RE: NANFA-L-- living environment in a tank

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (Jan.J.Hoover at
Thu, 8 Sep 2005 12:50:30 -0500

Derek wrote:
>> I'm really curious about others efforts in creating such an
environment that provides for all those weird bugs and grubs and whatnot
that make up the lower portions of the food chain. And beyond the
obvious need of keeping the fish level low, what species would be more
ideal for such a tank?<<<

Piscivores can do well since they would allow invertebrate-plant communities
to establish some kind of "balance" with themselves and nutrient inputs
(feeders and feces).

In Aug 2003, another member and I set up three 200-gal tubs with sand
substrate, an airstone, and some floating plants (water lettuce & water
hyacinth). We innoculated them with a little ditch water containing
plankton and insects. Each tub was stocked with a single young-of-year
alligator gar. Two years later, the tubs and the gar are still going strong.
Maintenance is simple - 10-20% water change every 1-2 weeks, monthly harvest
(and destruction) of aquatic plants. Water quality is always good, although
clarity (from phytoplankton) varies among tubs and from one month to the next
(We once did a 90% water change to try and clear a tank - now we just live
with it).
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