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Planning a Western New York tank


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#21 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
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  • Ohio

Posted 12 April 2019 - 08:07 PM

Of course, New York is the No Fun State after all.  [-X

 

Anyway, I think I found a way to get around this issue. I noticed that PetSmart carries Rosy Red Minnows, which are recent genetic mutation of fathead minnows (pimephales promelas), which are native and abundant in western New York. Now, apparently these mutants don't always have pink offspring (I saw a bunch of silver ones) and revert back to their natural color. I'm thinking I'll just ask the folk at the store to sell me their "ugly" fish once my tank is done cycling.

Good thinking. I like it, and cannot possibly put you in jeopardy.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#22 tabbycat

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 06:39 PM

Thought I would give an update.

 

Since my last post, my 20 gallon tank has been set up and running since before Easter. I have a base layer of locally sourced compost with a gravel mixture on top thats 2/3 pea gravel and 1/3 smashed brick and rocks I gathered out of the creek behind my house (the soil and the brick causes the water to have this slight brownish hue, which is fine because I wanted a blackwater aquarium). For cover I have a large antique aquarium castle from 1900-1920s and a rock hide I made with creek rocks and I've been replanting cuttings of hornwort with moderate success.

 

I initially bought 5 feeder fatheads and about 11 ghost shrimp from a local pet store that also acts as a wholesaler. After about a week or I lost maybe 3-4 shrimp and I noticed that the fish were rather wimpy that would hide in the corner of the tank (one having a messed up caudal fin and only one of them was 2 inches). I decided then to go to PetSmart and pick up 3 additional fatheads that looked bigger and healthier and maybe 6 more ghost shrimp. I'm glad that I bought the other fish, as I noticed that they became much more active, brave, and display schooling behavior (though they still love my castle to death). I've only had one fish die on me in the last 3 weeks (one of the feeders) and they appear to be doing pretty good.

 

Unfortunately, the ghost shrimp have not been doing as well. Last I checked I see maybe 3-4 left and it seems as if every other day I have to scoop out another dead one. It's heartbreaking because two of the shrimp were pregnant (the last one that went missing was very close to birth)

 

So some questions:

 

1. Is this level of die off common for ghost shrimp? How can I lessen it?

2. Are there any kinds of aquatic moss native to North America?

3. I'm thinking about getting a snail for detritus clean up. I've been going kayaking every weekend to get ideas on how to sculpt my tank and I actually found an empty snail shell with a neat black and tan spiral design. Any advice on the best way to trap some? I saw some video online of this guy putting fish offal in a pasta strainer and put it in shallow water...


Edited by tabbycat, 15 May 2019 - 07:17 PM.


#23 Suzanne

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 02:47 PM

Hi,
1. Ghost shrimp are apparently not very long lived from what I read about them when mine died off.
2. I do not know about aquatic moss, but I have used terestrial moss with some success in my aquarium. Some kinds grow others don't, but it was easy to just take a little piece form each type in my yard and try it out in the aquarium water.
3. I live in the Finger lakes region of NY and for me the easiest way to find snails was to simply scoop some plants out of my pond into a bucket of water and gently shake and swish the plants around in the water, snails fall off in the bucket. Larger snails like ramshorn are easy to just pick off of the plants in the net. I find they like the shallow area the best, it's nearly swampy, with lots of Canadian waterweed. (Side note Canadian waterweed grows excellently in an aquarium with decent light).
I find that the ramshorn snails from my pond do not seem to breed in my tank, but they are excellent at eating algae! The other ones i have that are usually just referred to as pond snails breed like crazy! Those ones have a pointy shell.
All the best Experts were Beginners who didn't give up.

#24 tabbycat

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 08:42 PM

Hi,
1. Ghost shrimp are apparently not very long lived from what I read about them when mine died off.
2. I do not know about aquatic moss, but I have used terestrial moss with some success in my aquarium. Some kinds grow others don't, but it was easy to just take a little piece form each type in my yard and try it out in the aquarium water.
3. I live in the Finger lakes region of NY and for me the easiest way to find snails was to simply scoop some plants out of my pond into a bucket of water and gently shake and swish the plants around in the water, snails fall off in the bucket. Larger snails like ramshorn are easy to just pick off of the plants in the net. I find they like the shallow area the best, it's nearly swampy, with lots of Canadian waterweed. (Side note Canadian waterweed grows excellently in an aquarium with decent light).
I find that the ramshorn snails from my pond do not seem to breed in my tank, but they are excellent at eating algae! The other ones i have that are usually just referred to as pond snails breed like crazy! Those ones have a pointy shell.

