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Gonna try a river set up, not really going full biotope but definitely want to create a river scene. Still in the beginning stages of planning and researching. I’ll need to figure out a flow rate that is comfortable for the stocking I have/ will select. Also I want it to be adjustable to mimic different times of slow to faster currents. For hides, flow blocks, and grouping areas I will use straight-ish 2-3 inches round limbs with large river stones. May also go with a tree trunk type log and large river stones. Or ? 
This will be in a 55G and my first thought for flow is, 2 intakes with aquarium coop sponge pre filters at one end. Connect that with PVC to 2 aquarium coop power heads. Each power head would be on its own power source. Then use 2 micro pumps all at other end. 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

I want to plant some val and maybe other plants but definitely a lot of val. The stocking I have already chosen is rainbow shiners and some hillstream loaches. Shiners arrived today 😁 they will stay in QT until this is ready.074D307E-05C0-4AB8-8714-1B793F78FE8A.jpeg.99892386dd77c9965476db747f82576b.jpeg

225CE4AC-3E02-4030-B8B6-125D5C65F92D.jpeg.71bea99aae37a7bc289112f98531a205.jpeg

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Love it! I’m going to try something like this on a 29 gal with Saffron Shiners. Wish I had space for a 55 gal though!

One thing I’ve seen… a lot of these setups tend to attract Cyanobacteria. I’m not sure exactly why, what with the flow, but just take care  with your choice of wood. I’m wondering if wood gathered from “the wild” maybe is a susceptible context for cyano to thrive. I’ve never kept Hillstream Loaches before. Maybe they’ll keep wood clean enough to prevent that?

I was happy with some medium sized Mexican Beach Stones I bought to accent the bottom. Of course… might cost a fortune to ship rocks now.

In my plan, I’m going to try an ACO powerhead atop an ACO sponge filter, going up out to a DIY spray bar on the side of the aquarium with a small return pump on the opposite side (I’ve not settled on brand). One caution: my shiners got decapitated by Hydor circulars. They’ll jam their faces in, and you’ll be very unhappy with the result.

So excited for you! Those are young shiners. They’ll color up over the year ahead.

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@Fish Folk thanks so much. I will definitely look into ways to prevent/ reasons for cyano. I’ve also thought about incorporating a spray bar but not sure how it would attach to power head. What’s your thoughts on how much flow I m planning? I think in a 55G I’ll definitely need 2 power heads?  In my research so far a lot of talk about keeping the water oxygenated. An idea I seen that I like is keeping an air stone directly under a power head

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I honestly haven't got a lot of experience with developing flow. With Rainbow Shiners, I haven't found that they need all that much flow. Here's a 7 min still video of the current 29 gal. I've set up at work. There's three NANF species in here -- 14x Rainbow Shiners, 4x Rainbow Darters, 2x Banded Sunfish. They all come out in this long shot...

Flow in here is one small HOB that came with the 29 gal kit, a small bacto-surge sponge filter, and a mini pond pump ca. 5 inches up from the substrate on one side.

I am setting up another 29 gal with similar structure to this one because I have the footprint space for it where I've already for a 20 gal long that needs to be replaced (old, cracked / repaired). And I really do not have room for another 55 gal. Here are the steps I'm planning. (Had some extra time to draw this up this morning)

1676670877_ScreenShot2022-04-28at6_51_23AM.png.acd9c42e524ec208a324627b339378d1.png

Someone else on the Forum tipped me off to the spray bar idea. Dean and Cory did a fun DIY video for one meant to attach to a Canister filter. I'm thinking of just throwing the in-tank powerhead out / up to the spraybar, and setting it up on the side of the aquarium. There's going to be some problems to solve here . . . but that's the fun of it all!

I really like the combination of Shiners + Darters. They cohabitate nicely in nature, and as long as they're fed strategically, they seem to be very aquarium-compatible. Saffron Shiners are not as lovely as Rainbows until they're colored up. When they spawn though . . . wow . . .

2085638013_ScreenShot2022-04-28at6_54_39AM.png.f3af3cd9c84c2c34a2b9c38b1f38b7d9.png

I am thinking about moving my Banded Darters in with them. A little Green-meets-Red contrast...

