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Freshwater Biome Cycling

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Hi everyone,

The topic of “Biome cycling” seems to be getting more popular in Salt water. I’m curious if anyone is looking into this on the freshwater side.


I think (could be wrong) Father fish discusses this a bit but i’m wondering if anyone here is trying to “biome cycle” their tanks. As well as how they are doing that with products or nature.

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There are loads of ways to do this hobby. So yes people have gone out and done all sorts of things to bring nature into their homes. 

Personally, I restarted my 60 g with a colony of seed shrimp and scuds mixed in with moss and some other bits that were in my scud tub. Then when they were thriving as I built the plants back up I added snails - bladders and rams horns. Then nerites when the algae got challenging along with a group of amanos. It’s just kept going from there in terms of layering the biome with neos, fan shrimps - bamboo and wood. 

A strategy for some cory breeders I read about on another forum is to seed the substrate with blackworms then add in other prey items like seed shrimp ie daphnia, then scuds etc. 

I know that Father Fish and Alex over on Fishtory (used to be A secret hx living in your aquarium) have discussed things like grabbing a scoop of mud from a stream or pond etc. I think that would be interesting but you’d have to stock the tank to something that was used to that environment. Eleosoma, NA killifish or wild live bearers would be interesting choices for such a setup. Last fall early winter I tried a setup with wild mollys and ghost shrimp and it didn’t work out with a daphnia and green water conditions. I have a tank with a super deep sand bed that’s still up and running but just don’t have the time to try again. Might just buy a blackworm culture and see if they can take off in there. If I could then seed it with scuds and daphnia I’d be in business! 

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It’s how I do all of my tanks now as well. I had no idea it had a name until people started talking about it marine side.

Which is interesting to me because if I recall in college I wanted seahorses (very briefly) and the owner of the LFS said that the best way to keep seahorses is by allowing the tank to have a thriving population of inverts for the seahorses to hunt. Otherwise you are feeding them 15x a day like a baby. Seahorses lack stomachs so they are constantly hunting amidst the seaweed and reef.  Who has time for that? 

Although granted Ecology didn’t have a name until the 1970’s. So the ecology of an aquarium not having a name makes sense. We are a forgotten lot 🥺

Edited by Biotope Biologist
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