Over the past couple of weeks I've been working on setting up a little basement fish room, with the goal of one day breeding show quality butterfly telescopes! You might remember this previous post about the 60 gallon Laguna tub I picked up from the local fish store. Well, this week I picked up a 127 gallon tub to go along with it. Eventually I'd like to build a rack to stack some 60 gallon tubs, but for now I'm starting small; with just one 60 gallon and one 127 gallon tub. They're raised up on cinder blocks, and they each have a light fixture above them. Each light fixture holds two t8 fluorescent bulbs with a light temperature of 6,500K (to mimic daylight). The lights are set up on a timer so they come on and turn off on their own each day. I also have auto-feeders placed over each tub so the fish can have frequent small meals throughout the day without me needing to be there for every feeding.
There is a thin layer of pool filter sand in each of the tubs. I decided on sand substrate for three reasons; 1) to brighten up the dark tubs a little bit, 2) to give the goldfish a more natural environment and something to occupy themselves with, and 3) to promote healthy movement of food through their gut (according to Goldfish Garage, the sand acts as roughage when they eat some by accident). The tubs have been seeded with some media and sponge filters from my established 75 gallon tank, and they are cycling fishless right now. Hopefully I can get some nice butterflies soon! I might get a few next weekend because I'm going to the Upper Midwest Koi Show in Minneapolis, MN. Southwest Koi and Goldfish will be there with some imported goldfish for sale, and I'm hoping they'll have a few butterflies I'm interested in.
Back to the fish room details! In addition to the tubs, I also got my 55 gallon tank out of storage and cleaned it up. It was a mess... spiders and other bugs had fallen into it and made a carpet of spider webs on the inside. There was also plenty of dust and some stagnant water that got left in the tubing for the sump. Eek. I had to take all the tubing apart and scrub and bleach everything. That was quite a job. But now it's good as new! I think I will end up putting Clover, Felix, and Luca in the 55 gallon tank and reserving the 75 gallon tank for some bristol shubunkins I hope to get soon. And the tubs are, of course, reserved for some new butterfly telescopes! Even though Felix and Luca show breeding stars, I don't think I will be breeding them (at least not on purpose!). They're very pretty and they've been super healthy, but they're just not quite the quality I'm looking for in breeding stock. And poor Clover is just going to be the odd one out, since I don't plan on getting any more ryukins any time soon!
|The fish room corner after clearing it out and before setup began.|
|After hanging the lights and placing the 60 gallon.|
|The 127 gallon arrived!|
|Big tub. :P|
|Both tubs all set up.|
|60 gallon. That's pool filter sand at the bottom.|
|127 gallon. Auto-feeder at the top right.|
|The 55 gallon tank.|