A small fish room.. in an apartment III
by George J. Reclos
Many things have changed since I started this fishroom the most important being the dedication of all tanks to Madagascan / new world cichlids. Consequently, the use and decoration of the tanks has changed radically. Those tanks are used to grow juveniles or fry which will be added in the main display tanks or donated to other hobbyists. Most species which were kept in them during the early stages of the fish room have been already donated, the tanks have been re-decorated, new items were added and now they serve my needs better than ever. All in all, this fishroom consists of 13 medium sized tanks (106 liters gross volume) and two miniature tanks (12 and 8 liters). A 770 liter (200 gallon) tank (approximately 200 x 70 x 55 cm) will be added later next year and this will be the last addition I can make (next step is to change the house).
The top and bottom racks (on this side of the wall). Click on the images for larger pictures.
Those are the tanks on the other side of the room (#11, 12 and 13 from left to right).
The photos above show the numbers which correspond to the tank numbers in the table below.
Tanks # 12 to 15 are usually empty or used temporarily to hatch eggs and raise the fry up to a point. The fry are then transferred to any of the other tanks (whichever is empty at that time, following the pre-treatment as previously described).
Interior of the tank #1 as it looks now. A lot of extra stones and PVC pipes had to be added to provide the Ptychochroms sp. "mangarahara" with hiding places since this species shows a high degree of aggression to conspecifics.
Interior of tank #9. Many hiding places are essential in this tank which houses 5 ex Cichlasoma festae along with the remaining Neolamprologus brichardi juveniles. When the C. festae were added in the tank they were smaller than the N. brichardi. Acquired during our visit to the 26th AFC Congress, they measured just 4 cm then (about 7 cm for the largest of them now). They will soon be transferred to another tank.
External canister filters are used for all tanks. I chose to have only one filter type since this makes it easier to keep a stock of spare parts for them. Spare handles, joints and many meters of pipes are in stock. We currently have 20 of them in service.
A great variety of things need to be handy in such a room which lacks space. Wherever you look there is something related to this hobby. Automated feeders, air pumps, metal clips, baby food, nets, digital thermometers and external heater controllers.. You can even see the sponge which is used to clean the algae from the front glass - so we can see what is going on in the tanks (from time to time !).
Foods in large quantities (10 liter buckets are the most economic way to feed your fish).. The large white buckets (a welcomed left over from those glorious days of the marine tanks) are extremely useful to carry fish and perform emergency water changes without carrying pipes and tubes. Each of them will hold 20 liters of water - almost 25% of the content of a tank.
Oxygen cylinder, dehumidifier, canisters filled with water (in case of emergency you have conditioned water which is already at room temperature) .. If in need, a 50 liter water change can be performed in less than 5 minutes.
Vitamins, water additives, ammonia, test strips, normal tests, nests, self made medications and foods of different types.. As you probably guessed this is how the fish room looks like at any given moment. I may not be the kind of person to keep all those little things in order but I can ensure you I can find everything within seconds. Small food cans are used for feeding the fish since this reduces the number of times we open the food buckets shown previously. Most fish foods are dried and are destroyed by humidity which (naturally) is very high in this room. We also add desiccants in the buckets to ensure the content remains dry.
The top of the tank rack. You can see the stock of items which we keep on a regular basis. One thing I hate is to run out of something essential when I need it most. During all those years, I collected many things so now I am confident that - in most cases - all I have to do if I have to fix or replace something is search this place. As an example, I will refer to the canister filter priming handles which are the weak part of this type of filter. In a couple of occasions, those handles broke, which left us with a filter half closed and the obvious risk of a flood. It takes less than 10 minutes to replace the handle with a new one.
Water changes are performed on Saturday mornings for all tanks. It takes about an hour to perform this, while we also check the filters and clean any clogged pre-filters. If time permits, we also clean the front glasses (inside - out).