Re: NANFA-- Re: NANFA- Colonial Hydrozoans (At Cranberry Glade Lake!)
Thu, 22 Jun 2000 22:55:52 EDT

In a message dated 6/22/00 3:39:29 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< it would be interesting to
have some people getting freshwater invertrabrate tanks going, and keep them
going like the salt water ones. Other than lacking neon rainbows of color
they should be just as interesting. I would think it would be awesome to
have a larger tank with all these things , plus a few tiny fish species of
choice. I would be willing to bet once the code was "cracked", that these
would be small self sustaining ecosystems just as there salt water counter
parts are. I have always wanted to start one, but have many species of
fish, and am always using tank space for them. >>

I was thinking the very same thing myself for a long time too, and for the
same reason have not been able to implement it;i.e., all my tanks thus far
have had to devote them to fish.Once I started finding out about the
existence of freshwater bryozoans,sponges and the like (about two years ago
or so) the thought occured to me.Since these animals are more typically found
in salt water reef areas, they seem more like creatures that should be found
in the ocean ( and a mere accident of nature that they occur in freshwater).
Obviously these groups of creatures are very adaptable to be able to exploit
the variety of aquatic environments that they do. Now that I have found out
about the existence of freshwater colonial hydrozoans (the closest freshwater
relatives of colonial corals) there are more candidates for replicating a
tropical coral reef environment (the North American freshwater version).
Something with freshwater sponges, bryozoans, and hydrozoans would be the
ultimate in freshwater invertebrate keeping and a saltwater coral reef
replication.With some darters to substitute for gobies and blennies (or
perhaps the few freshwater gobies, sleepers, and clingfish that are present
in North America) and perhaps sunfish to sustitute for damselfishes I think
this could be done.Of course, like you said," the code has to be cracked" (
good euphemism, for it's really like a puzzle to be solved- and a difficult
one at that). Once aquarists develop practical methods of keeping them in
adequate conditions by isolating what exactly the organisms need (food in the
form of bacteria for bryozoans and sponges and light for the sponges)and in
the exact amounts they need them, this will be achieved.
<< To get bacteria going to feed these creatures, maybe try the same methods
used to feed protzoan, and euglena cultures. This usually consists of
haveing snails present, and then adding a few fish pellets, and maybe a
small amount of yeast. Just enough to keep a haze in the water. I don't
know if this will work, but it is worth a shot. >>
I think that this is a good idea, and a good possibility for achieving this
task. You may yet just be our first pioneering freshwater bryozoan-keeping
aquarist, Ray! You and Jeff seem poised to start this whole endeavor in
earnest. And information regarding the captive care of these freshwater
invertebrates would be useful I'm sure to scientists seeking more information
concerning these creatures (like what they-especially the endangered
bryozoans if any- require to live, the full extent of their importance to the
ecosystem, plus their benefits to humanity in the form of chemicals they
secrete and their usefulness if any to humans, their cloning abilities and
how to replicate this action for human tissue organ replacement).
I was recently considering creating a special varient on the whole
inverts-only tank; a tank simulating the environment of the vernal pool
behind my parent's house. Water from the pool for the initial set-up,
leaf-litter and twig substrate,the freshwater bryozoans that look like brain
corals, Daphnia magna to get rid of excess algal diatoms so the bryozoans
don't get smothered with unchecked algae growth, all the aquatic insects that
occurr there like the wierd dytiscus beetle larvae I discussed in a previous
post,snails, and maybe some crawdads (as long as they don't devour the

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