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My reef ecosystem expirament

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Hey guys, before i get fishy i would like to say i hope you and your family are having a fun and safe holiday season. Now to the fish... last year, i had an idea for a (fw) self containing ecosystem using no electricity. I placed a 10 gallon tank in front of a window containing elodea, snails and guppys. The project worked perfectly. The fish ate and there were several genarations of fish. Unfortunatley, during the october snowstorm i lost power for a week, my house got to 44 degrees and the fish died. :angry: I know want to try this self containing ecosystem as a reef. My stock would be to place a 10 gal in front of a window with 20 pounds of lr and 2 (mated) catalina gobys. I really only have 2 concerns. 1, flow, how important is flow and how could i get it. Second, what grown naturaly in a 10 gal can the gobys eat? Thanks

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Catalina Gobys are temperate (58-70 degrees in the wild) and there is some debate about how well they do above 72 degrees. Also, they don't live in tide pools, where the water temp can fluctuate rapidly, but instead live a little deeper, where the temp changes very little from one day to the next. The heat added by a pump, and by the sun, could easily push your temp too high. How hot did your fresh water tank get? How large were the day/night temp fluctuations? Maybe if you avoid direct sunlight, and use an external pump instead of a submersible one, you can keep the temp stable and low enough.

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If your thinking of doing a sealed saltwater ecosystem and your temps are going to vary greatly I would suggest keeping tigroprius californicus (aka tiger pods) in there as a reproducing food source. I've been growing them out in 2 liter pop bottles since this summer when I collected about a cups worth of them and the algae they were living in.


They can withstand huge temperatur swings since they live in small stagnant rock pools in the upper splash zone. So the Oregon strain that I have will experience temperatures from the 30's all the way up into the 90's easily if not higher. If your interested I could send you some along with the algae that is growing with them.


The ones that I have been growing I know have experienced temps from 40F - 90F just in my garage.


If your set on having fish in with them, look into getting some very small tidal species. Some of the sculpins and gunnels I have been collecting for my coldwater tanks are known to also breath limited amounts of air and can withstand low oxygen levels. You could also go the route of saltwater tidal shrimp and algae with tigroprius as a small food source.


You really got me thinking abou this now ;) I've been in love with contained ecosystems ever since I was a kid and used to stare at the glass balls with a shrimp, some algae and a snail in them.


Dang I might just go put one together out in the garage for the hell of it now.


Also, you might consider using a small LED light on the system instead of sunlight. That way you can get your photosythesis for the algae, but avoid the thermal build up.

Edited by AquaticEngineer

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Quick google search and I found those glass spheres that I used to stare at on my science teachers desk in highschool.





I'm pretty sure I have to buy one of these now. I'm also going to build one using coldwater livestock, just gotta find the right kind of glass enclosure to put it all in since I doubt I'm going to get a glass blower to hook me up with something as cool as they use on the eco-spheres.


Guess I'll look for a screw top glass jar, or something like they use for canning or bottling tomorrow.


What are you using for your sealed systems?


Did a little more looking around and the eco-spheres have a hole in the bottom that they silicome another piece of glass onto to seal them. I think I could do that, lol.

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Here's what I ended up doing. I just made it up with stuff I had on hand. Just a bowl right now with 2 species of macro algae that I had living in my tigriopus grow out bottles that was collected from the splash pools along with the tigs.


I also put 2 of shrimp I had in with my octopus in there along with quite a few tigriopus as food for the larger shrimp. Threw some sand in the bottom and a rock that had been in the sump tank for quite a while doing nothing.


Been up and going since the night of the 27th with no problems yet.





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Hey ZacheyP did you end up getting anything put together?


I added another shrimp to my existing one to see how it would handle it and the 3 shrimp seem to be doing fine. The tigriopus pods are multiplying, the algae is still growing, the 3 shrimp have all molted. I'm going to transition them all into a larger glass cylinder vase and see what else I can get to live in there.


I'm thinking I may try some inter tidal chitons or limpets since they would be used to a low oxygen environment as well.

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