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Humidity control and damage?

I've already started planning out my next fish room. I'm moving in the spring and will be
building a bigger, better fishroom. Lots of automation. It'll be in a large unfinished area
in the basement. I've already told the builder to add a utility sink and exhaust fan that
area. They wouldn't do a floor drain. :angry:

Anyway, so, I'm thinking about how to control the humidty and to prevent it from damaging
the structure. So far, this is what I got.

1) 4 mil plastic sheeting covering the walls and ceiling (underneath the greenboard)
2) greenboard
3) mildew resistant glossy paint

That should be enough to protect the structure I think.

Now, how to am I going to control the humidity? Cover the tanks with glass? A little pricy but
probably worth it if it works.

Dehumidfier with drain to the sink? Maybe - but I hear that they add to the heat in the room,
which may be ok in the winter but not the summer. Or will that even be a factor? Also, wont'
that increase the evaporation?

I'd rather prevent the air from getting humid and hit it at the source than trying to control it
after the fact.

Ron, is your fishhouse done? I must come see it!


A friend of mine has a bunch of tanks in his basement...he runs a dehumidifier but there aren't any heat issues b/c it's the lowest level of the house and therefore the coolest. I have a big sheet of plexiglass covering 3 10gal tanks and any evaporating water has pretty much collected on the plexiglass and drops back into the tanks. as long as you keep something a little weighted, the glass will hold its shape


I run a dehumidifier in my basement with only a few tanks. It works alright, but it does get a bit warm in the summers and I also get quite a bit of evaporation. I have had to cover my sump because of this.

How about an air exchanger? It is a bit more expensive than plastic or a dehumidifier and I don't have any personal experience with them. But it's an idea. I found one at Jehmco's site, http://www.jehmco.com/PRODUCTS_/HARDWARE_/..._exchanger.html but you may find one cheaper somewhere else. Maybe http://www.grainger.com ?


The best solution is to have an exhaust fan and to have the room receive HVAC like the rest of the house. All tanks should have tight fitting glass covers.


First I must report that our fish room is a little closer to being finished; just a few minor touch ups on the plumbing then the inspection, the electrical has to be inspected and then the final building inspection. Hopefully all these will be done by the end of this month; hopefully. :(
We tried the air exchanger in our basement but it didn't seem to work too well. We also put insulation in the ceiling and covered that with plastic. The best thing we found to work was one of those dual window fans that fits right in the window. You can set it to blow in, out, or both.
For our new fish room what we did, yet to be proven as a good idea, was framed the cinder block wall with 2x2s, filled that with pink board (2"), then covered that with what was supposed to be T-111, which is a outside wood siding. It actually turned out to be a pearl-lite(?) which is not a weatherproof, looks better and since we were gonna have it inside, we went with it. We painted it with KILZ 2 and then with tinted mold resistant paint.
My brother is in construction and he said that greenboard was not the way to go. Something about getting moisture between the greenboard and the plastic and mold taking over. Ron can explain this further if you'd like. I don't remember all the particulars.
Again, not yet proven, but that's what we are doing...

Ok I'm going to have to come by and check out your fish house. I need good moisture protection in this room.
I'm adding a relay and humidity & temp sensor to kick on the exhaust & heater on & off automatically to maintain
a stable temp & low humidity.