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Old 01-27-2013, 06:26 PM   #1
Open_Cages
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An interesting idea...


My idea: to make a slice of the forest containing only partgenogenic (all female species. I've posted this on many forums. I got a lot of acceptance from both the herp and roach people. However, when I posted it on dendroboards I got a mostly negative response. They brought up valid points that I plan to test and adress:
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beg...play-tank.html

I usually open with something along the lines of this:

"Hi everyone!
Note: I know that this will be hard. More so then a single species tank. I am willing to take the risk and go all out on this. Also, I care much more about the animals then anything else... If any are experiencing problems then they will be removed.
This is my first post on this forum.. I thought you guys would be helpful/interested when it comes to this sort of thing.So I came up with a new concept viv, dart frog style. It will be a Paludarium, with the water section connected to the false bottom (egg crate method). I am planning to, of course, seed it with some sick exotic plants... I hope this might not be a problem.

On land:
Mourning geckos
Pycnoscelus surinamensis (feeder/cleanup/cool inhabitant)
P nigra (same as above)

In water:
Marbled crayfish
Mts (food source, will help irrigate, cleanup)

I was thinking about adding a few more all female species.. But I dunno. Any suggestions?

It will certainly be hard to do, especially because the mourning geckos will eat mostly fruit with the occational roach. Do you think that they will eat all of the plants?

I'm thinking about a stream dividing the two species of roaches. Would they be able to cross via branches or the false bottom/background? Also do both species of roach reproduce at the same rate?

They would drown/stay long enough to be eaten in the water feature, right?


Any thoughts? Concerns? Can this work?"

Keep in mind that I am a herp/invert person, not an aquarium person. I reconize the importance of the aquatic section (for biofilteration purposes).
I am posting this because of the aquatic section, which I intend to be a big part of the tank. The tank's lower section will be devoted to a false bottom, which will not be divided from the "visible water". The visible water will be a stream of water that will go towards thd front of the tank and overflow over a very small ledge(look below for illustration). I will have marbled crayfish and mts in this part.
Because it is a natural tank, I intend to make it look as natural as possible. I plan to have a layer of sand, so the mts can burrow and the crayfish can berry. Because PVC pipe does not look natural, instead I will have stacked rocks under the false bottom and towards the sides. This will utilize the volume of the tank. In the stream and in front of it I will have better looking things, probably a big piece of driftwood with smaller rocks centering it. I will have floating plants--for the "stream" I will have azolla, for the front of the stream I will have frogbit, red rooted floaters, and other similar "attractive floaters". On the left and right I will have duckweed and giant duckweed, respectively. I will post more details in another post, as this is getting long.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:35 PM   #2
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Under the false bottom I will have other fast growing floaters. Now, before you start crying about light for these, I will use underwater aquarium lights (you know, the ones that look like Christmas lights)slightly underwater to light these. Which means that I have nearly infinite light underwater.. Do you all know of any plant that could outgrow the crayfish?

For a filter, I will have a rocket filter recommended for 75+ gallons so it doesn't disturb he surface too much. There will also be live plants everywhere! I will have 3 seperate water features: one that connects to the stream, one that goes to the right side and one that goes to the right. I will make them so they hardly disturb the surface of the water.

I know I'm barely scratching the surface, so please ask questions-- I have the answers!
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:45 PM   #3
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Also, I might want to put this viv into a wooden cabinet--detailed here: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beg...-vivarium.html. It is 3 ft tall, 1 ft wide, and 4 ft long. How could I seal it for cheap? Or should I go out and buy a new tank?

Assorted pictures:
Cabinet:

Rough sketch (minus most of the tank--just to give you an idea.

"Visible water"


Thanks for reading
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:40 PM   #4
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A simplified sketch of most vital aspects relating to the aquatic portion :



Key:
1. Filter
2. False bottom (egg crate method)
3. "Stream"
4. All aspects relating to the waterfall.
5. All aspects relating to lighting.
6. All aspects relating to rocks, and rock dividers between different species of floating plants.

Hope it helps.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:25 AM   #5
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Marmokrebs (parthenogic Crays) are weedeaters (the machine that tears up everything)
In a 45 gallon tank (all water, not a riparium) just one started in shredding everything, then had babies, and the combined efforts of all of them kept the tank looking like a moonscape.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails have very hard shells, and not every snail eating animal is willing to tackle them. Many fish do learn to suck the meat out of the shell, and eat them that way.

