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Tank Preparation: Speaking the Language

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Monteray Bay Aquarium. 2. Tank Positioning. REM: Water is very heavy! ... Too much salt in an aquarium can lead to problems breeding fish, developing eggs, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Tank Preparation: Speaking the Language


1
Tank Preparation Speaking the Language
  • Dr. Craig Kasper

Photo Larry Ward
2
Golden Rules
  • Relax. (This will be a journey, not a cruise.)
  • Be patient. Fish die once. Do it right first
    time.
  • It can take time (up to 6 weeks) for a new tank
    to mature.
  • Do not over stock or overfeed.
  • Research your fish before you get them.
  • Dont get fish from a tank with dead/diseased
    fish in it.
  • Routine maintenance and documentation avoids dead
    fish.
  • Sometimes fish just die!
  • Have some fun!

3
  • Must maintain a tank ecology that mimics natural
    habitat.
  • Controlling water quality!
  • managing the inflow and outflow of nutrients,
  • management of waste (nitrogenous)
  • beneficial bacteria populations.

4
Summary The Basics
  • Choosing the right tank
  • Positioning the tank
  • Setting up the tank
  • The running in period
  • New tank syndrome
  • Water changes
  • First fish
  • Fish to avoid
  • Maintenance

5
Summary Beyond the Basics
  • Aeration
  • Water chemistry
  • Salt. Yes, or No?
  • Filters and Filtration

6
1. Tank Selection
  • Match the tank to the size (and type) of fish you
    will produce.
  • Large fish (or deep bodied) need larger tanks.
  • Convict cichlids can be placed in small tanks.
  • Paddlefish or sting rays need wide tanks to turn!!

7
Tanks
  • High quality glass
  • -Plexiglass is expensive, but lighter

Monteray Bay Aquarium
8
2. Tank Positioning
  • REM Water is very heavy!!!
  • Water _at_ 8.3 lbs. (3.8kg) per gallon (L)
  • Gravel _at_ 10 lbs/ft2
  • Glass tank (200 lbs)
  • Lid (20 lbs)
  • Potential trouble!!
  • Make sure the floor will support this weight!
  • The floor beams are strongest
  • near the wall.

9
Tank Location
  • Don't site the tank near a door (bang!)
  • Avoid people traffic unless passage is wide!
  • Radiators, sunlight add heat (algal growth)
  • Convenient power supply.
  • Will maintenance be easy (possible)?

10
No one wants this much water on the carpet!!
Courtesy Perigrine Plastics
11
3. Tank Setup
  • Place the tank stand check plumb (level)
  • Place some polystyrene over stand place tank.
    (This provides even support.)
  • Place your equipment in the tank (heater,
    filters, power heads lighting etc)
  • Wash and place the gravel. (Recheck to make sure
    it is still level.
  • All electrical connections should be away from
    any water at this point.

12
Tank Setup (cont.)
  • Fill the tank about 1/3 full (check that it is
    still level.)
  • If its plumb, add hard landscape (stones bogwood
    etc), continue filling until full.
  • Switch on all electrical stuff and make sure
    everything is working.
  • Let run 24 hours to stabliize temperature.
  • Dont add fish yetyouve go no bacteria.

13
3. Tank Maturation
  • Biofilter conditioning will now commense!
  • Your water initially will be nearly sterile, esp.
    if you used tap water.
  • We need nitrifiers to process fish wastes.

Nitrosomonas (ammonia to nitrite) NH3 ? NO2-
                                                 
Nitrobacter (nitrite to nitrate) NO2- ? NO3-
Denitrifiers, Pseudomonas (nitrate to nitrogen
gas) NO3- ?N2  
14
New Tank Syndrome
  • In a new tank ammonia accumulates for 3 to 7 days
    where it becomes very toxic.
  • Fish death.
  • The easiest thing to do to deal with this problem
    is to avoid it all together.
  • Maturing the tank before the fish go in it.
  • If you develop high ammonia levels, stop feeding,
    change as much water as needed to reduce your
    ammonia levels to near zero.
  • Clean the gravel (even before you change the
    water.)

15
How Do I Condition a Biofilter?
  • Since nitrifying bacteria are ubiquitous
    (everywhere) and can be found easily in the water
    column, soil and sediments you can just add some
    pond water or a little dirt to the system.
    (Could introduce pathogens or other toxins
    though.)
  • A better way
  • a. Use existing media from another filter as a
    starter colony (just like passing around
    grandmas sour dough starters).

16
Recipe for Nitrification Success!
  • Once youve achieved proper ph, hardness, and
    alkalinity for your target species its time to
    add the bacteria before you stock out.
  • System start-up formulae
  • a. Spike the system with ammonia.
  • -(NH4)SO4 3.3 ppm (mg/L)
  • -NH4Cl 3-6 ppm (mg/L)
  • b. Place several fish in the system and feed
    them.
  • Wait 4 weeks (if no starters present)presto!

17
  • Get em yourself!
  • (Sewage treatment inspectors get top pay!!)

18
4. Water Changes
  • The importance of carrying out regular partial
    water changes cannot be over stressed.
  • Even with good biofiltration, nitrates
    accumulate, but arent removed.
  • All changes should be done gradually
    (30/month).
  • Match incoming water with tank temp and pH.
  • Large fish or carnivorous ones require more
    frequent water changes.
  • Keep the nitrate level under 25ppm (lt10ppm for
    breeding purposes)
  • Also, adding makeup water replaces trace
    elements.
  • Changing water doesnt do much visually. But you
    won't breed many egg layers if you neglect it,
    nor will you grow any fry to there full
    potential.

