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75 Gallon Native Stream Tank Build


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#361 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 02:12 PM

Hey Kevin.

Good to hear from you! Yeah, it's been awhile since I really last enjoyed the hobby. Just trying to get back into it again after the catastrophic past 2.5 years.

Finally got the big aquarium up, but not finished. Need some green in there and perhaps another piece of wood.
That said, fire away the questions concerning insulators and bottles. It's what I do. Of you can't find any whole ones, PM me your addy and I will send you one or two. I have about 700 here.

I went with the river bottom look. The Olentangy river is rocky and there's bottles, some insulators and bricks. Of you use bottles, that will look nice, just be watchful of the neck diameter so that none of your fish swim in but can't get out. I have a cobalt blue whitall Tatum made corktop med bottle that I might use as well. Just have to check the neck! Don't want my darters getting in and getting stuck.

The insulators that are in the tank right now are a complete Whitall Tatum and a broken HGCO Petticoat. The craws love the pin holes.

Let me know on an insulator or two of you want them.

The Grumpy Old Man.

#362 Chasmodes

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Posted 16 October 2021 - 08:10 AM

Thanks Chris.  I may take you up on that some day.  I'd like to try and find a whole one first. I thought of adding a bottle to the neck, but you bring up a good point about the neck diameter.


Kevin Wilson


#363 Chasmodes

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 07:36 PM

Hey everyone, question regarding this tank:  would adding a longear sunfish be a mistake?  Would they kill the darters and smaller cyprinids?

 

Thanks.


Kevin Wilson


#364 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 09:05 PM

Hey everyone, question regarding this tank:  would adding a longear sunfish be a mistake?  Would they kill the darters and smaller cyprinids?

 

Thanks.

I keep all in my tank, a Northern sunfish (originally the Northern Longear sunfish), bluntnose minnows, spotfin shiners and darters. If you're wanting to keep a sunfish, better off with a smaller mouth species. Northerns are better than bluegills, pumpkinseeds and green sunfish because they have a smaller mouth, but perhaps an orange spotted would be better yet.

If it fits, it will inevitably end up there if the sunny isn't kept sated. I try to keep 1" shiner fry in the tank when I can catch them for my sunfish. For the most part he leaves everyone alone, especially now that they're in a bigger tank, and he ignores the darters completely. From my personal experience, keeping creek chubs with darters and other cyprinids is worse than keeping a single sunfish. Chubs are voracious eaters and I lost a gorgeous bright green banded darter to a chub 2 years ago. Chubs are not community tank fish whereas the smaller mouthed sunfish are decent community denizens as long as the tank is big enough.

 

That being said, if you put *any* tiny fish in with a sunfish of any species, it will eat it. I generally keep fish that are 2" or longer. The Northern tends to bully them now and then, but not eat them, and despite that, so far, everyone seems to like their new digs and there's peace on the frontier. However, we're still in the settling in stage and the Northern hasn't chosen his territory yet and tends to hide when I approach. The darters aren't so keen on being photographed yet either. My female rainbow is kinda used to it and generally doesn't repeatedly climb the water column, but the male banded darters are still in the "What the h... just happened?" mode, climb the water column trying to figure out that invisible force field that is blocking them, and retreat behind the driftwood when I approach.

 

Anyhow, from my personal experience, think carefully about adding larger fish to your community tank. While you don't have any other sunfish species in your tank for competition, if you add one to your tank, he will inevitably seek out and create his own territory. I caught all of my fish while very small and put them into the tank at the same time, and transferred them to the bigger tank at the same time. If you get a sunfish, get him small and let him grow into the community and tank.

 

Hope this helps.

 

The Grumpy Old Man.



#365 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 09:19 PM

Thanks Chris.  I may take you up on that some day.  I'd like to try and find a whole one first. I thought of adding a bottle to the neck, but you bring up a good point about the neck diameter.

Let me know.... However, search the ditches around railroad tracks as well for discarded insulators. Keep this in mind that most of the time, the poles were placed on the leeward side of the tracks, E.G. The track runs north-south, the poles would likely be on the East side. This was done so that if high winds were to blow a pole down, it wouldn't fall over the tracks since usually the winds blow West to East. On East-West and vise versa, the poles could be on either side. Creeks and rivers beside tracks are an excellent place to look as well.

Bottles are an excellent addition, but you do want bottles that have a neck / top opening diameter of that of a 1970s pop bottle, or perhaps an 1800s era liquor bottle that had wider necks than medicine bottles. For the most part, you'll only have to worry about the benthic fish and crays if you have any since most of the fish you have stay in the middle to upper water column. However, once in awhile you'll get a dunce minnow or shiner.... :fishy:

 

The Grumpy Old Man.



#366 Chasmodes

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 07:36 AM

Thank you Chris!

