Neil’s in wall 180 with basement fishroom

neilp2006

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Hi Guys

[changed title from Fishroom Reality Check after moved to Members Tanks]


I have an unfinished basement, and i was planning on taking one corner to build a 11x 8 fishroom to contain a 185 gallon sump system (2 x 29g + 125) to support an in wall 180g DT. For perspective- its a new to us home, needs other work, have a 2 year old and one on the way in august, so not a huge amount of free time. We decided to get a contractor to look at it and give us a quote, but we took a hit with a new boiler and fence and had to cut the budget- I need opinions on what i could potentially drop from the build to bring costs in line. Right now, hes coming in about $1000 more than we'd really like. Considering electrical and floors arent included, we'd like to find the savings so we can do those too.

The FloorPlan

fishroom 3d.jpg



Fishroom design specs.jpg



The Space

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The 2x 4 on the ground mark the new walls. The window with the black glass square will be covered from the inside but look intact from outside (HOA mandated). Id rather cover it for the insulation ability and the fact I dont want extra sunlight in the refugium/ sump. Thoughts on keeping/ losing the window? bare in mind im not hanging out here, just maintenance.

Plan is to do 2x4 walls, full R13 insulation in the walls. 1/2 inch XPS foam along the cinder block walls. 8 feet total height (7 feet 71/2 inches inside height- works for me) to give 18 inches space up top for small tote storage (id be losing storage space to build the room) and to run my plumbing over and set the fan on top. Outside walls will be drywall, inside walls will be 15/32" plywood sheathing painted with latex paint and seams sealed with silicone. I picked plywood for walls to allow me to run pipe hangers and shelves anywhere, and not have to worry about finding a stud.

Door to the room is a 22" door we have already from our reno. Quote included hanging this door in a specified position.

Environmental info-

Since we moved in in October, the basement hasnt dropped below 68oF. Thats including a winter in suburbs atlanta were we got 3 feet snow for a month and the ground froze. Its just hitting the mid 80's outside temp and the basement right this second is 68.5oF. No moisture penetration on floor or any of the walls. I painted the cinder block with 2 gallons of drylok paint to cover a bad attempt by the PO, and before i figured out to use this are for fishroom.

I had intended to run 1/2 inch XPS against the cinder block, and R13 in the walls for insulation. Given these environmental parameters for this room, is this overkill? Im in two minds- save $350-400 on insulation, which doesnt drop the price of the build down *that much, really*, or insulate and be happier that my heating costs are lower. But will they be, if i vent to outside anyway? im losing heat there, too.

Regardless, I think im also going to cover the sump glass with 2" xps anyway, to contain heat in the water, and do acrylic covers.

Thoughts

Having just written this out, i dont see anywhere i can cut to make it cost less. Materials cost is the cost- i might be able to cut the budget on labor, by doing some of it myself. Have the contractors do framing and hang the ceiling drywall, and tape and mud the outside walls (two person jobs and those requiring good finishing- i suck at drywall mud) but i hang the inside panels, seam, paint and hang the external drywall. Run ventilation and limited electrical myself.


Stuff not included in quote-


Ventilation will be an inline 6" fan venting to the outside (soffit space above window). Make up air will come in through an in wall chase to a vent near the floor- pulling air from the first floor. Actually running a 6" duct alongside my plumbing makes it easy. Not included in quote.

1 15 amp circuit in the wall to power a few receptacles, lights and the fan. 3 other 15 amp circuits will be in conduit on the walls acting as big 'extension cords' for the apex EB8's x 3. Electrical isnt in the quote, just giving you an idea. FIL is a licensed sparky.

Floor- self level compound to 1", then 2-part epoxy on floor. Not included in quote.

Stands- cinderblock, unistrut and plywood stands for the various tanks. Not included in quote.

Any opinions, thoughts, advice for trying to limit the budget? I think I need all the insulation I can squeeze in, but I may be wrong given how stable the basement is.


Thanks Guys!!

IMG_5614.JPG


IMG_5610.JPG


IMG_5611.JPG


fishroom 3d.jpg


fishroom layout.jpg
 
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Matthias7

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I would consider putting the walls up yourself. I know you don't have a lot of time but it is quick and easy. The only thing I would I would contract out would be electrical. I built a fishroom similiar to yours with time constraints and it was pretty fast. Took about half a day for the framing and Sheetrock
 
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neilp2006

neilp2006

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I figured they could bust out the framing and the Sheetrock ceiling in one day. Cut the labor budget by two days overall. And all the annoying measuring and cutting studs. And I wouldn’t have to rent s drywall lift and break sheets doing the ceiling myself. If I could get them to quote me for the frame and ceiling I think I might go that route.


