Newby Help for River tank
I recently moved close to a river. I love going out there and feeding the fish, looking at plants, etc. I would like to create a river tank or riparium using plants and fish from the river. Can this be done? The tanks are beautiful, but I am not working at this time. I would be unable to purchase much at all. Has anyone ever tried this? Can you use river water at all, or is there too much decaying matter in it? I know I would need a water flow for the plants and fish, but I am confused as to how to do it. I have read several sites, some saying to use a power-head, and some saying NOT to! I feel like the more I read, the more confused I become. I have never had a tank before, but they are beautiful and relaxing, and I have my heart set on a less-expensive, "natural" tank that I could create from the back yard. I live in Florida, if that means anything! LOL! I feel embarrassed even asking these questions.....You all sound like scientists to me!
It is possible to set up a tank like that. There are things you need to be careful about when collecting plants and creatures from local habitats. Parasites, pollution, agricultural run off are a few reasons you probably shouldn't use river water or substrate. There is a constant water change taking place in the river but, a tank is a closed system. Many times it is easier and safer to try to mimic a habitat than to actually use materials taken from it. My daughter lives in Florida and she routinely nets platies, swordtails, guppies, and sail fin mollies from ponds and ditches close to her home. Are these the type of fish you are seeing, or are they native fish ?
There is an example of what can happen when trying to re-create a natural environment. I don't recall the particular particulars but some scientist types saw some fish in a river with a certain type of leaf on the bottom. They set them up in a tank with the same leaves and the fish all died... in a week or two I think. The point was that the leaves were actually toxic to the fish but in the river the constant flow and much larger water volume both pulled the toxin downstream constantly as well as kept the concentrations much lower.
Had they constantly been changing the water it may have been OK but there is a balance that we cannot recreate in a tank. The pollutants that FM mentions that could be present in substrate could easily reach a critical level in the tank and you would have no way of knowing they were there.
That doesn't mean that you couldn't take fish and plants from the river, just not water and substrate.
I found that the cheapest part of the whole aquarium setup is the fish, next, the plants.
It is possible, and often quite interesting. In addition to what has been mentioned, you should check the Florida state laws (and federal US law) about native fish; some laws prohibit the capture of wild fish, or may require a license. Some fish/amphibians/reptiles etc are protected federally or by state.
And should this go forward, remember that one must never release such fish/plants back into the wild, so once you take them, they are yours. Just as there are pathogens in the wild that are not normally in our aquaria, the reverse is also true. And getting these into the natural environment can cause problems for the native fish/plants.
Thank you very much for your response. To be honest, these is a small creek running from the pond into the river. there are about 4 to 6 different kinds of fish in the creek that I was thinking about netting. I don't know what type of fish they are, but they are all very small and most look like minnows. Thats is what I have called them since I was a child, and I'm not sure if that is even a recognizable name to you. Maybe I could take pics of the fish and see if someone know what they are. They have to be native Florida fish, as they are in a remote area in Valrico. (Outside of Tampa) I will definitely research the laws, and God knows I wouldn't want to harm anything!
Hey! I live in FL too, and I'm constantly out at the lakes collecting plants for my tank. I use Flourite Black Sand in my tank to mimic the lake bed (although the lake bed is mostly brown/white) because of the softness, and the plants do pretty well. Just be careful that the plants are submerged and not emersed.
Also I'm always very careful with washing the plants to make sure to remove any insects/egg sacs, so as not to get any meanies in the tank :)
I also use oak leaves collected from my yard for in the tank, they mimic some of the detritus on the lake bed.
Newbie Needs Advice on Planted "River" Tank
Thanks for taking the time to read my post and assist me in my endeavor to see if a "Planted River Tank" is possible, and if so, to create one. I live in Valrico, Florida. (outside Tampa) I moved to a neighborhood bordering the Alafia River last year. I love the river, the hike through the woods to get there, white "sandy beach" riverfront, feeding the fish, etc. IT IS GORGEOUS! I would love to create a "river tank" planted tank, using plants, fish, and shrimp I find in the river. I would also like to use river water. There are "rapids" where I would collect the water, so it's moving pretty fast and it's clear. There is also a crystal-clear warm spring in the middle of the river I could get water from, as well. Can someone tell me if this is even viable, as long as I am doing nothing illegal? (I am researching that now) Additionally, I am currently unemployed, so I would have VERY LITTLE cash to invest in the tank. That is one of the reasons I decided to go online and ask about the tank possibilities. I probably couldn't afford to do one at all, if it's impossible via this route!
Just in case I can, I borrowed two tanks from friends this past week. One is a 20 gallon, and the other is either a 40 or 55. It's a perfect square, and I'm going to google the measurements and find out. I also spent $20.00 on some cheap plants at an aquarium store. I am hoping there is some way I can do SOMETHING! I am so excited, and I'm not sure if MY HEAD IS IN THE CLOUDS!
Thanks for any advice you are willing to offer! God bless!
I have a local biotope tank.
Local plants and fish, dry soil gathered nearby, and rocks that look similiar. I'm about to build a local biotope paludarium (aquarium with a land area).
I prefer to stock mine with only local plants, but after I identified the species, I bought more online. Anarchis, eleocharis, bacopa, ludwigea palustrus, and even a local echinodorus species was found locally. After spotting them, I bought more online (a few of the species didn't have many specimens, so I left them and bought it instead).
I plan on using native sand this time, and sterilizing it through baking.
I would probably limit it to one fish species at first... just to be sure about the interactions..
Any questions or if you need phelp with an ID just post here. When I do my background/land area (it will have a waterfall too) ill post a guide if you want. I wouldn't use river water since it can have residues of toxins that are harmless in dilutions but toxic if they build up in an aquarium... I suppose starting it up with mostly riverwater would be okay, but I would urge you to test the water and match the parameters instead.
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