Friday, September 01, 2006

My latest guppy rack setup: Centralized Systems

This is the 2 latest systems that I have built. They are both running on a centralized shared water concept. Now I have about 120 X 2 feet tanks in my house! Many people asked me the question, if one tank is hit with an outbreak, will my entire rack be affected? The answer is no.

The reason being is that my sump tank is designed to take the load of 2 tanks of 6ft X 2.5ft X 2.5ft community tank for Arowanas or monster fishes. The other reason is that I use a UV light for the water treatment after it goes into the reservoir and before it gets back into the first tier tanks. Just imagine that per tank takes 10 minutes of your time in washing them (I would consider that as a very fast pace), from the racks, I have 38 X 2 X 10 mins = 760 mins or 12 hours and 40 mins! More than ½ a day without resting every week!

In the manual individual tank process of water change and with a setup of 76 tanks (considering my 2 racks only), if you do not commit the minimum of 12 hrs and 40 mins diligently every week to your water change process, your fishes will suffer and die to and eventually lead to giving up of the hobby. Even you have the time every week, you will not be able to take holidays or short trips or spend time with your friends and family members or work. This will lead you to be a salve to your hobby! After some time any fish lover will give up due to the effort and other more important commitments in life.

With this system, I take 15 mins to wash the prefilter (the 2nd picture) and 1 hour to change and top up water for 1 rack. Within that 1 hr, I still can watch TV or do other things. For 2 racks, effectively, I spend about 30 mins that I am required to take out the prefilter for cleaning only vs 12 hrs and 40 mins. As for the health, growth and the performance of my guppies, you can find them in my next blog: to see the fishes I bred.

I will publish my effort step by step for this setup in the next update. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

More About Singapore Fancy Guppies

I am only one of the Singapore breeders in Singapore that is breeding fancy guppies. Some of my collection can be found at There are other hobbyist like Chris Yew who has set up a guppy web site at The Singapore official guppy club site which has lots of information about fancy guppies can be located at

Hope to see more of you guys joining in the fun in keeping fancy guppies.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Step 10: The final product!

This is how my system looks like after it has been fully commissioned with all the fishes.

This is a close up view of two rows of fishes in their new home. If you have any quries about guppies or my setup, you can email me at

Step 9: Pilot Testing

The lights are fixed up some of the fishes are in the new environment after conditioning the water.

Step 8: Installation of air tubes and filter boxes

Piping and the air tubes and filter boxes installed into the tanks. All are cabled nicely. This was during the tank conditioning phase where the water is left to run and the testing of the system to ensure that there is no leakages.

Step 7: The Netting - Part 2

The final look of each tank compartment after the netting and the PVC ring has been put on.

Step 7: The Netting - Part 1

Using the green netting and a bigger PVC ring, I secure the drainage hole to prevent the guppies and the fries from being drained away.

Step 6: Drainage

We move on to the individual compartment and drainage. I will also be addressing the problem of the guppies being drained out of the system during water change.

Individual tank with the male / female bulk head.

It is silicon together. Once the valve at the bottom of the tank is turned on, the water will naturally be drained out. This will also cause the fishes to be drained out.

Solution … is found in the next step!

Step 5: Last tier piping

These are some of the pictures to illustrate how the last row of piping looks like when done. All the bottom pipes are ran with PVC including the valves. This will enable the smooth water flow to prevent the water from being shared to all the tanks. As you can see the center is also held together for support by a cable tie.

Step 4: A closer look at the piping work

Next I will explain on how flexible hose is attached to the piping. As from the diagrams above, you can see that there is a T join to hold the last tier of piping and the drainage system. All the PVC are secured with PVC glue and are further strengthen with cable tie for support when the water is being drained. The valve at the end is to prevent any water from dripping out. The connection between the valve and the reducer is secured using a white tape. It can be secured using PVC glue also. I am not securing with PVC glue because I wanted the flexibility of removing it and not pertruding out of my rack and obstructing my door way. At the end of the valve, it is enhanced with a reducer and a 20mm pipe to ensure that the normal toilet flexible hose can fit tightly into the pipe.

Step 3: The Arrival of the Rack and Tanks

After sourcing for the pipings, I ordered the rack and the tanks. The racks and the tanks are custom made and assembled. This is when the original tanks were brought in and the rack was assembled. Basic setup like the male-female bulk heads were silicon together in the tanks and were left to dry to ensure that there is no drip to the system. Then the pipings are then joint together level by level to secure them together with a 16mm pipe and PVC elbow join. The on-off valves are made of metal and are secured together with white tape and the screw threads. This is just the beginning of the setup. This is the actual setup in my house.

Step 2: Measurements of the piping

The next step is to source for the type of piping. The reason that I am using the metal valve to a PVC piping is to save the space. Using the plastic valve will requiremore space.

Step 1: The Prototype

This is the front and side view of my prototype setup drawn to scale to ensure that I get the actual "feel" of the whole thing when it is up.

Next the top view. There are 2 of them because the tier 1 - 4 (starting from the top tier) will be the same as the top design. The last bottom tier (tier 5) will be different because of the drainage.

To help you to understand better, I have drawn out the 3-D view of the last tier for easy understanding.

Fancy Guppy hobby made easy

Fancy Guppy keeping made easy is to provide some knowledge sharing and overview set up of my system for a setup of 25 tanks using a very simple gravity and water flow concept for HDB guppy breeders. This also allows for flexible hose to ensure the tidiness of the house. Why spend time doing water changing if you can spend more time admiring at your guppies?

The system is to address to the following issues that I was facing in the past.
1. Change water 1 tank at a time
2. Time consuming
3. Physically health damaging
4. Ensure tidiness in the house and space saving

Change water 1 tank at a time
This is the most dreadful part of the hobby for everyone to change water. Taking an average of 10 minutes per tank, from the time I plug out the filter and carry the tank out from the rack all the way to finally topping up the water and washing the filter and setting it back into the rack. This is not efficient in water change if you are having more than 35 tanks.

Time consuming
Back to the example of 10 minutes per tank, per rack having 6 tanks and there are 3 rows, means that there are 18 tanks taking a total of 180 minutes (3hrs) of your time every time a water change is done. I have a total of 3 racks and more than 20 plastic tanks lying around in the house. This is far too much time spent “fire fighting” everyday with the water change. If the water is not changed, the guppies will soon be faced with water parameter problems.

I am sure everyone including me wants to enjoy more time looking at the guppies rather than being a slave to the water change routine. So I have decided to break free from water changing routine!

Physically health damaging
Although I am not very old, haha … the impact of carrying the tanks almost daily from the racks or on the floor to the toilet and washing them then carrying them back is huge. “Daily” is because I can change 1 rack in a day then the next rack the next day and the 3rd rack the following day, then the tanks not in the racks, and the 5th day the fries containers, on the 6th day, the breeders tanks. That leaves me a day to rest in a week! :p

Even my mind tells me that I can do it and doing that faithfully for the past 1½ years, the impact of backache has started to haunt me.

Ensure tidiness in the house and space saving
Although I already have 3 racks they are still untidy because of the uneven tank size. There are also tanks lying all around the floor taking up ½ my living room. Those that have visited my house before will know what I mean. HDB is already very small and crampy, I want to compact and standarise all the tanks and maximse the space allocated for my guppies but not compromising the living room space for my family and my kids.
Visit my guppies at