I have always wanted to have a river/stream tank. My efforts to create one had been pretty unsuccessful. Things looked up when I became aware of the work that Oliver Knott was doing with Panta Rhei in Germany. Their “Flow to Go” tanks did an excellent job in creating a true stream in an aquarium. Uni-directional laminar flow. I was hooked!
My goal was to recreate a South East Asian stream. A series of YouTube videos from DiscoveryplanetUK showed these habitats in great detail with a focus on cryptocorynes and associated fauna.
My first attempt to produce my own Flow to go style tank worked pretty good.
There were things I thought could be done better and things I wanted to keep. A few surprises too!
As mentioned before, this was my inspiration photo:
1) A natural stream as might be found in Borneo. Bucephalandra and crypts with Borneo hillstream loaches (Gastromyzon) and gobies (Rhinogobius)
2) I wanted to create an abundant and diverse aufwuchs layer on the rocks to provide much of the food for the fish
3) Keep the water quality very high
1) The flow to go concept kicks butt. It creates a very realistic stream.
2) The Maxspecht Gyre XF 280 is a perfect pump for this
3) The giant PurFlo filter housing with the 20” by 8.5” diameter pleated filter cartridge was unexpectedly awesome – not in the way I would have predicted though!
Turns out this filter is an excellent Gastromyzon nursery! I cannot find any published accounts of these fish breeding and the fry being raised. I have at least 10 fry I pulled from the filter.
Sorry for the crappy picture. They come out at night. You can see three G. ctenocephalus (?) on the rock and three White Cheek goby fry. All are hanging out in a 10 gallon tank waiting for the new home to cycle!
4) Seeding the tank with various items from Carolina Biological Supply worked great! These items got the fish into breeding condition and kept the fry alive with no supplemental feeding. I did feed the adult gobies with live food and I believe the fry ultimately started feeding on small daphnia too. They have big mouths!
5) The Neptune Dos peristaltic pump system was set up to do continuous water changes. It kept things clean and stable. I have a 30 gallon Brute trash can and I pull out 15 gallons every day. The RO water is dosed with ferts and a small amount of Sodium Metasilicate to help with diatom growth. The crypts seemed to like this too as I had both C. nuri and my mystery crypt flower multiple times.
What I am doing differently
1) I am adding a sump ( the old 90 gallon) along with the closed loop cartridge filter. This will add a significant additional water volume and keep the water level constant in the stream tank. The additional pump will add flow to the water fall.
2) No island. I can make the tank deeper
3) Water fall – So cool looking!
4) No Monte Carlo. It started to grow over everything!
5) No Eleocharis vivipara. It was even more invasive than the monte carlo! Keeping with mostly Bucephalandra, some crypts and a few ferns
6) Longer tank! 6 ft instead of 4 ft. Lots of caves for the loaches and the gobies and their offspring
I will go into more about the design and build in the next post. Please ask any questions. This is a fun concept and it can scale down to fit smaller spaces.