The 'Fish Wall': an idea to realize a dream ...

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The premises.
The idea of a wall fish is born to play, a part, and partly seriously, thinking (really!) to the skyscrapers of the great American metropolises, where - to reduce the cost of houses / offices due to the high economic value of the land - it tried to develop the construction .. in height .....!! Smiling and it's obvious and beyond doubt that - in the apartment in Rome where I live - the problem is not that precise, with proper proportions (and given the seven aquariums already arranged and the great patience of my wife) modestly, I have tried to find a solution to the old and long standing problem of space in the house.

For this reason, one day I said, "why I can't use the space vertically? ' Was born just like the idea of fish wall, literally and in my imagination, "a wall of fish" or merely overlapping the pools where they can breed and reproduce Cichlids.

The project that followed was influenced by logistics and the apartment on the third floor of the building where I live, I could not fit three pools overlapped by 2 meters in length and over, with the risk - eventually - going to find - in one fell swoop with tanks and including fish - the quiet and unsuspecting tenants on the floor below!!
So, I found a wall in a little room (see closet) which organization is also very interesting because of the presence of a cockpit where merging (eg) the discharge of the tanks, I started to make me some ideas on what I could achieve also looking for similar structures, installed - for example - in most aquarium shops in Rome (the wonderful city where I live) and more.

The project.
Took courage in my hands and above all made an account on the budget, with the help of a friend that is also a prepared and professional seller, after numerous changes to the project, due in part to the experience and suggestions of the craftsman, the other to solutions that - gradually - I realized they could be modified to allow for better management of all, I finally got what I like to call the project in the "enforceable phase".

These the measures of the structure: Base * Height cm 100x40 cm 240 * three pools overlapped with measures approx: cm 94x40x39, 5h * 150 liters of capacity for each tank * the internal filter measures about 14x35 x 38h about the frame is aluminum tubular stand in 2 cm square cut to measure and "associated" with the joints in fiber paths within a core of steel which have the function of interlocking corners. The characteristics of this material (which is not exactly cheap) are those of the extreme strength with a very limited weight, infact all aluminum frame weighs no more than 10-15 kg! The tanks are made of crystals from 8 mm to 10 mm from the side walls and bottom, the quality of joints and finish is remarkable for being "handmade".
The lower basin is divided into two equal parts by a glass on which were made 4 holes; on each hole is applied, with silicone, a plastic grid to avoid the transition - from one aquarium to another - small fish or fries. The filtering system - in this shared environment - provides an exit from the traditional filter with a rather rigid transparent plastic tube that runs horizontally along the top / back of aquarium an duntil to the opposite side where it is placed the  filter. To ensure good circulation even in the first pool, I realized - directly on plastic rigid pipe discharge - three holes, to allow the evacuation of part of the flow coming from the pump/filter.

The suction on the box of the filter, and the holes of separation between the two basins divided, do the rest, and assure good circulation and changing the water. Inside the tank I did make a classic filter, made of three compartments, one (the first following the flow of water) for heating the wall where the holes are made with relative intake grilles to prevent the passage of small fishes or sediments, then 2nd section located in central part of the filter box loaded with sponges and wool (mechanical filtration), and finally toward the end wall, where they placed biofilter and the pump, which leads through a hole in the upper part, send water in the tank.
Why have not I thought of an external filtering system? Well, apart from the difficulty in locating pumps with a prevalence of more than 2 meters for the highest pool and its financial commitment, I do not feel "safe" (for previous "dangerous experience") the solution of the external filtering for the possibility that leakage and / or water, also as the Purpose of this pool is not for exhibition for me was not important to design something that was 'barely visible' in the pools and even in place to allow more free space for fish. In order to create the filter I used very traditional materials, synthetic sponge + Perlon wool and sintered glass contained within a nylon net.

Always in the filters I have installed the circulation pumps with adjustable flow (all pumps have the possibility of regulating the flow throttling mechanical systems), set at maximum capacity, 600 liters for hour approximately; for the heaters I used instead of professional equipment, also in virtue of the sensitivity of such devices and the damage they do when they break down: in the lower two tanks have installed heaters for 150W, while in the highest I considered sufficient "only" 100W. The room in which the fish wall is installed, in addition to being quite small (it has a surface of 10 square meters), contains within it a heater, a washing machine and gas boiler for producing hot water and heating heat in that has it and, as many know, the hot air go up, so ....!!!
To facilitate recycling and avoid excessive concentrations of air humidity in the room, I also made a hole on the outside wall (facing directly onto a internal courtyard) where I installed a fan (vortex) which function as air extractor; I mounted a socket on the mechanical timer that activates the fan every hour at intervals of 60 minutes. I planned shutdown for the night to avoid bad noises.

For the technological part of the "wall" I had to prepare even the lighting: to do so, on every floor, I installed a ceiling light with IP65 degree of protection that contains within 1 fluorescent tube T8 of 18W. This code I just mentioned is very important: the IP Code, in fact, is a convention defined within the IEC and serves to identify the degree of protection provided by enclosures of electrical and electronic equipment against the penetration of external agents to solid nature or liquid.
For further study, I refer you to many links that you can find on Google, or on a text of electronic engineering ..... However, if you think of some electrical component to be installed on top of your tank, was produced by only a project, always do very carefully, water and electricity are a mix that could prove fatal!!
The ceiling lights in question are fixed - the lowest in the two basins - a L aluminum stringers resting on the side of the structure, forming a "bridge" in the two tanks higher and allows, through the holes, to tightly secure the top of ceiling lights that are in this 'hanging'. The lamp installed to illuminate the tank is set higher rather than directly to the wall (the roof of the structure) through normal nuts and bolts and washers.

The electrical system is been realized using some components in my possession, I have divided the power supply lines (one for each tank) for heaters, pumps and the three lamps that are controlled by programmable electronic timer (it was already in the picture, but a similar model to daily program does more than our case).

Cables (3x1,5 mm), which depart from the electrical panel to tanks, are protected inside flexible tubing made of sheath Diflex to ensure greater safety, maintenance  the folds is fixed (where necessary) to the aluminum structure of the bands through plastic type commonly used in the "DIY" . The switches in the electrical panel allow you to manage individually, and without reflection on other tanks, each individual aquarium, so you can do your job if necessary disconnecting ONLY the accessory on which we work.

Conclusions.
I decided to write these lines to share with others my experience, knowing that there are many other ways to make, probably even lower costs, a structure like this, but still invite everyone to consider always (if with the necessary technical knowledge) and the structural impact of a static solution of this kind: we are talking about a library (why not), weighing nearly 500 kg for which the design and subsequent attachment must be carefully considered!
If you have ideas, let the advice of those who - perhaps with more experience - may suggest you (and especially ensure) the best solution for your "fish wall"!

 

 

 
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