So let me start out by saying this is just a scheming discussion for now....I already have my girlfriend convinced that this is what we should do, and she's on board for it with our next tank. However, it isn't going to be in the next month, but maybe a start in 2 months or so. So for right now, its just academic and in the planning stages....Really, I am looking to gain from your wisdom on planted tanks and other tank related topics so it will lessen the slope on my learning curve.
The Mackinaw River in Central Illinois is one that is close to my heart. I have spent a lot of time there in my life canoeing/kayaking, swimming, fishing, hiking, and seining. Its my river. Ok, I know its not mine, but I love it.
It's fairly typical of a plains river, with lots of farmland, but it also crosses a moraine, so the geology is actually fairly interesting in some parts, and is largely sandy and gravely bottom. It has very, VERY minor claim to fame in that 2 different species of Madtoms were initially classified there (though I can't find that literature anymore...figures). So I would like a piece of it for home. Here's the scheme I am working on....and lots of questions!
I would like to do a 125 gal (or 80 gal that's 72"-ish long) tank with a river manifold for current. Research to be done yet is appropriate volume for powerheads and tubing. I would also like to do something like you see in wind tunnels to smooth out the flow of the powerheads and doesn't make it quite so point source.
Has anybody ever really ramped up the size of the pipes on a manifold to really get an actual current going rather than just swirling? Maybe more inlets than powerheads, so the water actually leaves at the end of the tank? Is there a reliable method that folks use to track the current in the tank? Seems like dyes would be distributed too quickly.
Are there good, accepted ways of hiding powerheads? Or would I be better suited with a tank that's deeper than normal and do a bulkhead for a flow that circles it and skip the manifold setup?
I really don't have anything in mind here, other than probably a canister of appropriate size for the tank. Is there any catch when doing cold water vs tropical temps?
I was planning on going without a heater at all. My house is mid/low 70's during the summer, and mid 60's during the winter. The water temp right now in the river is low 70's (I just dumped my kayak this weekend, so am fairly sure that's accurate! lol) ....obviously in the winter it gets colder. So given those parameters, would any species that are currently living in there need any additional consideration other than my existing room temperature? With the volume that I am talking about, will powerhead heat be an issue? Will I need to consider a chiller of some sort?
LED's that are enough to grow plants.
simple, right? lol. Really, though, is there any specifics I need to think about for local plants, cold water?
Ok, here is where I'm getting a little unsure. Since I spend enough time out there at the river, I would like to take a combination of silty mud, sand, and gravel from the river itself. What kind of conditioning would this material need to be useful? Will it have the ability to absorb and disperse nutrients already, or will I need to do a mineralized process? Is there anything that I really need to watch out for? What kind of ratios would I need in terms of muck, sand, gravel, and rock?
Will I gain anything by taking buckets of water back with me? Or only concerns about runoff and chemicals?
I don't know any of the specific species that exist. And most are waters edge kind of plants....this is going to take some really careful exploring in the river to find some, which is half the fun for me on this, honestly!! But it's my hope that I can find a few different kinds. Is there anything one needs to be aware of when removing and transplanting them? Anything to look for/avoid? Is there a good resource available for identification of plants?
Also, if there are some short grasses along the edge that's roots are in the water, but the leaves are in the air....are these kind of plants able to still grow submerged? Is there any way that one can tell?
I'm less worried about this than the plants. I managed to find a species list from a survey from a while ago. (http://ilacadofsci.com/wp-content/up...3-08-print.pdf
) I plan
to research some of the more common ones in hopes to learn qualities about them so that I know a little more going in. I will be seining a couple of spots to look for a variety. There is a darter that I would love to have, and some madtoms as well, but honestly, I would take anything. I plan on keeping a description and photo of the endangered species with me to make sure that they are released right away. Anything else I should consider?
What are some of the downfall's and challenges from a cold water local tank? Or a tank with a current? What am I forgetting? Any other advice on making a good setup that will last and have happy fish an plants? Am I silly for wanting to do something this specialized???
I love this place, though I have only been registered for a short time, I have been enjoying reading all the threads for a while now, so thank you very much for the resource!!