The board has talked about scheduling a "fishroom or house tour" on a weekend. We'd love to hear from people who would be interested in having fishgeeks traipsing thru their fishy places.
Hopefully we'll be doing this soon
My thoughts (as a guy who has a "fishroom" that consists of 12+ tanks of 7 different sizes, mostly on standard aquarium stands, with lots of individual filters etc) - the things I'm going to be changing this year (I hope):
- More standard tank sizes - maybe six or eight 15g tanks, six 10g tanks, plus a handful of 55g tanks and my 125g
- replace tanks on stands with tanks in racks - I can fit a whole rack of 15g tanks in the space I am taking up with a 20g and a 29g tank right now
- Fewer power filters, more air-driven (sponge, box, UG) filters
- At least one rack with a drip system for small partial water changes (using drilled tanks with overflow pipes)
But this is in part because I want to start breeding more fishes, especially smaller fishes that I can breed in 15g tanks (or breed in one of the 55g tanks and raise the fry in the 15's).
If you're looking at larger fishes, you may want to plan on larger tanks.
I also want to simplify my maintenance routine and make the individual tanks more visible (I have too many "hidden" tanks that I don't look at enough).
Ideally I'd like to heat the room rather than the tanks eventually (not an option yet) and install a heat exchanger type fan system (to keep the humidity levels down by venting air out but not heat)
I already have mostly "shop light" style lighting - very few "strip lights" - and would try to eliminate the few that are left. Shop lights are economical, and the 48" T8 daylight bulbs are cheap and look good.
Right now I am running 2 Aquaclear 500 filters, one Tetra 60 filter, 2 fluval canisters, 1 Cascade Canister, one other HOB filter (I forget the brand), and at least one sponge or box filter in every tank. (plus a big trickle filter on my 125g tank). I'd like to do away with all of the HOB filters, and both Fluval filters. (the cascade is on my mudskipper tank and is staying).
Most "modern" aquarists would be amazed by the cleaning power of a simple box filter - they are great mechanical filters and pair well with sponges for biofiltration.
Depending on how many tanks I end up with, I might move to a very large diaphram air pump (or a very small blower) - I use 2 fairly big pumps and 2 small ones right now.
When it comes to fishroom equipment, I like Kensfish.com and jehmco.com . I also like the sponge filters from angelsplus.com (we're hoping to do a club group by on some of those sponge filters soon).
I also like our local friends like Skipton's, Uncle Ned's, Lovely Pets, and Tropic Isle, of course - but none of them are selling 4" cube sponge filters for $5 !
I've also personally severely limited the amount of "aquarium gravel" I use - most of my tanks have either:
a) a very thin layer of sand (either pool filter sand or coral sand depending on the fish)
b) a deep layer of pool filter sand and laterite, covered by more sand (planted tanks)
c) a commercial plant gravel like ecocomplete or flourite sand (planted tanks)
d) a thin layer of crushed coral
Other than the crushed coral, I don't vacuum any of these - I either siphon from 1" above the thin layer of sand, or leave the detritus there (planted tanks).
In fact, for most of my tanks, I pump water from the tank to the sink using a Supreme Mag 5 pump and a python unit. This allows me to quickly change water. (and rarely carry a bucket of water to the sink)
I premix my water change water in a 33 or 40g rubbermade barrel, which contains a heater and a powerhead pump. the pump is attached to about 5 feet of 5/8" tubing, which has a "u-tube" nozzle on the end. This allows me to quickly pump the water into the tank from the barrel - no lifting buckets over the tank to fill it etc. (and of course I dechlorinate and adjust temp and pH/hardness before adding the water to the tank).
Oh - I've found Tap Water Conditioner brand and Prime brand water conditioners to be good choices for me when dealing with my fishroom - the 16oz sizes treat somewhere over 9000 gallons, while a 16oz "Stress Coat" treats something like 900g -- this makes a big difference when your changing 50 - 100g per week
Its new, its improved (its still a work-in-progress)