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"Toolbox Pond"...?


Bill Smith
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Hi gang:

So there was a little discussion going on around my test results for an effective Battery Backup for the USB Nano Pump, and mid-chat, this idea popped in my head. It's not fully baked, but I hope it maybe has some potential?

For folks with fish rooms or large numbers of tanks, what would a "Toolbox Pond" look like? I envision this as a pond or other large bin/tank that you could fill and maintain with useful "tools" and occupants to help keep the other tanks in top condition or otherwise handle emergencies. Yes, we already do this somewhat with a quarantine tank, but this idea is different.

Consider:

1. Power Failure: Sponge Filters: I don't use sponge filters because, for me, they take up too much space in the tank. So, assuming I prefer to use hang-on-back, canister, or other powered types of filters, I could fill this pond with enough smallish sponge filters to match the number of power-filtered tanks. In the event of a power failure, I could drop one of these in each tank with a USB nano pump on battery backup, and resume filtering the affected tanks immediately. Figure $10 for the pump, $20 for the battery backup, and $10 for the sponge filter, you're talking about a $40-per-tank insurance policy to ensure uninterrupted filtration if the power goes out.

2. Housecall Algae Control: Cleanup Crew: For those sponge filters to be full of beneficial bacteria, they'll need a fish population to do their thing. I propose a diverse cleanup crew to live together in the Toolbox Pond that could handle all types of algae: bristlenose plecos for their rasping abilities on glass and decor, Siamese algae eaters for hair and blackbeard algae control, otocinclus for the glass and leaves, amano shrimp for the nooks and crannies, and big snails for everything else. This setup would consume a lot of food, but that's kind of the point. When you have a tank that needs some TLC, grab some of these guys from the Toolbox Pond and send them to work! Imagine what 20 Siamese algae eaters could do for a tank in 1-2 days? And when they're done, you send them home.

3. Inpatient Algae Control: Cleanup Crew: Even better, got a rock, plant, or piece of decor that needs a cleaning? Simply pluck it out of its home tank and drop it in the Toolbox Pond for a day or two and let the worker bees do their thing!

4. Contained Breeding: Green Water: It stands to reason that a pond like this could be set up to cultivate a large amount of green water, too. What about rigging a large fine-mesh breeder net/basket of some kind so that fry can be moved in there for the first few days of life where they need infusoria? Or, maybe just grab a cup of the good stuff and drop it in the tanks that need it?

5. Contained Food Cultures: Green Water: Again, maybe a tight mesh net or basket to house a daphnia culture in the pond? Haven't thought that one through yet.

So, this Toolbox, this Utility Tank, this Workhorse Pond, whatever to call it...how would you build out such a tool? What other ways can we get a dedicated body of water to do some of the work we'd normally do tank-by-tank? Or maybe this is an old idea that's already been tried?

Please post your ideas; I want to try this sometime, but I'll bet there's more that can be done!

Thanks for reading,

Bill

Edited by Bill Smith
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Thought of a couple other uses:

6. Instant Cycling: Sponge Filters: The sponge filters in the Toolbox Pond could be placed in any brand new tank for instant jump-starting

7. Utility Plants: Sometimes we use plants in a transitory fashion, such as guppy grass or Java moss as a spawning medium, or, in my case, water sprite, for 1-2 weeks when a tank needs boost in algae control. Also for feeding.

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In my room of small tanks, I keep three pico utility tanks. One is a small betta tank, with four glass slices for five chambers. Four chambers have AquaClear foam, and the middle chamber is a tiny Walstad with a few plants. I also keep two other pico tanks on the same table. While I thought I would use them for fish issues, they have actually become the home for all cuttings and the staging tanks for new plants.

IMG_1246.jpeg.c164c8ac73153daaa3e7b724db0b2f7f.jpeg

Edited by Streetwise
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16 hours ago, Streetwise said:

In my room of small tanks, I keep three pico utility tanks. One is a small betta tank, with four glass slices for five chambers. Four chambers have AquaClear foam, and the middle chamber is a tiny Walstad with a few plants. I also keep two other pico tanks on the same table. While I thought I would use them for fish issues, they have actually become the home for all cuttings and the staging tanks for new plants.

 

Great stuff Streetwise! Thank you! May I take the liberty? Your uses add the following to the list of benefits:

8. Plant Staging: Sometimes we need a place to float some plants or otherwise keep them wet while prepping for the main tank.

9. Plant Cutting Storage: The cuttings are sometimes too precious to throw away when we run out of space. Many can be floated indefinitely.

10. Filter Media Prep: Dropping in a foam block for a few weeks populates it with beneficial bacteria so it can go into a brand new filter as needed.

Edited by Bill Smith
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I ordered 25 siamese and Chinese algae eaters, quarantined them and then quickly realized that I could just use them as they were and drop plants in that need help, or cuttings that need cleaning. So I set up a 40 breeder that is becoming their home, for plant propigation, clean up, etc. Very excited about this forum! 

Thanks Corey, and the whole team! And all the people sharing! 

-Logan 

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  • 2 months later...

I like this idea! Snails - how do you cope with them in the worker pool. I'm not anti snail, but in that environment they could go crazy. And what filtration do you use? The nano filters couldn't keep up with that waste machine.

I'm imagining a large kiddie pool or stock tank I guess would do it. Kiddie Pool might make catching easier because of the color.

You'd really have to watch for disease though. Because if you're moving those from tank to tank  you could spread disease - UNLESS you have a post work quarantine tank. Now do you observe or medicate? And if you're going to piece clean items (love this idea) would you have a "service tank" where you put the item and the specialized crew so you don't contaminate the cleaning crew pond with whatever you want cleaned off? Which would also allow you to do a dark tank without light so that you could help kill off the algae with lack of light or add easy carbon.

Hmmm Things to think on....

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  • 1 month later...

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