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Oyster Reef Ecosystem Tank


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#61 Chasmodes

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 09:44 AM

Still not set up.   :blush:  :(   I collected a ton of oysters last year and have gone through the process of matching and gluing them together.  Now I'm in the process of gluing them to the existing cultches.  They're turning out really much better than I expected, but it's a long process.  That said, I've slowed down a bit because funds are a big concern for me right now, but I really want this tank up and running asap, no later than my ability to collect this year and stock the tank.  The fish will be shallow until probably late September, but I'd like fish in the tank well before that.

 

I'll post some updated pics soon.


Kevin Wilson


#62 Chasmodes

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 09:40 AM

I promised some pictures, and although this isn't much of an update, and I'm really dejected by how slow this project is going, I am making headway at least on the aquascaping part.  Here are a few pictures:

 

The first 2 pictures show the oysters (fully matched and glued) that are ready for me to glue to the reef.  I will make several smaller cultches to eliminate gaps in the reef between the cultches.  I will also allow for some caves and tunnels between the cultches.  I've eliminated the cement blocks.  My thinking is that there will be enough surface area for biological filtration in the tank, and if I use "live rock", it will be in the sump.  Matching the oysters and then gluing them was a very long process that started late last summer.

IMG_7167_zpspnop0jlb.jpg

IMG_7168_zpsmxas1xah.jpg

 

The next few pictures show the reef as it is today.  You an see that I've already created a few smaller cultches that bridge the larger ones together.  The measuring tape shows the height of the tank at 18", and the plywood base that the oyster reef is sitting on has the 36"Lx 36"W dimensions (it is actually the side of the tank stand that I'm using as a work platform).  The tank is about 101 gallons or so. 

 

This first picture is from the front view of the reef:

IMG_7164_zpsy0awwmev.jpg

 

This is a closer view of the right side of the reef, the main reef.  I plan to add oysters to make this about 6" taller toward the rear of the tank when done.

IMG_7165_zpsfebagzk7.jpg

 

The same view, but showing the left side too for perspective.

IMG_7166_zpsbtpcr92l.jpg

 

I still wish to have this tank set up and running this summer, that is the goal.  It all depends on financing (how much money we have left after our family vacation for equipment that I need).


Kevin Wilson


#63 Chasmodes

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 09:45 AM

If I can glue 10 oysters a day, I should be done with the aquascaping in a few weeks.  I probably have at least 100-150 oysters that are ready to add to the reef.  After the oysters, I will add some muscles and clams to the reef too that I've been gathering.

 

Each oyster once glued takes about 2 hours for the glue to set, and about five more before it is really sturdy.  The hard part is positioning them the way that you want while also having a realistic fit to the reef.  So it takes a fail amount of time.  I'm not just slapping them together.  My dream is to have this as realistic as possible once done.

 

Will the fish really care?  Probably not.  But, they'll feel right at home when I'm done.  Where it really matters is when I look into this tank, I see my cut of the Chesapeake Bay.   :cool2:


Kevin Wilson


#64 Chasmodes

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 06:12 AM

Coming along...

 

IMG_7173_zpsf0vb5wlq.jpg


Kevin Wilson


#65 fundulus

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 10:07 AM

I like you unintentional product placement of Gorilla Glue.
Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A

#66 Chasmodes

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 04:38 PM

I've made some more progress, adding about 50 more oysters and nearing the max height (the tape behind the right side reef is the tank height).  I still have some gaps, plus working on the base area around the rear of the left reef, and about 100 more oysters to place and glue.  Tedious!
 
I think I want to move the left reef more toward the foreground in the actual tank than these pics.  I've decided not to include the Gorilla Glue bottles in the foreground aquascape  :biggrin:
 
From the front/side looking to the reef:
IMG_7418_zpsnscjm6xb.jpg
 
If you sit in front of the tank (using imagination, of course):
IMG_7417_zps30wacslv.jpg
 
I'm getting really excited about this. As soon as I'm doing creating this aquascape, I'll finish the stand.  All I need now is money for the equipment...

Kevin Wilson


#67 damias

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 08:21 PM

This is by far my favorite thread on this site. Even though it's not finished yet it has really inspired me. I'd love to have a few tanks setup to represent the marine/brackish ecosystems we find in NC.

 

Can't wait to see how it turns out!



#68 Chasmodes

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 07:28 AM

Thanks damias!

 

Update: in the pic below, the oysters laying flat on the table are the ones left to glue. I'm down to 52, I think, at last count. In the first picture, the gap between the back part of the left reef and front reef will be connected (actually, there are 3 separate cultches (or modules, if you will). I bought a new bottle of glue and did a lot of work last night. I'm really happy with how it's turning out.! 
 
