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1000 gallon system!


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In college I made myself a promise.  When I bought a house I would have a whole room dedicated to this hobby.  Fast forward ten years and I bought a house.... there's just one catch, I also have a wife and am going to have a hard sell to repurpose an entire room for my "hobby".


it may be cliche but it wasn't that hard of a sell.  I promised a balenciaga bag and she said ok.  So here we go!

the room I decided was in the basement. 7'x11'. 

I had already taken off most of the plywood walling. More to come in a day or two. 



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Good evening!  Time for another update.

This was fun!  Demo!!!

ripped out all the old framing, cladding, carpet and insulation.   Found some linoleum under the carpet....any of you every scrape old linoleum glue off concrete?  That sucked.

Painted all the concrete with dry lock.


most exciting part of the day?  Figured out that with the steel I-beam that's anchored into the cement foundation wall and the location of it I can put in the 550 gallon tank I've always dreamed of and plumb it into the system!  Woot!  1000 gallon system here we GO





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Main display will be 96 x 36 x 36.  It will be located on the main floor along a wall supported by a steel ibeam anchored into the cement foundation wall. I will be adding some additional support underneath so the floor can hold a tank...the military kind of tank ?.  Won't have the main display for a while as that puppy won't be cheap.


good news is she agreed to everything so long as we get another frenchie and I limit the main tank to under 600 gallons.


Pnwmas meet Matilda.  My wife in the pic is Kati 



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Sorry. Never really laid out the whole plan for you guys! Below is what my family has described as "why are you doing this and does Kati know?"

-completely remove everything from current room.... walls, studs, ceiling, insulation, lighting, electrical, flooring and replace with outdoor and waterproof rated equipment.

- add lighting and three 20 amp circuits. One of which will be a 250v so i can run whatever I want.

-reinforce the ceiling in basement so the 550 gallon tank on the main floor won't fall through.   

-plumb the main tank into the basement room through the wall

-waterproof the shoe moulding in basement room (going forward I think I'll call it the money pit)   With the moulding waterproofed and siliconed it will hold up to 200 gallons in case of flooding

-build stands for the QT, water change, frag tank and sump tanks 

- lighting and actual tanks are the only things I will not be doing myself. For some reason the thought of 1000 gallons of water flooding my house does not give me comfort. 

Below are the pics of the room once I got the new framing up, starting electrical and the mess I have made so far....gotta remember to stay organized. 


Thanks for reading!




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Yeah, umpqua valley kennels retired the brindle sire they had that produced brindle pups....im sure they will get another tho.  Great breeder!


i thought about steel for a while, but getting it into the basement was going to be tough,  money pit stands will be wood but the main floor tank will definitely be steel, I'll reach out when looking at getting the big one!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alrighty.  Got some work done!

finished electrical!   Three circuits added, all 20 amp with 13 receptacles.

circuit 1 is a dedicated 250 volt 20 amp circuit. So if I want a 250v appliance I can plug it in.  Woot

the remaining 12 receptacles are split between the other two circuits. The top of each is circuit A and the bottom receptacle is circuit B.

all wiring was done with 12 gauge underground rated romex wiring.

receptacles themselves are outdoor rated tamper proof/weather proof outlets (had no idea how big a PITA they are to plug things in and out of)

all housed in plastic boxes that are attached with stainless steel screws and behind the boxes are vapor barrier plastic sheathing to attach to the vapor barrier I install later. 

Also got the lighting done, SO much brighter with 4 recessed can lights than 1 hanging light.   

Looking a bit rough myself, picture to come in a bit with an explanation. 






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One of the main things I learned is when pulling romex apart, make sure you pull to the side....not towards your face.


otherwise you end up stabbing yourself in the face with needle nose pliers when your hand slips.


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Ugh, yeah. I want that skimmer, but with the stands I will have 80.5" of vertical height in the room and the skimmer is 81.5" according to manufacturer specs. Thanks for looking though, looks like a great skimmer and if I can figure something out I will totally go for it!


if anyone has a 60"x36"x17" or 36"x36"x17" tank I would love to buy that!

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Ugh, yeah. I want that skimmer, but with the stands I will have 80.5" of vertical height in the room and the skimmer is 81.5" according to manufacturer specs. Thanks for looking though, looks like a great skimmer and if I can figure something out I will totally go for it!
if anyone has a 60"x36"x17" or 36"x36"x17" tank I would love to buy that!

I haven't dug too far into that unit, but typically skimmers of this size don't go under anything, but instead they just get plumbed in from wherever you situate it. You can place it anywhere and just plumb it in.

I remember when Doug had his 750 gallon display setup, his skimmer was actually in a shed attached to the side of his house. Now that thing was a behemoth! Bigger than the unit I listed, IIRC. Doug got it from that dude with the largest home aquarium. Wynn? Can't recall his name off the top of my head. But he's quite the engineer.

Sent from my HTCONE using Tapatalk

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

It's been a little while since I updated.  Been a crazy two months and as such haven't updated the page like I wanted.  But now I am!


lots of progress.  I had no idea how long this would take, but am glad I'm doing the work and getting the experience.


i decided I wanted some electrical outlets on the ceiling, so added three of those...that brings the total outlets in this room to thirteen.  Twelve of them 120v 20amp and one 250v 20amp. 120's are split between two circuits.  My wife is very excited about all this electricity around water ?.

the new puppy bought me some leeway though, hope I dont have to get another!

To reinforce the flooring below the main display tank area I sistered the floor joists (added an additional 2x10 pressure treated board to both sides of every existing floor joist) basically making 7 6x10 crossbeams....I think that will hold the lateral load.

then the real fun began....adding the additional vertical support of two 4x6 vertical posts anchored into the cement foundation and two 2x10 lamboards for horizontal support.  Rented two jacks, cut some support and ratcheted them up until I had ~1/4" to play with and "slide" (more like sledgehammer) in the lamboards.  Whole process took about three hours, during which I'm pretty sure I lost what was left of my hair with images of my whole house collapsing in on top of me.  I think I will hire out for that from now on.

Now the area directly underneath the main display tank space is completely supported on all sides by a cement wall, a steel I-beam, two 4x6x7' vertical posts all connected with horizontal tripled 2x10 beams and an additional doubled 2x10 horizontal lamboard.

I added R-30 attic rating insulation around all interior walls and the ceiling. Had no idea the batting came in two different widths and of course got the wrong one. Caused more cutting, but actually worked out in the end as the spacing between the sistered joists took up the extra insulation perfectly.

I took out the two lightbulbs lighting the room and replaced with 4 recessed waterproof can lighting receptacles.

finally I got tired of building so went with my wife to pick up a tub to hold all the rock I have collected over the last three years.

there's a picture of her crouching in the tub and one of it filled with rock.

thanks for reading, next steps are to add vapor barrier, seal up the framing in case of a spill and then drywall!










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