Self-Sustaining Aquascape with Inverts - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2018, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Self-Sustaining Aquascape with Inverts

So I am wanting to create a self-sustaining planted tank with shrimp, clams, and snails. The tank size I would like to have is ~10 gallons. Any feedback is appreciated.

What I was thinking the purposes of the species could be:

Shrimp - clean the algae from the plants/gravel
Clams - clean the water from microparticles
Snails - clean the plants/gravel/walls of the aquarium

I know the tank would have to be heavily planted to provide enough oxygen for the shrimp/clams/snails(unless there is a species that will surface to breathe).
The plants I was thinking of using were a few species of anubias, monte carlo, some amazon swords, duckweed, moss, and if there are any that are known for growing slow or producing oxygen faster please let me know.

The process:

Light --> Plants/Algae --> Oxygen/Food --> Livestock --> Carbon Dioxide/Nitrates (which then repeats to the Plants/Algae)

Questions:

Will mystery snails crawl out of the water?
How much algae can a livestock eat?
Will the livestock produce enough carbon dioxide for the plants?
Will the plants produce enough oxygen for the livestock?
Will floating plants reduce evaporation?
If the water evaporates, is there anything that will decompose the metals in water before adding it to the tank?


Also, I would be open to adding daphnia magna if it helps at all.

Last edited by cjimpa; 05-12-2018 at 08:36 PM. Reason: changed my mind on tank size
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018, 09:19 AM
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There isn't really a real self sustaining tank In my opinion. It would have to be a huge tank that is closed. Meaning nothing in or out. Life within the tank sustains itself such as live stock surviving solely on the plants. Then there is also water. For a system to be self sustaining, it would mean the water evaporation returns back to the system itself. So really all fish tanks are in a sense semi self-sustaining already. That being said, from what I hear, clams don't make the best pets as they sometimes foul up your water. from what i've read on here in the past is that they have a tendency to die and many times you can't tell because they burrow into the substrate.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chanceofplants View Post
There isn't really a real self sustaining tank In my opinion. It would have to be a huge tank that is closed. Meaning nothing in or out. Life within the tank sustains itself such as live stock surviving solely on the plants. Then there is also water. For a system to be self sustaining, it would mean the water evaporation returns back to the system itself. So really all fish tanks are in a sense semi self-sustaining already. That being said, from what I hear, clams don't make the best pets as they sometimes foul up your water. from what i've read on here in the past is that they have a tendency to die and many times you can't tell because they burrow into the substrate.
I was also thinking about making a homemade arduino aquarium controller, just so the conditions of all life within the tank would be met. I would be sure to only use clams that meet the conditions of the other species. So clams are still a maybe based on compatibility.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 09:11 PM
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Its possible, look on youtube theres a few videos on this..
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 06:52 AM
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I agree, clams don't do well, they need a constant water flow a long with free flowing particles. Filters will remove the particles. Thus killing your clams. As for a self sustaining, only thing you really can do is snails. Shrimps will require feedings, they are scavengers so they do need meat.

Forgot to mention, daphnia will need free floating green algae to survive.
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-14-2018 at 12:07 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 11:24 AM
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cj...

A healthy tank needs a steady source of trace minerals to be healthy. And, water that's constantly run through a filtering system changes chemically in a matter of a few days. The minerals change due to the presence of oxygen in the air and the plants and animals essentially use up the minerals in the water, So, you have to change the water to replace those minerals, there's really no other way to replace them. A tank with no source of renewable water won't stay balanced and healthy.

M
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"The fish keeping hobby is very simple. Just change out a lot of water, a lot of the time!"
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 03:53 PM
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Is your goal a self sustaining tank or a minimal maintenance tank? 10g is too small for a self sustaining tank in my opinion.

There are a LOT of options to minimize tank maintenance to practically nothing... even in a 10g.

Some people enjoy working on and futzing with their tanks (no, seriously, they really do). Personally I enjoy the challenge of designing a tank and filtration system to minimize the amount of maintenance required.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 04:40 PM
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If you have a dirt substrate with a gravel or sand cap. It can be as simple as feeding and water top of for quite a while possibly longer than a year till you have to start dosing ferts or replace the dirt

No filter just some kind of circulation pump

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 11:24 AM
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cj...

In theory, there's a means of keeping a self-sustaining tank. You have to use a plant that can live with the roots immersed in the water with the leaves above. The Chinese evergreen is such a plant. You'd have to have means of replenishing the trace minerals lost to filtration and use by the fish. You could use RO water to top off the tank and research the food you feed the the fish. The food would have to contain all the trace minerals. If you leave any minerals out, the plants won't grow and nitrogen would foul the water. The idea behind all this is the roots of the plant would take in all forms of nitrogen produced by the fish and the fish waste material will dissolve and replenish the trace minerals and fertilize the plant. By using the Reverse Osmosis water you're not adding more minerals to the water than the tank can use. So, you have a balanced tank.

M

"The fish keeping hobby is very simple. Just change out a lot of water, a lot of the time!"
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjimpa View Post
So I am wanting to create a self-sustaining planted tank with shrimp, clams, and snails. The tank size I would like to have is ~10 gallons. Any feedback is appreciated.

What I was thinking the purposes of the species could be:

Shrimp - clean the algae from the plants/gravel
Clams - clean the water from microparticles
Snails - clean the plants/gravel/walls of the aquarium

I know the tank would have to be heavily planted to provide enough oxygen for the shrimp/clams/snails(unless there is a species that will surface to breathe).
The plants I was thinking of using were a few species of anubias, monte carlo, some amazon swords, duckweed, moss, and if there are any that are known for growing slow or producing oxygen faster please let me know.

The process:

Light --> Plants/Algae --> Oxygen/Food --> Livestock --> Carbon Dioxide/Nitrates (which then repeats to the Plants/Algae)

Questions:

Will mystery snails crawl out of the water?
How much algae can a livestock eat?
Will the livestock produce enough carbon dioxide for the plants?
Will the plants produce enough oxygen for the livestock?
Will floating plants reduce evaporation?
If the water evaporates, is there anything that will decompose the metals in water before adding it to the tank?


Also, I would be open to adding daphnia magna if it helps at all.
for a 10 gallon, it can be self sustaining for maybe about a month or two until it needs you to step in and provide some care

at this point, I would advise you to throw everything in, build it up. have fun with it and 1000 of your questions will be answered through the experience.
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