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My Fishroom

My Fishroom (A 360 View) - Outdated

This is a 360 view of my fishroom (taken a couple of years ago now so things have changed a little)

The smaller tanks hold pairs, the lower wider tanks hold fry and the bottom tanks hold separated males and females.

My 'Room' is in the process of being replaced by a shed with far more space and usability, please see the topmost FAQ "How not to build a fish shed"



DIY Breeding Tanks

1st written in April 2013 on

As part of the re-design of my fishroom I decided to DIY my own guppy breeder tanks. Some inspiration was taken from forum threads online.

This is the guide I wrote on how to create them

Tools I Needed
Pipe Cutter
Hot Glue Gun

Parts I needed
Storage tub
sponge filter
22mm plumbing pipe (approx 12cm)
short piece of airline (approx 30cm)

I started with a JML108 plastic container (available in UK for around £1.50)
They are 8 Litre food grade plastic and come with clear lids.
I would have preferred slightly larger ones but the next size up (that I could find) were not see through enough and the next size after that (16 litre) meant I could not fit 3 in a row on my shelving so I opted for these, accepting I would need slightly more water changes and fewer fish per tank.

I drilled a small hole in the lid for the airline to feed through

I'd previously cut a short piece of 22mm plumbing pipe. It is about 12cm long (a few cm less than the height of the tub/water level) I also drilled lots of small holes through it for waterflow.

This was then hot glued to the base of the container, leaving enough room for the sponge filter to be fitted.
I have previouly tried the same bit of pipe with a marble siliconed into the bottom to act as a weight and a end stop. but they moved about too much in the containers so it was better to permanently glue them in place. The sponges are still easily removed for cleaning.


I have no idea what filter the sponges I used were originally meant for but I got them cheap on ebay and cutting them in half made them a perfect fit for these tubs.

They also fit perfectly over the 22mm pipe !

Adding the airstone and airline give me my own built in sponge filter.

(Update : I have since stopped using an airstone and just bubble air through the airline)

Pretty much the finished article :-

I also mark a line at the front of the tub in permanent ink to show where removing 30% of the water would be so that I don't have to measure each time I do a change. 

And here's three of them in a row after being cycled with filter squeezes from other tanks.

I add java moss for cover and the net pots contain oyster shells which is my latest guess-attempt at helping change the really soft water I have without any additional effort from me. I didn't like the whole container having shells at the bottom as it got dirty too easily and was difficult to clean without removing the container and fully emptying it out. (Update : I no longer have oyster shells and just add water hardeners when I am doing a water change)

I label what fish are in there with short pieces of masking tape (seen on left tub in pic above) as well as the electronic records I keep. I tried writing it straight onto the container with non-permanent/whiteboard pens but it faded or smudged too easily. If I move a fish from one tub to another I can just peel off the bit of tape and stick it to the new tank 

They can be moved about from one shelf to another and as I run an airline round the room it's easy to take a feed and plug the container in anywhere.
I think all in each one cost me about £2.50 plus 5 minutes of my time.

Hopefully it might inspire someone else to do something similar

DIY Aquarium Background

1st written in Oct 2011 on TFF

A month or so ago I completed my first DIY Background for a tank I was revamping. I did quite a bit of reading up online before starting it so had a fair idea of what I wanted to and had to do.
My tank is 30G and has two braces on the top so I couldn't do one big background so opted for several smaller pieces that I could fit in between the gaps.
I am not creative and have had failed attempts at DIY things before so wasn't entirely sure if it would turn out as I intended.

Unfortunately I never took photos as I was building it as I hadn't signed up here but I've taken some shots of it now and the polystyrene I used to build it.

The materials were : 
A few spare sheets of 1 inch thick polystyrene (You can get them at DIY stores as insulation sheets or smaller sheets are used as fish box insulation)
Aquarium Silicone
Portland Cement

The only tools I used were a kitchen knife to cut the sheets and a paintbrush to apply the cement

As I was creating small sections I cut the sheets into shapes, using a straight edge as the back of my rock formation so I could silicone that to the tank sides. I cut several semi circular sort of shapes but sort of waved as I cut it. a bit like this

These are some of the spare bits of sheet so they are not the shapes I used but you can see the thickness and roughness of the edges.

I didn't care about how careful I was cutting it as the concrete will soften/smoothen everything up 
I then glued these in layers of 2 or 3 to get a small rock outcrop effect and left the silicone to cure for 24hrs.
I also built a large vertical corner section to hide my heater and overflow and that was just built up using the same sheets layer on layer until I reached the height of my tank. occasionally missing a bit so there were gaps for water flow. The best was I could describe it was like building a 2 sided jenga tower whilst glueing it together.

Once all the silicone had dried, I started painting it with cement. I did about 4 layers in all and each one got slightly thicker consistency. The first was like milk and the last was like thick soup. I just did it on the kitchen floor on newspaper and left it for about a day for each layer to cure. I did add a bit of cement pigment but noticed that the different thicknesses of concrete mix had different hues anyway. My end result is a bit camouflage looking (as you will see)

After it had all dried, several days later, I siliconed the sections into my tank. I used some of the smaller bits on the floor to come up out of the gravel and also cut a couple of flat single sheets at an angle  (like the big bit in the pic above) so they stuck out at that angle from the floor. I left the silicone to cure (again) and then filled the tank to check they were secure.
All OK !

I then did about 7 or 8 refills of my tank over 3 weeks as the concrete leaches into the water and raises the ph. mine was at 10.5 or so for a while before it started coming down. I was getting frustrated after the 3rd or 4th refill and read that baking soda helped. I added some and not sure if it was that or just another few refills but it did eventually stop rising and stay the same as my tap water.
I don't think there is anything you can do to get around this. It takes time and multiple refills of the tank.

I put a few 'test' fish in after that and since then everything has been fine with no concerns over water quality. Tests are spot on and fish are healthy.

So unfortunately no in-build photo's but here's the completed tank. The few plants are poor specimens from fleabay and I'm glad my own sword plant has started sending out runners that I am growing on and are much healthier than these so I won't need to buy again.

The Completed Tank

The heater and overflow part on the left (Jenga Tower) with pieces on the floor and back wall


Floor and lower back section

The back


The sloping pieces (although taken from wrong angle as they are sloping towards you)

I've probably missed loads out but what I hope what I've said makes sense. Overall it came out a lot better than I had hoped. The tank back is black so I think the outcrops do really seem to stick out, but don't take up much space and I really like the sloping pieces.

I did take a while but was several small tasks with waiting in between, so did need some patience.

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