Central Taiwan Biotope Creation Log and Journal

cockroach

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I decided before my move that my fishroom would go in a new direction. Something I find interesting and want to learn/research/experiment a lot more with. I used to keep large fish, then played with big tanks as complete systems. With small fish and different microcosms within the tank but it all became much of a muchness.

Now I have decided to dedicate almost all my space to slowly building up high current, fast flowing, stream tanks. The tanks will not be big as they need to be able to be moved but I am aiming at about 7 tanks in total eventually.

The first tank will be a Central Taiwan Stream Biotope. I have two regular sized streams (regular for Taiwan, small for other countries) running past my house that have a confluence about 500m from my house.

I am going to start taking pics of the stream bed, fauna and flora to start compiling the data I need. I will periodically test the river water to try and match my aquarium water to it.

TANK STATS
Standard 6mm all glass
Capacity: 280L Dimensions: 120cm x 45cm x 55cm
Capacity: 75gal Dimensions: 48" x 18" x 22"+-

FAUNA (Intended)
Opsariichthys barbata
Acrossocheilus paradoxus
Crossostoma lacustre
Hemimyzon formosanum
Microphysogobio brevirostis
Rhinogobius sp.
Sinogastromyzon puliensis

Zacco pachycephalus
I will see which of these are available and decide on numbers at a later stage.

Snails - Not sure of the species but the stream is inundated with them due to rampant algae growth.

FLORA
The plants will be minimal if any. The stream and banks are stripped of vegetation at least 2-3 times a year with torrential rainfall and typhoons. It may contain some riparium style plant(s) on the surface.
Algal growth will be promoted with different algae found in the stream being scraped and added to the tank water column to seed it.

HARDSCAPE
Substrate: A mixture of gravel and small worn stones collected from the stream
Decor: River worn rocks and branches collected from stream bed

FILTRATION
An external canister filter will provide mechanical and biological filtration. It has a flow rated at 1200L/h
Weekly 50% water changes will keep the water clean.

TANK SETUP
The tank will be set up to resemble a medium flowing stream using a "Panta Rhei style" of unidirectional flow through a false bottom.
A powerhead circulation pump of 7500L/h will create the unidirectional flow and travel under the false bottom from left to right creating a visual/functional current from right to left.

The false bottom will be constructed from 10mm regular glass not tempered glass with a space of 10cm under the substrate. The 10mm glass should give enough support for the rock work, wood and gravel.
The filter intake and output will be located in the space below the false bottom assist current flow.
The tank will be unheated to somewhat replicate seasonal changes.

Yesterday I picked up the 10mm glass for the false bottom so I will be constructing that soon.
Next, I will need to clean the tank and silicone some support glass in it.
The tank will have a small number of fish and snails added and left for at least 2 months to allow the tank to mature and settle.

I would usually leave it longer but I will collect the substrate and rocks from the river so they should come with a plethora of micro fauna and flora.

The actual stream I will be studying to replicate:
Dakeng Stream.jpg
 

tlindsey

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I decided before my move that my fishroom would go in a new direction. Something I find interesting and want to learn/research/experiment a lot more with. I used to keep large fish, then played with big tanks as complete systems. With small fish and different microcosms within the tank but it all became much of a muchness.

Now I have decided to dedicate almost all my space to slowly building up high current, fast flowing, stream tanks. The tanks will not be big as they need to be able to be moved but I am aiming at about 7 tanks in total eventually.

The first tank will be a Central Taiwan Stream Biotope. I have two regular sized streams (regular for Taiwan, small for other countries) running past my house that have a confluence about 500m from my house.

I am going to start taking pics of the stream bed, fauna and flora to start compiling the data I need. I will periodically test the river water to try and match my aquarium water to it.

TANK STATS
Standard 6mm all glass
Capacity: 280L Dimensions: 120cm x 45cm x 55cm
Capacity: 75gal Dimensions: 48" x 18" x 22"+-

FAUNA (Intended)
Opsariichthys barbata
Acrossocheilus paradoxus
Crossostoma lacustre
Hemimyzon formosanum
Microphysogobio brevirostis
Rhinogobius sp.
Sinogastromyzon puliensis

Zacco pachycephalus
I will see which of these are available and decide on numbers at a later stage.

Snails - Not sure of the species but the stream is inundated with them due to rampant algae growth.

FLORA
The plants will be minimal if any. The stream and banks are stripped of vegetation at least 2-3 times a year with torrential rainfall and typhoons. It may contain some riparium style plant(s) on the surface.
Algal growth will be promoted with different algae found in the stream being scraped and added to the tank water column to seed it.

HARDSCAPE
Substrate: A mixture of gravel and small worn stones collected from the stream
Decor: River worn rocks and branches collected from stream bed

FILTRATION
An external canister filter will provide mechanical and biological filtration. It has a flow rated at 1200L/h
Weekly 50% water changes will keep the water clean.

TANK SETUP
The tank will be set up to resemble a medium flowing stream using a "Panta Rhei style" of unidirectional flow through a false bottom.
A powerhead circulation pump of 7500L/h will create the unidirectional flow and travel under the false bottom from left to right creating a visual/functional current from right to left.

The false bottom will be constructed from 10mm regular glass not tempered glass with a space of 10cm under the substrate. The 10mm glass should give enough support for the rock work, wood and gravel.
The filter intake and output will be located in the space below the false bottom assist current flow.
The tank will be unheated to somewhat replicate seasonal changes.

