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Old 06-29-2006, 01:18 PM   #1
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Chesapeake Bay Biotope?

I live in Lexington Park, MD, very near the mouth of the Patuxent River where it enters the Chesapeake Bay.

My grandfather was a waterman, and my father likes to do much of these activities (crabbing, fishing, oystering, etc.) as a hobby. I'm wondering how hard it would be to set up a tank with a Chesapeake Bay/Patuxent River biotope? My father could help in providing me with some of the creatures; he currently has several 20L tanks set up for softcrabs to molt in, but he manually changes the water daily with fresh water from the bay.

I'd like to set up a more traditional tank, but with local marine flora and fauna only. This is a long-term goal, as I have yet to set up my first SW tank. Still, I'd like to start planning for this and discussing possible requirements and "gotchas". I know my Dad would *love* to see such a tank, and to know that he and his father inspired it.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-29-2006, 01:58 PM   #2
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Getting sand and water from local beaches/bays comes up quite a bit. There are some concerns like local laws, pollution and non-controlled stuff getting in your tank. The ocean/bodies of water are generally able to keep up with filtering and stabilizing themselves, a small tank would not have this benefit, or would take a lot of care and attention, I would think, and might be a difficult task.

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he manually changes the water daily with fresh water from the bay.
I imagine this would work if you only put local critters from those places in that tank. If you end up adding other livestock, that you find interesting, that is not local, they might not be able to survive in that water.
Hopefully some one more experienced can correct my if I am incorrect or at least give you their experiences and input.
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:48 AM   #3
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If you end up adding other livestock, that you find interesting, that is not local, they might not be able to survive in that water.
Ditto. We know how polluted the Bay is. I think it sounds like a nice idea(we demand pictures), but check with local laws first. Since (I think) some of the bay is protected area now, it may be illegal to take livestock out of it. Even sand.
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:14 AM   #4
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Good idea. My father is friends with the local wildlife officials, so he should be able to get word on what is and is not legal. He has permits to fish, crab, and oyster, though, so he should be able to collect some living specimens for me, at least.
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:27 AM   #5
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Definitely watch out on the sand part. There is no telling what is in it. I read a post not too long ago about some one finding a wedding ring. Imagine, if you brought home some sand and there was disease/parasites/a penny (copper).....Inverts do not get along with copper....
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:45 PM   #6
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Native species are often ignored by us and it's refreshing to see someone "digging" into the topic.

The substrate is definitely a concern as mentioned above. Other than that, the species you can stock are dependent on what you can gather. Other than the inverts, are you looking at any particular fish?
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:59 PM   #7
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I imagine with proper cleaning and mechanical filtering of the sand, you could use it - I would avoid anthing on the top foot or so of the beach though and would go to a remote area and dig at least 2 feet down -- then dry the sand out and filter out anything you dont want, then clean in bleachwater, rinsing in tap water thoroughly afterwards. If you do go this route, please post pictures! even though I dont have a SW tank yet, I read these boards and look at posts just as much as all the others
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Old 07-02-2006, 09:04 PM   #8
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I think the main obstacle would be keeping the tank at the cool temperatures the animals would require to maintain their health. The Chesapeake bay is far from the tropical waters where most of our live stock comes from. Having said that, it would be interesting to see something different.
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