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Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

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Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby SammyJ » Wed 27 Nov, 2013 2:57 pm

Introduction:
Hi! My name is Sam and I have been keeping reef tanks for about 12 years or so. Last November I started breeding GSM clowns - something I'd been researching for years and always wanted to try. I found the main issue I had was space for grow-out of the juveniles (as they are quite territorial). The larval and meta phases were easy by comparison, but once they were about 4-5 weeks old they would begin madly killing/eating each other. At that time, my grow-out system was a 2ft tank. So after a year of planning, I am building a purpose-built grow-out system in my backyard contained within an air conditioned (and heavily insulated!) shed. This way I can hopefully produce larger batches of GSM and Darwin clowns, and maybe try some other species down the track. I should mention that this is 99% a labour of love, and if it makes any profit that's a bonus - but not my primary focus! :thumbsup: I would love to hear any advice, equipment tips etc that folks have to offer! :clownfish:

System Objectives: A scaled-down version of a commercial hatchery set-up. Inspired by pics such as this:

Image

System Type: Fish-only Grow-out system, with biological and chemical filtration.

Display System:

Strike up Date: December 2013 - January 2014.

Shed: Colorbond Shed - 3.8m (L) X 2.2m (W) X 2.4 (H). Due for delivery 6th December! Has 2 x skylight panels (over proposed aquaculture tank sites). Rest of roof and walls will be insulated by my Dad and myself after install.

Display Tank: Duraplas 1000L Aquaculture Tank - 1 initially, but room for a second if needed. Due for delivery 16th December! Pics as below:

Image

Image

Display Lighting: Natural sunlight (skylights) + 2 x Aqualina Slimline LED 36" lights.

Stand: Comes with Tank.

Sump: Still deciding between a glass or plastic sump. Will house skimmer, live rock and other media.

Refugium: Not sure if will add a DSB or not - will grow some macro algae somewhere though...

Refugium Lighting: Natural sunlight + LED.


Support systems:

System Water: Natural salt water on start up. Planning to recycle water changes to save water as follows: Display -> grow-out -> plankton systems -> discard.

Display Water circulation: Central riser pipe type overflow.

Return Pump: Tunze Silence Pro.

Skimmer: Bubble Magus BM-NAC220-CS Cone Protein Skimmer.

Evaporation Top Up:Auto top up with RODI.

Any advice/comments are much appreciated! Looking forward to having all my aquaculture activities neatly tucked away and out of the house! :roflmao:
Last edited by SammyJ on Sat 07 Dec, 2013 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby n0rk » Wed 27 Nov, 2013 3:19 pm

Looks like a good setup, Sam :) what sort of money are you looking at for your skimmer? You could probably get a better alternative than the Skimz for similar dollars IMO.
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby SammyJ » Wed 27 Nov, 2013 3:24 pm

Hey Ben! Thanks! If I can get a decent skimmer to handle 1500-2500L for less than $700 or so I'd be happy. I run a Deltec on my display system, but not looking at spending that level of $$$ on a grow-out system! :roflmao:
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby Choppa » Fri 29 Nov, 2013 11:40 pm

SammyJ wrote:Hey Ben! Thanks! If I can get a decent skimmer to handle 1500-2500L for less than $700 or so I'd be happy. I run a Deltec on my display system, but not looking at spending that level of $$$ on a grow-out system! :roflmao:


Hi Sam

Just a thought

Have you thought about an algae scrubber instead of a skimmer for your grow out system. It will also produce heaps of pods for it too.

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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby SammyJ » Sat 30 Nov, 2013 6:10 pm

Hey Chop!

Honestly I've never used an algae scrubber before so would have to do some research on how to set one up... Is it possible to run both a skimmer and an algae scrubber (similar to a skimmer and macroalgae)? The idea of growing some pods is an attractive one too! Once I branch out into a few more fish species, I planned on building a dedicated pod culture system, so maybe I could find a way to incorporate an algae scrubber into that too? :thumbsup:
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby n0rk » Sat 30 Nov, 2013 6:34 pm

Shoot me a message on Facebook and we can have a chinwag, Sam :)
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby Choppa » Sat 30 Nov, 2013 10:09 pm

SammyJ wrote:Hey Chop!

