Ultimate Fish Tank Room


JoePa lives on!!!
Staff member
Hi All,
Over the next few months I'm going to be designing my basement build and I wanted to start getting ideas for what to build into the fish tank room.
Looking for ideas of things you've done or have wanted to do so please fire away!
Things like:
- a floor drain
- exhaust fan
- etc etc.



Well-Known Member
I'd say most important is figuring out what you want to be keeping or breeding in your fish room. As usual that will drive everything else. It would be quite a bit different for clownfish breeding compared to coral propagation.

Next don't design anything too large for you to handle. It's easy to plan for 50 or even 100 tanks of various sizes, but then you need to take care of them all.

A note of floor drains, many towns around me do not allow floor drains at all. Make sure they are ok where you are.


JoePa lives on!!!
Staff member
I'll have to look into the floor drains, I'm thinking I'll end up pumping the water up and out anyway due to ease and cost. The tank will be largely sps, not fish reproduction or anything. I'll prob do a drag grow out and possibly grow fresh foods (brine, worms, phyto)


Active Member
This is going to be a good time! Yea what kind of tanks and stations are you thinking you'd like? It would be sweet to build a few custom acrylic tanks for frag tank or a stand alone sump or something. I think you can basically fuse pieces of acrylic together yourself

Besides the givens like a big sink/ Counter top and small freezer station, really the beauty I think would be having it all organized and thought out over packed with features. water filter station mounted with resovoirs and devoted pumps. I think the best thing in a fish room would be a big 100+ gallon stand alone sump with thorough filtration and that's open and accessible. If make it awesome and like a second tank. Use good pumps throughout and you could test and dose right into it and be able to tie secondary tanks in


Well-Known Member
Choff's fish room is the one i dream of...
My top 5...
  • Elevated sump that doesn't require kneeling /bending over/ laying half lifted on he floor.
  • Lots of light
  • Work space . dry and wet. Dry storage cabs.
  • 25% + capacity Water change station (25% RODI, 25% mixed SW) with simple labor free Drain/fill /mixing .
  • Multiple QT tank shelving


Well-Known Member
I dream of a fish room...

Ideally my fish room would be right behind the tank and the tank would be an in-wall tank for the room next door.

I would want a large (wide and deep) working sink, possibly several sinks linked to each other in one unit with counter space that can contain the wetness that will happen.

Definitely good ventilation of some sort (heat, AC, dehumidifier) b/c it is inevitable that there is going to be a lot of dampness/humidity. And a ceiling fan can be useful to have.

A drain in the floor would be an extra bonus for sure. While thinking of the dampness/humidity and floor drain, I suppose that having some sort of flooring that can handle a good amount of water and dampness would be something to serious think about. Regular cement can hold moisture, so making sure there is some sealant or some other sort of membrane-type flooring would be good to have.

A water station similar to the one in the image below (that I noted long ago from someone on this forum). Is it okay to post someone else's picture? :ponder2:

Observation and Hospital tanks -- A shelf set up with a couple 40g breeder tanks: one as an observation tank and one a hospital tank for medicating. A couple of 10g tanks, also an observation tank and a hospital tank. Also space for a shallow frag tank for new incoming corals and inverts for observation prior to going into the DT.

I'd figure out a way to have a centralized filtration system for a second frag tank, a mangrove tank and the DT. This frag tank would be growing out frags that came from the DT (as opposed to the above mentioned frag tank for new incoming coral frags that need observation prior to going into the DT).

Having the water changes automated would be a great bonus, I watched Choff set his up and it seemed to work very well for him.

Having a dedicated fridg and freezer would be a bonus.

I'd also find a way to plumb the rodi waste water out to the trees outside my house (no wasting of water), w/pump and gardening hoses, maybe even soaker hoses. I've already thought this through for my current house and RODI setup, I just need to move the RODI from the guest bathroom to the garage and get out this spring and get it done.