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What about freshwater aquariums?

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keightley View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 02 2017 at 5:00pm
I am crazy obsessed with fancy goldfish and yet I don't have an aquarium... yet.  I have a plan but have no way of implementing it on my own.  So I am hope...no praying... I have come for the right place for local advice and help.  

I dream of an aquarium where I can kneel in front of it and meditatively watch my goldfish swimming for hours on end.  I dream of an aquarium that does not require water changes or at least very few throughout the year because I have my very own mini biosphere.  Yep, I am planning on using aquaponics to remove nitrates from my aquarium.  But I will not be growing food.  All I want to grow is monster fancy goldfish in the aquarium as well as pathos and lucky bamboo in the planter box.      

Also, I intend to build a quarantine aquarium where I can make sure new fish do not have any diseases to introduce to the main tank.  Once I have all the fish I want in the main tank, I will keep two to three goldfish in the smaller tank.  It will serve as a divider from my kitchen dinning area and the livingroom.  

The biggest hurdle I have to overcome to make my aquarium dreams come true is physical help.  I have no DIY skills to speak of.  I want the main aquarium to be made out of plywood which will sit on the floor of my home.  I want the smaller tank custom made with glass.  I have a stand for this aquarium already but it is a peice of furniture.  I need help reinforcing it.  I am thinking t-slot aluminum.  So if anyone is interested in helping me make a small little oasis of aquatic nature inside my tiny home, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I am willing to pay if your labor rate is reasonable.  I went to one professional for help who shall remain nameless and was quoted essentially a labor rate of $250 - $300.  

Keightley

P.S.  Here are some of my inspiration pictures.

The Main Aquarium





just way way bigger! Tongue

Here is the nitrates filtration system theory in a drawing.





The smaller aquarium






Edited by keightley - May 02 2017 at 5:03pm
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kevin.st View Drop Down
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What was included in the labor rate of $250-$300?

Edited by kevin.st - May 02 2017 at 5:46pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A Reef Oasis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 02 2017 at 9:55pm
I like the idea, there are some cool fancy goldfish. Just curious why a wood tank over a glass tank? 
"oh crap where am I going to put that!" bstuver
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2017 at 7:13am
I'm guessing that the wood aquarium idea is to keep the cost down and also make it more of a DIY build instead of an off the shelf purchase. That seams to be the usual motivation behind this type of projects.

Make sure that whomever you find to do the tank work has both wood and fiberglass experience. Sealing the wood and getting the glass to seal in the wood frame can be tricky.

I've seen a few attempts at creating the hydroponics filtration that you have pictured and there seams to be a repeating occurrence of either debris getting through the bell siphon or tannin's from the soil discoloring the water and producing a tea look instead of the clean clear water most hope for. Have you come up with ways of dealing with these two things?

Both of your pictures of small tanks show no (or at least I can't see it) filtration. Do you have ideas for how to handle that situation in these tanks or are you thinking that these two systems will be connected somehow and the hydroponics will filter both?

While not a huge fan of goldfish I have had some pretty impressive planted tanks full of hundreds of mixed tetras of all colors that were pretty impressive way back when.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2017 at 12:38pm
Krazie nailed it.

I'm sure you can do it.

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Thank you all for responding and giving me a warm welcome.

@kevin.st
I specifically asked this person for just his labor rate.  He gave me a fix cost quote.  So how did I come up with his rate? The second picture is from a blog of a person who built his aquarium out of wood.  He kept track of how many hours he spent building it.  He took about 20 hours to build his aquarium.  He included paint time and the time it took to build the concrete slab (10 hours).  I can paint the aquarium myself and I don't need a concrete slab. Based on the time it took to do his build and what I can do myself, I estimate my build will take a total of 10 hours construction time.  That is how I came up with this labor rate.  I asked him to give me an estimate after he indicated that he wanted to do a plywood aquarium build without any prompting from me. Even after him tell me how much he wanted to do one for someone one day, I suspect he really does not want to do it.  I have been in the construction business in the past.  Typically when one doesn't want to take a job and they feel uncomfortable telling the client "No, I don't want to do it", they quote some ridiculous rate.  Or they have some other bigger project they have been hired for and will only do yours if it is worth it to put off the other client.  I believe that is what happened here. 

@a reef oasis
My motivation in building a plywood aquarium is indeed costs.  But there is a little more to it.  I do live in an apartment.  I live in the basement. There is nothing underneath me other than concrete and ground. I state now as other people on some other boards that I posted to always mention weight of the final build and asked if I have taken that into account.    Anyway... I haven't exactly asked my property manager's permission to have do this and given the size of it she will mostlikely say "no".  So I figure if I made it out of wood I can argue that it is a piece of furniture. Now that I think about it, maybe I can even put some removable doors to hide it if the time came. LOL   I can also argue that I have insurance to pay for any flooding caused by me which causes damage to the apartment.  I will also point out that there is no one below me so if th aquarium does cause a flood, the only damage will be to my apartment.  And yes... I did check with my renters insurance.  If I flood the apartment, insurance will cover it. Clap  Basically I am doing it and asking for forgiveness later.  And Krazie4Acans is right.  I do want a hand in building this.  It imagine that it will be very satisfying when it is all said and done.  Especially when people tell me how cool it is and I can say I built it with help, of course! 

@Krazie4Acans
The filtration system for the small aquarium pictured in the "white room" is underneath the cabinet.  The intake and output is hard to see as she bought the glass intake and output you can get off of amazon.  I have no idea where the filtration system is for the aquarium that is on the t-slot aluminum stand.  As for mine, I would like to build the filtration system in the aquarium itself.  I would find it very hard to believe that none of you are familiar with King of DIY (aka Joey Mullen) youtube channel.  He built an aquarium with an integrated filter to display some Discus in his living room. It is a pretty simple DIY. It looks awesome!

