Everglades Ecosystem Planted Tank Project

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Tanks' started by HeritageReef, Jul 12, 2011.

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  1. HeritageReef

    HeritageReef Plankton

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
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    Location:
    Plantation, FL
    I'm primarily a saltwater aquarist . . .
    But i've always wanted to setup an ecosystem tank incorporating native species of plants and fish from the everglades (which is 2 miles away - just over the levees from us).
    So, i'm selling my extra tanks and a neighbor loves Speck (Crappies) which he catches regularly in the glades and does fish fry's for the neighbors. He wants to buy one of my 90 g tanks and setup as a Crappie tank. I know, i know, Crappies aren't native . . . doesn't matter - it's natural now.

    Google searches turn up very little . . .
    My plan is:
    set-up the tank with a modified wet/dry using Algae turf scrubber lit (8hrs or less) + carbon bag as needed
    Use natural substrate gathered from our environment, along with native plants and materials. (sawgrass, spatterdock, etc)
    Cycle and add 4-5 crappies.

    Main pump will be a MagDrive 9.5 throttled back with lateral flow. Probably plumb return to a flow bar a few inches above the substrate or mid tank - opposite the return / overflow.
    Lighting will be 48" coralife with 10k and 6.5k bulbs.
    Temp will be maintained to the same as our canal (that leads to the glades).

    How little does the flow need to be - most FW tanks seem really stagnant and i'm thinking my Mag9.5 may be too much?
    Would he have to clean the ATS screen like saltwater screens - every week? Are there freshwater copepod-like organisms that would eat the algae?
    Depending on the plant's growth, perhaps the ATS will be unnecessary and just be an oxygenator.

    Any thoughts?
    Crossing my fingers that his wife gives him a thumbs up!
     
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  3. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Sparks, NV
    The ATS will need to be cleaned as needed like in SW, but should not be needed as the plants should do the same job.

    I think the pump will be fine since it will be dialed back. 5 to 10 times flow will be fine in the tank.

    I don't think there as many FW copepods but it is possible some will develop.

    I would not waste your time and money buying shrimp or anything like that for the tank as the Crappie will eat them.
     
  4. johnmaloney

    johnmaloney 3reef Sponsor

    Joined:
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    2,256
    sounds cool. there are some dwarf flounders and american flagfish in the eveglades to that would make interesting fish. sounds like it will be an interesting project. are you going to add in some sawgrass?
     
  5. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon Fire Goby

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    Jun 18, 2009
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    This sounds awesome. You GOTTA take tons of pics. Are you going to need a chiller? Not sure what temp the glades are but lakes up here where I catch crappy are pretty cold.
     
  6. HeritageReef

    HeritageReef Plankton

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
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    Location:
    Plantation, FL
    Project dead

    well . . . it didn't work out . . . the neighbors wife took too long deciding and a friend asked to buy the tank for a FOWLR, so off it went.
    Maybe in the future when i get everything right with my reef tank . . . seems like i'm addicted to messing with setups of plumbing and equipment!
     
  7. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    Bummer would have loved to see the set up. I agree it is quite fun planning and executing these projects.