Honestly I've never used an algae scrubber before so would have to do some research on how to set one up... Is it possible to run both a skimmer and an algae scrubber (similar to a skimmer and macroalgae)? The idea of growing some pods is an attractive one too! Once I branch out into a few more fish species, I planned on building a dedicated pod culture system, so maybe I could find a way to incorporate an algae scrubber into that too? :thumbsup:


Try this forum for all things ATS

http://algaescrubber.net/forums/

Yes you can run both skimmers and ATS at once or though you may not bother once set up (if you go down that path)

Here is a short vid of the pods I'm getting each time I clean my scrubber - not to mention the ones returning to the system
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hLQu6HE ... ata_player

Cheers and good luck with the breeding

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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby SammyJ » Sat 07 Dec, 2013 4:48 pm

Well it's been an exciting few days for this project, with the shed being delivered yesterday along with some equipment! All set for installation of the shed mid next week. :clap:

The equipment that arrived included the return pump (Tunze Silence Pro) and the skimmer - Bubble Magus BM-NAC220-CS - which I assembled today - hilarious text instructions but excellent diagram and overall quality. Very easy to put together. :thumbsup:

Also the lights for the round grow-out tank arrived - Aqualina Slimline LEDs 2 x 36" units which I intend to suspend from the roof of the shed. They look to be of great quality and are very sleek and light-weight. Best of all they run on only 7.5 watts each, which isn't too shabby at all! These are to supplement the skylights in the shed, and I should mention that the spectrum they produce is suitable for fish only. That said I thought they were quite cost-effective at about $150/unit. Hopefully should keep power consumption and heat production to a minimum. :nod:

Anyway - enough chatter from me! Here is a pic!

Image
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby n0rk » Sat 07 Dec, 2013 6:43 pm

Looking good! Not long now 'til I can harass you to buy fish I guess ;)
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby SammyJ » Sun 15 Dec, 2013 6:13 pm

Well after a long weekend of slaving away with Dad the foundation for the shed is finished! :clap: The poly tank arrives tomorrow so will sit it in place and then build the shed around it. Hopefully will be all done within the week so I can do the plumbing and start the system cycling before Christmas. :crossfingers: Because I am currently renting, we have used a sleeper frame and pavers instead of a slab (which would have been MUCH easier!). Anyway, here it is being Lab tested:

Image
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby SammyJ » Mon 16 Dec, 2013 4:18 pm

Well the poly tank got delivered today - holy hell it's huge!! Glad I am going to be building the shed around it as opposed to trying to squeeze it through the door... One things for sure - it should hold a whole lotta clown fish! :roflmao:

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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby ssscuz » Mon 16 Dec, 2013 8:30 pm

Looking good mate. How many clowns do you think u can have in the tub? Won't they still get territorial and kill each other off?
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby SammyJ » Mon 16 Dec, 2013 9:01 pm

Hey Nathan! Thanks for your comment! To be honest I'm not sure of the maximum number of juvenile clowns I could fit in here - but I suspect it will be quite a lot. The other thing I've found with previous batches is that there is a big difference in growth rate between individuals the same age. And given size is the determinant of sell point, I figure this way I can grow out multiple batches concurrently and select the largest for sale once they reach the right size. A lot of big commercial operations use this sort of system so I'm hoping it must work reasonably well! Will have to see how the experiment goes however! :crossfingers:
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby ssscuz » Tue 17 Dec, 2013 9:40 am

Yeah you can only try. I'm sure u will find out the exact age when they start to kill each other off pretty quick.
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby tremble » Tue 17 Dec, 2013 10:38 am

Following this one, really interested to see how the build progresses!
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby SammyJ » Mon 23 Dec, 2013 6:18 pm

Well the shed went up today! :clap: Just in time for Christmas! To think I thought I'd have the whole system up and running by Christmas... :roflmao: Oh well - one more contractor-dependent step left (air conditioning fitting) and the rest is up to me so should go a little faster! :pirate: Got a roll of Air-cell Insulbreak 65 insulation sitting here - planning to liquid nails it to the walls/roof as I don't own a drill - wish me luck! :crossfingers:

Anyhow - here are some pics of the shed:

Image
Image
Last edited by SammyJ on Fri 03 Jan, 2014 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby Mr Miagi » Mon 23 Dec, 2013 6:54 pm

:clap: Looking good! Cant wait to see how it comes along!
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby Htu08 » Mon 23 Dec, 2013 8:21 pm

SammyJ wrote: planning to liquid nails it to the walls/roof as I don't own a drill - wish me luck! ]


Just a thought, buying a cheapy drill wouldn't be too expensive! Like $50! You're already investing tons of $ and time and effort into this huge project, so make sure you are happy with the results before you get it wet! It's always so annoying to go back and change things! And speaking as someone who skimps on things, its so annoying and costly to go back and fix stuff! :(

But in saying that, amazing build so far! Kinda inspiring! (I say kinda, because I am wayyyyy too lazy to even try a smaller breedign set up)!

