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Old 05-04-2011, 08:43 PM   #1
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self sustainable aquariums

I've been captivated by the idea that a circular food chain can be achieved and balanced in such a way that almost no artificial food has to be added.

They describe adding RCS and other invertebrates in a big tank and give the
4 months to get stablished and reproduce, a lot of plants, moss and then maybe introduce a predator which controls the population but doesnt decimate it.

Has anyone here tryed something like this? I know most of us are really attached to our RCS, but it is their natural place in the food chain.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:50 PM   #2
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Check out the BlueIQ it has the same idea, but on a smaller scale. As far a the predator goes I'm not so sure
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:57 PM   #3
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Not sure if this is the same idea but,
My lfs keeps small blue lobster (not sure what other name) in a tank with only a few plants and snails.
The lobsters were feeding off the snails, but I felt bad for the snails so I would never do it lol.

They were selling both snails and the lobsters though, so maybe it wasn't intentional
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:12 PM   #4
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That may be the idea, what I would like to find is a long term balance, where no more RCS or snails have to be added because they reproduce.

I checked out blueIQ, something like that, but bigger and with appropiate conditions for shrimp reproduction. They dont have any form of filtration or circulation other than the filtration the plant gives, dont even think they recommend water changes.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:17 PM   #5
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The lobster idea would probably work I'd you got enough snails and let them breed for a little while before introducing the lobster
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:07 AM   #6
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I've also been intrigued by this idea, I definitely think it would be possible with red cherry shrimp and a predator fish because RCS breed so rapidly.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:37 PM   #7
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My Apple snails in the 12 gal, reproduced so Im hoping the hidding places allows some of this miniature guys to survive my goldie long enough until I setup this other tank. Fingers crossed.
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:48 PM   #8
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I have a 10 gallon with a lot of plants and a lot of snails and 2 assassin snails. While, I had 2. I now have 3. I can see how that could work, but I'm fertalizing that tank pretty heavy, which is really the same as feeding it. For a tank to be a real food chain circle it'd have to be pretty big and you'd have to be just changing water, not trying to gravel vacuum. A complete ecco system needs to be pretty big. I have some literature on vertical farms, or you could look them up. Those are much the same thing.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:25 AM   #9
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I have done this before !! So have some of my teachers. I did it with elodea, 10 common guppies male and female, pond snails and that might have been it. They never eat ther babies but then they all died and no petstores sold them. :/
Then I did it with 2 platies and 2 swordtails
It worked well but I wanted to put the filter back in so I could get plecos.
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:01 PM   #10
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This is fascinating to me! I just filled my newly aquired 10g... That would be awesome if it was self sustaining! I'm checking out BlueIQ now...
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:15 PM   #11
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thats a cool idea,and with the right species,would work great.
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:31 PM   #12
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can a qt tank be self sustaining????

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Originally Posted by alLexX View Post
thats a cool idea,and with the right species,would work great.
Im thinking snails, apple ones maybe? how many would be good?? I love the little cherry shrimps....um what would be good "predators"? swordtails? Platies? Danios? Guppies? What about a QT tank? Do they have to be like bare bottomed? Or could that be self sustaining.....sorry I have so many questions....This is my 4th tank but I am like a sponge I just want to keep learning
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:32 PM   #13
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i have no idea,but i do know that swordtails and the others you listed dont eat snails.
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:15 PM   #14
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I have been trying to do this with guppies but i never had any luck with the fry... they seem to not get bigger than than 2 cm. my teacher has an aquarium though with guppies and snails that NEVER DIE...

She doesnt even feed them in the summer breaks
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:55 PM   #15
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i think you could do this,but on a larger scale.if i tried this i would try crayfish,swordtails/mollies,and snails.the crayfish(male and female)would have babies,which would be small enogh for the fish to eat,the crayfish would eat the fish and snaiuls,and the snails would eat the leftovers.you would have to add the crayfish last,after everything else had a good breeding population,so it wouldnt be self sustaining for a couple monts.at least.
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
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i think you could do this,but on a larger scale.if i tried this i would try crayfish,swordtails/mollies,and snails.the crayfish(male and female)would have babies,which would be small enogh for the fish to eat,the crayfish would eat the fish and snaiuls,and the snails would eat the leftovers.you would have to add the crayfish last,after everything else had a good breeding population,so it wouldnt be self sustaining for a couple monts.at least.
Fascinating idea...would zebra danios work?
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:46 PM   #17
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i dont think so,there not livebearers and there smaller and faster,so there would be less and theyed be harder to catch.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:09 AM   #18
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I'll be trying this in a 29 gal with a Apple snails, RCS, heavily planted and with a lot of hidding places. Let them reproduce and stablish for a couple of months and then introduce a predator or two small fish which can eat the adult decomposers but do limit the population growth. Im on the road right now but will get to work as soon as I get back.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:10 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by posleen103
I have a 10 gallon with a lot of plants and a lot of snails and 2 assassin snails. While, I had 2. I now have 3. I can see how that could work, but I'm fertalizing that tank pretty heavy, which is really the same as feeding it. For a tank to be a real food chain circle it'd have to be pretty big and you'd have to be just changing water, not trying to gravel vacuum. A complete ecco system needs to be pretty big. I have some literature on vertical farms, or you could look them up. Those are much the same thing.
If you can send me the links for that literature it would be great please.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:15 PM   #20
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U need mollies or common guppies and pond snails. Trust me when I say that they don't eat there babies so threes no worry. I would stay away from the crayfish. Idk if the plants matter though but I would get elodea and maybe an African dwarf frog or 2.
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