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Great Lakes pH


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#1 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 08 March 2015 - 02:57 PM

Does anyone know why the pH of the Great Lakes is so high? In particular, Lake Erie, which has a varying value of anywhere between 8.2-9.0 from different areas of the lake. I've heard everything from agricultural runoff to limestone base rock in the sand but no one seems to ever agree every place that I've asked, so I'm hoping some of you guys can tell me whether there's concrete evidence on what the cause is or it is simply a combination of untested theories.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#2 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
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  • Ohio

Posted 08 March 2015 - 04:24 PM

I think it just the limestone. My water comes from wells in limestone. My local creeks are mostly limestone. Both are right about 8.3.

The member formerly known as Skipjack


#3 smbass

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 08:34 AM

Yes it has a lot to do with the limestone bedrock under the lake and in tributary streams.

Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#4 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 09 March 2015 - 09:12 AM

Okay. So if I used Lake Erie sand for a tank would it increase the pH then?
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#5 smbass

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 11:39 AM

yes it probably would unless it is sand that has been brought in just to form a beach.

Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#6 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 25 March 2015 - 07:10 PM

yes it probably would unless it is sand that has been brought in just to form a beach.


Ok. So if I used sand from the actual lake in a tank and it just buffered the pH, would I have to pre-buffer the water for water changes since my pH is 7.6 or will the fish not mind for the short period of time that it takes for the sand to buffer the new water? I love the look of the sand since it looks like ocean sand and I'm planning 1 or 2 erie biotopes for this year that I'd like to use sand and rocks that I collect underwater for.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#7 Matt DeLaVega

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  • Ohio

Posted 25 March 2015 - 07:19 PM

They will be fine. I would not even concern myself with it. Do small frequent water changes, and you won't have any problems.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#8 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 25 March 2015 - 07:46 PM

While I have you guys, any suggestions for fish for biotope tanks? One will definitely be a 15g (24"x12"x12") which I, going to do small fish for and the other (might) be a 125g (72"x18"x22"). For the 125, I'll already have a yellow bullhead and Gibbiceps pleco (yeah I know it's tropical but I've got no where else to put it) so the rest of the stock would have to be compatible with those two. I was thinking a trio of white bass, trio of yellow perch, a rock bass, and a growout FW Drum but that may be overstocked, I'd do a sump for filtration plus some sponge filters perhaps. But I'm open to any suggestions for either tank.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#9 smbass

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 08:47 AM

For the small one I would do all the darters that used to be in Lake Erie pre goby invasion and a few cyprinids. Spottails, Spotfins, and Longnose dace are all still present in Lake Erie. Darters that used to be there include channel, greenside, logperch (most common three) along with fantail, johnny, river, and iowa to a lesser extent. Of these only logperch are still present.

 

Your large tank sounds fine to me, yes all big fish but that is ok if you start with small ones and are ok with the potential to have to dispose of or give away a few as they mature. Just keep yourself aware of that future possibility. The drum may be difficult, I tried to keep young ones once or twice and they are oddly touchy when small. Once they mature they seem more durable.


Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#10 smbass

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 08:50 AM

A added note about the Iowa darters... I believe they are still present in Presque Isle bay but are also protected in PA. You may be able to get them legally from elsewhere outside of PA. You would need to be sure of how the rules would work with that though if you decided to try them and be sure you don't need a special permit. I do not think there is any issue with the rest of those in your state.


Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#11 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 26 March 2015 - 10:29 AM

Thanks, Brian! As far as the small tank, I was thinking 6 Spottail Shiners and a Logperch or a pair of Greenside Darters. I'd collect the darters around here to conserve the small population remaining in the lake. And yes I've heard drums can be quite difficult oddly enough. Though I really have no way to collect them very small anyway and smallest one I could get would be 8-10". I'm thinking getting one between 8-12" will last a while since I've heard they're slow growers, but what are your thoughts on growth rate after 12"?
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#12 Matt DeLaVega

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  • Ohio

Posted 26 March 2015 - 10:44 AM

Have you ever seen a truly large drum? It is like at some point they just stop growing in length and just grow taller. They are really quite a sight when they get big. I know that does not answer your question, but just thought I would mention it.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#13 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 26 March 2015 - 11:03 AM

Have you ever seen a truly large drum? It is like at some point they just stop growing in length and just grow taller. They are really quite a sight when they get big. I know that does not answer your question, but just thought I would mention it.

Oh yes, white bass and drum are pretty much all I target in the main lake when I fish erie. My personal best is 26" 8 pounds and my uncle caught a 32" 9 pounder. Average size I catch them from Erie is 16-20".image.jpg image.jpg
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#14 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
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  • Ohio

Posted 26 March 2015 - 11:34 AM

Neat. They get very odd shaped. Think about this, the Ohio record is 23 pounds and was 37 inches long. That is only 5 inches longer than your uncle's fish but 14 pounds heavier. That is when they get ridiculously tall I guess.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#15 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 27 March 2015 - 06:08 AM

Anyone else have experience with Drum?
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#16 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 03 April 2015 - 11:36 AM

Does anyone know if it is legal to own Channel Darters in PA? I'd love to get a few but different PFBC sources say different things. Their list of endangered and threatened species doesn't even have them as a candidate species, a write up about PA Darters by the PFBC says they're threatened, and my book of all pa fishes says that they're delisted. I'm hoping they really are delisted because they're one of my top darters I'd like to keep.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#17 smbass

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 08:50 AM

I do not think they are currently listed, may have been in the past. Shouldn't be too hard to find a current list to be sure, just do some searching of the states website.


Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#18 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 08 April 2015 - 06:36 AM

I do not think they are currently listed, may have been in the past. Shouldn't be too hard to find a current list to be sure, just do some searching of the states website.


Don't get me started on the PFBC website! They don't even mention nearly 100 species of our fish just because they couldn't get their illustrator to draw a picture of them for the website!
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#19 smbass

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 07:42 AM

Ok they may be lacking some info about species in general but the list was VERY easy to find. FIRST link searching for "PA endangered species list" on google and then 2 more clicks to this... http://www.pacode.co.../chap75toc.html   Some times you just need to do a tiny bit of work... I do know there are some additional changes in the works but you should never count on "in the works" until it is the rule so just go by the current list.


Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#20 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 09 April 2015 - 06:16 AM

Okay thanks, I do often look at that list but I wasn't sure how accurate it was because I believe the last update was 2011.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage



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