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Who is this Farmertodd...?

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#1 Guest_farmertodd_*

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 11:27 PM

Hi Folks,

Well, I ought to introduce myself since it seems there's a lot of people using the forum that have never used the email list. If you're not familiar with me, my name is Todd Crail. I'm a 9 year old trapped in a 30 something body, and I'm loco for aquatics. I'm currently finishing my Masters in Ecology at the University of Toledo and will start my Ph.D. there in the summer term. In my masters, I used fish community structure to look at types of habitat in ditches where agriculture meets watershed. I plan to continue monitoring those projects during my Ph.D., but focus my research on some questions about Unionid mussels, those big clam things you might have stepped over when out collecting fish.

I have 3 tanks currently, a 100 gallon and two 75 gallons. The 100 gallon is an Ohio Species theme, one 75 gallon is a "Below the Fall Line" tank from Florida and Alabama, the other 75 gallon is an "Above the Fall Line" tank from all over the SE US.

I'm a huge proponent of using deep sand as a substrate... My display tanks run average 4" of substrate, in some 10 gallon quarantine tanks I have about 3". Under the sand, I stick heavy topsoil and clay. This provides a lasting substrate for the plants to utilize.

I'd been asked a couple times to get my stuff all in one place, so here's my effort at it Mr. Scharpf :)

This was early in the setup, what I call "The Honeymoon" where the tank is hungry for nutrients, and the plants just jam. This lasts about a year... I'm working on figuring out an easy way to replace substrate, probably through a series of "cores" using pvc. We'll see what I come up with.

Attached File  tank.jpg   113.71KB   34 downloads

Attached File  fish3.jpg   103.52KB   42 downloads

There's even room for other critters.

Attached File  frog.jpg   139.03KB   37 downloads

This guy was supposed to be a meal for a grass pickerel as a tadpole (was looking at gape limitaiton). For as voracious a feeder as frogs are, he was really well behaved. That is, until he jumped out of the tank and into the school building that's humidity controlled. I fear he didn't fare so well :)

Oh I forgot to add... I seed my sandbeds with live substrates from streams. You never know what's going to hatch. This is an damselfly that hatched this summer. This tank hadn't been seeded with live substrate for 2 years.

Attached File  DSCN5927.JPG   73.89KB   29 downloads

So that's kinda the background. If you've got broadband, I've got some movies for you. I hope you enjoy. I don't have that many more stills other than macros that I have up in my folder in the Images Gallery, but I'll add a couple more in that are appropriate.

Also, just a note... "Right Click, Save As" can make your life a whole lot better with these large movie files.

Tank just before I took it on a horrible journey in 2005. What a horrible year for me and the fish.

http://www.farmertod...os/DSCN0391.MOV (7.5 mb)

This spring, I had a great trip through NC and TN. This is the "Above the Fall Line Tank"

http://www.farmertod...06/DSCN2680.MOV (4.3 mb)

http://www.farmertod...06/DSCN2681.MOV (4.5 mb)

And then over to the 100 gal

http://www.farmertod...06/DSCN2684.MOV (3.5 mb)

In case you missed the sucker thread, this is my "Below the Fall Line Tank"

http://www.farmertod...il_Redhorse.MOV (11.5 mb)

Probably the coolest thing that has ever happened in my freshwater aquaria was a pair of hornyhead chubs getting their gumption on. I never caught them in the act. In this, you'll see a totally scrapped up female. But this is some good overall footage of the tank.

http://www.farmertod...ad/DSCN6249.MOV (5 mb)

http://www.farmertod...ad/DSCN6251.MOV (6mb)

However, I did catch the male rearranging his nest. I appologize for the dialogue... Sometimes you just have to click "record" :)

http://www.farmertod...ad/DSCN6273.MOV (6 mb)

http://www.farmertod...ad/DSCN6274.MOV (6.6 mb)

And if you'd like to see some more movies, you can skip on over here:


Let's see, probably time to put in another pic. So since the frog experiment went so well, I've also tried working with crayfish. I've found that many species are quite docile toward fish when given enough food (I feed very heavily, that's part of my schtick). Anyway, you can enjoy specimens like this Cambarus from Alabama. I'm not sure of the species. There's a ton of them in that state.

Attached File  crayfish.jpg   84.57KB   23 downloads

Well, I think that should keep the bandwidth screaming. I hope you've enjoyed this, and I'm really glad to have this Forum. I've totally seen the light, and I think I'll try to evangelize back over on the email list. This is a lot more permanent :)

I'll also try and conglomerate my underwater photography and film this weekend. There's not so much of that yet, but this year... This year is gonna be something else.

And with that... Mr. and Mrs. Rainbow Darter bid you adieu.

