Trout Tank

BrookKeeper

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Jul 26, 2015
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Shenandoah Valley, VA
Gorgeous, what are your long term plans if they keep growing. I wish I could have some of the native fish up here (rainbow, grayling, blackfish, burbot, dolly varden). Nice job and here's hoping no more losses!
Beautiful fish.
Thanks, celebrist! I don't think they will outgrow the tank, but If they do, I guess they will have to take a drink of MS-222, as would have been their fate if I have not invested in continuing their lives. My largest individual at home I about 8" currently ("G" was up to 9" when she passed) and I think even 12" would be okay here. I have good current, and for the most part they swim in place. My biggest concern for their continued growth is the consumption of the minnows, so restricting their diet is not really an option. They certainly will not be reintroduced to the wild, and I don't know that my wife is going to allow a larger tank in the house (or any additional tanks, for that matter).
 
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xraycer

Alligator Gar
MFK Member
Sep 5, 2013
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Well, there's always this yummy option
grilled-trout-ck-x.jpeg
 
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xraycer

Alligator Gar
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Sep 5, 2013
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Yea, I couldn't bring myself to do that last week... Thought about it for a few minutes, but it just seemed disrespectful.
Haha. I couldn't do it to a pet either.
 

fatboy8

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Mar 9, 2012
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Philadelphia
Finally an interesting thread in this section its been dead for awhile. I kept 9 rainbow fingerlings last summer before they were dropped in a private trout pond. Just reading through your post I as well exhibited the same behavior. All fish ranged from 2-4" with the largest one by far the most dominant frequently giving a quick chase to another fish and the fish would line back up in the current. I also noted that the dominant bow I am assuming was male grew the fastest out of the remaining 8. The only difference with my set up was I did not run a chiller on it. Just a few questions what temp does the tank run at? What do you feed them ( I'm assuming live) and are they natives or wild? judging by the coloration I am going to say natives but I've never seen brookies with those solid orange dots before looks great. This is a project I was planning on doing once I get over my cichlid phase.
 

BrookKeeper

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Jul 26, 2015
371
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Shenandoah Valley, VA
Just a few questions what temp does the tank run at? What do you feed them ( I'm assuming live) and are they natives or wild? judging by the coloration I am going to say natives but I've never seen brookies with those solid orange dots before looks great.
Thanks, fatboy! I have them around 60*F currently, I kept them around 55*F in the winter, and I am able to get all the way down close to 40*F. The chiller is only a 1/3hp, don't pay attention to what the specs say they will do, a legit chiller can do more than it advertises. Mine is old, no idea what year, bought it on Craigslist about a year before I got the tank set up even.

The fish are both native and wild caught (I assume you meant wild or hatchery?) I collected them in the N. Fork Tye River in Nelson County, VA. I have never seen Brookies without the orange spots, just wish mine had a bit more of the blue halo around the orange.

I feed them mostly super worms (Zophobas morio) but I through in a few blood worms and brine shrimp now and then, mainly because I have a tiny little sculpin that seems to do best eating those. I started them out with wax worms when they were small, sometimes the super worms are at little heavy on the exoskeleton for the little guys. Just the other day I was trying to express eggs from my largest remaining female (at least I think she is female) and instead I squirted out a fully intact head and fist 3 segments of an undigested super worm. Not sure if she was having trouble passing it or not... she didn't seem very appreciative of the activity, either way. I tried to switch them to hatchery pellets, but there is nothing that they will spit out faster... they always sample, but never consume pellets.

Okay, I lied... here is a brookie with nearly no orange spots, she only had 2, and you can't really see them in this light. Caught in a suuuper tannic tributary to Shavers Fork of the Cheat River, Randolph County WV. You can see how tannic the water behind me is, and there were NO trout in the main stem (extensively electrofished). This one was about 15 meters up the trib, which was probably 5-10*F cooler than the main stem. I thought maybe the tannic water has something to do with the coloration, as we caught several in there that were this light.
DSCN0931.JPG

Okay, I probably need to work on shortening my posts... but I am really happy to have found this forum! All other aquaria forums are a waste of time...
 

divemaster99

Dovii
MFK Member
Jan 10, 2014
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Pittsburgh, PA
Man this is really making me want to get some Brook Trout again, which at this point I'd only need a chiller to be able to do but they're so dang expensive. I'd probably get mine from streams around Potter county, the fish up there look amazing (as pictured below), especially the ones from a small, secret stream that not many outside our family know of, has a strain of brookies we appropriately named "Bloodfins" because they have near jet black bodies with vibrant red fins.