261582842_ScreenShot2022-04-28at7_00_01AM.png.36747bd93b29d9a425113c15f2a4bde5.png

 

Edited by Fish Folk
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To supplement flow, and depending on the substrates used, adding an UG filter might be ideal. It would simulate the high flows of water through the substrates from the high turn over of the natural waterways. My main concern with that would be the UG trapping eggs of fry from missed spawns. It should fix the whole cyano issue you mentioned though @Fish Folk

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On 4/28/2022 at 3:32 AM, Atitagain said:

@Fish Folk thanks so much. I will definitely look into ways to prevent/ reasons for cyano. I’ve also thought about incorporating a spray bar but not sure how it would attach to power head. What’s your thoughts on how much flow I m planning? I think in a 55G I’ll definitely need 2 power heads?  In my research so far a lot of talk about keeping the water oxygenated. An idea I seen that I like is keeping an air stone directly under a power head

Atitagain, I am finally getting my cyano under control. Mmiller may be on to soemthing with his correlation between TDS and cyano. The tank it started in had TDS near 1,000 once I finally got a digital meter, so I switched to using ZeroWater for all top offs, and a mixture of ZeroWater and Pur filtered tap water to get all of my tanks under 300 TDS. I have lost a little of buffer, so obviously haven't completely stabilized everything yet... but I pulled out 3 cups worth of hair algae from my blue guppy breeder (I had forgotten to remove what I had intentionally introduced for the nerites🤦🏼‍♂️) easily, and I am not seeing any new cyano outbreaks. Occasionally I still find an old watersprite branch with a little on it, but the last two 5 gallon trims out of Patient Spouse's™ tank had *no* cyano smell!!!!!

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On 4/28/2022 at 10:38 AM, Tihshho said:

To supplement flow, and depending on the substrates used, adding an UG filter might be ideal. It would simulate the high flows of water through the substrates from the high turn over of the natural waterways. My main concern with that would be the UG trapping eggs of fry from missed spawns. It should fix the whole cyano issue you mentioned though @Fish Folk

I hadn’t thought of an UG filter I looked them up not expensive really. I have decided to cut back on the flow a bit maybe this makes sense to keep movement. I wanted to use some sand in the substrate along with gravel. I would imagine sand will not work well. So maybe I can figure out something or get rid of sand? 

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On 4/29/2022 at 8:10 PM, Atitagain said:

I hadn’t thought of an UG filter I looked them up not expensive really. I have decided to cut back on the flow a bit maybe this makes sense to keep movement. I wanted to use some sand in the substrate along with gravel. I would imagine sand will not work well. So maybe I can figure out something or get rid of sand? 

My T4' has a UGF on the right side (under gravel and big river rocks), and has sand on the other third of the tank under the waterfall. Best of all worlds, especially with the new TopFin UF series that allows you to snap together the UGF in whatever configuration is needed. I have found it to be more fragile than the old UGF, however I discovered putting it on top of egg crate light diffuser vastly increases UGF flow😁. Conversely, putting egg crate light diffuser on top of the UGF supports larger rocks and pieces of wood on top of the UGF.

As for the TDS helping to fine tune, my ZeroWater experiment was totally worth the expenditure, as the 20 cup model that came with the free TDS monitor was only a few dollars more than the TDS monitor I was going to buy anyways. I figured if I didn't like the ZeroWater filter, and never used it again, getting a reliable TDS monitor out of it made the risk worth it. I have not been disappointed, and Patient Spouse™ has also approved.

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On 4/28/2022 at 7:05 AM, Fish Folk said:

I honestly haven't got a lot of experience with developing flow. With Rainbow Shiners, I haven't found that they need all that much flow. Here's a 7 min still video of the current 29 gal. I've set up at work. There's three NANF species in here -- 14x Rainbow Shiners, 4x Rainbow Darters, 2x Banded Sunfish. They all come out in this long shot...

Flow in here is one small HOB that came with the 29 gal kit, a small bacto-surge sponge filter, and a mini pond pump ca. 5 inches up from the substrate on one side.

I am setting up another 29 gal with similar structure to this one because I have the footprint space for it where I've already for a 20 gal long that needs to be replaced (old, cracked / repaired). And I really do not have room for another 55 gal. Here are the steps I'm planning. (Had some extra time to draw this up this morning)

1676670877_ScreenShot2022-04-28at6_51_23AM.png.acd9c42e524ec208a324627b339378d1.png

Someone else on the Forum tipped me off to the spray bar idea. Dean and Cory did a fun DIY video for one meant to attach to a Canister filter. I'm thinking of just throwing the in-tank powerhead out / up to the spraybar, and setting it up on the side of the aquarium. There's going to be some problems to solve here . . . but that's the fun of it all!

