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Old 03-24-2007, 09:43 AM
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Default building frog room hints? (Updated 6-23)

So my perfect wife says to me today...
"Why dont you build yourself a frogroom?"
(I fell in love with her all over again at that moment.)
So i am extending an addition out into the garage accessing from the family room. it can only be 9' x 9' with the space i have.
I am looking for input, ideas, tips, hints that you all have learned from in your own rooms. Basic do's and dont's are welcomed, i have an idea of what i wanna do but would like ideas that i havent thought of or ideas that i might regret doing. Metal or wood shelving?, mist systems?
heating and cooling? any should's or shouldn't haves are welcome.
creativity in design or decor? throw it all at me !!!
Yiiipppeeee...
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Old 03-24-2007, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
So my perfect wife says to me today...
"Why dont you build yourself a frogroom?"
(I fell in love with her all over again at that moment.)
You gotta be the DUMBEST guy out there porkchop! :shock:
She's setting you up for something big! Bigger than just a day shopping at the mall on a Saturday, I'm talking BIG!!!

You better watch yourself. I'd consider not sleeping at nights either. You never know. :twisted:

All right, I'm jealous. :cry:

How about a construction journal while you're building it so the rest of us can drule over it?

Lucky Dog!
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Old 03-24-2007, 04:15 PM
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A couple things to consider in the room are no windows, air flow and setup design. Windows really take up alot of room in a small frog room. I would also add a ceiling fan to help with air circulation. The biggest of them all is how to build shelves to maximize the space. I would suggest building shelves out of 2x4s and keeping all verts on one wall all stanard horizontals on another. Make sure you have room to expend if you need to. Having a sink in the room would also help out a great deal. To wrap it up make sure with a room that small you maximize the space, especially height wise.
Jason
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Old 03-24-2007, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason DeSantis
A couple things to consider in the room are no windows, air flow and setup design. Windows really take up alot of room in a small frog room.
Jason
If I had the option (of building a frogroom from scratch), I'd really like to use some of those skylight tubes, whatever they call them for light in the frogroom. I'd bet by the time the light bounced around in them and got in the frogroom it would be diffuse enought that it wouldn't fry the tanks like sunlight directly through a window. They wouldn't waste any wallspace either.
A sink would definatly be a plus.
Also, I think it would be great to put electric outlets in the walls around every 4 ft, (maybee even closer?)...doing so, you could also hard wire a a timer to those outlets, so you don't have the clutter of power strips, and timers that take up a whole plug in plate.

When you build the racks, I suggest either have them go right to the floor (so escapee frogs cannot get underneath) or have the bottom shelf up off the floor high enough so you can easily reach/catch underneath it.

Last but not least, plenty of insulation, heat and AC...when you size you're AC, remember that you are not only fighting the heat from outside, but also all the heat from the lighting of the tanks, etc.

Also, to keep the elec bill down, if you could make a way to ventilate the room thermostaticly, you'd be doing you'reself a favor...most of us that have been doing this a while find ourselves at one time or another running the ac when some simple ventilation will do, just because the AC will not let in rain or burglers, and one cannot be in the frogroom 24/365
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Old 03-24-2007, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancing frogs
When you build the racks, I suggest either have them go right to the floor (so escapee frogs cannot get underneath) or have the bottom shelf up off the floor high enough so you can easily reach/catch underneath it.
A fine detail worth its weight in gold.
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Old 03-24-2007, 10:54 PM
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[quote=Dancing frogs]
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Jason DeSantis":ryb0tw8l
A couple things to consider in the room are no windows, air flow and setup design. Windows really take up alot of room in a small frog room.
Jason
If I had the option (of building a frogroom from scratch), I'd really like to use some of those skylight tubes, whatever they call them for light in the frogroom. I'd bet by the time the light bounced around in them and got in the frogroom it would be diffuse enought that it wouldn't fry the tanks like sunlight directly through a window. They wouldn't waste any wallspace either.
A sink would definatly be a plus.
Also, I think it would be great to put electric outlets in the walls around every 4 ft, (maybee even closer?)...doing so, you could also hard wire a a timer to those outlets, so you don't have the clutter of power strips, and timers that take up a whole plug in plate.

When you build the racks, I suggest either have them go right to the floor (so escapee frogs cannot get underneath) or have the bottom shelf up off the floor high enough so you can easily reach/catch underneath it.

Last but not least, plenty of insulation, heat and AC...when you size you're AC, remember that you are not only fighting the heat from outside, but also all the heat from the lighting of the tanks, etc.