I am not familiar with the land critters you are thinking about. I could make a few assumptions:
1) If it can get into trouble, it will.
2) If one can eat another, then the predator is highly likely to wipe out the prey in a small box. Need a large set up and plenty of hiding places for the prey to reproduce in great enough numbers to survive predation.
3) No matter what the literature says is the optimum habitat for something, it will live somewhere else in the riparium, take someone else's home.
4) Animals cannot read the labels on the food. They will eat the 'wrong' food, the food intended for some other critter. Keep together animals with similar dietary needs.

There is a Molly that will breed parthenogenically. She will get bred once by a male of any of several species, but he is not the genetic father of the babies. She is the sole parent, and will have many pregnancies after the one encounter.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:27 AM   #6
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I read about that Molly.. The amazon Molly if I recall correctly (though it is found mostly in texas--haha). However, it would go against my plan for a fast breeding, all female viv as it requires males.

I read that marbled crayfish could eat mts, and other snails. Which is not exactly a good thing, but I don't care. I chose those aquatic plants because of their fast growing nature.. Doubling their mass every 4 days!!!!!!

As for not breeding fast enough, the roaches will probably breed too fast. They are the fastest breeding cockroach in the world.
The crays and mts will hopefully consume any drowned ones, and the mourning geckos will have a feast. There are two apex preditors in this system, and they will probably never meet.

I think I need help with the aquatic section, though.

Could I use pond liner to seal up the wooden cabinet?
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:53 PM   #7
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In addition to tearing up the aquatic plants, I'd be willing to bet that the crayfish will climb out of the water and tear up stuff on the land segments as well.

I haven't kept that particular species, but I had kept a few wild-caught crayfish when I was on the East Coast. really interesting critters, but they need a pretty thoroughly sealed tank, and are hard to keep with almost anything else.

Also, I don't think the roaches will stay confined to one corner. they will either crawl across on the glass/seams/lid, or fall in the water and crawl back out.

As to the false bottom ledge- instead of putting lights and floating plants under there, maybe treat it more like and underwater cave, you could do everything else the same (false bottom, eggcrate, etc.), just extend it downwards to a bit below the water surface. Eventually, the plants you have in that section will probably put roots down into the water, which could serve as shelter/feeding for baby mollies/shrimp/whatever (unless the crayfish tears them up). I think having a ledge above the water might lead to some problems, you might get weird surface currents, and the roaches will probably crawl underneath and hang out there.

I've kept some of the Madagascar hissing roaches before (Gromphadorhina portentosa?), and they always liked to hang out on the upside down on the underside of things.

Not trying to discourage you, just trying to think of potential problems/conflicts.

As to sealing the wooden cabinet, I'd just go with an epoxy. Clean it out good, and maybe scuff up the surface with some sand paper or something, and then paint the insides. Depending on how deep you want the water, you may want to make sure the cabinet is strong enough to handle the pressure, or see about reinforcing it. Maybe put some fiberglass tape in the corners to prevent them from cracking (may be completely unnecessary). I also think epoxy is a generally really useful thing for paludariums, so it could also be used to help construct the land features, make fake rocks/trees, etc. Though it is kinda hard to do a paludarium with only 1 foot of width.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:48 PM   #8
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I wonder if it would be possible to attach pond liner to all wooden surfaces and then make the background over it? This would be much easier, and would look better (as well as being a bit cheaper).
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:50 PM   #9
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by pond liner, do you mean a sheet of rubber/plastic, or the paint-on type?

If you use a sheet, and don't have any seams, you can be fairly certain it will be waterproof. but it would be susceptible to leaks/punctures/abrasions, and especially the corners would be hard to do neatly. When they are used in outdoor ponds, there is usually a clay or sand layer, both to cushion/protect the liner, and in the case of clay, to serve as another impermeable barrier. a couple pinholes in an outdoor pond will just require slightly more frequent refilling, and may not be much more noticeable then evaporation. The same couple pinholes would be disastrous for an aquarium/paludarium/riparium indoors.

I don't know much about the paint-on pond liners, but I think they tend to be just as expensive as a high-end epoxy, and I'm not sure anything but more pond liner will stick to them (would make it hard to attach something to the sides/bottom, etc.).

I'm sort of biased towards epoxy -it's pretty versatile in that it can be used for a lot of different things, it can be pigmented or painted over, you can mix it with sand to create artificial rock, you can use it to glue almost anything to almost anything else, and it's relatively safe (as far as these things go).
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:06 PM   #10
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I could get twice as much as I'd need, and go over it twice; then silicone/glue it down.

This would be cheaper by far then any paint, and would be easier to work with.
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