I really like the combination of Shiners + Darters. They cohabitate nicely in nature, and as long as they're fed strategically, they seem to be very aquarium-compatible. Saffron Shiners are not as lovely as Rainbows until they're colored up. When they spawn though . . . wow . . .

2085638013_ScreenShot2022-04-28at6_54_39AM.png.f3af3cd9c84c2c34a2b9c38b1f38b7d9.png

I am thinking about moving my Banded Darters in with them. A little Green-meets-Red contrast...

261582842_ScreenShot2022-04-28at7_00_01AM.png.36747bd93b29d9a425113c15f2a4bde5.png

 

received_984627575532192.jpeg.dcedc02bb9f8b1151fa008531134c593.jpeg

Yes this is what they look like 90% of the time.

I'm guessing with enough work you can create a family that stay fire up longer and have a stronger yellow band

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Started shuffling a couple other tanks yesterday that I’m using to rehouse plants, fish, shrimp, and maybe snails from the 55G I will be using to create this river. Once all that is done I will start removing all equipment hardscape and start experimenting with different flow set ups. I am scaling back on the flow, I believe 2 ACO power heads would be too much and with how I plan to do my plumbing it will be easier to add than to subtract. 
also will need to figure out do I want flow going towards or away from main viewing area.28402F13-E7BE-4E56-9DE5-0399E2782F71.jpeg.2edb9f6286126f5832bb51de13326087.jpeg

This tank sits in a closet with about 25% of front glass kinda hidden. Can’t decide either to do 1-3 larger logs(3-5”) or a grouping of 1-2” branches? Substrate, background, filtration.  I believe I will be doing a lot of testing😁

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On 5/2/2022 at 10:06 PM, Tihshho said:

Do you happen to have a large rubbermaid tub you could house the plants in? Other option, and much easier option would be to plant the plants left over in other tanks and take trimmings from them when you want to use them elsewhere. 

This tank was/ is a plant grow out. I am just moving them around the room. That is a great thought, I was thinking of tank for plant grow out. A tub would work perfect under my work bench.

thank you 

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Purchased the centerpiece driftwood today, shipping could take 12 days. No worries tho I still need to make decisions on soil/ substrate, background, additional driftwood/ log, plants I’m probably gonna use a large group of vallisneria and that’s it (maybe), and complete stocking. Also will need to experiment with the flow figure out lay out then test some more as I go.

I am generally always in a hurry to finish tank set ups, on this one I’m gonna take my time. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Been adding/ moving around logs not really liking what I have so still on the lookout for another piece. Will remove one I have in there that doesn’t really go with scape. 8E57AED8-DEDF-4102-B6B8-AA855211C9AF.jpeg.03347dccfe6743ad267496a2b2054a77.jpegChange in plans for pants. I have a fairly good size group of vallisneria, some hairgrass, and 5 pots of dwarf hairgrass. Then I  have some crypts and dwarf sagittaria that I will be adding.

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I decided not to go with a full “river” tank. Figured that would be a lot of work/ $ to set up, more maintenance, and create to much flow. Maybe if I get more time and different stocking that would like higher flow I consider full river in a future project. So now just want a river feel to it or a slower moving system. I have a ACO medium sponge filter with an ACO power head to create current, I think in a 55G this is plenty of flow for now. Also at other end I have a small sponge filter sending current back down the tank.

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A few more plants and branches, calling it done. I’m sure I might tinker around with it a bit but for now…DONE. I’m gonna let all the plants grow in and then see if any changes are needed/ wanted. Bought 3 bunches of stem plants from my LFS and a couple more branches. Did a bit of shuffling and twisting of everything and I’m very happy with the final outcome.

I will be adding hillstream loaches as I can afford them. They are very pricey right now in the $20+ range per fish. One good thing is I’ll need to let the tank season up before adding HSLs anyway. Thinking 6-ish should fit nicely. Possible mystery snails or may go with a snail I’ve not kept MTS?

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Then I added a couple pieces of wood to the front glass.

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Thought this was a cool lighting effect ⬇️

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