Sooner or later almost everyone who gets involved with either angelfish
or discus fish wants to expand into a small to moderate size hatchery.
Some think they can make money breeding and selling these fish to the
local fish store or aquarium shop.
STOP RIGHT HERE AND FORGET
If that is your motivation you need not waste your time or any funds
on such a project! ( Because it's not going to happen. ) Another false
hope is that you will be able to sell your fish to other hobbyist's at a
(That's not going to happen either!)
Now that were dealing in reality we can go on to setting up a nice
fish room to breed and develop the fish we all have come to love.
Sometimes when you're real lucky you can sell enough fish to almost
break even on expenses, if you count your labour as free in the
operation. Breeding discus and angels should only be done for the love
of doing it. Not for gain.
I have seen just about every kind of tank and fish breeding
arrangement the twisted human mind can think up over the past fifty
years. Some are very neat well planned and developed. Others are totally
haphazard and random. It ranges from fish tanks all over the house to a
dedicated fish room or a combination of all the above.
When starting out on such a project there are a lot of things that
need to be taken into consideration. I can only point out the highlights
and basic requirements since every physical location is going to be
different. The space you might have will also play a very important part
in your hatchery development.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
- How much space do you have in square feet?
- The location of your water supply in consideration of how it will
need to be used.
- The method of getting rid of your waste or dumped water.
- Holding and storage of treated water supplies if needed.( Most
people require this )
- What is the total aim of the fish room development or perhaps best
described as what is the intended ( scope of the project. )
- How do you plan to transport your water to and away from the
tanks? What kind of filter system will you want to build in to the
fish room. ( This subject alone needs lots of planning.) Will you
want central filters? And if so how many, how may tanks per single
central filter cell?
- Will your breeder tanks operate on individual filters or centrals?
- What size grow-out- tanks do you plan to use?
- How many? What is the best physical location for all the above.
So you can see from the above, building a fish room is a little more
involved then just adding a few tanks if you plan to do a
Semi-professional job. Just remember; the smaller the area you have, the
more details of planning are required.
Physical Tank Layouts
I have found that breeding tanks work best if they are placed with
the bottom of the tank at your eye level. In this way the fish can look
downward toward any movement and are not as easily frightened by human
movement when working the fish room. The placement of grow-out tanks
generally is of secondary importance since you can fit them in lower in
the order of tanks in the fish room. If you plan to have very large show
tanks ( 100 gallons & up ) these should be centrally located in the
room or space you have. Also you should have enough clearance room
between rows to allow easy movement for yourself as you work the tanks.
I know it is tempting to crowd the working room, but this really makes
the management of the fish room a very uncomfortable affair, and if you
short yourself on working space you will regret it later.
If you have the space, full face viewing of tanks is nice, but if
your space is limited ( most of us face that problem ) then you might
consider aligning the tanks so that only the narrow end shows to be
In my hatchery all my twenty gallon breeder tanks are aligned butt
end out. This allows many more tanks to be place in the same space that
only a few full face would allow.
Also I paint the surface of the sides and the back butt end so that
the pairs can not see each other. I simply use water based yellow or
blue paint for this and as any need arises the paint can be easily
removed with a razor blade and hot water.
Next if you have the space for a work table in the fish room, this
makes a great addition to the project. I have always provided for a work
area large enough near a built-in sink so that daily chores can be done
with the easy use of running water from the sink. If you can pipe in hot
water so much the better. It makes your work a lot easier and faster.
One other thing since space is limited in most cases, a larger work
table close to but not in the fish room is desirable as well. This area
can be used for cutting glass and building or repairing broken tanks.
There always seems to be tanks that need repair or re-sealing around a
It goes without saying that if you plan to use central filters tank
drilling will be required. This is quite easy to do with the right
tools, but can be a disaster with out them. I have always found it
cheaper in the long run to take the tanks to a glass shop and have them
drilled as needed or order them pre-drilled at the time of purchase.
Next Subject P.V.C- Pipes And
I have found that using thin wall or schedule 20 pvc works quite well
for most fish room applications: ( water return lines from filters ) or
other low pressure plumbing. If you are using pvc on the tap water line
by all means use schedule 40 or thick wall pipe. I have used a wide
range of sizes to meet different needs, but found that the use of 3/4
inch works better in most cases. P.V.C is cheap and easy to use. There
are all kinds of special and common fittings that can be used to hook up
just about anything you can think up.
The only thing I found expensive was the plastic ball valves needed
by the double hand full it seems. These are not cheap but work best for
fish room applications.
Always use a cleaner compound before using the pvc cement. If you
don't you will experience failures at the worst possible time.
I am sure there are many other factors that should be considered in
building a fish room. But let me state just two others.
Room Heating And Humidity.
The type of heat you use will also have to be considered. Gas room
heat is best. It is easier to install and maintain. It offers uniform
heat with simple heat control thermostats. It also provides clean heat.
Oil burning heat works almost as well but will cause a slight oil
coating to be deposited on the waters surface in your tanks.
The major factor is the room Humidity that will result in any fish
room. If this is not controlled you will find yourself fighting dry rot
in the building wood work sooner or later. Plus a condition of molding
can and will occur between the sheet rock and the outside wall. This
also will be costly to repair.
I recommend a heat exchanger for the fish room to be used at all
times. This allows humid air to be expelled yet retains the heat. It
also allows a slight room pressure to build that will keep outside air
form entering the room and carrying in dust and unwanted particles,
Last but not least plan your lighting in such a way that outside
direct sunlight does not enter the fish room if it falls on fish tanks