You might need a FW refugium as in such as small enivron the critters would
dissapear pretty quick
You wouldn't be able to replicate most special foods that they receive
outdoors as the adults must come in to lay eggs(perhaps take water from an
outdoor pond and dump it in)
You would need very few fish. Before I stocked my 46 gallon bowfront with
ivory montezumae swords, a group of 3 bluefin killies foraged for food just
as they did in the wild. Pretty cool. What impressed me most is observing
one male spotted some ramshorn snail eggs on a java fern leaf, and he came
up to it and started ripping-in-it. Every time he flicked away, an egg was
missing. After a few minutes, the whole egg case was empty...and the fish
went on its way.
You would need a large tank...I would say-in-the very minimum 50
gallons...and 100 would be better if you were to keep anything bigger than,
say H. formosa
You would have to act as a predator in this setup too, keeping perhaps one
fish to every 10-20 gallons of space. I don't know of any predator that
would feed effectively, yet slow enough. It would be cool if there was
something though. Prolly a nonspecialized predator...maybe newts?
After the initial breakin/cycling period, you could introduce microrganisms
to the tank.
scuds seem to be a good candidate as they are fast, difficult prey items and
can survive typical settings. A blackworm carpet would also be a good idea
You would probably need lots of biological filtration and lighting to grow
plants and algae. Plants would allow the critters to hide. Preferably
something with lots of roots(lilys come to mind). You could even pot them up
so scuds and fish eggs could end up inside the pots with the roots.
Even so, I still think you will have to supplement the cultures
occasionally. But its pretty close to natural. If I had some space and a
private place I'd try it myself.
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