Attached File  rainbows.jpg   85.5KB   19 downloads


#2 Guest_chad55_*

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 11:41 PM

A TOLEDO MAN! I live in Temperance, MI just over the border. My brother actually goes to school at UT and we used to live in toledo. I am glad to hear that we have some collecting spots around here...now I will have to get you to give em up! Lol....good to see a person from around here on this forum. And BTW you have a very nice collection. I esp. like the red horse.


#3 Guest_itsme_*

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 12:12 AM

Awesome tanks, Dude! Yeah, spread the word. We need the old timers to come over and bring all these younguns up to speed :smile: I see you're still cranking out the very excellent photomatography. Will you stay at UT for your PhD? We need to get out next time I'm in oHIo. By the way, we've had a successful spawn! April 2007 will be a whole new world of water, I mean DIAPER changes!


#4 Guest_edbihary_*

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 02:38 AM

Is it your photography, or is that one extremely spectacular rainbow darter?

What is the Fall Line?

#5 Guest_bearskookums_*

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 04:49 AM

Hi Farmertodd...nice tank...what filtration do you use on your tanks? My sis went to school at UT too...

#6 Guest_farmertodd_*

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 02:01 PM

Thanks for your compliments guys :)

A TOLEDO MAN! I live in Temperance, MI just over the border.

Well check that out Chad. My best friend lives in Temperance there on Temperance Rd. and he's a native fish nut too. We put together this field guide which you might find interesting:


Brian and Nate are coming up on Sunday, and we're going to look at the tanks, and hopefully get some orangespots down on the Maumee. If it's okay with your parents and you can't get a ride etc... I would be glad to come get you so you could participate, if you wanted to.

This is an open invitation to anyone, btw. Just pm me and I'll get you phone numbers and directions!

By the way, we've had a successful spawn! April 2007 will be a whole new world of water, I mean DIAPER changes!

Hey congratulations!! That's fantastic news! Man, what is it in that California water that keeps making new people? :)

Is it your photography, or is that one extremely spectacular rainbow darter?

What is the Fall Line?

That's the color of the "northern" rainbow darter you see in the Maumee and Michigan. Much more heavy on the blues. And this is good to note... I keep these fish in that near nuptial color all year round. The trick is diet.

There is a down side to this. First of all, it costs some money to do, and the fish shop will just shake their heads when you walk in for more food and no fish :)

The second thing... They live lives similar in length to what you see in the wild. Some people profess to have minnows and such for 7 or 8 years at a time. My fish never do that... They get to max size, the glow for a couple years, and then *poof*, big and goregous one day, dead as a doorknob the next. I don't know if it's due to fatty liver disease or just a messed up metabolic rate... But they are little supernova's in the meantime, which of course will collapse. But I enjoy the remarkable color in the meantime.

The fall line, great question, I should have addressed that. It's a change of ecoregions that happens all along the eastern coast where you switch from a Piedmont ecotone (think of the hills on the east side of the Appalachians once you're out of the mountains) to a Coastal ecotone, or the "lowlands". But what is most curious about the fall line is... That it's the point to which the seas have invaded the continent when there isn't any ice on the globe, and sea levels are at their peak height.

If you'd like to read more, Wiki has a great entry:


what filtration do you use on your tanks?.

The majority of the filtration is biological... The deep sand which has mega surface area for bacteria, the assimilation of nutrients with plants, and etc. The physical filtration I use is an Ehiem 2017 canister on each of the tanks. I only have one of the 100 gallon, and I'm curious as to where it would get me to add another to it (one at each end). I also have Whisper backfilters on the 75 gallon tanks, basically as an aerator, but also traps some detritus.

If you'd like to read more about how I go about things, hop on over to here:



#7 Guest_ashtonmj_*

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 04:14 PM

Whoever this farmertodd character is...I just want to know if he is thinking about swinging down through Tennessee again in March? I've got no state AFS meeting this year over that week and a list of places to visit before I likely leave the state a few months later.

And I might have a mussel collecting permit still 8-[ .... not like I need a bigger collection of shells....

#8 Guest_farmertodd_*

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 06:12 PM

I just want to know if he is thinking about swinging down through Tennessee again in March?

I wish I could, but Spring Break this year will be in good ol' Toledo OH finishing whatever I need to finish on my Masters so I can get back on department support or an RA for summer semester. We are definately heading down at the end of April or early May to the panhandle of Florida. The timing depends if it's that important for my parents to see me walk a graduation, as I could really care less, just mail me the dumb thing. Any way, we plan to camp at Henry Horton on our trip down as an overnight to break up the driving. I'll have more details after I finish my thesis, as then I will be allowed to plan future fun again :)


#9 Guest_chad55_*

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 12:01 AM

Well what do you know! I live right down the road from Temperance Rd. I live right off Lewis between dean and sterns if that gives you an idea. I wish I could come along this Sunday but unfortunatly I have a basketball game and my brother(the only other one that enjoys fish in my family) is going to be at work all day. I really need to get my liscense like SOON. Thank you very much for the offer though. I didn't even know we had o-spot around here.


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