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Aquarium Enthusiasts

Dsetz

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Hey all,
Any of you into aquariums?
I've had one going most of my life.

My latest venture is in natural planted tanks. The 'Walstad' method is a biologically whole approach in which aeration and lighting is the only mechanical input.
1011190928b_Film1.jpg
1011190928_Film1.jpg

Filtration and nutrient balancing are accomplished via plants and macro/micro biota, and occasional water changes.

I just upsized my setup from a 2 gallon nano to a 20 gallon tank. The plants should take off/over quickly as time progresses.
Now I also have three 2 gallon scuds/daphnia cultures cycling up to provide a natural and free food source.
1011190929_Film1.jpg


What I am really excited about currently is pea clams. I found these at a local reservoir that was being drained.
1011190928a_Film1.jpg

These are the ideal aquarium clam IMO as they are small and won't overbalance the tank with nitrates upon dying.
They also do not have a fish parasitic reproductive phase and instead breed hermaphroditically.
They tend to stay close to the surface and are often visible, though seeing them do anything is rare.
My current mini aspiration is to establish a breeding colony. These clams are NOT available in the aquarium trade, and anything novel always fetches top prices until the market is innondated.
 


85_Ranger4x4

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I have a 55gal I set up maybe a month ago. I need to get fish but it has been too hectic to get that done. Maybe in a month when baby is here things will calm down... but I doubt it.
 

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NO... And I'll never have one.

My mother worked in a pet shop while we were kids, so we always had a fish tank or 2 (or 3, or 4... you know, because these fish always fought with those fish, that fish was about to give birth, etc.) The damn thing was always low on water. All you'd hear all night was the sound of the water falling from the filter into the tank. Even in the 33 gal flat back hex with the Ehiem under gravel filter there was a 2nd filter hung on the back... cascading water 24-7. It was a constant torture for 15+ years.
Thanks for bringing up traumatic childhood memories! We had to put my dog to sleep when I was in 5th grade... want to start a thread on that next?!

Rant over.

BTW, nice aquarium.
 

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I've had about 2 dozen different set ups in my life. Everything from small beta bowls to 125 gallon tanks. Had everything but salt water. Currently setting up a 55 gallon for out goldfish. We take our goldfish out from our small outside pond and bring them in for the winter. I try to set mine up with an under gravel filter and then another filter on the top side. Normally don't need anything else to keep fish happy. I don't mess with air bubblers either., they lose too much water and leave a mess on the lid. I've had everything from betas and goldfish to African cichlids and piranha. Piranha are fun until they get big and just sit there... Pretty neat watching them eat fish and bite them in half like nothing.
 

Dirtman

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I have a 65 gallon saltwater tank with a 30 gallon sump system. It's the biggest pain in the ass in my life. This is when I first set it up a couple years ago.

Screenshot_20191011-123820_Photos.jpg
Screenshot_20191011-123954_Photos.jpg
 

Dsetz

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I've always wanted a saltwater tank, mostly due to the 'ecosystem' factor, which is what got me interested in something similar in freshwater.

The natural approach has been soooo darn easy and satisfying. Never running a filter again! It really brings the costs down too.
With healthy plants I've been able to achieve stupid high stocking rates, comparable to heavily filtered. It's actually required a high stock rate to supply enough fertility for the plants. The plants are the only indicator of water quality I use.

We had a pet store when I was younger as well, but it kind of sprung out of me loving it. It wasn't in our homes though, mostly. What used to drive me nuts is how crickets always escape and chirp and crawl on you when you don't expect it.

@85_Ranger4x4 We are expecting in February. I don't expect projects to come easier either :ROFLMAO:

The aquarium worked out as it needed moved/consolidated... like everything else! :p
The unlighted tanks are leopard geckos. Used to have them in a huge terrarium that had a waterfall and nano aquarium but became un-functional. Freaking lizards are 15-20 years old and going strong.

@Dirtman You've almost got more sump than aquarium lol! I'm not much for a PITA setup so I guess I'll just stick to my 1800's biotypes.
 
