NANFA-- new year

james graham (
Wed, 3 Jan 2001 10:08:31 -0700

I decided to start the new year off by putting some fish in a tank in my
living room that has had water in it since August. Hey when you are retired
you can move at your own pace and besides its had been sitting in there
empty for three years.When I built my new house I had cabinets and a counter
top put on one side of my living room to hold an eight foot aquarium. Then
about three years back a company in Ohio (CRF Manufacturing) had a sale on
300 gallon plex aquariums for $995 so I figured it was time to make the
move. So I ordered two of them with black backs and two corner over flo
boxes with bulkhead fittings in the bottoms.They ended up costing me about
$2500 delivered for the two which I thought was a pretty good deal.Back in
the middle of the summer I finally decided to set up the one in the living
room.(the other one is still sitting empty in my fishroom) I had to drill a
couple of four inch holes in the countertop for where the bulkhead fittings
come out of the bottom of the overflo boxes.
Boy there's nothing like the smell of burning Formica. I put the filter in
the basement to try to keep the humidity out of my house.I must have made
fifty trips up and down the stairs drilling holes and running the drain
pipes and the return line.The best part was trying to cut the holes through
the bottom of the cabinets, then the subfloor and then the ceiling of the
fishroom below with a hole saw. They don't make extensions for hole saws and
I lost it between the subfloor and the ceiling and had to cut a little
bigger hole in the ceiling to retrieve it.I was using an extension for a
socket wrench with holesaw secured with vinyl tape.Also I discovered that
OSB board gets hot enough to make glowing embers when you burn through it
with a holesaw as smoke started drifting out of the bottom of the cabinets
after I cut the hole through the subfloor.
For filtration I am using a Tidepool bio-wheel filter with a Mag-drive
950 which I figure is probably running about 600 gallons an hour with 7
feet of head. Also I have a Fluval 404 canister filter that I am going to
put on for some more water movement and bio-filtration.Originally I had the
Mag-drive in the sump of the Tide-pool and had a kitty litter bucket with a
overflo drain and a float valve for make up water connected together with a
2 inch siphon tube. After a couple of months I found the siphon to be too
unreliable as it had lost siphon several times ( it had about 7 inches of
head).I wanted to try to make it fool proof as possible as I didn't want to
come home to 300 gallons of water in the basement or a ruined pump because
it ran dry.( Yes, I have a check valve in the return line) So I tore apart
the filter setup and drilled holes in the sump for the pump and the
connection to the kitty litter bucket. I used livewell bulkhead fittings
that I got from Cabelas and the good vinyl hose to connect everything.Since
moving the pump out of the sump I think the tank is running maybe 2 degrees
cooler which is 70 degrees .Don't have lights yet as I need to build a hood
for it yet.( could be a couple of years, who knows ?)
I moved about a dozen fish out of the basement chill zone. There are
some southern red bellied dace, black nosed dace and red sided dace that I
collected with Mark and some of the Ohio folks last summer. The srbd dace
were all in breeding colors in the basement and I am hoping the will color
up once they settle in upstairs.
Jim Graham
Hastings, Mi

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