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old tub... possible prop tank


firefishbrain

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firefishbrain

ok, so we just got this house, there is an old bathtub we're not going to use, so i'm thinking it's going to be awesome aquaculture project. i can get demensions later, as i haven't actually seen it yet. but I'm wondering what i can do with this. obviously, I don't have a budget yet, but judging from the fact that we now have two houses, I'm not going to have tons of money for this project. but, given your opinions, I think I could save some big bucks if I decided to make it a seasonal prop tank. I (being an inhabitant of Chicago) couldn't keep it running all year because I had this notion of running it outside. I'd like to know your opinions on this. some backround info: the backyard is partially shaded for a couple hours out of the day, mainly during the hottest hours (excellent), and I'll have to check the temp of my current pond to see what the temps would get up to in my area, but then again there is a difference in volume, we'll just have to see...

 

Filtration- this posses a weird predicament to me. obviously it depends on what I was going to culture but judging by the size of most conventional bathtubs, and the materials they are made of, I'm thinking a sump would be a little challenging, but I'm up for a challenge. I also just got this idea of doing mangroves, liverock under eggcrate and just an amazing skimmer, and a few power heads, that's basically what I'm running on my ten now, without eggcrate and mangroves and it seems to hold up, It also helps to be doing a softy only (with the exception of one healthy monti) that benifit from some nitrogen chemicals in the water anyways.

 

possible set-ups:

softies- I would like this because I got some shrooms that look awesome and I could really make them flourish if i had more space. I wouldn't have to be super worried about Ca, or any of that sps stuff. right now that's looking really good, at least for the first year... the filter would be mangroves, and a really really good skimmer to take care of the gunk that softies love to make.

 

stonies- this would prolly be something I would do after I did a trial run of this setup, like in a couple years or so, for a couple reasons- I don't have the money for a CA reactor and all that jazz, I would want to run a trial anyways to make sure they would even survive, maybe with a small piece of monti from one of my other tanks. I would also need to figure out how fast they would grow in natural sunlight... maybe contact someone involved in mariculture or something.

 

Cali tidal pool- I actually thought this was kinda cool, my old man thought it up. if we used creatures used to the climate (the climate of CA is similar to that of IL in the summer). this would be some anenomes, crabs (highly unlikely) and other denizens found in the tidal CA area. I wold just use the same idea for the softies.

 

if all else fails, I'll just propagate mangroves... somehow, I honestly think this could work. I just need to know how fast some coral grow in natural sunlight to see if it's worth doing at all. could anyone point me in the right direction???

 

 

 

I'm also going to talk to the guy at my lfs, he has a friend who has a greenhouse for coral...

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Problems you'll encounter, that you haven't listed:

 

1. How clean is that tub? It's going to need one heck of a scrubbing to make sure nothing nasty ends up in the water. Not to mention that you'll have to scrub it out every year when you start it up again

 

2. Every time it rains, your SG is going to go crazy and your alkalinity and pH will go down (rain is acidic).

 

3. Temp isn't the only problem - you'll have to check temp swings over the course of the day. More than a couple of degrees won't be good.

 

4. Mangroves are very inefficient for waste export because of their extremely slow growth rate, and soft corals won't use as much as they make.

 

5. I assume you have a plan for this, but you didn't mention it - what are you planning to do with the corals in the winter?

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firefishbrain

in response to 1, that's I assumed everyone knew I should do, because you should do that with any new tank anyways, but thanks for pointing it out. as far as the rain goes, I only thought about that a little, I was going to see about making a canopy for the sides. perhaps made out of something durable and clear or the white tarp stuff used at plant nurseries in greenhouses. temp, if it's tooo cold I could always have a heater running. as for hot... well I'm not sure in all honesty. I geuss a chiller would work, but maybe if I ran fans too keep the air fresh and cool. hmmm, I've heard the opposite for mangroves, but if you think soo, I geuss I'll have to look into a super good skimmer (which I was going to do anyways) and maybe a wet/dry or fuge (fuge would be preferable...)

and coral, in the winter I would obviously have to get rid of them and obviously keep a few frags of each for the next year. If I was able to somehow produce a profit, I might even be able to move the tub into the basement permanently with some nice mh's and t5's... thanks a bunch for the post, I didn't know that all rain was acidic.

I'm of course going to run the tub with out anything live to see how it does as far as temp and weather control.

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I honestly do not see how your going to get it clean enough.

Cleaning a used tub verse a used fishtank is going to be a completely different ballgame

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Sounds like you've got a fairly good plan. Assuming the tub is porcelain, you should be able to clean it, although it'll take a lot of elbow grease.

 

Mangroves are inefficient because they grow so slowly. I would definitely recommend you do a fuge and add some chaetomorph or caulerpa for nutrient export and have the mangroves for the aesthetic factor. There's an article on RC (I think) about different macros and their export capactites - mangroves were at the bottom.

 

Average rain pH across the USA is 5.5-5.7. The closer you are to industrial centers, the lower it goes.

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Usually the cheapest part of any system is the container. A kiddie pool would work better than a porcelain tub, and would not corrode. As you probably realize, a porcelain tub is actually made of metal, and it has two holes in it, which may or may not fit a standard bulkhead. If you leave the drain in, it's likely made of brass (copper) and could kill the inhabitants. I'm like you and am always looking for ways to use what's at hand, but a tank is too cheap to hassle with an old bathtub.

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