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Rivers, anyone?


eatyourpeas
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So, after my little Channel cat experience, I have been thinking (already a bad sign) about making a river tank. Does anyone have any experience/advice on this type of setup?

I am not going to try a biotope because I am interested in Rio Motatán in Venezuela, and fishes in that river are either endangered or vulnerable. But this river is a great mix of white water, quieter pools, flooding, and dangerous cresting during rainy season.

A great excuse to try the powerheads that @Streetwise pointed out to me for the PSB. Lots of rocks, some vegetation, mainly thick roots. I am thinking a shallower water line along a 10' wall (will be making the tank).  I will post the design once I have something coherent. Canister filter for filtration since there is no room for a sump (sorry @OnlyGenusCaps).

Possibly loaches and catfish. Too early to tell.

Any insights?

TIA

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On 9/2/2021 at 4:36 PM, eatyourpeas said:

10' wall

I don't even care if you have a sump or not on this.  Ten feet?!  I'm just glad to pull you well and clearly out of "nano"!  🤣  Although, let's see where the filtration takes you...  Sumps can surprise, as your v-sump proves.  I've got a call with a friend later this week who was until recently a "canister obsessive".  He's building a sump. 

So, I only have one "fast flow" stream fish.  A Rhinogobius species. It's doing fine in a tank with a stiff current form a bubbler.  My point is this, think whether your fish need "river" conditions to be happy before you go to the trouble of trying to make real "flow" across the tank.  It will save a lot of time, effort, and on power bills. 

Regardless, I love the idea of this project!!!!  I know so little about the fish from that region.  I'll be excited to learn from your efforts!  It's not far from where my Endler's come from though. 

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I know, so much for the "nano for life" idea. But, I had so much fun building the SW tank that I want another challenge, and this is looking like a fun project. It also means all nano tanks but one will go away, as I do not have space for one more tank. It is a very slow burn project, so not rushing to change anything. But three distinct tanks could be a fun way to experience different critters.

Already working on a design that will allow me to attain that length. Another crazy option is to put tanks inside the big tank! I can them keep the nanos and play with height! Ooohhh, the possibilities! 🤪

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On 9/2/2021 at 4:29 PM, BlueLineAquaticsSC said:

This sounds very cool. Hillstream loaches would be very cool to see in there. I also really like Buffalo head cichlids, which I have heard like high flow and will hop across the bottom of the tank

Hillstream loaches are a great option, thanks! Also looking at Panda garra and Flying fox. I am just starting the research. 🙂

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On 9/2/2021 at 6:38 PM, eatyourpeas said:

But, I had so much fun building the SW tank that I want another challenge

Welcome to my world!  The hook is the project.  It's exciting to create new worlds, isn't it?!

On 9/2/2021 at 6:44 PM, eatyourpeas said:

I simply have a thing for gobies!

I love gobies too!  They are like submarine geckos with their ability to stick to whatever they like.  So fun! 

 

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I love these tanks! Great fun to build! I like setting up one corner of the tank to be the high point and the other end to be the low point so it looks like a sloping creek or stream. Since you want to do paludarium style I like using succulent soil for above the water line to plant some heather species. But if you're going for tropical river, anubias works well. For underwater camomba and elodea can be planted sporadically. I like to just use java moss as it will do well both above and below the water line and makes it feel more lived in.

 

Underwater for substrate and hardscape large river pebble and white sand mixed with some small pieces of pea gravel looks realistic.

 

For filtration undergravel filters are your best bet with power heads. I like to hide the manifold in fake rocks. Either crafted or you can buy cheap plastic ones at garden stores. I also like to try and setup a fan or two perpendicular to the water surface to make the water surface turbulent, this really sells the aesthetic.

 

For fish species that love life in the fast lane include: weather loaches, zebra danio, whitecloud minnows, colombia tetra, the aforementioned channel cat, rainbow dace (which might be illegal to import), hillstream loach, any stiphodon goby.

 

I stole this pic from loaches online

image.png.13541bc8fad17383952eb81f8cc272b0.png

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Thank you @Biotope Biologist, this is quite helpful!

The LFS that had the Channel cats also happened to have Rainbow dace in the same tank, so I do not know if they are illegal:

image.png.6c385a78f859c34effe5e121683a1f42.png

This is what they looked like, the image is from Amazonas Magazine:

image.png.0a28e901404c77c113789303d50c183a.png

Very pretty fish!

What I am envisioning so far, for 10' of tank, is similar to your filter diagram and am also toying with the idea of a circular flow around an island of rocks. Still working that one out.

Due to the size, it is looking like a wooden tank with a big window in front would be the way to go. I still have no idea as to how many gallons this beast would be.

I love your suggestions, thank you! So much to think about, so fun!

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On 9/2/2021 at 11:36 PM, eatyourpeas said:

So, after my little Channel cat experience, I have been thinking (already a bad sign) about making a river tank. Does anyone have any experience/advice on this type of setup?

I am not going to try a biotope because I am interested in Rio Motatán in Venezuela, and fishes in that river are either endangered or vulnerable. But this river is a great mix of white water, quieter pools, flooding, and dangerous cresting during rainy season.

A great excuse to try the powerheads that @Streetwise pointed out to me for the PSB. Lots of rocks, some vegetation, mainly thick roots. I am thinking a shallower water line along a 10' wall (will be making the tank).  I will post the design once I have something coherent. Canister filter for filtration since there is no room for a sump (sorry @OnlyGenusCaps).

Possibly loaches and catfish. Too early to tell.

Any insights?

TIA

You might wanna check out MD's youtube channel. He set up a river tank sometime ago but if you watch the build videos I'm sure you will get some ideas.

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YouTube has a few videos of high flow rate river/stream tank builds onthere. I saw some a year or so ago where they created a false bottom and used a high flow rate gyre pump under the false bottom to move the water. Here's a link to a video of a similar tank if you're interested. (1) Aquascaping a DBL bottom Aquarium - Step by Step River Stream Flow Tank aquascape tutorial - Bing video

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Thank you, @Nik_n and @gardenman for those video suggestions. Now comes the part where I should get something else done besides binging on YT and prove myself a productive element of society... 🤪

@Biotope Biologist, I am definitely not keen on the double bottom approach. The idea of having to take it apart is not very appealing, so I will be exploring the above substrate flow and using canister filters to create more of a circular system. I have something similar in my SW tank (with less force, of course) and like how easy it is to fine tune. It is, however, always fun to envision lots of pipe work! 😉

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On 9/3/2021 at 8:54 AM, L_goodei200 said:

Rainbow Dace (also known as Red Shiners) are a U.S. native, and completely legal in the U.S., as long as you don't live in a state where they're threatened or endangered.

There's a lot of fun options with a river tank. Gobies, danios, loaches, catfish, and even natives like shiners, darters, chubs, and madtoms.

I just wasn't sure if the rainbow dace was on the Washington state import ban list, we have so many it's hard to keep track. But since @eatyourpeas saw them at the store I would think they are not.

 

And my filter option was just a suggestion, I am not offended by it. 😋 I definitely have a thing for plumbing! But I understand the simplicity of a canister.

 

Can't wait to see how this is all put together!

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