Left side (sorry, pic a little blurry, I must have moved)
IMG_7425_zpsqfy2p0fd.jpg
 
Front, from above:
IMG_7426_zpschajhjva.jpg
 
From the front:
IMG_7427_zpsmqqdyf8j.jpg
 
I really like the half arch coming out from the right side. More work to be done tonight.
 
This is the picture that inspired me (posted earlier in the thread, but good to compare progress here):
OysterReef_Mangroves_zps6783d6cb.jpg

Kevin Wilson


#69 Doug_Dame

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 03:00 PM

All of these pictures of oyster shells scare the heck out of me. (Looks down at 3" inch scar in shin, caused by collision with an oyster clump while seining for a local Bio-Blitz. Big bill at the E.D. too.) 

 

But it's impressive, all the same. Pretty sure some space-going vessels have been constructed with less care. 


Doug Dame

Floridian now in Cincinnati
 


#70 Chasmodes

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 10:25 AM

Thanks Doug.  Yeah, it was a lot of work.  I can see the potential danger collecting around a structure like this in the wild.  I cut myself (minor cuts) a couple times just working on this.

 

Finally finished the oyster reef, all of the oysters are glued into cultches that fit together.  
 
Front, from above:
IMG_7428_zpsulveyju5.jpg
 
Front, tank bottom level:
IMG_7429_zpsqfefswbp.jpg
 
Left side:
IMG_7430_zpslxnwg9m8.jpg
 
Right side:
IMG_7431_zpsh4m0g8vv.jpg
 
Here's a video, trying to show depth and perspective that photos can't seem to capture.  I tried to keep the aquascaping rule of thirds in mind when doing this.  I'm really excited about how it turned out, better than I imagined when this all started.
 
Next up, finish the stand.

Kevin Wilson


#71 Chasmodes

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 09:12 AM

I wasn't able to embed the video in the last post, trying again.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kevin Wilson


#72 damias

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 11:03 AM

I'm so excited to see this tank all setup!

 

What type of tank will you bee using? Hopefully one of the seamless, borderless ones so nothing distract from this beauty!



#73 Chasmodes

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 11:22 AM

Thanks damias.  It's an acrylic custom tank, 3'x3'x18", about 100 gallons or so.  I also have a 3'x16"x18" sump.

 

OysterReefTank.jpg


Kevin Wilson


#74 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 08:55 PM

anything?



#75 Chasmodes

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 02:33 PM

anything?

 

Not yet.  I need to buy some equipment...will probably depend on my income tax return  [-o<    Including fixing my well and well pump.  After that, progress should be steady.

 

I am very tired of not having this thing up and running.  My goal to have this tank up, running, and cycled is early spring.  

 

Sorry...  8-[


Kevin Wilson


#76 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 06:12 PM

thats perfedtly fine, my next build a 26 bowfront paludarium wont start for a while. its okay, we are all in the same boat. Also my aunt had her well pump fixed this summer, her's was a pain. Hope yours is better (it was the wrong filters put in)



#77 Chasmodes

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 05:54 PM

Well, I finally have an update. I've ordered most of my equipment except plumbing supplies. 
  • Current: Maxspect XF230 Gyre Generator Flow Pump with Advanced Controller
  • Return Pump: Sicce Syncra Silent 3.0 Multifunction Aquarium Pump (714 GPH)
  • Lighting: EcoTech Marine Radion XR30w G4 Pro LED Light Fixture
  • New test kits
  • RO/DI five stage from The Filter Guys

Kevin Wilson


#78 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 06:34 PM

2 builds at once? Very cool!


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#79 damias

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 05:47 PM

So much closer to having this thing together!



#80 Chasmodes

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 01:53 PM

Yes Damias, so close!  I went on a fishing trip this past weekend, and will go on one next weekend, so I won't have time to work in my tanks.  

 

However, I did get a chance to break in my Perfect Dipnet.  It's clear that I need handle extensions, so I'll be ordering them.  I collected off a dock where it was about 5' to the bottom.  I had to get on my knees to reach the bottom and couldn't get much leverage on my sweeps.  That, along with a limited amount of time for me to collect, and the location lacked cover (muddy bottom), made collecting tough.  

 

I managed to collect a few striped killifish, one juvenile naked goby (I think), and a few silversides.  I also found a good population of amphipods and ghost shrimp for future reference (to keep my tank stocked with food) in the grass floating around the dock.  I believe it was widgeon grass.  I may stock my tank with that and Ulva since it seems to be pretty available.

 

As for future collecting, I'm going to have to buy some handle extensions for dip netting piers and docks.  My knees aren't as tough as they used to be!  


Kevin Wilson




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