Homestead Aquarium

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by fantasymaker, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    just found an auarium an ideas for what to put in it?
    WillCrawfish eat bluegills? minnows? Anything particularly interesting inmy creek?
     
  2. roughingit

    roughingit knitwit

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    Grab a guidebook from the library and find out! I'm sure I'd find tons of interesting things in most any creek personally, but my definaition of interesting and other people's vary greatly.

    Make or get yourself some dip nets. Old books have great instructions. You can also make a glass box to peer though more clearly to see stuff in the wild. Really, the only way to know is to go exploring and observe. Sounds like a nice thing to do on a summer day :)
     

  3. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

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    What size aquarium? How much work are you willing to do to maintain it. Got a filter? heater? other acoutrements?

    Attempting to recreate an ecosystem in an aquarium can be fun, but it takes a lot of work. I like goldfish, myself. They don't need a heater. They cost a quarter if I want to replace one, and they don't take much. Get a corydoras catfish and a plecostomus to throw in with them, and you won't need to do too much work after everything stabilizes. I'd leave the tank set up and running for a month or two before introducing either of the catfish.

    I've seen very large ( 55 gallons+) set up with bass, bluegill, crawfish, etcetera. pretty cool conversation piece, but a whole lot of work for something to look at. I suppose you could eat the fish, but a 55 gallon tank will likely not keep up with demand for fillets.

    I do know a few folks that have minnows in a tank. They die a lot, but are easily replaced from the creek out back.
     
  4. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Small gills,and sunfish look nice in a tank.Nope the crayfish will not bother the fish.But they need to be big and the fish small or it might be the other way around.
    Snails would also look cool.Some of the suckers that live in creeks look neat.But I'm not sure how well they would do in warmer water.
    Note it would be best to start out with the creek water they came out of.So the water chemistry is right and the temps raise slowly.
    If your tank is above 30gal.You might check into getting a canister type filter,with BIO Wheels.They do really well.Also a few live plants really help keep the water in check.

    Careful picking up rocks or gravel from the creek.Boil them first to kill any moss or green algae that might be growing on them.You'll also be taking a chance using the creek water.But Ive done it before.Also note that the snails don't have it growing on there shells.You don't want green algae in the tank.
    Ive had small 10gallon tanks up to 75 gallons with gills,sunfish, and bass.Soon as we get moved again Il be setting up my 75gallon again.
     
  5. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    Its seems pretty small about 4wX1dX2h Id like to stick with whats around here so I can observe their behavier .I dont heat my home so come winter Ill need to return them to the creek
    Id like to look for the more interesting and colorfull ,sorta a point of" look what we have right here is interesting we dont have to go to the jungles"type thought
     
  6. suitcase_sally

    suitcase_sally Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Any fish that lives in the wild will not need a heater. That is for tropical fish. Even then, I don't heat my tanks for the most part. I have hot water heat and the tanks are on the wall where the baseboard heat is.

    I wouldn't put snails in the tank. They will multiply like flies and you'll have one heck of a problem.

    Just for the record, I have two 125 gallon tanks. Been raising fish since 1967.

    4' x 2' x1' = about 60 gallon. When you add the gravel and ornaments, ect., you have about 55 gallons of water. Not a bad size tank.

    A plecostomus (pleco) will get very large if given the tank to do it. One of mine is about 16" long. Good thing is, they are very docile, won't bother anything (if it's alive).

    I lost a Bala shark about two years ago that I had for 31 years. It broke my heart. The place that I get fish from said they had never heard of one living that long. I have two new ones.
     
  7. mandyh

    mandyh Well-Known Member

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    Bluegills are pretty kool. You have to watch though, they are very territorial and will kill each other if crowded. Try to find minows that are all about the same size. We had seven in a 30gl. tank as they grew I had to take the bigger and dominate ones back to the pond. Two lived peacefully together.
     
  8. Goatboy

    Goatboy Member

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    Just something to keep in mind, and you might want to do some checking on this. I'm not sure where you're from but here in MO it is illegal to have game fish in an aquarium. I beleive that bluegill and sunfish have recently been named as game fish here in MO. Would probably never be a problem unless someone got to talking... But you never know..
     
  9. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    got a 150 gal in the house.

    1 largemouth about three lbs
    a dozen or so small sunfish and gills
    five crawdads
    3 catfish fingerlings


    oddly i figured the bass would eat the rest but he was in the tank first and we started by feeding him crickets etc. he shows no interest in the smaller fish or the dads

    we drop some bologna etc in for the dads and they are fine. had it this way for a few months now and all is well. use an undergravel filter with power heads and dont think you need to clean it constantly

    we had one set up for five years and it was crystal clear and we hadnt touched it or added chems to it.
     
  10. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    you could always do something dry too, like a frog, lizard or spider. I've never been successful in keeping anything long term because I feel sorry for them being cooped up so I always let them go. But I kept 4 small aquariums and one 55 gallon aquarium in the house with the equipment ready to go in case I found a hurt small creature like that. In the 55 gallon aquarium I had a hamster for a long time that someone didn't want anymore. I made all kinds of tunnels out of paper towel tubes for him. I had a lizard that I found in the street once, a scorpian for a while, little baby turtle (also wandering around in the street). Once when the tadpoles water was almost dried out, I took a few in till they became frogs and I set them free. but in my effort to get rid of eveything I don't need I got rid of all the aquariums. I only plan on moving clothes and books. but I hope one day to get at least one small aquarium ready for a little guy that could use a temporary home.
     