Best of luck :)
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby Htu08 » Mon 23 Dec, 2013 8:22 pm

Also, can you also breed us some Red Line Cleaners, the price for them is ridoncolous! :P

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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby damer » Tue 24 Dec, 2013 8:25 am

Looking good.

How are you planning to separate the juvies within the tub?
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby SammyJ » Tue 24 Dec, 2013 10:14 am

Thanks for the comments guys!

Well I haven't really used a drill much before so not super confident I will be able to do a neat job... Also there aren't that many cross-frame places I can drill to, whereas I can glue it to the actual wall if needed. I bought construction grade liquid nails and the guy at Bunnings seemed to think it would be fine... That said - I'll know soon enough if it works! :crossfingers:

Htu08 wrote:
Also, can you also breed us some Red Line Cleaners, the price for them is ridoncolous! :P

I'll work on this, but given my complete lack of experience in raising shrimp, it could take a while! :roflmao:

damer wrote:
How are you planning to separate the juvies within the tub?

Well hopefully my plan is not to! I chose this type of grow-out system over a series of smaller "batch-style" tanks to hopefully provide a larger volume of water that will encourage rapid growth, with so many fish that it is harder for single fish to be targeted. Also it will mean the biggest fish are chosen for sale when ready (regardless of age) thus opening up more space to add smaller ones. Currently my clowns spend 4-6 weeks in the original larval tank, which is adaptable (i.e. I add different levels of filtration as the weeks progress), then they are moved onto a larger tank, which in the past has been a standard 2ft glass tank. Now my plan is to transition them straight to the big tub. Depending on how this goes, I might need to add a stage between this if they don't cope with the larger space straight away. I find that by 3 weeks the babies have figured out that human hand = food! So they should be easy enough to feed in a larger volume... hopefully... we will see! :clownfish:
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby damer » Tue 24 Dec, 2013 12:50 pm

Mmmm,ok.

Can I suggest making up some "nets" using pvc pipe and fittings to make a cube or rectangle sized "tank". Using various fitting you can make hooks to go over the tub and use mesh such as a thin shade cloth to enclose it. These will allow you to keep them separate. As they grow you can then move them up into the appropriate basket checking each one for deformities such as fill flare etc.
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby cody.sheridan-2008 » Thu 02 Jan, 2014 2:06 pm

Looks cool! How's it coming?
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby SammyJ » Fri 03 Jan, 2014 8:11 pm

Hi Cody! I got about half the insulation up on Thursday and the air conditioner is installed ready to go! :clap: Hoping to get the other half done tomorrow, though I might die in the heat... :roflmao: I guess I could just turn on the air conditioner for a bit as the fumes from the glue weren't as bad as I was expecting. Also problem solving the plumbing at the moment - the tub has a 100mm drainage fitting which we need to convert to a usable diameter. Got a second hand sump which has passed the leak test, so pretty much ready to plumb it and add water! Will post some more pics tomorrow arvo if I finish the insulating and it looks half respectable! :clownfish:
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby jayellul » Thu 06 Feb, 2014 7:31 pm

Tagging along, looks like a great project. More pics!
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Air Conditioned Shed! New Pics!

Postby SammyJ » Sat 22 Feb, 2014 4:35 pm

Well it's been a while I know but I finally have some new pics! Finished the insulation and the shed is operational... well the larval tanks and rotifers are in there anyway... :roflmao: Everything has been moved into place, just need to finish the plumbing on the big tub system :devil: The only thing I will be adding is a bank of breeder tanks where the buckets (and other assorted mess) against the right side wall. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel - it's almost done! :clap:
View through the doorway:
Image
Left side - rotifer culture buckets etc
Image
Eventually there will be 4 x breeder tanks with their own sump where the buckets are :-) Just waiting for my stand/shelving to arrive!
Image
The tank you can see on the bench in the middle will be a grow-out system for these guys, given my pair of Banggai cardinals have decided it's time to jump on the breeding band wagon! :roflmao:
Image

Anyhow thanks for looking! I can't wait for the big tub to be operational - this truly is an addictive hobby! :cheers:
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby cody.sheridan-2008 » Sat 22 Feb, 2014 4:39 pm

Coming along well mate! Thanks for the update!
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby NewyReefer » Sat 22 Feb, 2014 5:02 pm

Wow :withyou: looking great
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby lorby » Fri 28 Feb, 2014 9:43 am

Very impressive!!! Good work :D
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby Thommo01 » Fri 28 Feb, 2014 10:08 am

Looks like a great set up. Make sure you keep us all updated.
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