 

So far my river chub is a model citizen.  I still keep an eye on him though.  My goal is to keep him well fed so he's not tempted to attack the other fish, so far so good.

 

I know that my satinfins and blacknose dace have spawned multiple times.  The darters continuously look for eggs in the rock crevices and probably chase down and eat any of the fry that hatch and survive.  I'm thinking that, as my plants get thicker, I may get some to survive.  When I broke down the tank a year and a half ago to put my fish in QT, I found fry swimming around that were bigger than I had hoped, but they got siphoned out to the sink by accident before I could act.  

 

If anyone wants satinfin fry, let  me know, as I have a friend who is raising a bucket full of them.


Kevin Wilson


#367 Chasmodes

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 10:23 PM

Well, I got my new phone, so, I expected a better video.  It's not much better quality, and maybe that's user error, I don't know.  Anyway, I decided to do a full tank shot type video with a slight zoom in after a few minutes, and to cut out most of the chit chat and let everyone focus on the fish and the tank.  Since the quality wasn't as I had hoped, the focus on the fish is a bit tough.  My water stargrass (incorrectly referred to as river stargrass by your's truly in the vid) is growing like leaps and bounds, and greening up nicely, as is the Valisneria jungle to the right of the tank.  I couldn't be happier about the new growth, although, I will have to harvest some, I guess, so I don't lose all of the negative space in my tank.  The fish are doing well and happy, for the most part.  They eat like pigs!  Anyway, I hope y'all like the video.

 


Kevin Wilson


#368 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 10:56 PM

Got wet tonight again seeking fry for my sunfish and madtoms to eat. River-wading season is about over for us that don't handle cold water very well. Came back with (4) banded darters, a 1" brindled madtom and about 12 shiner / bluntnose minnow fry. Dear God, there's river snails aplenty, but I have enough as well as (2) wild Japanese trapdoor snails. I need a male rainbow darter for my female, but hopefully by next late spring / early summer, l will get one. River is extremely low right now and seem to catch more along the bank when it's raging.

Anyhow.... due to the chill of an early fall, it seems that I caught the brownbottle flu tonight and feel extremely tired. Seems that wading the river worn me out for another day.... :biggrin:

 

Blessings, happy and safe legal collecting.

 

The Grumpy Old Man.



#369 Chasmodes

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 08:07 AM

You crack me up, "brownbottle flu".  I have worn waders already a couple times fishing.  Yeah, I think that your climate and ours in MD are similar. During our ice fishing "season", I kind of watch Central Ohio's weather as a preview to what we might get.  I usually ice fish in PA but sometimes during cold winters, lakes near me.

 

Looks like you've got some good specimens for your tank and food for your sunnies.  

 

I had a Japanese trap door snail that did nothing.  He's in a bucket now with plants.  I was worried that he was near dead so I pulled him out of the tank.  Are your snails active in cleaning algae in the tank?


Kevin Wilson


#370 Chasmodes

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 08:21 AM

Here's a much clearer video than the last one complete with more ramblings of yours' truly:

 


Kevin Wilson


#371 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 09:28 PM

You crack me up, "brownbottle flu".  I have worn waders already a couple times fishing.  Yeah, I think that your climate and ours in MD are similar. During our ice fishing "season", I kind of watch Central Ohio's weather as a preview to what we might get.  I usually ice fish in PA but sometimes during cold winters, lakes near me.

 

Looks like you've got some good specimens for your tank and food for your sunnies.  

 

I had a Japanese trap door snail that did nothing.  He's in a bucket now with plants.  I was worried that he was near dead so I pulled him out of the tank.  Are your snails active in cleaning algae in the tank?

 

Good evening, Kevin.

 

Yes, the brownbottle flu. I've suffered it many a years. Sometimes nightly. Many times the symptoms are alleviated by a good old fashioned retching and then you're good for round II. You wake up the next day saying, "Dear God, I'll never do this again", and then you do it again.

 

WADERS???? What are THOSE? Oh heavens no! I just put on a junk pair of clothes and shoes (late spring-mid October), brought another pair with and then fished that river until worn out. I never wore waders. I just dun got-wet! Usually came home with at least 5 smallmouth, some redeye rock bass and perhaps a few long ears. Used soft craws and Dare Devil spoons. I was a teen back then. Oh yes, those were the good old days!

 

Yeah, our winters are somewhat similar since we're on a similar longitude, however, we're more prone to lake-effect snow. Not sure if you get ocean-effect snow or not. Regardless, it gets nice and cold. Thank God for wood and coal. That's how we heat here.

That said, haven't been ice fishing since..... 1981 I think? I was 10. Now I have much gray in my goatee and 40 summers I have seen since then. Been a minute, but then again, I really don't care to be out on a windy sheet of ice anymore. My friend Arthur-Itis doesn't like it much....

