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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
> somewhat
> > >  translucent.  It is starting to proliferate in our 90 gal, co2
> injected,
> > >  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