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Dirtman

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The natural approach has been soooo darn easy and satisfying. Never running a filter again! It really brings the costs down too.
Bahahahahahahahahahahaha you know how much that stupid tank costs me to run?! I have to spend 125+ every 6 months replacing the filters in the RO/DI system just to put water in it. Reef salt is about 100 bucks per 5 gallons. Then you need to add calcium, sodium carbonate, kalkwasser, and a million other stuff to keep the coral alive, monthly water changes, bulbs for the system only last about 6 months and theres another 100 bucks. Replacement test kits to monitor everything, constant cleaning coraline off the glass so you can even see through it. Also need a quarantine tank because one stupid pest can destroy everything.

Sure it doesn't use a traditional filter, just the skimmer and chaeto algae is the only filtration, and snails and crabs are used to keep the actual tank clean. but it ain't freaking cheap!
 

Dsetz

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Oh man your hemorrhaging money lol! You can't get away with just RO water?

That's a cool setup, but not for me.
I'm more a build it and leave it alone type. Initially my nano tank was just a beta tank that was self supporting. I would feed the tank but not the fish typically, there was plenty of macrobiota. A higher stocking rate did eliminate macros so now I'm going to have to breed them separately.
 

Dirtman

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My water sucks and adding the deionization part really doesn't add much expense. The RO filter is the expensive part. With a .5 micron pre filter, 2 charcoal bricks, and RO it brings my dissolved solids down to 10 or so ppm. With the DI its zero.

There was a ton of initial expense then about a year to get it balanced out then it settled in and is easier to maintain but then comes maintenance costs like I said, bulbs filters, and chemicals. And I have automatic everything. Timers, dosing pumps, thermostats, automatic top off etc. You should see my buddies, he has insane computerized stuff that constantly reads everything, tells him what's going on over his phone, auto adds all the chemicals etc. His lights alone were over 2 grand.

I'm considering selling all my coral and just doing fish. That would cut the cost down ten fold. The stupid coral is what needs so much attention.
 

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I have a couple tanks going right now. Nothing too big.

There is a 185G in my living room with African cichlids, a 125G in my son's room with mostly Amazon community fish, and a few other oddballs, and my daughter has a 55G in her room with a single male M. Arautus who is a confirmed killer and has to be kept in solitary.
 

Dsetz

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Ha 185 gallons isn't TOO big?
I've always liked cichlids, but am excited to go the opposite route and have some nice shoals/schools of nano fish.
 

Dirtman

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Ha 185 gallons isn't TOO big?
I've always liked cichlids, but am excited to go the opposite route and have some nice shoals/schools of nano fish.
I was just gonna say lol. My friend has a 150 and its massive. I could sleep in that thing! The fish he gets rid of when they get too big go in my pond. They mostly die...
 

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My water sucks and adding the deionization part really doesn't add much expense. The RO filter is the expensive part. With a .5 micron pre filter, 2 charcoal bricks, and RO it brings my dissolved solids down to 10 or so ppm. With the DI its zero.

There was a ton of initial expense then about a year to get it balanced out then it settled in and is easier to maintain but then comes maintenance costs like I said, bulbs filters, and chemicals. And I have automatic everything. Timers, dosing pumps, thermostats, automatic top off etc. You should see my buddies, he has insane computerized stuff that constantly reads everything, tells him what's going on over his phone, auto adds all the chemicals etc. His lights alone were over 2 grand.

I'm considering selling all my coral and just doing fish. That would cut the cost down ten fold. The stupid coral is what needs so much attention.
Throw some clams in your tank and raise your own, fresh "Chowadh".
:icon_rofl:
Grumpaw
 

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Ha 185 gallons isn't TOO big?
I've always liked cichlids, but am excited to go the opposite route and have some nice shoals/schools of nano fish.
Wife didn't leave me when I brought it home, must not have been too big.
 

Dirtman

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I thought wives only leave when it's too small? :dunno:
 

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