 

I am teetering on the horns of decision here..... It's easy enough to feed the darters and cyprinids flake and bloodworms, but my NLE is extremely fussy. He eats only fry and bloodworms, but I can't get enough fry for him daily from the river (time and effort +season changes), and feeding him enough bloodworms would overfeed the tank, and he doesn't care for live nightcrawlers or redworms. I am thinking on rehoming him and focusing only on darters and cyprinids. Easier, cleaner and cheaper to feed that way. I also really do like darters. Once a sunfish gets big enough, they require a LOT more food and overfeeding the tank isn't good. I need to stick on keeping fish that I can easily feed with a universally accepted food.

 

As for the Japanese trapdoor snails, mine stick (literally) to the driftwood. My 29 gallon hasn't been up long enough to develop algae (hope it doesn't) and they have primarily stayed on the wood. So far they're doing good, but they for some odd reason are extremely non-vocal when hungry.... My river snails have done well except for the darters. Have / had lots of juvenile river snails and one solitary adult. That single adult has been through h*** and back, survived and reproduced all by itself. Must have been 50 baby snails, but it looks like I am down to about 15 or so, and yes, they have been active in eating the algae. But I had a bad cyanobacteria and hair algae problem a few months back because of : overfeeding, using creek water that had a bad cyanobacteria problem that I didn't see, no crays and not doing water changes frequently. The gravel was literally covered with that blue-green slime and the rocks had 3" hair growing from them. Within a week of adding the crays and slightly adjusting feeding, the cyano and hair algae were gone. The crays ate ALL of it. My rocks and substrate were barren.

 

Did you pull your JTDS from the tank and put him terrestrial, or is it in a bucket with water and water-type plants? Don't think these snails can live out of water very long.

 

In any case, I will take a peek at your new vid.

 

The Grumpy Old Man.



#372 Chasmodes

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Posted 26 October 2021 - 09:55 AM

Thanks Chris.  Sorry for not responding sooner.  Between fishing and fish collecting, and work, I haven't been on line much lately.

 

My friend, NIck Kinser, who is the aquarist at the Glen Echo Public Aquarium in Maryland, feeds his sunfish frozen PE mysis shrimp.  They're more fatty and nutritious, in his opinion, than other frozen brands.  Anyway, last night I watched him feed his sunfish tank, and the longears that we caught for him on Sunday ate them for their first feeding.  They were cautious at first, being in an aquarium less than 24 hours, but, they perked up within 10 minutes and ate a good share.  The ones he used seemed to be a larger size.  He has a couple green sunfish in there that just go nuts to get to them.  I'll find out from him if he feeds them anything else.

 

I pulled the JTDS out of my display tank.  He's still alive in a bucket of water, substrate and an airstone.  I never saw him eat, so I have no idea how he's still alive.  I put some fish food in there and it's near the tanks that have a lot of light.  No plants in there now, but if I see him moving around and searching for food (I assume, since I never see it move lately), then I'll swap out an algae covered rock from my tank to the bucket for him.


Kevin Wilson


#373 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 26 October 2021 - 09:28 PM

Aye, no worries Kevin. I understand. I have made two trips to the river over the past 2 weeks to catch shiner fry and some banded darters. I put 18- 1 1/4" shiner fry in the tank yesterday and by this morning only 12 were left. Not sure if the sunfish or the brindled madtom ate them. The madtom is only 1 3/4" long, so I don't think he'd eat that many. I HAVE seen my adult spotfin shiner eat shiner fry before. He scarfed one last week. So far, the fry are working, but it must suck being the fry! There's always a bigger fish....

 

Love my new Brindled madtom. Absolutely a gorgeous catfish! Just wish he was diurnal. You have to turn out all lights for about an hour, then come back and turn them on to see him. Of course ALL of the other fish, being that they went to sleep go insane which isn't good for them. I had a bluntnose minnow die from freaking out and streaking into the side of the tank at a full head of fear-steam.

 

With snails, the way you can tell that they're eating is that they don't die. Unlike Sponge-Bob's pet, Gary the Snail, they don't let you know when they're hungry. They are typically omnivores and scavengers. So they're relatively easy to keep fed, however, they tend not to eat live plants unless starving. They like wood because of the algae that grows on it, hence why mine pretty much stay on the wood and nowhere else. Keep algae in with them. Mine seem to be rather active. Right now, my biggest one is upside down on it's back with it's trapdoor slightly open. I think that it's sleeping. They tend to do this often, and then later on, get back on the wood and do whatever it is that they do. The lake 12 miles from us is absolutely (and literally) crawling with them. in 2020, I must have seen 5,000 shells dead and empty on the mud flats when the water receded. It was, to borrow a quote from Indiana Jones, Temple of Doom, "like stepping on fortune cookies".  These are a non-native species.

