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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My sorority sisters were given 7 fat heads (5 of which are rosy reds) as part of a scavenger hunt. Deemed just "feeder fish" my sisters told me to just put them in a bowl until they eventually die out. Being vegetarian and unable to watch anything in distress (the same goes for most insects & arachnids) I bought a 10 gallon fish tank. I put a filter & a few lilies (from my betta's tank) anchored by a few rocks. I don't want to start setting up a tank with gravel, etc because our winter break starts in a week & I will have to move the fish tank back home for the month (it's a 25 min. drive, but I won't have car access so I can't just commute back to my apartment to feed them). So my questions are:

1) Can I just put other plants in the tank without substrate so they can grow before I set up the tank?
2) I'd like to put driftwood/giant rock/cave to serve as a center piece but I'm afraid the minnows will then reproduce like crazy. Is there any way to prevent this?
3) Any recommendations for an easy set-up? I'm actually an agriculture major so I love plants, but I am completely unfamiliar when it comes to maintaining aquatic plants.
4) Any advice on how to make the transition (to and from) home for the break easier?

I was also thinking if the minnows die I'll probably just set something up for my betta & try to get a few other fish (that it can tolerate) in the tank instead. Any pointers would greatly be appreciated and I apologize if any of the questions seem rather silly.
 

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In my limited experience:
1) you should be able to put some hornwort/anacharis/other stem plants in there with no substrate and they should grow provided you have low light and there's some type of food for them, whether ur dosing the food(ie. fertilizers), or using the fish bio-load(poo) for food.
2) the minnows will breed no matter what you do, unless you seperate the males/females.

3 & 4 i have no idea. Either way, you will have to wait for other members to offer up their/better idea's as i definitely don't know it all, Hope that helps tho. :)
 

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I would add in what light source you plan on using as the people that have the experience need to know that to recommend plants.

Java ferns and mosses i know don't need substrate, but alas their ends my knowledge
 

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Anubias and java fern tied to driftwood or rocks would work really well. I've also had good success growing plants in clay pots, so maybe that would be something to experiment with. Hornwort is a common plant that grows well as a floating plant. Lily bulbs will grow without substrate (commonly found alongside the Betta supplies at petco/ walmart. If you have an incandescent hood, you can replace the stock bulbs with mini compact fluorescents (daylight bulbs- about 6500k) and that should give you good light to grow the plants already mentioned.
 

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My sorority sisters were given 7 fat heads
I still don't understand what fish these are? Biggest thing to be concerned about is the cycling process. Do you have any test kits? What water conditioner do you have?

I have grown the anubias and ferns in a tank sitting in front of a south window. Hornwort I have found to be a messy plant, like pine needles. Try the anacharis. You can get it at Pet Smart.

When moving put the fish in bags and use pump to fill with air. Blowing in puts wrong type of gas in it. Could have this done at pet store. Can you put some of the water in a bucket and take it with you?
 

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Another thing you could try are floating plants like Duckweed or Frogbit. They're easy to grow - just drop them onto the water surface - and they will soak up Ammonia and other contaminants through their roots. With their leaves emmersed, giving them access to atmospheric CO2, they compete well against algae. They're also ridiculously easy to prune. Just scoop out the Duckweed using a perforated serving spoon, and I like to prune Frogbit by manually removing the parent cluster, leaving the offspring in the water to grow.

Then, if you don't want to keep your flatheads, in the Spring when outdoor temps are rising, you can take them down to your local stream for release. I wouldn't worry about spawning. If they do reproduce, stop feeding them for a couple days and they will surely eat their own eggs. It's Nature's way...:thumbsup:

Good luck and thanks for caring!
Jim
 

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Then, if you don't want to keep your flatheads, in the Spring when outdoor temps are rising, you can take them down to your local stream for release.
PLEASE DONT DO THIS! if the fish are not native species this is illegal.
 

