Jump to content

20 gallon wide hillstream manifold tank


RockMongler
 Share

Recommended Posts

I just recently upgraded my standard 10 gallon to a 20 wide, with a hillstream manifold.  The hillstream manifold doesn't quite work how I'd like (I need to find a better way to spread out the output force, and I'm not entirely sure the entire input of the flow through the powerhead is coming through the intake sponges).  I used a hand-drill on the area of the PVC pipe the sponges cover to get a greater intake across the whole body of the sponge, rather than just at the tip.  There still is quite a bit of swirling action rather than full on directional flow, but it was still a fun project to build my own streamflow manifold.  I'd definitely get a smaller powerhead than the aquaclear 50 I have running it now.  I also have aquaclear 30 HoB for that extra touch of filtration (and for helping deal with fines better than the sponges)

20201111_181055_HDR.jpg.8d4f98a633963a7e224553430412dc4a.jpg

 

I have white cloud mountain minnows (and they have been sucessfully breeding, as you can see by the distincly blue striped jeuvenile)20201110_180643.jpg.2ef3bbcd994926393c0e55868b328920.jpg

I also have 2 species of hillstream loach.  I think the reticulated one is a pseudogastromyzon cheni (or myersi).  I only have one of those, the other one I purchased at the same time didn't make it.  It was a bad shipment from a LFS I go to in Houston, and the other dozen loaches didn't make it overnight.  I got there the next day, and the one that is still alive is kind of the ruler of the tank.  He definitely is dominant over the other loaches despite being slightly smaller.20201110_180551.jpg.cb916e14903e94a2378e0c454f4bf236.jpg

The other hillstream loaches I have, I have some of the Beaufortia kweichowensis I purchased from aquahuna.  I suspect there might be multiple species, as one of them definitely prefers resting on the substrate, and the others prefer the vertical glass when they are hiding, but from what I can tell looking around the internet, the hillstream loaches aren't as well studied as we might like.

20201111_155218.jpg.59163ce2a695ead65d2440492693fcde.jpg

The substrate is pea gravel from Lowes, and the larger rocks are either collected locally in East Texas (the orange sandstone), or I gathered them on a previous trip to Colorado (pretty much everything else).

I'm currently treating the tank with seachem flourish to handle the staghorn/black beard algae, along with playing around a bit with my lighting.  Still, the fish seem more active in the 20 gallon, so overall I'd call it a success.  It is a pleasure to sit down and watch at the end of the day.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Andy's Fish Den said:

You said you get swirling action from the intake end of your manifold setup? Did you put a cap on the pvc at the end? If it is capped and you drilled holes in the PVC where the sponge is, maybe there isn't enough holes in the pipe. Just some thoughts I had regarding it.  

What I find happens, is the concentrated output is much more obvious in its effect on the tank compared to the diffuse intake with the sponges.  The powerhead gives me a fairly distinct counter-clock-wise flow in the tank, though it does distinctly slow down on the front side of the tank, past the sponge intakes.  Even if I take the intake sponges off both of the intakes I have, the flow feels very minimal.  I just probably need to get some way to better diffuse the flow coming from the powerhead to be more similar to the diffuse intake I have, like making some kind of spreader bar out of PVC.  20201027_185722.jpg.5b2fbd78a9af84343a5fb610572a32b0.jpg

That is what my plumbing looks like under the gravel.  2 intakes drilled with a bunch of extra holes beyond just the top and covered with a large coop intake sponge, combining to feed a single output powerhead.  In hindsight, if I were to try this again, I'd probably get 2 smaller powerheads, and do a similar split for both a higher and lower flow area.  I'd also probably use something smaller than the 1 inch pvc pipes.

Regardless, the fish don't seem to mind it too much (there's still plenty of more chill spots for them, and the minnows will sometimes to hang in the current just for fun occasionally), and over the last few days I've noticed my 4 newer hillstream loaches settling in better and being less spooked by me walking by or the other loach chasing them off.  I think the Pseudogastromyzon is finally getting bored of constantly chasing one of the others off 'his' pile of rocks, only to return and find yet another one has moved in and is there. They are getting a proper, peaceful pecking order established from what I can figure.

 

Also, have a short video of the tank.

Edited by RockMongler
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I am still kind of working on it.  The intake is actually not very strong at all.  It is two 1 inch pvc pipe with a large co-op intake sponge covering both intakes.  The shrimp like to hang around on the sponges and feed.  I have made one spreader bar using 1/2 inch pvc tubing parts that fits nicely onto the output from the aquaclear 50 powerhead to make the output flow not ridiculous.  The problem I have now, is I think the directionality/number of holes I have is now giving me a bunch of dead-zone fairly low flow areas.  

