Just remember with Darters most need faster current and cooler temps. There is a guy locally that keeps a room full of various Darters and breeds them which is a pretty cool setup. The whole system is hooked to a large chiller.
I think these fish are going to be alright with room temperature water. The space where the tank is going is air conditioned or heated year-round and it is always around 72F. Hopefully the appliances (powerheads + canister filter) won't creep the water temp up too much more.
I got a few notes to add on plant selection I'll write again with those.
This is definitely the kind of stand construciton that I am going to for this setup...
Because of the setting the stand won't work with an open bottom like this and it will need doors and side panels. I'll make those with 1/2" plywood panels painted a nice color and varnished. The doors and panels will mount flush with the outside edges of the red cedar boards.
I'll need to make a canopy to go along with this construction too. This would be easiest with painted plywood to match the doors, although it might be smarter with red cedar to match the horizontal boards(???).
This would only work if the plants were trimmed back so that a good deal of negative space could be maintained in the planted layout. For this idea I would frame up a shot enlargrement showing a view through the trees near a stream and then use the shadowbox for an enhanced perception of depth.
I know a good spot to go for madtoms and I should be able to catch a few.
They really are great in an aquarium if you keep them in a little group.
You have to be careful with them! I remember once I was bluegill fishing with my brother and he hooked a little madtom. He got stung with a pectoral spine removing it from the hook and his whole hand swelled up as big as a grapefruit.
hey that shadow box is a good idea! How would you go about using that idea in a riparium though?!
The shadowbox backgound would go behind the abovewater area.
It would be a bit tricky though beacuse you would need keep the plants trimmed to maintain the negative sace in the background. If the plants covered mre that 2/3 of the background space the shadowbox wouldn't look like much.
Hey hydro...more than happy to help with this one as well.
Havent gotten anything for you yet as my boss is working on a little something for the lower vert convention over in Minnesota for this weekend.
Pm'ing you now.
Great. I am still waiting to hear about the funding. If they want to do it this summer I want to get rolling right away because the summer will go by fast and I want to make sure to some good pictures and video of habitat. Do you all have access to an HD recorder at all?