20H Michigan Nature tank (56k!) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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20H Michigan Nature tank (56k!)

So i have been wanting to start a native michigan tank for a while, and now that I am up here in Michigan i thought this would be a good time for it, just as a summer tank. So this tank will only be set up from this June until this August. But then of course it'll be up again next summer, too! So i've gone out trapping local fish from a river near me, and I've caught a 1.5" rock bass, one 1.5" walleye, five 1.5" minnows, a 2" round goby, two 3" bluegill, a 3" rockbass, and a 4.5" perch (sounds big, but hes skinny and kind of a sissy.) That is 21" total, for those of you who don't want to do the math (i know i dont! math in the summer... what?!?) This does sound like kind of a huge load for a small tank, but there is little aggression and none of the fish have died yet. The Ammonia levels haven't been too bad with plenty of water changes, and now most of it is converting to nitrate.

Specs for the tank:
size: 20g High (24"W x 12"D x 18"T, i think)
lighting: Coralife 2x14W fixture for 1.4wpg
filtration: two HOB filters, one rated for a 10g tank and one rated for 10-30 gallons
substrate: local sand and gravel (washed vigorously) over topsoil ($1.59 for a 40lb bag!), which seems to be pretty nice for the plants.
CO2: none (hooray!)

From afar:

FTS:


Here is a pair of bluegill that i caught... someone said in a different thread that this one is a male (i can't actually tell to be honest), but the two of them seem like they are pretty flirty, and they follow each other around like a mating pair of GBR's. The play-fighting seems way to playful to actually be aggression to establish a pecking order, it seems much more like they are trying to get together. Do i have homosexual bluegill?? haha probably not.

Also in the picture above, there is an eleocharis-looking plant to the left and an anacharis/tonina looking plant to the right, and i can't ID either of them. I'll try to take some more pictures to better ID the plants.

Here is the other bluegill:


And a rock bass (?):


...and a pile of driftwod i've collected combing the beach. I've also bought some concrete blocks and a masonry drill bit, so i'll attach the wood to concrete and start taking pictures individually of pieces to sell. Maybe i'll get some oak and hardwoods to use, too, so you won't need weight until the wood is waterlogged.


I thought this looked like crappy manzanita... Also, if i recall correctly, doesn't 'manzanita' mean 'little apple'? because there are a TON of apple orchards around here, and all of them have big piles of dead branches and trees that they have cut down to make room for new apple trees. Should i go steal (not really, i'd of course ask for the farmers' permission first) some recently dead apple tree banches and see if any are attractive at all?

Wilson
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 08:41 PM
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I did this sort of things years ago with a few largemouth bass. had them for a while till they got too ig then released them into my pond. Still there today, about 6or 7 pounds now.

It was pretty awesome. I like the fish you have in there. Not sure what the second one is however.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 08:49 PM
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Nice tank, I always wanted to set up a "Michigan tank", being a resident there for most of my life. Are the plants collected from the wild as well?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 03:19 AM
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when the fish get too big they'll be strong enough to leap 15' into a simmer pan of olive oil and bread crumbs.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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yes, the plants are all native here too. Well, maybe not native, but i found all of them growing around here in the wild, either in a lake or a river.

i think that the second fish is a smallmouth bass, but i'm not sure. I know that these fish will eventually get WAY too big to stay in a 20g tank, but i'm only keeping them until august, and then i'm letting them go again.

.

i heard a story the other day about a bar somewhere in northern michigan where they have a several thousand gallon tank with nothing in it but some sand at the bottom and 1 massive muskellunge. Apparently they catch pretty big fish and feed them to the muskey (sp?) and its a riot to watch. has anyone ever heard of someone doing that? it sounds kind of cool.

Wilson
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 08:08 PM
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That one egeria-like plant looks interesting. I don't know what it is... but it is probably in the frogbit family. My guess would be hydrilla, it looks like it was folded up and dormant for a while, and just opening up. (I have never seen hydrilla IRL)

Anyhow, looks pretty nice, I want to see the plants close up and get some IDs. It looks like you have a bladderwort in there, though it could be milfoil...

I see either a Potamogeton 'praelongus' or 'richardsonii' in the center. I've got a good website for IDing plants in USA... just lemme find it...

http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/search/node/potamogeton

This place has other species in it's database too... I felt the need to share it with the world. I am not affiliated with the owner of this site.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 09:15 PM
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you need to be careful keeping game fish that are smaller than legal size.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 09:41 PM
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That is sooo cool. My friend had a tank where all his plants and hardscape were from the Delta in the bay area, ca (my area), which was really cool. I wonder if there are any fish around here that stay small enough to keep in a normal sized tank.

Anyway, excellent idea but the execution is great as well.

-Matt

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
That is sooo cool. My friend had a tank where all his plants and hardscape were from the Delta in the bay area, ca (my area), which was really cool. I wonder if there are any fish around here that stay small enough to keep in a normal sized tank.

Anyway, excellent idea but the execution is great as well.
There are small cyprinids all over the northern hemisphere, along with darters, sticklebacks and sculpins. Most of the fish in these groups are under 6 inches, but be careful not to catch a juvenile that grows large...

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-26-2009, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seds View Post
That one egeria-like plant looks interesting. I don't know what it is... but it is probably in the frogbit family. My guess would be hydrilla, it looks like it was folded up and dormant for a while, and just opening up.
Anyhow, looks pretty nice, I want to see the plants close up and get some IDs. It looks like you have a bladderwort in there, though it could be milfoil...
I see either a Potamogeton 'praelongus' or 'richardsonii' in the center.
thanks! i'll take some better close-up pictures of the unknown plants. why do you think its a member of the frogbit family? i dont really know much about plant families, just the names of genuses and stuff. The one that looks kind of like milfoil is just a local invasive milfoil sp. It looks kind of like M. tuberculatum to me, but idk. Also, the potamogeton that i have is DEF P. richardsonii, you are totally right. I have seen some crispus around here though, now that i have a definite ID for it. There are a bunch of potamogetons around, some have needle-thin leaves, and can be mistaken for gigantic eleocharis sp. at first!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingsdlc View Post
you need to be careful keeping game fish that are smaller than legal size.
wow, thats probably a good point. Is it legal to keep these? i don't want to get in any trouble for this, so i could probably just let them go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
That is sooo cool. My friend had a tank where all his plants and hardscape were from the Delta in the bay area, ca (my area), which was really cool. I wonder if there are any fish around here that stay small enough to keep in a normal sized tank.
Anyway, excellent idea but the execution is great as well.
Thanks! keeping native tanks is really fun, you get to know a lot more about your local ecosystems and the plants and animals that live around you. I had no idea before these that i had such colorful fish in the gross little lake that i live on! haha...

Wilson
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