Also, to keep the elec bill down, if you could make a way to ventilate the room thermostaticly, you'd be doing you'reself a favor...most of us that have been doing this a while find ourselves at one time or another running the ac when some simple ventilation will do, just because the AC will not let in rain or burglers, and one cannot be in the frogroom 24/365[/quote:ryb0tw8l]

I agree, think of receptacle spacing and lighting also. You can even add switched receptacles at every level of the racks for lighting and then just add a switch style timer. A nice floor drain would also come in very handy. By the way those sun lights are garbage. I am installing some in a house right now and they are cheap, ugly and expensive . If you do anything, add a sky light.
Jason
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Old 03-24-2007, 11:27 PM
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Funny you bring this up as I am on my way to finish in the duct work to the new frog room...We are almost into the new house (Have to build a fence for the dogs before moving in), however the frogs have been there for about 2 weeks as they were the thing I was most scared to move! WAY too much glass!!

Anyway, the room. We are using standard 2x4's, R13 insulation (The room is in the basement without any of the walls being exposed to the outside), have outlets every 3 to 4 feet, and haven't decided on a ceiling fan or not. Honestly I like the gradient, as we put all of our thumbs up top where it is the warmest, and the Phyllo's on the bottom!! Also trying to fabricate a FF closet under the stair well where it is wasted space. I will try and snap some pics while I am over there!

We have used the stainless steel racks from Sam's Club for years, and love them, the bottom shelf is high enough to slide a rubbermaid underneath so you can drain the tanks easily, and they are on casters, so they move fairly easily as well!!

If you can dream it and can afford it, DO IT!! Good luck!

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Old 03-25-2007, 12:18 AM
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Wow everyone, great advice so far,
I will throw out my rough sketch for every one to throw thoughts at...
Obviously insulate well,
Upper vent to exterior, not sure i need fan for it or not?
Want to run outlets every 4', one circuit on timer for lighting,
one circuit hot for pumps and anything else that needs constant power.
3 can lights in ceiling for blacklight/ moonlights on timer for whole room.
Regular switched ceiling light for room.
Regulate small air conditioner for hot summer days with thermostat.
will i need a heater on thernmostat with all the lighting?
Shelving will most likely me metal with particle board shelves,( i can get cheap through surplus at work) i plan to keep bottom shelves up for shoebox area and storage.
4'shoplighting under tank shelves.
Misting system ideas welcome, or websites for parts. (have pumps)
I see the + in a sink basin, concerned about space, plumbing and drain dont seem to be a problem, i will need room for my computer desk also,
so that would leave me about 2 1/2 walls for racks.(remember 9'x 9')
I am not set up for breeder tanks, all my tanks are more for viewing.
and some different sizes, so space is limited, especially if i wanna expand.
I dont really want to change up all the tanks so they fit to minimize space.
considering i keep several groups and only limited pairs.
Feel free to pic my ideas apart or enlighten me on problems that could arise that i dont see.
thanks so far everyone, keep em coming...
Oh, and Mike i like the idea of phyllos below for temp reasons, never thought of that.
And jason, are you saying put electric fan vent on thermostat to keep temps down?
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Old 03-25-2007, 12:23 AM
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Don’t forget to leave yourself room for a work table, even if it is just one of your shelves. I haven’t built a table into my new frog room yet and I definitely miss the one I have in my basement.
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Old 03-25-2007, 12:33 AM
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Ahhh... yes grassypeak , that is in the plan.
always need something like that.
thank you.
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Old 03-25-2007, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rozdaboff
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancing frogs
When you build the racks, I suggest either have them go right to the floor (so escapee frogs cannot get underneath) or have the bottom shelf up off the floor high enough so you can easily reach/catch underneath it.
A fine detail worth its weight in gold.
Or at least worth it's weight in frogs...wait...which is more valuble now days?
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Old 03-25-2007, 02:51 AM
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PC,

You can't have too many electrical outlets. I'd run at least 2 20amp circuits. Be safe and use 20 amp GFCI protection.

btw/ Does she have a sister? Just kidding. I get run thru the mill just for sneaking in a 10 Gallon, But a room yours is the best!

Best of luck
Hector
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Old 03-25-2007, 04:12 AM
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Technically the 2006 code requires arc fault protectors on bedroom circuits. You may want to check with your local building department on that. Local government supersedes the national electric code. Sorry, im an electrician and I just had to mention that.
Jason
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Old 03-25-2007, 05:05 AM
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You would be amazed at how much difference 4 to 5' in height make in a temp variance!!