When I first did it, I only had holes drilled in the pipe sending the flow right across the top, and causing a fairly strong swirling effect in the tank.  Now, I have twice as many holes, with one set aimed parallel to the surface, and another set of holes pushing flow straight down.  The ones pointing straight down give me kind of a silly amount of flow in one part of the tank, and very very little almost everywhere else.  I am planning on going to my local hardware store and purchasing more 1/2 inch T joints and end caps to make another manifold, maybe trying a saw to make wide outputs in the spreader bar instead of drilling holes in the PVC.  I will report back later with pictures and probably my new spreader bar attempts to see if I get a better result.

The overall goal is to have lots of flow overall, but still have some more calm areas for the WCMM to chill out when they are resting.  Now, its like I have maybe 1/5th of the tank with silly amounts of flow, and the rest is almost chill enough for a betta.  The other problem I have is my pseudogastromyzon loach is kind of a jerk to the other bottom dwellers.  I might have to move him into his own tank, because I sort of want to see if i can get the Beaufortia kweichowensis to spawn, and I think the other guy is spooking them a bit much.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is what it looks like right now.

The string algae is a bit annoying (i'm also working on getting my algae growth right, probably gonna do a day or two with the lights off), but it does help show flow.  You can see that there is flow in the middle of the tank fairly slowly looping back towards the spreader bar. over on the right.20201209_165721.jpg.927144b0715c49b78648eeae6d0fb90a.jpg

There is also fairly intense flow back along that right side behind the spreader bar.

My next one, I might get my powerhead turned 90 degrees, and use some bends in the PVC to get the spreader bar closer to the far right side on my next iteration.

As to the loaches I have now, there are 5.  1 pseudogastromyzon, 4 of the beaufortia.  I am thinking of getting 2 more of the beaufortia and maybe see of I can get a breeding colony going of them.  I'd probably have to find another tank for the pseudogastromyzon though.  They are kind of a jerk to the other bottom dwellers.  I haven't gotten any of the sewallias (which are the reticulated hillstream loaches) for my tank.  The pseudogastromyzon is also noticably different from the other loaches I've seen.  It has more of a opaque belly compared to the almost transparent bellies of most regular hillstream loaches, and has a much less aerodynamic body with smaller pectoral and pelvic fins.  Overall though, watching the loaches and their social behavior is quite entertaining, and I'd honestly be happy having a tank with just a bunch of them in it.

Have a sketch. the single one I have is a lot taller, and the others are much more aerodynamic and have bigger fins.

1027027711_Untitleddrawing.jpg.a3089d2acf8d144e70de27748cd74b3b.jpg

Edited by RockMongler
added line about watching the social behavior of the loaches
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great drawings! I like all the algae covered rocks. Have you noticed if your loaches like Baby brine shrimp? I started feeding my White Clouds and my loach would come out and seemed to be eating what it could.

Something to think about for the light, when i put an LED light on my 10 gal (bout the same height of my 20L) I ended up having to dim it all the way and put a shorter photo period to avoid excessive algae. 

Do you happen to have a guess for what species mine is (kinda bad pictures/camera) both pictures are the same loach. My LFS just sold them as a "hillstream loach".

thumbnail?appId=YMailNorrin&downloadWhenThumbnailFails=true&pid=2

thumbnail?appId=YMailNorrin&downloadWhenThumbnailFails=true&pid=3

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, Dancing Matt said:

Great drawings! I like all the algae covered rocks. Have you noticed if your loaches like Baby brine shrimp? I started feeding my White Clouds and my loach would come out and seemed to be eating what it could.

Something to think about for the light, when i put an LED light on my 10 gal (bout the same height of my 20L) I ended up having to dim it all the way and put a shorter photo period to avoid excessive algae. 

Do you happen to have a guess for what species mine is (kinda bad pictures/camera) both pictures are the same loach. My LFS just sold them as a "hillstream loach".

thumbnail?appId=YMailNorrin&downloadWhenThumbnailFails=true&pid=2

thumbnail?appId=YMailNorrin&downloadWhenThumbnailFails=true&pid=3

Your pictures don't seem to have loaded correctly!  I have used this site to get some idea of what loach species I have.  My pseudogastromyzon is probably the myersi or cheni species, but actually telling the two apart requires measuring some body proportions, and I don't necessarily care enough to find the distinction.  