  11. Windy_jem

    Windy_jem Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In Wisconsin, if you have a game fish in your posession as a "pet" it is counted as your bag limit for the catch for the day. Say you have a pike in your aquarium....that pike will count towards your fishing bag limit every day that you go fishing. Know your laws before you do this. The DNR can get really nasty with their fines if they catch you!
     
  12. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    wouldnt a aquarium count as a private pond?
     
  13. Unregistered

    Unregistered Well-Known Member

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    I have some friends that have an aquarium for the wall between the living room and the dining room. Don't know how many gallons it is but it is 8 ft. tall and12 ft. long and 3 ft. thick. All they have in it is an eel.
     
  14. roughingit

    roughingit knitwit

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    Depends on your state. In some states, keeping game fish is illegal in home aquariums, even if they are the proper size. You can take them home and eat em, but you can't keep them as pets. :shrug:

    Go out and take a look at what in your crik yet? Hard to give ya recommendations when we don't know where you are or what's swimming in your creek. As I said, most creeks have nifty things in them, but the first step is figuring out what sort of nifty things you want.

    For your crawdads, a good filter (they're messy eaters) and a buncha hidey spots and you're good to go. If you want to keep them in your tank, cover it really well or else they might decide to climb up your filter and take a hike...often dying somewhere nowhere near your tank and stinking before you can figure out where (found on in my kitchen cabinet once of all places). Very cool to watch though, esp if you get a girl with eggs.
     
  15. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    2 goldfish,1 catfish,2 plecostamus.Add 6 fancy guppies and youve seen our tank.Too funny how you pegged ours.

    Booboo
     
  16. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's too much of a coincidence, Mightybooboo. I've killed countless poor little fishies, snails, etcetera by expecting them to cohabitate with the goldfish. I think the range of things that can live with them is pretty severely limited in an aquarium. Never tried guppies though... thanks for the tip.
     
  17. roughingit

    roughingit knitwit

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    B- aside from the goldies not liking their water too warm (ruling out many true tropicals) they are also mass pollutors. Often they bring the nitrates up too high for would-be co-inhabitants. For instance, zebra danios can do just fine in room temp water like that of an aquarium (gets too cold in most people's ponds, they don't take freezing!), but they also require much cleaner water than the goldies. Also, I'm sure you've noticed this, but goldfish are pigs! Fish that aren't bold enough sometimes just plain starve. In the wild, goldfish, like cows eat mostly plant matter. They sure won't turn their noses up at some tasty bloodworms, but in general, they are meant to be plant eaters. As such, their natural thing is to graze all day...which means they poop a lot! This is also why you see them rooting through their gravel so much (and stirring up even more dirt lol).

    Personally, I toss the lil buggers in ponds where they can reach their full size. People were always shocked that "those things" in my pond were goldfish. :D For non-native unheated fishies aside from my beloved killifish, white cloud mountain minnows are an excellent choice. Don't get big, very pretty, not too messy. Another interesting thing is that although they are very easy to breed in captivity and considered to be very cheap and common aquarium fish, they are believed extinct in the wild from habitat loss and destruction.
     
  18. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

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    They are messy critters, goldfish. It took me over a year to get my tank to stabilize with them where I wasn't replacing most of the water every week. The cats help a lot. The cory cleans the gravel, and the pleco cleans algae, which was my last major tank cleaning issue. I've got a 10 gallon now with three goldfish and the two cats. Soon will be moving up to a thirty. The biggest goldfish is about six inches long and has definitely outgrown the ten. One of these days, I'll have a pond to throw them in :) My biggest goldfish shock was that they can live for 30 years. Puts a new spin on the disposable goldfish mentality...
     
  19. roughingit

    roughingit knitwit

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    Aw, now that's the kind of story I like to hear :D

    With some TLC, those goldies should still alive and kicking a good twenty or thirty years donw the road too. Pretty good for a 12 or 24 cent (around here) fish! They are apparently fairly smart too, I was reading studies where they learn to distinguish different shapes to nudge at for food and how they have excellent hearing and can tell who is coming up to their tank.
     
  20. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Yep,very friendly fish,they like to watch us and come swimming up for food.I didnt know about the guppies,pet store said it would work.Guppies arent threatened at feeding time,they chow down.As for algea,never been a problem.
    I just filter thru a charcoal filter with like a nylon sponge thing on top the charcoal(made the filter) and a small submersible pump to run the water up and through it.Works way better and cheaper than my real filter did.All seems ok,water stays real clean.I even have to put algea wafers in the tank to feed the plecos.Never had algea even til we added some shells from the thrift store,wondered if thats where the algea came from?

    Non heated tank,just a 10 gallon.Also have a few plants with leaves above the water line,water feeds them fine.Like hydroponics I guess.Also might explain the nitrates and the plants doing so well feeding on them.

    I havent cleaned the tank in a year.I do clean the filter though.

    BooBoo