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Oxygen Needy Species Aquarium

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#1 vaPearldace

  • NANFA Guest
  • Central Appalachians

Posted 11 June 2018 - 07:36 PM

Hello all! I am new to NANFA forums and new to keeping fish but I have been a native species enthusiast for several years now. I was wondering if anyone has any advice on starting a native tank, particularly for fish where I cannot skimp on dissolved O2. What filters would be good for a 15-30 gallon tank? what steps do I need to take to insure that the water stays well oxygenated and well filtered? Some species that I am considering from my local area here on a stream in the Shenandoah Valley hill country are Skulpins, Allegheny Pearl Dace, Longnose Dace, Blacknose Dace Rosyside Dace Creek Chub, Bluehead Chub, Fantail Darter and Banded Killifish. I think some of these are pretty dissolved oxygen needy but I am not sure. Any advice is appreciated as I am not very experienced. Thanks!!!


PS. what is a power-head and is it necessary?

PPS. Is a filter different from an aerator or does one machine fulfill both filtration and aeration?         

#2 MtFallsTodd

  • NANFA Member
  • Mountain Falls, Virginia

Posted 12 June 2018 - 05:52 AM

When I had my natives in a 30 gallon tank, 2 hang on back power filters worked great. I just used 2 that were rated for 30 gallons each. Just try not to let the tank get too warm and you shouldn't have a problem. My tank is in a basement that stays below 65 degrees. Your species list is almost identical to mine and most all of them are very hardy. I'm in Frederick county Virginia. If your ever in my neck of the woods I'll show a few good collecting spots.
Deep in the hills of Great North Mountain

#3 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 12 June 2018 - 07:59 AM

Agree with MFTodd - temperature is what you most need to control.  Keep them cool and providing O2 is easy.  Any filter that moves the water surface or airstone will keep it near saturated with O2.  i use cheap air-powered box filters and sponge filters, with a little aragonite or crushed coral to keep the GH, KH, and pH from dropping  too low.  Also, headwater creek fish are dedicated jumpers - NO fish-size gaps in the cover. 

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

#4 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:04 AM



PS. what is a power-head and is it necessary?

PPS. Is a filter different from an aerator or does one machine fulfill both filtration and aeration?         


A powerhead is a submersible pump that goes in the tank that just moves water around.  Creates current for most applications.  For a 30 gallon tank, no, it isn't necessary.  Having adequate filtration will create enough water movement.  Some people like to have them anyway.  They make small ones that are suitable for a 30 gallon.

A filter is just that, something that cleans and purifies the water.  It removes solids and dissolved waste products.  Aerators do just that, pump air into your tank (which can be diffused by an air stone or sponge filter).  A filter aerates, but an aerator doesn't always filter (if attached to an airstone).  

Like the others suggested, one large, or two smaller filters will be plenty for filtering the water, oxygenating it, and creating a current for the species you listed.

Just keep in mind how many fish you tend to stock, and how large some of them get once full grown....*chubs......and with them in mind, what they like to eat!

Good luck, have fun.  New tanks are fun to set up.

Nick L.

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