As to feeding, I haven't done baby brine shrimp in my tank yet.  I haven't gotten any setup for hatching them, and my local big box retail stores haven't had any frozen in stock when I have checked recently.  I mostly feed a mixture of xtreme micropellet, xtreme krill flake, repashy soilent green, and occasionally frozen bloodworms.  I haven't seen the loaches particularly go after the frozen blood worms that make it to the bottom.  I have a few other foods I've bought that I mix in as well for good measure, and I'm looking at adding vibrabites to my mix, since I got a sample from a friend, and the white clouds go absolutely bonkers for it.  Everyone also does seem to like the repashy... the white clouds sit above it and wait for the loaches to stir bits up into the water column, and then they chase those bits down.  

For lighting, I have a nicrew light with one of their programmable setups that lets me control brightness and times of the lighting.  Right now I'm down to ~ 10 hours of light at 60% brightness.  I started a few days of ambient light only this morning, along with reduced feeding for the tank to see if that helps the algae get pushed back, and I'm also looking at ordering some amano shrimp from aquahuna to help in cleaning up as well (also some yellow fin white clouds to add some variety to my school and 2 more of the beaufortia loaches to make the odds of getting a breeding pair better).  I figure less feeding might push the bottom feeding crew to consider eating the algae more instead of just waiting for the repashy.  I still always worry i'm not feeding them enough, as most of us do.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In other fun news, I think my hillstream loaches might have had a spawn!  I don't have any pictures at the moment, but last night, after having the lighting off all day, I turned it on for a bit to get a look at the tank.  Lo and behold, I found a cluster of eggs (~ 1mm or so little dots) sticking to some of my java moss.  Because it looked like some of my bladder snails were chowing down on the eggs (maybe? everyone in the tank was behaving a bit strangely because the lights were off all day), I tried to cut the piece of java moss and move it into a smaller container for me to try and hatch the eggs in a piece of tupperware (with an airstone).  I managed to get maybe 1/3rd of them, but as I was trying to pull the bit of eggs up to the surface, some went and fell down into the coarse substrate I have.  I wonder if the combination of a fairly large water change on Wednesday, followed by a day of darkness on thursday pushed them to try and spawn.  

I don't think the eggs are the shrimp (I have some neocaridinia, and my understanding is those fellows have momma carry the eggs until the shrimplets hatch), the bladder snails have clear egg sack like things they lay, the malaysian trumpet snails are live bearers (I think?), and my understanding is the WCMM have much smaller eggs than this.

Woohoo, maybe I'll have to go make a thread over in the breeding forum and see if anyone else knows much about spawning these loaches (and when I get a decent picture, I'll edit it into this post)

Edit: Here is a picture of some of the eggs.

20201211_153912.jpg.07e29bbe058b730640e4dc97113f7080.jpg

Edited by RockMongler
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Taylor Blake said:

I love the river manifold idea I did a modified version on my 300. That is my hill stream community. Are you happy with the amount of flow you are getting? Do you have any plans to make more tanks like this in the future?

E73F189F-16BF-4768-B1F1-4346EBFA5BAC.jpeg

I'm still not entirely sure I'm happy with my flow, because on the more left side of my tank, there is little to no surface agitation.  I can see with my still-not-quite-under-control hair algae.  Though, to fix my surface agitation issue, I might take my airstone and move it from my right side near the output, and take it to the left side, near the stream flow manifold intake.  And, now that I am on my Christmas break, I might spend some time trying to rework my spreader bar.  In reality though, it is probably fine overall.

I know with a big tank like you have, a canister filter with well separated intakes and outtakes can do the same thing as my stream flow manifold.  I just am overly intimidated by servicing a canister filter.  I know for a fact I would put off cleaning it, and that only leads to tears and sadness in the long term.  Sponge intakes and HoBs are much less intimidating.

I also do love your setup.  I'm just limited by apartment living right now.  Did you ever get that big chunk of wood to stay sunk without the bag of gravel?  For me, a bigger setup would be nice.  I know if money wasn't an object, I'd look at building a multi-tier setup of multiple tanks connected with waterfalls arranged so that the hillstream loaches could travel up and down between them.  Some more calm pools, and other more riparian sections, all populated with various small minnows, loaches, gobys, killifish, etc.  I've found myself captivated by the behavior of the small freshwater fish that live in the stream environment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love the behaviors as well my canister is actually not really doing the true filtering of the tank. I do crazy water changes so the fx4 is more for chemical filtration. I feel like I'm never really happy with my flow I think everyone who dose one of these tanks feels the same way. I have around 9,000 gph of flow in the tank with the canister and two large return pumps.I think  It helps to have multiple outputs for flow. I have two outputs but I may add more by slitting my output into two 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice looking tank! I know what you mean about not being thrilled with this manifold design though. It’s recommended on a lot of sites but it’s not my fav. I ended up making circular flow around a central island, but that’s not the same as a river effect either.