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PLEASE DONT DO THIS! if the fish are not native species this is illegal.
Read that it is used as bait fish. Tendency to occur in isolated areas with few other resident fish species, suggesting they are poor competitors with other fishes. The fathead's invasive status in Europe is cited as the main cause for the spread of enteric red mouth disease among trout and eels there.
 

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Finally a chance to use my fisheries biology degree!
Fathead minnows are native to nearly every watershed in the continental United States so it would not be a problem to release them nor illegal if you chose not to keep them. The color of the rosy reds, however, will make them more vulnerable to predation. Find a nice duck pond at a cemetery or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you guys so much for all the insight! I'm pretty excited to get back from break & start setting up something more permanent. Most of them are rosy reds so I think I'll just keep them rather than release them as long as they don't start nipping on my plants too much.
 

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Finally a chance to use my fisheries biology degree!
Fathead minnows are native to nearly every watershed in the continental United States so it would not be a problem to release them nor illegal if you chose not to keep them. The color of the rosy reds, however, will make them more vulnerable to predation. Find a nice duck pond at a cemetery or something.

Even if you capture minnows, keep then for awhile, and put them back into the same body of water they came from, it is a bad idea. There is all kids of potential for unleashing pathogens, parasites, etc. from your aquaria into the ecosystem.
 

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You might be right although I can say without doubt my tanks are healthier than the stream running through the woods behind my house. Regardless, releasing aquatic fauna back into the wild has established precedent. Countless organizations all over this country are involved in animal rescue, releasing tens of thousands of animals back into their habitat after sometimes long-term stays in captivity. From whales and dolphins to baby turtles and snail darters, it happens all the time. Also remember the millions of fish grown in aquariums or containment ponds all over the world which are cavalierly released into countless streams and lakes for no other reason than to give someone a thrill with a fishing pole. Literally millions of fish are released this way.

It happens all the time and amazingly, our fragile ecosystems tend to adapt quite well. But don't confuse this with the introduction of invasive species. That's a bad thing and a battle it looks like we're losing. :(
 

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... releasing aquatic fauna back into the wild has established precedent. Countless organizations all over this country are involved in animal rescue, releasing tens of thousands of animals back into their habitat after sometimes long-term stays in captivity. From whales and dolphins to baby turtles and snail darters, it happens all the time. Also remember the millions of fish grown in aquariums or containment ponds all over the world which are cavalierly released into countless streams and lakes for no other reason than to give someone a thrill with a fishing pole. Literally millions of fish are released this way.

It happens all the time and amazingly, our fragile ecosystems tend to adapt quite well. But don't confuse this with the introduction of invasive species. That's a bad thing and a battle it looks like we're losing.
I don't doubt anything said here. But it's probably worth noting that (1) for us civilians, (2) except for releasing them immediately back into the same body of water, releasing any aquatic species, animal or plant, is prohibited in most jurisdictions. We need to make sure that what we say can't be misinterpreted as advocating prohibited releases -- regardless of what anybody else does.
 

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Oh Geez, I give up. Someone better come put the cuffs on me right now 'cause I violated your laws just this past summer. A mature snapping turtle was driving the dogs wild in my neighbor's yard. I scooped him up and carried him (or her?) about three hundred yards to the bank of the stream behind my house. Did he come from that stream? I pressed him hard but he wasn't talking. Maybe I should have called Animal Control? They're all nice people but somehow I can't see them treating the stray snapper with the same care it got from me. They have this snare thingy on the end of a pole... and, well...

Anyway, I'm staying home from work today to facilitate my arrest. Come and get me! ;)
 

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Someone better come put the cuffs on me right now 'cause I violated your laws just this past summer.
My laws? No, they weren't my idea.

A mature snapping turtle was driving the dogs wild in my neighbor's yard. I scooped him up and carried him (or her?) about three hundred yards to the bank of the stream behind my house.
If your objective is civil disobedience, you'll have to try harder than that. You moved it from one place on dry land to another? Doesn't count.
 
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