Yesterday I picked up the 10mm glass for the false bottom so I will be constructing that soon.
Next, I will need to clean the tank and silicone some support glass in it.
The tank will have a small number of fish and snails added and left for at least 2 months to allow the tank to mature and settle.

I would usually leave it longer but I will collect the substrate and rocks from the river so they should come with a plethora of micro fauna and flora.

The actual stream I will be studying to replicate:
View attachment 1338130


Will be waiting to see the finished project.
 
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Stanzzzz7

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I knew when Dan suggested a biotope thread, it was a great idea.
Posts like this have confirmed it.
Although I'm a cichlid fanatic I felt life in the s/a c/a section was becoming rather repetitive.
This sub forum is definitely bringing like minded members together.
For me personally, posts like this is where the interest lies.
Habitat, set ups, different species and their natural environments. Replicating nature in your tank.
Love the sound of this set up and will be eager to see more of your set up as it evolves.
Sounds like a very interesting project.
 

dan518

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Sounds great, looking forward to see the mechanics of it. Are you planning on supporting the 10mm glass on anything or relying on the silicon.
 

cockroach

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Sounds great, looking forward to see the mechanics of it. Are you planning on supporting the 10mm glass on anything or relying on the silicon.
The 440mm x 520mm x 10mm glass bottom will be supported underneath by 2 lengths of glass as "legs". The supports are 400mm x 100mm by 10mm.
They will support the glass near the edges lengthways to allow unobstructed flow of the water under the display area.

Having them like this will make maintenance easier if, or when, I will need to get under it as there will be two halves to move and it's open to the bottom.

Made this quickly to give a better idea:
Central Taiwan Stream Tank Schematic.jpg
 

Lilyann

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This is very exciting, I love what you are planning here. It is such an amazing experience to see the coming together of a biotope of an area of the world that I will most likely never see myself.
 

cockroach

Redtail Catfish
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If it doesn't rain I will be going to the stream later to take some pics and check water temp.
I may try to do a float test to guesstimate flowrate.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to test water params as I still need to buy a proper comprehensive all in one test kit set.
 

cockroach

Redtail Catfish
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So I went to the stream at about 15:00 today and got some underwater footage and some pictures of the stream and stream substrate.

Here is the data collected today.
DATE AND TIME
6 October, 2018
15:00~16:00

WATER PARAMETERS
Te
mp: 28C (+-82.4F)
NO3: less than 5mg/l
NO2: +-0.5mg/l
H: +-10°d
KH: +-6°d
pH: 7.2~7.6
The test strip used give an idea but are not accurate.
DSC00127.JPG DSC00133.JPG
The thermometer was placed in about 30cm (1 foot) of water and left for at least 15 mins. The picture was taken within about 5 seconds of removal from the water as to get a semi accurate measurement.
DSC00125.JPG DSC00135.JPG

PHOTOS

The underwater camera in action in Pool 1.
DSC00121.JPG

The fish were really plentiful. Even more than I expected after viewing the underwater footage. I have been walking this stream for 8 years and it was really the first time I noted this many fish.
DSC00122.JPG
The stream and the bank. The stream is very small at the moment due to no rainfall in the past 3 weeks.
DSC00124.JPG
Algal carpets covered any moist sand and rocks.
DSC00128.JPG
A riffle feeding into Pool 1.
DSC00129.JPG
This was a pool under a bridge. It was clear and jam packed with fish.
DSC00136.JPG DSC00137.JPG
Carpets of floating algae that the fish seem to relish in for protection and cover.
DSC00138.JPG
This is how thick the aufswuch gets in places. The fish must have a field day feeding on this stuff.
DSC00140.JPG DSC00141.JPG DSC00142.JPG
The stream bed, mostly dry at the moment.
DSC00143.JPG
Another pool with gravel substrate. It was located under a ficus tree.
DSC00144.JPG DSC00147.JPG DSC00150.JPG DSC00153.JPG
 

cockroach

Redtail Catfish
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MORE PHOTOS
DSC00154.JPG
A very clear calm pool. It did not have much in the way of algae or floating cover. It was under a mountain "forest" overgrowth.
DSC00155.JPG DSC00156.JPG
Something besides stones in the water.
DSC00157.JPG

A size reference for the stream. The dog is about as tall as a Labrador.
DSC00159.JPG
Tiny pools in the riffles.
DSC00160.JPG
What the substrate looks like. when the stream has more water the main channel flows over this section.
DSC00161.JPG DSC00162.JPG
More bamboo decor.
DSC00163.JPG
Some areas of the stream bed have a sandy texture.
DSC00164.JPG
Where the water flowed into Pool 2
DSC00167.JPG

Pool 2 with my Jack Russell
DSC00170.JPG DSC00172.JPG
This invasive cichlid was in one of the pools we past. Can any hazard an ID?
DSC00174.JPG

A small waterfall below Pool 2. This fed the pool with the invasive cichlid.
DSC00182.JPG
Looking back at the stream we had just walked up.
DSC00168.JPG
VIDEO

Pool 1 was slow flowing as it was deeper and deep section was wider having a larger volume of water. It had an over abundance of algal growth on the bottom of the stream bed and as floating mats on the surface.
The video is not sped up or edited in any way. The fish dart around constantly and it gives a good idea of their speed.

Pool 2 was crystal clear and faster flowing. The fish were abundant and active enjoying the stream.
DSC00189.JPG
 
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