1. I figured. I know they are only 30 cents, but I feel responsible for their well being. Plus, I find them a lot more entertaining to watch than the fish. When I first put them in the tank, they would climb up the castle and base jump off of it over and over.

2. and 3. I'll have to put on my waders this weekend and see what I can find. Doesn't sound too difficult.

 

Anyway, here's some pictures of my current set up. These were all taken at the same time, so I don't know why the first picture is so brown. It typically doesn't look like that until the day I do a water change.

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#25 Suzanne

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  • NY

Posted 01 June 2019 - 04:23 PM

Your tank looks really nice! I love your minnows!
Where did you get your minnows?
I have been trying to get some to add in with my 1 emerald shiner minnow so they can school, but I have not found any that look good at pet stores, and I don't think I dare to get bait store minnows they are in some pretty nasty conditions!
All the best Experts were Beginners who didn't give up.

#26 Suzanne

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 04:33 PM

I just re-read your post (more slowly...) And I see you got some of your minnows from a PetSmart, I have checked Petco but not PetSmart, I'll have to try there next.
Petco only has golden or whitish colored feeder fish.. not even sure what kind of minnow they would be, but I don't think a gold color minnow will look too good next to my emerald shiner Lol!
All the best Experts were Beginners who didn't give up.

#27 JasonL

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 05:37 PM

Likely they are rosy reds at pet stores which are fathead minnows color morphed. Probably somewhat healthier than bait store minnows but tend to be overstocked and stressed as well. Be careful adding them to a healthy tank imo.

#28 tabbycat

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 06:47 PM

Likely they are rosy reds at pet stores which are fathead minnows color morphed. Probably somewhat healthier than bait store minnows but tend to be overstocked and stressed as well. Be careful adding them to a healthy tank imo.

Yep. Rosy reds are the same exact species as Fathead Minnows except often they show a pink mutation. I first went to a local fish store that had feeder rosy reds and asked for a few of the non-pink ones. Then I went to PetSmart and asked for their grey rosy reds that were bigger and a lot healthier looking. Agree with them not being the most healthy fish, but at this time they are the only fish in the tank. I did a week's worth of Melafix when one of the fish developed a white fluffy fungus on its scales (it died the day after).

 

On my wading adventure today, I was able to find one snail with a cone-shaped shell, but it turns out my neighbor who has been overhauling his outdoor pond has been scooping out Ramshorn snails by the handful. So now I have 7 in total, with the pond snails being covered with moss. The fish and shrimp are obsessed with them, as they love eating the moss off the snail's backs.



#29 Suzanne

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 12:22 PM

I will have to try my minnow trap again now that it is warming up, I saw some small fish in my pond schooling but from a distance I could not tell if they were minnows or more baby sunfish or bass hatching out.
I'm glad I have a pond on my property because that makes it ok to keep the minnows (in NY you can't transport baitfish you catch by vehicle overland in most areas).
The minnow I have is already from the same pond so hopefully that would cut down on risks of introducing any disease that it hasn't already been exposed to.

Edited by Suzanne, 02 June 2019 - 12:24 PM.

All the best Experts were Beginners who didn't give up.

#30 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
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Posted 02 June 2019 - 01:17 PM

NY like Tennessee have some ridiculous laws concerning the keeping and transporting of native NGF within state lines. It's unreal that some of these states will not let you even keep common shiners, creek chubs and other non-threatened and common minnows. Pretty sad actually....



#31 tabbycat

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:22 PM

So the last of the Petsmart fish died, so I guess just ignore what I said earlier. Despite being feeder fish, of the original 5 wholesale fish, only one has died around a month ago...

 

Lately I've been looking into getting another fish or two from Jonah's Aquarium or Zimmerman's Fish but I'm not sure if my tank would be overstocked. As of right now I have 4 fathead minnows, 5 ramshorn snails, and 10 ghost shrimp. I was thinking of getting a pair of rainbow darters, as they are quite stunning and are native to my area, but would they attack my shrimp? I know they hunt snails (which I would be ok with), but I would have no interest if they would kill my shrimp. Or maybe a golden/emerald shiner or a redbelly dace as a centerpiece fish?

 

Finally, to finish off my hardscape, I'm looking into getting a resin mold of a common snapping turtle skull. On one of my recent kayaking expeditions I got really close to one the size of a toilet seat and I've always had a soft spot for the critters.


Edited by tabbycat, 13 June 2019 - 08:25 PM.


#32 JasonL

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:10 PM

Ghost shrimp and darters are not compatible in my experience. My darters treat them as a much appreciated snack.



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