Oh and by the way, how did you go about transporting your fish? If I were to get some wild it'd probably be a 4 hour drive to get the ones I want and i know that trout can be very fragile fish.

image.jpg

image.jpg
 

xraycer

Alligator Gar
MFK Member
Sep 5, 2013
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Okay, I probably need to work on shortening my posts...
I'm really interested in what you have to say, so keep posting.....make it as long as necessary/desired :)
 

fatboy8

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Mar 9, 2012
785
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Philadelphia
BrookKeeper BrookKeeper sorry my native vs. wild thing was a little confusing. In PA we have three different classifications of trout- native trout which obviously have always been there naturally reproducing and what not, wild trout which were stocked at some point but naturally reproduce in the wild and then everyone's favorite the stockie. The reason I mentioned the wild trout is I've caught/seen pictures of wild brownies, bows, and brookies and usually their coloration is close to a native fish but theres always something goofy thrown in. I was just wondering if that is where the orange dots occured but I have a feeling it is just the coloration of your regions brookies. All the brookies stocked, wild, or native in Tioga and Potter county PA have had the blue halo. I am glad to read you only run a 1/3 hp and it is more than enough. I was looking at whatever the next size up wondering if that would be enough. I hate how those things are a fortune and everyone selling them used around me thinks they're worth an arm and leg and don't depreciate.
 

BrookKeeper

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Jul 26, 2015
371
125
61
Shenandoah Valley, VA
Oh and by the way, how did you go about transporting your fish? If I were to get some wild it'd probably be a 4 hour drive to get the ones I want and i know that trout can be very fragile fish.
I used a pair of large coolers, about 50 gallons each, with small holes drilled in the top for airlines. I sank two air stones in each cooler, run by portable bubblers (the battery type, but you can get one to plug into the car too). I filled the coolers about 3/4 (in the back of the suburban already, of course) and taped around the lids to minimize splashing around corners. I also kept a digital thermometer in each cooler to monitor temperature in transit. I had about a 2 hours trip, and I didn't lose a full degree celsius. I had 25 trout (I know I said 24 earlier... that was the plan, we took an extra for good measure) so 12~13 per cooler, all between 99-132 mm TL, plus a few rosyside and blacknose dace (just for fun). I had no issues in transport, but I did lose 2 in the first overnight. I didn't have lids for the tanks, so I clamped shade cloth over the tops, but two hopped out regardless. Based on their level of desiccation and the time found, I guessed that they were startled by the lights turning on suddenly, so I added dawn and dusk lighting to ease that shock. I also ran to Lowe's and spent a couple hundred bucks on acrylic for lids within the hour...

Here is a picture of the research system, BRAND NEW at the time I started. Pretty sweet setup, although I would have designed it a little differently myself. Each tank is divided down the middle into two channels, water circulates within each tank and returns through a gravel bed at the end of each tank to the pump and treatment system in the corner. The pump can push about 65 gpm total, serving all 4 channels, but I could isolate each channel and send all 65 gpm to one if I chose, plus you get the recirc velocity from the other side coming back around.

TroutRoom.jpg

Y'all talk about water changes... I did mine every 5 minutes! with an automatic solenoid valve. I opens on the frequency and length of time you set, so I had it open for a few seconds every 5 minutes, adding ~10-20% of the total system volume in 24 hours. An overflow ran water to a floor drain to maintain a constant level. Water added was RO, and pH and conductivity were constantly monitored, with dosing pumps to add sodium bicarb and instant ocean solutions as needed to compensate.

Here is the holding system, I kept one brookie per jail cell... I used 12 in my observations, 4 cohorts of 3 fish each, the rest were a juggling act of 'where can I keep another fish', I added two 20 long tanks to the top of this rack and plumbed them in and constantly had to shuffle fish to unused areas of the channel system. Oh, these fish didn't see a net EVER after coming into the lab, always caught them in a clear plastic container to minimize stress/slime damage.

Fish Rack.jpg
RackControl.jpg
 
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