I've grown up along the Erie Canal my whole life and I decided to work on setting up my own personal canal inside my house.
I bought a 20 gallon tank where I intend on using local soil in addition to using pebbles and crushed rock that I gathered out of a tributary of the canal (yes, the water's super cold)
In a few weeks, I'm going to attempt catching my resident fish. According to New York's fish atlas, I can find Emerald Shiners, Common Shiners, Golden Shiners, River Chub, Hornyhead Chub, among others. Going by fish sizes, I'm not going to try and have more than 4 unless I can find some really tiny fish (no idea what species)
I have a few questions and would greatly appreciate feedback:
1) What kind of non-fish aquatic creatures should I look into to share my tank? I was originally thinking of having crayfish, but then I found out crayfish don't get along with minnows.I then thought about snails, but i don't want them to be overwhelming my tank. I'm seriously considering ghost shrimp, but are those found as far north as New York? I haven't been able to find anything online, so I'm pretty open to anything.
2) Is brick a safe aquarium decoration? I found a ton of brick in the water from an old lumbermill from the turn of the century and I wanted to use some of it to create a hide and use as gravel.
3) I found a database for local aquatic plantlife and a lot of it appears to be easily bought online. I'm thinking of coontail, white water buttercup, and duckweed to give it this shaded green tint, but I'm having difficulty finding some good smaller groundcover. Any suggestions?