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Hey guys! I am a new member :smile2: in plantedtank forum!

So I had this awesome idea of doing a semi-self sustain biotope base on Big Cypress National Preserve in South Florida. It will most likely be in a 50 gallon aquarium. We will be basically creating a mini ecosystem inside the aquarium, with only top offs if needed.

This mini ecosystem will include three stages, first plants, then small insects/faunas like daphnia, then fish. Since most swamps in the preserve has lots of cypress knees/aerial roots, I thought it would be cool to use Knees as the main hardscape.

Current stockings:

Faunas: American Flagfish
Pygmy Sunfish
Least Killifish

Daphnia
Numerous little interesting critters to form a base food chain

Plants: Algae
TBD

As you can see I am still on my research stage, if you guys can provide some sources or links for me to continue on researching especially on plants that will be great!:smile2: Thanks!
 

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Hey guys! I am a new member :smile2: in plantedtank forum!

So I had this awesome idea of doing a semi-self sustain biotope base on Big Cypress National Preserve in South Florida. It will most likely be in a 50 gallon aquarium. We will be basically creating a mini ecosystem inside the aquarium, with only top offs if needed.

This mini ecosystem will include three stages, first plants, then small insects/faunas like daphnia, then fish. Since most swamps in the preserve has lots of cypress knees/aerial roots, I thought it would be cool to use Knees as the main hardscape.

Current stockings:

Faunas: American Flagfish
Pygmy Sunfish
Least Killifish

Daphnia
Numerous little interesting critters to form a base food chain

Plants: Algae
TBD

As you can see I am still on my research stage, if you guys can provide some sources or links for me to continue on researching especially on plants that will be great!:smile2: Thanks!
Sounds like you have your work cut out for you! I can't help with a self sustaining eco system...sorry. Would love to see the progress.

Good luck!!

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I recommend you take a look at the nanfa (North American Native Fish Association) website. Tons of information. I am doing a similar tank myself. Great people over there and helpful.
 

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Ooooh Pictures please? and a diary of the set up...

Can't give you advice because I am new at this hobby, but I hope you are successful.
 

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Thanks. Its going to be next spring before that tank gets going. To many irons in the fire as it is. Cant wait to see yours. Good luck!
 

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Love this kind of set up, hope it goes well for you and keep us posted on your progress!

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just to keep in mind a 50 gallon tank is very small for a population of more than one fish if you are planning on it being self sustaining. plan on needing to add food or having starving fish. even given time to have microorganisms start out their wont be enough to last a fish population for more than a few days. if you go forward with this definitely keep us posted on results.
 

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I would agree with @skanderson, you will be extremely limited in stocking (think 1 very small fish max). Otherwise it will just be a slow starvation game. Personally, I have never seen someone actually pull off a self-sustaining ecosystem with any large organisms, you might be able to have a self sustaining shrimp population, but I doubt it will be very successful with fish.
 

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I had knees in a tank many years ago. Takes quite a while to saturate those suckers. I ended up having to drill holes in flat rocks and screwing the knees to the rocks as anchors. Sounds like a great project, though.
 

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Wow, just got back from school and thanks guys for all the great comments!
@thedood thanks for the website I will check it out in 5 minutes, and good luck on your aquarium too! @skanderson and @Vohlk after some more researches I decided probably I would go with a 55-60 gallon aquarium now considering it will be much safer.

Here is one of the greatest journey thread I've came across some month ago, I'll post the link here for anyone who is interested, it is called Tom's Bucket O'Mud, the tank size is 63 gallons.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...cket-o-mud-semi-self-sustaining-aquarium.html

here is one more inspiration,
Biotope in my study, a low-tech natural aquarium « tuncalik.com ? Natural Aquariums and Sustainable Life
@aquazone oh really? I haven't thought about that yet...I guess I still need to look more onto those cypress knees, but since this biotope is around Big Cypress National Reserve, I thought it would make sense to use some cypress knees. Once again, thanks guys:) It is currently snowing outside and nearby ponds are all frozen, but I guess I'll go check it out (maybe there are still critters swimming around under the frozen surface) later in the day. As to pictures, as being said before, would you guys be interested to see some of the critters I caught 2 weeks ago? Because I am still at my research stage, and most likely I will be building my own aquarium (if I can get the permission from my dad :)...

Just going to toss in a question here, would I be better off buying an aquarium or build my own? (cheaper the better, well duh :) and what material are the best? Plastic or Glass?
 

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Tom's Bucket is one of my big inspirations too! :)

As for building your own, I'm guessing it's different from country to country but in Sweden it's far more expensive to build your own than to buy one, at least if you want a glass tank. If you go with acrylic, you run the risk of getting a very scratched up tank, but if you're not too bothered by that, acrylic does have its benefits (but also other drawbacks...).

Personally, unless I wanted very specific measurements I wouldn't make one myself. If you're short on money, get a used tank. If it's sprung a leak you can reseal it yourself; silicone is usually cheap.

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