I don't know if you have seen these or not, but here is one level of our rack. I build these myself (After having the plexi on a vert 10 warp seemingly overnight and losing 3 of 4 intermedius about 3 years ago)! The thing I like is it is really hard to accidentally leave them open. They all have valves and are a cinch to drain. I also have 2 holes drilled in each top to accomodate Mist King nozzles, however haven't gone down that road yet!! 3 fit per level, 3 levels per rack (9 total)!! 4' fixtures, fit GREAT!!



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Old 03-25-2007, 05:09 AM
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Ohhhhhhhhh…. Nice…………. Got drawings?
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Instead of keeping more species, why not do more with the species you keep?
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:21 AM
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wow, nice mike, where are the drain holes?
any venting in those?
how about rough dimensions?
Nice design
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:39 AM
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Ya, hector, thats exactly what i was thinking, 2 20amp circuits.
didnt think GFI, but will consider it. and she doesnt have a sister, but she's laughin bout your reply!

Jason, the friend who is helping me with the design is on city council here,
he asked me if i was permitting it, i said no but wanna do everything to code, so hopefully he can help me with finding out some technical issues in that regard. Also, I might wanna pic your brain on some issues concerning electrical down the road here, if thats alright?
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Old 03-25-2007, 12:29 PM
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The rough dimensions are 17W X 15.5D X 15H! The drain holes are about 7" from the front and centered because of where the bar is on the rack. Living in CO the only tanks we use ventilation in are D. Pumilio! Here is a little better of a detailed pic!! I will try and get you some better ones soon, as well as frog room pics! MOVING SUCKS!! LOL



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Old 03-25-2007, 03:54 PM
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Mike, Looks like you put silicone all around the top edge. Is that for improved fruit fly proofing?
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Old 03-25-2007, 04:07 PM
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maybe so its not glass to glass?
and how is it done without sticking to surface your making flush with?
I have seen plumbers lay down a bead of silicone around tub and then spray heavily with windex, then sloppily wipe it all away. anywhere the windex is the silicone didnt stick, so the original bead laid down is only area of silicone.
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Old 03-25-2007, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchop
Ya, hector, thats exactly what i was thinking, 2 20amp circuits.
didnt think GFI, but will consider it. and she doesnt have a sister, but she's laughin bout your reply!

Jason, the friend who is helping me with the design is on city council here,
he asked me if i was permitting it, i said no but wanna do everything to code, so hopefully he can help me with finding out some technical issues in that regard. Also, I might wanna pic your brain on some issues concerning electrical down the road here, if thats alright?
Not a problem. I have to warn you that once you start pickin you may find things you dont want to find :shock:
Jason
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Old 03-25-2007, 05:25 PM
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Hahahahaha, i can relate....
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Old 03-25-2007, 11:30 PM
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It is to seal any gaps, to help with condensation and fruit flies!!

Wax paper works wonders!!

Mike
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Old 03-26-2007, 12:46 AM
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A little over 48hrs since her suggestion...
In progress Before she changes her mind...




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Old 03-27-2007, 02:30 PM
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Is that black stuff mold on your insulation? I cant tell from this far back. Also dont you have any vapour barrier over the insulation?... Just FYI
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:21 AM
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No its not...
i thought the same thing at first, but it seems to be just discoloration or like a stain of sorts, everything was real dry and its just a surface discolor.
and your right, the vapor barrier is not there, shows you what cheezy job they did building my house, i will have to replace it. Arrgghh...
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Electrical

Quote:
Originally Posted by DPD4230
PC,

You can't have too many electrical outlets. I'd run at least 2 20amp circuits. Be safe and use 20 amp GFCI protection.

btw/ Does she have a sister? Just kidding. I get run thru the mill just for sneaking in a 10 Gallon, But a room yours is the best!

Best of luck
Hector
I'd go one better and do a true load calculation (or at least a good estimate). How many lights are you going to run (maximum), and what kind of wattage? You may find that 2 20A circuits will be sufficient, or woefully insufficient. Better to figure that out while your walls are open. Overestimate a bit.

I'm regretting a bit that I didn't put a few more circuits into the room I'm building in the basement. Of course I started it three years ago and wasn't planning on putting frogs in there at the time, but still...
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:03 AM
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Hey Mike,
I also notice that you don't use egg crate for a false bottom in those tanks. It looks like you only have the lecca balls. Is that right? Is there seperation (screen) between that and the substrate?
I like those tanks. I have seen them in person and the design is perfect. The way the lids lift, it is very easy to access the inside of the tank.

I just finished my new frog room.

Most of the tanks used to be upstairs in the living room (I'm single!!!) When my brother moved out of the basement (Duplex) I now had the entire house to myself and decided to put all the frogs in one of the downstairs bedrooms (11' x 13'). So I got a friend (I hope he is still my friend!!) to help me move the tanks into the basement. Moving the 55 gallon and the 60 gallon was a bit$%!!!