This sort of thing is the real solution, and it’s on my list of things to make in the future https://youtu.be/xqkJnSZUEUM

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, the trick seems to be finding the line between "not enough flow" and "Oh no, the flow is slowly killing my fish".  And I don't know if its actually possible to find that line.

I think some day building something like this profile drawing might be what I want.  Plenty of lower flow areas, along with that high flow. 

80389781_Untitleddrawing(1).jpg.035f0b00687e274e3a4f13cc65147ac0.jpg

Two (or maybe even more) larger tanks connected with a shallow, faster flowing area for the species that love that stuff, but still plenty of more calm water areas for other species to not get overly stressed.  Also, having rocks/hardscape that stuff like the loaches can climb to keep it properly one larger environment.  But, such a thing would be probably very expensive, and more liable to failure than I'd be comfortable with.  The kind of thing that probably works best in a zoo/public aquarium/science center.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Its been a crazy week.  I got hit with sub-zero (farenheit) temps and lost power for over 36 hours.  But, prepared battery air pumps (one USB, one running off D-cells) and sleeping bags appear to have avoided a mass casualty event in my tanks!

Powers back, and it looks like everyone made it!

20210217_134731.jpg.bfbba4e1777bcc67a36b3fbabeb21dc0.jpg

The tank is still very cold, in the upper 50s.  The hillstream loaches seem to be just fine, and are scooting around like ususal.  The WCMM appear to be very very lethargic.  I was worried about a few when I first opened it up from having a sleeping bag wrapped around it, but they are getting up and starting to move more.

I also added some hygro in the last few months, and it is doing pretty well for me.

Hopefully, everyone else out there dealing with this crazy weather is keeping their wet pets safe.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

An update!

20210412_171845.jpg.c091c1789175f0aadf03e472172d5cbc.jpg

The tank has definitely grown in a bit.  The java moss on the left needs reworked a bit.  I think I need to clip the good growing tips, and go attach those directly to the piece of wood that is under there.

20210412_171859.jpg.851d4e9cc07319646847dad4691628d3.jpg

Everyone is pretty happy.  Even the loach you didn't see stuck onto the bottom of that chunk of Repashy.

I re-did the spreader bar, and I am happier with the slightly more concentrated flow I get on the right side of the tank.

20210320_182354.jpg.103bbce0caf8b2faf624cd558d02ab38.jpg20210327_154900.jpg.36b8201cb9ffa58484454cf6d82674f6.jpg20210411_112420.jpg.e2fbe29eba020c9b5bbadead321e42d3.jpg20210411_112443.jpg.c43ce8a7328bd4049554da242bd90378.jpg

Thinking about getting a better way to take pictures of the tank, because my phone just isn't as good as I'd like.

I extended my WCMM population The only creatures that seem to be successfully reproducing is the invertebrates.  Lots of shrimp and snails making copies of themselves.  I suspect the snails and shrimp are gobbling any loach or WCMM eggs that get laid.  

Still very happy with how this tank has been working out.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

May Update!

20210512_172853.jpg.6b40fcb9b02cf4e87fc128ef7839d904.jpg

My hygro is really growing in!  I cut back the java moss because I kind of had a death bloom in it; the java moss started dying from the inside out, getting to the point where I could suddenly see the piece of wood underneath.  I got rid of quite a bit of the java moss, and started new supergluing some to the wood.  I also finally got around to permanently mounting the subwassertang to the one stick on the right side of the tank.  That spot is very popular with the shrimp, and my anubias right below it is about to put out yet another leaf.  My java ferns are...  existing.  Not particularly thriving, but not really dying back either.  

20210512_172940.jpg.a835611e40182abafcff9af46b832258.jpg20210512_172951.jpg.fee77b3db1d6e4dc48bc9d14c6a15c39.jpg20210512_173044.jpg.d0dd63e641c197866668203ba5422480.jpg

I'm quite happy how everything is growing in.  However, I definitely need to get a DSLR for taking pictures.  I just can't quite get my phone camera to play nice.  My WCMM are doing quite well, but still not seeing any fry.  I might take the two females, and a few of the males into my other tank that is currently experiencing green water to see if that would get me any fry.  The hillstream loaches are getting really settled in.  They aren't super skittish anymore, and they seem to have maybe broken off into two pairs (or, at least I can hope that's the case).  Only real addition I want to make right now would be getting ahold of an anubias nana petite to put in the one rock on the left side.  It has a really nice little spot I could just drop it in.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...