I’m going to run the electrical- FIL will sign off on it/check my work. He’s licensed, fortunately.


My feeling is that I should keep the insulation? And drywall/tape/mud/prime was the same price as plywood and paint. And plywood has more utility.

Thanks
 
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neilp2006

neilp2006

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The ply would be easier to mount shelves & such.
Yep- definitely going with plywood walls. The cost ends up being a wash vs drywall, tape, mud, labor, and so much more utility. Can just pick a spot to hang conduit, pipe hangers, shelves etc without having to worry about hitting a stud
 

cracker

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Exactly You get to decide were the shelves or whatever goes ,not the studs.
also can Ya include the sink in the fish room? Or is it needed for other purposes?
Fish rooms are very nice to have. I got lucky where I could place mine.
 

theMeat

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Would have to be framing, then electric and plumbing, then sheet rock or whatever.
Code may requir a fire barrier installed first, such as Sheetrock, then plywood if you want over it.

Where you located?
 
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neilp2006

neilp2006

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Nah- sink and water station outside the fishroom frees up 7 x 2 feet of space for frag tank, cryptic fuge and a bench. Plus, I get to use it for other, non-fish stuff. If I extended the wall to encompass the sink- I basically cut my basement in half. It would come all the way up to my utility room with boiler etc. and I’d have to add egress point fir fire escape if I fully enclose a section.

By reducing the box- I avoid having to add egress and get a better layout for the rest of the basement.
 
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neilp2006

neilp2006

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Would have to be framing, then electric and plumbing, then sheet rock or whatever.
Code may requir a fire barrier installed first, such as Sheetrock, then plywood if you want over it.

Where you located?
I’m in Atlanta suburbs, suwanee.

County inspector was fine with just the plywood, as long as I don’t run it all the way to the joists. Then I’d need a fire block. As designed, the room ceiling will be dropped 18 inches below the joists to give me space for plumbing, exhaust and storage. Then I’m filling joists of basement ceiling with roxul. But I’m allowed to leave the rest of the basement ceiling unfinished, just the bit directly above the fishroom needs it...
 

theMeat

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Chose a marine grade plywood

Framing is easy. So is prepping for the electric and plumbing. Drilling holes, clearing path, etc
 

AntarcticIkeelu

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Just an aside. Since are putting it in the basement make sure you have really good ventilation. All the evaporation could cause mold if your not careful.
 

theMeat

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Just an aside. Since are putting it in the basement make sure you have really good ventilation. All the evaporation could cause mold if your not careful.
Yup, def some sorta humidistat and temp controlled exhaust, and a hose outside for skimmer air intake
 

AntarcticIkeelu

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Yup, def some sorta humidistat and temp controlled exhaust, and a hose outside for skimmer air intake
Good call. Hope you can get it the way you like it. A dedicated fish room would be sweet.
 
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neilp2006

neilp2006

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Just an aside. Since are putting it in the basement make sure you have really good ventilation. All the evaporation could cause mold if your not careful.
Yep- 6” in-line fan controlled via temp and humidistat, exhausting to the outside, with fresh air coming into the room from the first floor.

Also all seams siliconed, killz2 primer and latex paint on walls.
 

theMeat

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Marine plywood is not treated, so not water proof, but waterproof glue is used to construct.

Good idea to double up the sill when framing, and make the bottom one pressure treated, if that works with your local codes.

Not a good idea to use pressure treated plywood, since it is likely treated with copper, = no good for aquarium, and shouldn’t be painted until fully dry, which could take years

https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-marine-grade-plywood-2736672
 
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neilp2006

neilp2006

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neilp2006

neilp2006

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Marine plywood is not treated, so not water proof, but waterproof glue is used to construct.

Good idea to double up the sill when framing, and make the bottom one pressure treated, if that works with your local codes.

Not a good idea to use pressure treated plywood, since it is likely treated with copper, = no good for aquarium, and shouldn’t be painted until fully dry, which could take years

https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-marine-grade-plywood-2736672
Yeah- I’d be using doubled top and bottom plates, and pressure treated bottom plate since it’s against concrete.

The plywood is sanded ply, non-treated. I know I mentioned sheathing, which caused the confusion, - sorry.

Thanks for the reminder though- that is one of those things I’d forget to double check with the contractor. I’m ordering the supplies for the inside, but that is something that’s easy to overlook.

[emoji106]
 
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neilp2006

neilp2006

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Any particular reason your going with the foam board against the brick? Is that a code thing?
It’s seemed to be code for finishing a basement to provide a moisture barrier. But the 2 walls are already coated with drylok and are dry. The particular contractor I’m talking too also thought it unnecessary, and he didn’t do it in his own basement (which presumably passed code).
 

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