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RE: Freshwater Reefs
> Thayer writes:
> > > <snip>... Its structure looks a bit like a miniature
> > > saltwater staghorn coral, though it is soft, a pale green and
> > > translucent. It is starting to proliferate in our 90 gal, co2
> > > 400w MH lit, 24x36x24 FW heavily planted tank.
> > >
> > > A picture of it can be viewed at...
> > > http://www.noe.com/temp/sd27.jpg
> Bob Dixon (IDMiamiBob at aol_com) replied:
> > Gee, Thayer, I don't know what it is, but it is pretty neat looking.
> I once
> > had a small killie tank that I left fishless for a week. I was about
> to put
> > fish back in it when I noticed a smll, colorless <thing> swimming
> around in
> > there. It looked like a jellyfish without the stringies hanging
> down, about
> > 3/8 inch across. I left the tank empty for several months hoping
> more of
> > them would show up, but it never happened. Whatever it was would
> have made
> > great fish food, if I could have cultured it. <snip>
A good while back there was discussion on this list
of "freshwater reefs" that emphasized large species
diversity. Usually, this implies invertebrates.
I'm starting to get fairly serious about taxonomy of
aquatic invertebrates. (I don't know what Thayer has
yet, though.) While I think it's unlikely that any
freshwater tank can approach the "typical" diversity
of a marine reef (we don't have the nutrient or
compound suspension that allows for higher margins
of life diversity as that found in marine systems), it
still seems to me that you can have an awful lot of
activity in a 10g tank that may or may not have fish.
The following site on Benthic Macroinvertebrates
talking about indicator species in water quality (hosted
by the EPA) may be interesting to some on this list.
Of course, the primary problem is that many aquatic
critters don't live their entire lifecycle in a tank, and
often we don't want the adults flying around the room.
A sealed paludarium may help, or we may just limit
ourselves to some snails, mussels, isopods, or other
critters that more-or-less stay in the tank (don't fly
away). The aquatic Sowbugs (Crustacea Isopoda)
look interesting to me (and a few others with which
I'm going to experiment). Even though some species
may be used by the EPA as an, "indicator of poorer
water quality" doesn't mean they won't proliferate in
our tanks (we can select for or against predators).
For the most part, I think control won't be a significant
problem (as long as we achieve tank containment)
because the proper fish can pretty much devastate
any critters I've put in any of my tanks. Believe it or
not, I don't even think duckweed (Lemna minor) is a
problem anymore. I just have to remember to pull out
my Carassius auratus before the stuff is all gone.
Is anyone else thinking about this?
charleyb at cytomation_com