19
5. New Fish
  • Good 1st
  • cyprinids, Corydorus catfish and rainbowfish.
  • Good 2nd
  • loaches, dwarf plcos, tetras, cichlids,
    anabantids and livebearers.
  • Bad
  • goldfish, piranhas, knife fishes, hatchet and
    pencil fishes, elephant noses and baby whales,
    Chinese algae eaters, bala sharks, iridescent
    sharks, glass cats, plcos, long-whiskered
    catfish, red-tailed catfish, spiny eels, painted
    glassfish, dyed fish, brackish fish and saltwater
    fish.
  • (Basically, anything tropical, electrical, or
    that lives in special water, isnt a good
    starter!!)

20
6. Fish to Avoid
  • Any fish that grows large!!
  • Redtail Catfish (50kg)
  • Paddlefish (25kg)
  • Sturgeon (100 kg)
  • Wels Catfish
  • Arowana (gt18 for some spp.)
  • Arapima (2 meters)
  • The 'Dyed' Glassfish (injected Indian Glassfish).

21
7. System Maintenance
  • Daily
  • Fish alive ? Behaving normally?
  • Remove all uneaten food, and any dead leaves from
    the plants.
  • Check the temperature
  • Check all the equipment, filters, heaters, pumps,
    etc.
  • Weekly
  • Check the pH
  • Add make up water.
  • Clean the glass (magnetic)
  • Clean the condensation covers
  • Every Two Weeks
  • Carry out a partial water change of about 25 to
    30.
  • Clean the substrate.
  • Clean the filters.
  • Carry out all water test.

22
Beyond the Basics
23
Aeration
  • Oxygen both fish and bacteria
  • Bacteria actually use up more oxygen than the
    fish.
  • (Pound for pound more than we do!!)
  • Speeds up decomposition
  • Circulates water (air lift pump)
  • Ideally the airpump should be placed above the
    water level (prevents back syphoning, quiets
    pumps)
  • REM Temp, TSS, and surface area
  • all influence O2 saturation.

24
Aeration
  • Non-pressurized
  • Downflow bubble contactor (DBC)
  • Counter current diffusion column
  • U-tube diffusers

25
Water Chemistry
  • pH
  • Most freshwater fish 6.5-7.5 (marine 8.4)
  • Improper pH can prevent fish from spawning.
  • More acidic add peat, more alkaline add sodium
    bicarbonate.

26
Water Chemistry
  • Hardness
  • Dissolved salts in the water (general hardness
    Ca2 and Mg2) and carbonate hardness (CaCO3)
  • 0 -- 50 Soft   
  • 50 100  Moderately Soft 
  • 100 200  Slightly Hard 
  • 200 300  Moderately hard 
  • 300 450  Hard 
  • gt 450  Very Hard 
  • Trace Elements
  • Usually they are added when you feed, but
    periodic checking may help
  • make the difference between raising 15 small
    fry, or raising 150 vigorous fry.

27
Excessive Water Hardness
  • Fish which require soft water (some Amazon fish)
    develop tough egg casings which prevents them
    from fertilizing or hatching.
  • Be carefull!!

28
Salt
  • Dont over do it.
  • Too much salt in an aquarium can lead to
    problems breeding fish, developing eggs, etc.
  • Yes, salt can cure Nitrite problems, disease, or
    reduce transport stress but when youre
    breeding, try to avoid it.

29
Filters
  • Primary method of cleaning tank
  • Removes solids
  • -small solids called suspended solids
  • -larger ones called flocs
  • Provides substrate for nitrifiers
  • Many types depending on needs

30
Gravel/Substrate
  • Material for nesting
  • Aesthetics
  • Nitrification
  • Live sand
  • Filtration

31
Gravel/Substrate
32
Gravel/Substrate
PVC shavings!
Activated Carbon
33
Media Filters
  • Bead/Sand/Media filters all use water pressure to
    force water through some type of media.
  • Excellent filtering capacity, esp. for larger
    systems
  • More maintenance (media changing
  • backwashing, etc.)

34
Mixed media filters
35
Gravity Filtration
  • Trickle filters/Settling Chamber/Swirl Separators
  • Most use gravity to accomplish filtering.
  • Better for nitrification and oxygenation.
  • Prone to clogging if primary filtration
    inefficient.

36
Screen Filters (RDF)
  • Screen/Microscreen filters
  • A.k.a.rotating drum filters
  • Utilize large particle size
  • flocculation to remove
  • solids.
  • Excessive flow can
  • reduce efficiency!

37
Best of Both Worlds??
  • Fluidized bed??
  • Actually more simple than it sounds.
  • Running a sandfilter backwards would give same
    effect.
  • Huge potential for nitrification.
  • Bed expansion by optimizing flow.

38
Fluidized-Bed Filter
  • Media maintained 50-100 expansion volume of
    original.

39
(No Transcript)
40
Over 20 feet tall!
41
Bead Filters
  • Another form of fluidized
  • filter system (upwelling).
  • Media is usually plastic beads.
  • Good nitrification.
  • Performs poorly during heavy
  • loading.
  • -excessive stocking density
  • -ad libitum feeding
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