As you come into the room, immediately to the left ......



The shelves on the left are for the tadpoles. The 60 gallon tank has 4 Auratus, and the 30 gallon Oceanic cube on the right is the new home of my male and female Bastimentos.


Straight ahead from the entry door is the frog rack. These are commercial racks that I got from work for nothing. I just had to buy wood for the shelves. They are 3' wide and 8' long. They are plenty wide to have a row of tanks in the front and another row of tanks in the back. The shelves are out away from the back wall with room to walk behind. In the future, I plan on building breeder tanks just like Mike's for the back side of the shelves. My show tanks will remain in the front.....



The tanks are only on the middle shelf right now. The top shelf is storage and RO water. The bottom shelf is construction material for furure tanks.

The frogs are: On the left are a couple of Sterilite containers, one with a male Imitator and the other one is a single French Guiana Dwarf Cobalt (more coming in the next 3 months). The next is an upright with 2 female Bastis (wanting more males) and next upright (in the center) are my male and female Imitators. They have laid no less than 50 eggs so far and none have been fertile. So I switched males yesterday so I will see what happens now. The tank on the far right is a group of 5 Vittatus. No calling yet that I have heard.

And this is what the back side looks like. Hard to get back there to take a good pic, there is only 2 feet between the wall and the shelf.



Now to the right of the door is my 55 gallon split tank with 3 Azureus on the right and 2 Patricias on the left. The Axureus are 2 females and one male. They are laying eggs like mad. I have lots of eggs in various stages and a few tads going. The Patricias are 2 females (looking for a male)

To the left of that tank is my Vent tank with 4 ventrimaculatus. I have not heard any calling from this tank either. Now of course, I am an old fart with not the best hearing so they could be making a hell of a racket and I probably would not hear them.



Also in the above pic you will see the floor model portable heater. Just above the large tank you can also see a vent pipe. This is a pipe that leads to the greenhouse that is on the outside of that wall. I installed a thermostatically controlled vent fan that blows the hot air from the greenhouse into the frog room. I just put that in this past weekend and today was the first full day of sunshine we got here in CO since putting it in, so my frog room got a little too hot with the door closed. So I had to open the door at lunch time. The temp was 84. I need to figure out a way to put in another thermostatically controlled fan that will suck OUT the air when it gets too warm.

And the last pic is of the wall where the door is. The tank between the closet door and the main door is my Leuc tank with 5 inhabitants. They were laying eggs like mad too, until they got moved into the basement and they have stopped.



So that is the beginnings of mine. I am sure that in the years to come you won't see and inch of wall space left!!!
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:37 AM
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Nice steve, project always in the works.
Can i ask what vent fan and thermostat you put in?
and where did you find? how much $ am i lookin at?

And yes Rob, i have 2 existing circuits in it already, i will be adding 1 or 2 more depending on how everything works out, thanks for that insight...

So heres my update so far...
Oh, it grew a little too, now 9'6" x 11"
I got a couple more feet out of her...
And plumbing stubbed in for slop sink.







Flooring goes on today, firring out ext. wall to 6", and moving existing electrical.
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:57 PM
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Hey porkchop,

That is coming along very nicely. I wish I had the oportunity to start from scratch like that. Insulation is the way to go!!

The duct work that I used is 6" round, just like you would use with a dryer. The fan is also 6" round and is special for that type duct work. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the website where I ordered it from. The thermostat is this one.....



If you do an internet search for the namebrand (Suncourt Ductstat) you are sure to find it. The whole thing cost me less than $50.
I now have it turned off for the season. The little space heater will keep it warm. I will turn the other heater back on in October.
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Old 04-04-2007, 07:22 AM
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Thanks steve, i will definately look into that.
As you can see progress is slow, ran into a glitch with the venting being in the way for the door,(3rd pic). So i had to create a hallway and will move the interior garage door out 4ft. Added a landing where I will access room from this tiny niche hall. should be close to being done with framing walls by weekend.
Getting things lined up electrically right now so it should go a bit faster once walls are up.


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Old 04-15-2007, 08:31 AM
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Default Update 4-14-07

Electrician was out today roughing it all in....

Venthilation is a really quiet bath fan on thermostat, vents outside.
(Will box in venting w/ sheetrock)


Looks Messy, but 4 circuits in one room is, I guess.



Sink still goin in this corner, below pic...
Air conditioner goin in upper left wall.



