Jump to content


Photo

Simulating Winter Indoors


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 TheNonEuclidean

TheNonEuclidean
  • NANFA Member
  • Aiken, SC

Posted 21 August 2019 - 05:20 PM

I have a 40g set up with some small sunfish varieties, shiners, and others from my local river (South Fork Edisto, SC).
I had an idea to try and replicate the river temperatures im my tank real time. I looked at the USGS data trend for a full year and was surprised that it showed a 40 degree plus swing from summer to winter, from below 50 to above 90. I am assuming this is a surface temperature reading, if they are even accurate. I figured realistically i could provide a 20 degree differential, from 65 to 85. Would this be enough to see normal behavior and full coloration?

#2 mattknepley

mattknepley
  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 21 August 2019 - 09:36 PM

i don't know if they are accurate, but I'd tend to think so.  Up on the SC/GA border at the US 76 bridge the Chattooga was 80 in several inches of water by my Orvis thermometer's reading.  It didn't feel much cooler in the scour pools and runs.  If the temp swing you want to do is coordinated with natural lighting cues, you have a shot at it working, I would think.  You could also move them outdoors for the winter, depending on your situation. 


Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#3 littlen

littlen
  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 22 August 2019 - 06:31 AM

Others will hopefully chime in, but from my experience with spawning shiners/darters/sunnies, photo-period plays a bigger role than temp swings.  I had a 150 gal. stream tank in the family room across from a big, bay window.  The tank was kept 67-68 all year.  But exposure to the the natural daylight through each season yielded spawning from different shiners and darters.  (Same with sunnies at an aquarium I worked at).  It is easy enough, albeit expensive, to get a chiller and really go for gold with temp swings if you want but I don't think it is necessary.


Nick L.

#4 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 22 August 2019 - 07:08 AM

I have never been much of a fish breeder, but I have had quite a few accidental spawning events. None involved modifying temperatures any more than what normally goes on in a basement. I've fed heavily and modified light cycle primarily to induce spawning colors. Just too lazy to raise fry. Some fish species color up better and or easier than others. I don't think I have ever had captive fish color up as well as wild fish though.

 

 I have heard of some leaving a window open in their fish rooms.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#5 TheNonEuclidean

TheNonEuclidean
  • NANFA Member
  • Aiken, SC

Posted 22 August 2019 - 10:07 AM

Interesting. I would not have thought photoperiod had a bigger impact than temperature. 65-85 degrees is what I can achieve using only a heater, not going to splurge for the chiller. As I have algae problems with very long photoperiods. Is it sufficient to simply vary the hours of light from 4 to 6 hours winter to summer or would I need a more realistic 24 hour cycle?
This is primarily a display tank, was looking to see what I could do to get that wild coloration back in my bluespots. I get glimpses of it when they display to each other, but havent seen the jet black and bright blue again since I brought them home.

#6 littlen

littlen
  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:10 PM

A twenty degree temp swing is great using only a heater and ambient temps.  But again, the temperature manipulation is second in importance to light.  You'll need to more closely mimic natural photo-periods. 4-6 hours of daylight simulating winter isn't realistic.  If you search the forum or have access to old copies of American Currents there are a few discussions on how artificial lighting was manipulated to get many species of darters to breed in a rack system.  Don't quote me on this, but I believe the winter hours were 10 on, 14 off and vice versa for summer.  During the transition, duration may have been increased/decreased by 20-30 minutes a day.  (Anyone else recall?)

 

If you're having significant algae growth with anything less than 8-10 hours of light now, you're in for serious growth during a simulated 'summer' with 14 hours of light.  Take a look at feeding amounts, feeding frequency, types of food, and filtration/organic waste removal to help reduce algae growth.

 

I wouldn't expect to see them in their best breeding attire [as you'd see in nature], but they'll definitely color up for you once you get them feeling frisky.

Sounds like a fun project overall.  We're all here to help.  Any pictures of the setup you'd be willing to share?


Nick L.

#7 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 22 August 2019 - 01:22 PM

I would suggest that you try a longer light cycle of lower intensity. The light doesn't doesn't have to be display intensity lighting to do the trick. You could keep your normal display lighting the same and add to it on both ends to simulate dawn and dusk. Plenty of low wattage low intensity compact LED options out there. Either way you will need much more than 6 hours.

 

If the fish have been fed very well and are in proper condition, you may only need a short number of weeks of longer light duration. Once they start spawning you could start shortening the duration. Might help avoid excess algae.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#8 TheNonEuclidean

TheNonEuclidean
  • NANFA Member
  • Aiken, SC

Posted 22 August 2019 - 09:05 PM

I had already been turning over some ideas about another light source on a timer to provide indirect light. The river they're from is narrow enough that the cypress and tupelos shade it almost completely. I'll bet they actually get more direct sun in the winter! Will post updates.

Photos: pardon the cloudiness in the tank, I just added some oak tea to stain the water. The other picture is the collection spot. All fish were collected within 10 yards of the picture.

Edit: dont know why the first pic was upside down...

Attached Files



#9 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 22 August 2019 - 09:25 PM

Nice. Is it possible that part of your algae problem was due to the tank not being as established as it is now? If it was a newer tank, you may not have that problem again, or it could be worse, time will tell.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#10 TheNonEuclidean

TheNonEuclidean
  • NANFA Member
  • Aiken, SC

Posted 22 August 2019 - 09:56 PM

Yes, to be clearer, I dont have an algae problem currently. I have had problems with new tanks in the past and I am beginning to see brown algae in pockets of higher light. This is a brand new tank with sand substrate (high silicates), so I expected this and wanted to keep light levels lower for a while so as not to compound the problem.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users