my two water aging bins.

View attachment 23396

For the interior tank, it was good to finally get it up off the floor, but I will have to wait for a shipment of a few bags of eco-complete to arrive before I can fill it with water. Hopefully that will be tomorrow.
View attachment 23398


Check out the new view from my desk!
View attachment 23397



Im already starting to scour craigslist, aquahuna.com, and elsewhere for livestock. Getting excited!


Will continue to post as things develop

View attachment 23394
Progress is looking great!

Have you used AquaHuna before? I just recently heard of them and was wondering peoples experience with them.
 
Progress is looking great!

Have you used AquaHuna before? I just recently heard of them and was wondering peoples experience with them.
Thanks bud!


As for aqua huna, i've yet to buy from them, but the guy at aquarium co-op raves about them, and they have great customer reviews. its also hard to argue with $12,99 flat rate shipping, plus if you type in "aquariumcoop" at check out you get a 5% discount
 
Eco complete arrived today, so I was quick to get it into the indoor 40 gallon, and add a ton of plants that i've obtained. Then i filled it up and started the AQ70s. I'm hoping to cycle this tank lightning fast between eco complete, plants from an established tank, rock pieces that have been culturing for months, and some already semi cycled tank water.



1589962083431.png1589962044569.png1589962326490.png


I also installed a table/work station outside to house my electronics, my mini shrimp tank, and have a place to set up lights and tinker with fish items.


1589962355702.png1589962411587.png


Things are really starting to come along, and I've got a batch of white cloud minnows en route from Aqua Huna!


I'm also looking at a batch of multies off craigs list (for one of the outdoor tanks). $75 for a pack of 9 adults with juvies and shells. Should I go for it?
 

DiscusnAfricans

President
Staff member
I'm also looking at a batch of multies off craigs list (for one of the outdoor tanks). $75 for a pack of 9 adults with juvies and shells. Should I go for it?
Progress is looking great! Always good to have a workstation where you can comfortably get work done. Price on the multies seems very reasonable for the quantity, so if it's something you like, probably worthwhile.
 
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