Cadet forced air heater goin in framed box in lower part of wall,below pic


need to tidy up wiring a bit, 4 circuits are...
1.Cooling and heating on 20amp - they shouldnt ever be on at same time.
2. Track lights in ceiling with blacklites and tank lites on circuit timer w/ 20amp. (GFI'D)
(daylites go off , nite lights go on automatically & vise versa)
3. 2 Room lights and 8 hot plugs on 15 amp
4. Venthilation fan and Garage freezer and fridge on 15 amp.
oh, and Can-light in nich hallway on family room switch.
will be cased opening where door is now and move garage door out 4'.
Finish framing hall area tomorrow and start sheetrock and insulation this week. then move door out.
Ohhhh Boy..., Some Day...
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Old 04-16-2007, 07:28 PM
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Coming along nicely...I'm jealous ops: !

What are you using for the thermostat on the ventilation fan?
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Old 04-16-2007, 09:50 PM
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Looks good so far!

Sure hope you aint planning on leaving this house anytime soon :wink:

You have a "master plan" layout of the tanks drawn up?

Shawn
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Old 04-18-2007, 09:21 AM
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Brian, as far as the thermostat goes, i talked to the HVAC guy at work, and he said to just use an inline thermostat, a simple one like everyone had in the 70s.
I wired it at 4' high, i will have to play with it a bit to dial it in.
Gonna keep it simple, I hope..., i have not purchased it yet, so if you have any better thought i am open to them...

Shawn, hehehe... No we are not leaving anytime soon, but would give it a hobbie room title if we did sell.
One calculation on that note, was adding one J box on each wall for some 6' power strips that are on the circuit timer, instead of a bunch of extra outlets at 4' high.
As far as the master plan of tank layout, I ended up beating my head on the wall alot trying to lay it out properly. (with no real success i might add)
I know that 3 walls will have racks, and the other wall with the heater and door will be the computer desk. Thats where the cable, phone and speaker wire connections are, will be mounting bookshelf speakers on back wall to play Darren Meyers "Sounds of PDFs" for them and give it a bit of Ambience, and maybe a little Barry White.
All my tanks are various sizes so racks are difficult layout, tank wise.
Have a corner 45g. at end of desk, then racks on remaining walls plus the slop sink with room to use it.
So that puts me with 4' racks on 3 walls.
I have researched a bit on Adjustable racks with no final decision...
So if anyone has experience with what are the perfect rack, please post it with some pics and price, i would apprecite any help in that area.
And we all know what a perfect rack is... But im talking for tank use !!!!

Framing is done, door is moved out and all ready for sheetrock, will update again soon. Thanks for evryones input too.


View from garage looking at door, it came out square and nicely plumb...WooHoo...
Had to build wall and fire tape it before sliding in against furnace.

View from inside room toward hall and fam. room.

New cann light in hall switched to family room lights.
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Old 04-18-2007, 09:46 AM
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Just realized, i dont have much room for a work area...
Clik on pic for larger and readable display.
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:27 AM
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Will a small 'kitchen island' fit in the center as workspace?

Some come on wheels so you can slide them around.

S
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:45 AM
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tony i like shawn's idea with the island in the middle it ould make for a great work station! also with a stainless steel top it would make clean up and sterilization super easy this one i like
http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/naviga ... pCatg=6624
also if the room is 9'x9' you should do 2 8'racks on each wall and deask on oposite wall i like kyle1745 rack it holds maximum tanks for the size
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Old 04-18-2007, 01:08 PM
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oooh, i like that idea, Island cart... Perfect.
think it will have to be smaller than the 5' Sams club one though.
thanks guys.
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Old 04-18-2007, 02:37 PM
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If you must have adjustable, which I'm glad I do, then I think Sam's 6 shelf, 48"x 18" wire racks are the best value. The only caveat is that their effective shelf width, is about 45" inside the poles. It can be hard to find combinations of standard sized tanks that use all the shelf space. I'm using two combinations that max out the width and depth of the shelf.

One combination, two 20H verts and a 33gal oceanic cube in the middle, with some help can just bearly squeeze on a shelf. The 33gal Oceanics are harder to come by these days. I think they changed to a 30gal which is a little different. Not sure how the 30g would work.

The other combo is 20H verts and a 18x18x24 ExoTerra cube in the middle. I use the Exo on the upper shelf because it's front opening and not as heavy as the beastly Oceanic. The ExoTerra is the same depth, not quite as wide, and fits easier on the shelf.

I can also put three 20H verts on a shelf and the left over space is perfect for a stack of plastic sterite(sp?) tad boxes.

There are other metro wire shelving sizes that might work better, but you'll pay more then at Sam's.

I really like the 2"x4" doug fir construction if you can live without adjustable shelves.

EricG.NH

P.S. Don't forget to save some space for feeders
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