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#1 Summerboy1958

Summerboy1958
  • NANFA Guest
  • Delaware

Posted 06 January 2018 - 04:10 PM

Hi Folks,

 

It's been  along time since I had native fish.  Back then it was saltwater fish I caught while living in Virginia Beach.  I'm interested in freshwater fish now and am looking for some insight how to best use my current equipment.

 

I have a 30 "long" that currently houses 3 cardinal tetras, 4 zebra hovering loaches, a clown loach, a catfish, a bnp and 4 amano shrimp.  It has an emperor 280 and a coralife light with dual bulbs.  It is chock full of annubias (3 types), java fern (long leaves) and a nice ball of subwassertange.  I like planted tanks but have had zero luck with any other types of plants.  Not sure why, but I tried low tech planted for several years with little success.  Even the easy plants never grew.  This is the only tank I have in service right now.  I plan on keeping these fish as they have been with me for over 5 years.

 

I bought a 20 long with a stand and a conventional flourescent bulb.  It came with an aquaclear 200 HOB and an aquaclear 30 powerhead on an UGF.   I have a 20 high with an emperor 280 HOB and a coralife light with twin bulbs.  I have an penn plax cascade 700 that I have never used.  I just bought a lustar hydro III sponge filter.  I also have 2- 10 gallon tanks and a 15 gallon tank that I bought used from my LFS going out of business.

 

I would like to have no more than 3 going as I just don't have room and work 60 hours a week.  Not too excited about species only tanks, I really prefer "community" tanks that contain species that you might find together.  Maybe 3 kinds together.  I would likely have amano shrimp for algae control.  I understand thayey are better than ghost shrimp for that use.

 

I would love to have a darter tank with minnows as dithers.  They remind me of the blennies and gobies I used to keep from the Chesapeake and Atlantic.  I also like the look of the least killies, pygmy killies, blue fin killies, flag fish, the various small sunfish (pygmy and black banded/blue spotted).  I like smaller fish.  And like most folks, I like diverse colors.  I am not really interested in breeding, only having a comfortable home for a grouping of fish/invertebrates.

 

So, any suggestions on how to best use my existing equipment?  What fish combos for which tanks?

 

I had thought to put the existing fish in a smaller tank (maybe the 20 high with the 280 hob) and use the 30 for darters/minnows.  How much filtration do I need for that sized tank?  That would leave the 20 long for some combination of Florida species.

 

Thanks for your help.  I'm sure there are numerous threads in here on this topic.  If you point me there that would be helpful.  Looking for help from the experts!!

 

Bruce



#2 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 06 January 2018 - 10:33 PM

You could easily do a small darter/minnow tank in the 20 long.  I can imagine three or four rainbow darters on the bottom and four our five Notropis shiners and maybe even a couple Cyprinellas.

 

And I would use the 20 tall for your Florida fishes.  I think Enneacanthus use a taller tank like that pretty well (or at least mine do). I have successfully kept swamp darters under them with some good success. You might also try some bluefin killies in there.


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#3 Doug_Dame

Doug_Dame
  • NANFA Member

Posted 07 January 2018 - 12:30 AM

It's always smart to agree with Michael.

 

That said, all of the native species you specifically mentioned like plants. BFKs like a mixture of open water and plants to lurk near. (And in my experience, are much more comfortable in a tank more than 12" deep.) The others tend to like rather dense vegetation, and in the wild are normally found in places with no or minimal current. Heter and LLOs are really small, easy snacks if they're in a tank with big-mouth piscivores, but I have kept Heter with a variety of other fish. I don't have as much experience with LLOs, but I think they're best in a species tank or at least with other peaceful species of similar size. However, I've seen some commentary that they're okay in a community tank. Bluespots tend to be a bit shy, but the blackbanded sunfish are great. Flagfish are one of my favorite fish, and do a tremendous job on algae. But the males can be bullies when they're guarding a nesting area ... so need space and/or lots of cover and some structure so other fish can stay out of zone of annoyance. 

 

HTH


Doug Dame

Floridian now in Cincinnati
 


#4 Summerboy1958

Summerboy1958
  • NANFA Guest
  • Delaware

Posted 07 January 2018 - 10:09 AM

Thanks for the feedback. If I use the 20l for darters/minnows, how much water movement do they need? I could put the emp 280 and the powerhead on one end. Left to right for example. Or do i need to set up the penn plax?

#5 Summerboy1958

Summerboy1958
  • NANFA Guest
  • Delaware

Posted 07 January 2018 - 11:22 AM

The reason I ask is w hen researching Asian Hillstream systems, there was a minimum tank turn over of 10 times an hour. I can't seem to find tjat kind if data for darters like rainbows.

#6 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 07 January 2018 - 12:41 PM

I am not familiar with your filters exactly, but the truth is most natives don't really NEED the flow (we have discussed this rather a lot here on the forum in the past).  The live in the flow in the wild because that's where the highly oxygenated water and the food are.  If you can provide oxygen to "breath" and food to eat, they will be fine.  Current sometimes helps trick wild caught fish to see food as more alive (like putting thawed mysis shrimp or blood worms in the powerhead out flow).  And they can certainly tolerate the flow.  But as long as the water ripples a little bit across the top of the tank, you will be fine.  A HOB and/or powerhead will be good enough for the fish.


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#7 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 07 January 2018 - 01:22 PM

There is no "minimum tank turn over" rate for darters, or for hillstream loaches.  What matters in terms of filtration is that you have enough total ammonium-uptake capacity (growing plants + nitrifying microbes) to balance the animal bioload, and some water movement to keep the lower part of the tank well oxygenated.  An airstone or bubble box/sponge filter can provide the circulation.  A small powerhead over an area of open substrate can provide a "habitat enrichment" playground for current-loving species to exercise and follow their instincts.  Strong current throughout the tank really isn't needed, and if you watch rheophilic fish in streams they spend a lot of their time in "flow-shadows" behind rocks and logs where they're not actively working against the current.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#8 Summerboy1958

Summerboy1958
  • NANFA Guest
  • Delaware

Posted 07 January 2018 - 03:29 PM

The reason I ask is w hen researching Asian Hillstream systems, there was a minimum tank turn over of 10 times an hour. I can't seem to find tjat kind if data for darters like rainbows.

#9 Summerboy1958

Summerboy1958
  • NANFA Guest
  • Delaware

Posted 07 January 2018 - 03:46 PM

Thanks for the info. The streams around me all have round rocks as opposed to flat. Mud/clay vs sand/gravel. There aren't really piles that would make caves. What are the stream beds where rainbow darters are found. What kind of structure do they like? Are there any stream bed pictures or videos that you could recommend? I don't suppose it really matters, but if i am going out to find landscape, it might as well represent.

#10 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 07 January 2018 - 04:13 PM

http://www.freshwatersillustrated.org (Dave Herasimtschuk)

http://www.isaacszabo.com/gallery.html (isaac is active in this forum; many of his best habitat shots are in here)

There's many other great habitat shots and videos here if search through this forum AND the nanfa.org website. 


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#11 Summerboy1958

Summerboy1958
  • NANFA Guest
  • Delaware

Posted 07 January 2018 - 04:15 PM

Thanks Gerald



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