 

Feeding my sunfish and the madtom made me think about buying the small rosey reds from the pet store. But I don't want to risk that chance of having some pet store disease get into my tank. Many pet store fish have Ich or are in tanks with a lot of deads in there  with them. That leaves way too much room for a disease to slip in. I'll have to find a way to keep a supply of feeder fry on hand over the winter. But then again, my sunfish might just have to live with bloodworms and mysis shrimp. When the river's high and raging, I tend to catch a LOT of fry at the shoreline since they're hiding from the current.

 

My one banded darter has turned out to be a spectacular male that is a bright emerald green like the one in my avatar pic. He's gorgeous but hides a lot. Had him about 2 weeks now and hopefully he'll become less camera-shy over time. Here's a pic of him, however, he's MUCH more green than this now! Not sure why since it's not mating season, but it ain't easy being green!

Anyhow, I am hoping to add some male rainbows and some fantails to the tank, but no luck yet. Might get one more wade in before its too cold unless I get some knee boots.

 

The Grumpy Old Man.

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#374 Chasmodes

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 12:23 PM

That's a beautiful fish.   They kinda resemble greensides a little bit.  I'd love to see a recent pic of him all colored up.  I find it interesting how colorful some of the darters that I catch this time of year are.  It's obviously not spawning season, right?


Kevin Wilson


#375 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 06:59 PM

That's a beautiful fish.   They kinda resemble greensides a little bit.  I'd love to see a recent pic of him all colored up.  I find it interesting how colorful some of the darters that I catch this time of year are.  It's obviously not spawning season, right?

Thank you. He's a beautiful fish, but within a week after being put into the tank, he bloomed bright green. Now I cannot get him to come out of hiding for a pic. He looks like the one in my avatar pic.

Right now it's not spawning season for darters. They mate and spawn in spring, and they color up in the spring. However, I have noticed sometimes that the males color up once brought indoors in a tank. I am assuming it's because the water is warmer which might lead them to think that it's spawning season. They do look a bit like the greensides, but the greensides are much brighter emerald green and I think a bit bigger. I have caught only one GSD and that was 35 years ago when I  was 15. Caught it in the springtime in Raccoon creek. Didn't have the internet back then so I had no idea what I had caught just like I had no idea what Southern Red belly Dace were. I had caught 6 of those in the tiny creek beside the house. Thought that someone had turned some tropicals loose. Perhaps this spring I'll try again in Raccoon for a couple greensides. Last year, I found a civil war era or before clay Colonial American pipe head in that river. Incredibly, it only has 1 tiny match head flake off the edge of it.

 

Anyhow, last night I added a female blackstripe topminnow to the tank. She samples the flake and spits it out, but seems to eat bloodworms. Hopefully I can get her to eat flake. I just don't know how fin-icky they are.... Pun intended.

 

The Grumpy Old Man.



#376 Chasmodes

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Posted 30 October 2021 - 07:40 AM

Very cool find with the pipe head!!!!


Kevin Wilson


#377 Chasmodes

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Posted 30 October 2021 - 11:21 AM

Another video update of the river tank.  I moved some stargrass around and it did a couple things, one positive and one negative.  First, it opened up some space in the center of the tank so the fish had more room, positive.  Second, I lost that river flow effect on the stargrass, negative.  I guess the powerhead that I have isn't quite strong enough to keep that stargrass flowing horizontally.  I also discuss some of the history of the tank for those that are first discovering it on YT.

 


Kevin Wilson


#378 Chasmodes

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Posted 30 October 2021 - 11:16 PM

Well, I lost one of my two silverjaw minnows tonight.  How? 

  • Disease?  No.  
  • Parasites?  No.
  • Old Age?  No.
  • Jump out of the tank?  No.
  • Ammonia/Nitrite poisoning?  No.
  • Stress/Aggression?  No.
  • Eaten by another fish?  No.
  • Hit it's head on the glass lid while going topwater to eat food?  Yes.  After that hit, it was enough to knock it unconscious.  It never recovered despite my efforts to revive him.  Only once in my life did that ever happen, and that was when I had a 20" largemouth bass in a 55g tank (that lived for a couple years, grew from 17") when it hit it's head on a rock while chasing goldfish during feeding time.  I ate that fish...  Man, that's a bummer.  Now I'm back to one of that species.

Kevin Wilson


#379 littlen

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Posted 31 October 2021 - 12:20 PM

..you could technically have eaten the minnow, too.
Nick L.

#380 Chasmodes

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Posted 31 October 2021 - 02:02 PM

LOL Nick!

 

My satinfins seem to spawn daily and provide constant action, more prevalent, however, during the low light conditions or morning and evening.  This video shows the action along with the darters in wait, lurking for their chance of a a nice fish egg snack.  Enjoy!

 


Kevin Wilson





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