For anyone that is interested in watching the video you can click on this link: https://youtu.be/ThOjHe6THNg

There is another build recently that he built in the filter.  You can see the video by clicking on this link:  https://youtu.be/GMAu_upVyVw

Cheers,
Keightley

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote keightley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2017 at 12:52pm
@Krazie4Acans

You may not be fond of goldfish now.  I was like that one. But I bet I can change your mind!

Check out these youtube videos!  I included the links as I am not sure the insert video tool is working. Smile

FENG SHUI GOLDFISH TANK
https://youtu.be/NRBUre2XRHE


MY GOLDFISH TANK
https://youtu.be/7zSMmdkuq0g


FANCIEST GOLDFISH IN THE WORLD. HD
https://youtu.be/yacnO2SJ_yE


RANCHU FGT
https://youtu.be/dt9a1Wn88_E


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2017 at 1:09pm
I give you an A+ at your attempt but goldfish, koi, and carp are all the same to me and my interest level is still a pretty solid zero.

I think you should build it and post a build thread here so we can see your progress. (sameless plug).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote keightley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2017 at 1:25pm
Awwww... come now... fancy goldfish are like the happy go lucky dogs in the fish world. They are Labrador Retrievers with fins!  Wait... They are more like Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, or my dog Nyx who is a Portuguese Water Dog.  LOL  They come up to you when you call.  They will let you pet them and hand feed them. In fact, they demand it.  They greet you when you come home. You can teach them tricks to wow your friends.  And there are just so darn cute to watch as they struggle to swim.  Also, they are easy to keep and grow and a fully developed one is going for $150 to $300 on the market now days.  BTW, I have no interest in become a fish seller.  Oh well... to each their own.  LOL

And I will be happy to post pictures of my progress.  But first thing first... I need some help!  It sucks not having friends and family one can call on when one needs help.  And I am not LDS so I am up a creek so to speak.  Thus I am resigned to the fact that I have to paying for "friends" to help.  But $300 an hour is just too darn much.  That is more than my therapist charges me for listening to all my inane problems!  BTW... it was my therapist who suggested getting an aquarium to help with stress.  LOL

Oh... I forgot to answer Krazie4Acan's question regarding aquaponics.  Some grow media will discoloring the water column and some do not.  The latest craze with coconut fiber is the biggest offender. And a lot of retail stores sell grow media bags in which coconut fiber is on of the main ingredient.  Hydroton has a propensity of discoloring the water if you do not rinse it properly to begin with.  However, it does go away after a while.  And some people use soil which of course will discolor the water column.  I plan to use lava rocks as a grow media.  Lava rocks are used in aquarium filtration as a biological filter.  If I rinse out the lava, I should not experience discoloration of the water column.  But most importantly, it is not very heavy and it is not too expensive.  I priced out hytroton and it will cost me $500 to fill up the size of grow bed that I am thinking off.  I rather use sand than to pay that much for clay pellets.  I wonder how in the world big aquaponic farms pay for such an expensive grow media. 

Keightley


Edited by keightley - May 03 2017 at 1:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2017 at 1:47pm
Goldendoodles. Ya I have a friend with one and it walks into walls and falls down the stairs. Not my idea of a fun dog although entertaining. lol

What about finding a used glass aquarium and putting a wood housing around it with doors to hide it when needed? Probably cheaper than the wood/fiberglass option and they are posted here on the forum all the time. Then with your construction background you might be able to handle the DIY part without having to take Jello salad to the neighbors.

Most of the big aquaponics places don't put the fish portion on display so they don't care about debris and tannin colored water.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jdinchak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2017 at 1:50pm
Originally posted by keightley keightley wrote:

Awwww... come now... fancy goldfish are like the happy go lucky dogs in the Thus I am resigned to the fact that I have to paying for "friends" to help.  But $300 an hour is just too darn much.  That is more than my therapist charges me for listening to all my inane problems!  BTW... it was my therapist who suggested getting an aquarium to help with stress.  LOL


Keightley


Welcome, thanks for posting, sometimes it's the aquarium that causes the stress.  You open to give salt water a try?  Once you go salt, you don't go back! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth_Tater Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2017 at 7:23pm
Originally posted by jdinchak jdinchak wrote:

Once you go salt, you don't go back!


Found that one out the hard way!  Although sometimes they cause the need for a therapist instead of the other way around...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2017 at 7:44pm
I have a goldendoodle......  it's free to anyone who wants it (and won't tell my wife).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2017 at 9:35pm
Also, I'm a fan of glass tanks with overflows. I'd have a real tough time advising someone to go plywood these days.

Second- for filtration, and freshwater tanks... I'm all about water changes.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote keightley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 08 2017 at 3:27pm
@adam... I take that goldendoodle off your hands.  My portuguese water dog could uses a playmate.

Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote keightley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 08 2017 at 3:29pm
So since I am so new, I have a question regarding the webboard in general.  If I want to hire someone to help me build this idea of an aquarium, where would I advertise on here?  In the DIY forum?  Is there a more appropriate forum where I am more likely to receive replies to my project?

Keightley
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 08 2017 at 9:54pm
Hmmm, not sure actually.  Try the DIY forum.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 09 2017 at 6:37am
DIY would be the place. Although I suspect that you will find that there aren't that many on here who have dared delve into the plywood and fiberglass world and are still here on the board to pass on their tale.

I would guess there are fewer than 10 people on this forum with any experience in what you are talking about tackling. I'm not saying that there aren't some that have tried I'm just saying it a very specialized craft and those that I know have tried are no longer in the hobby or are using their abilities for koi ponds now.
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