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Re: NFC: Darter Tanks & stuff

Tony wrote:
> I'm thinking something about 5' long by 6" wide. The tank would be about
> 1' high, but would only have about 6-8" of water. With a strong
> powerhead/sponge filter combo at one end, or maybe even a canister
> filter, I might be able to create some good current/ripples.

With such a long and narrow tank, you'll definitely want the filter to
have its inlet and outlet at opposite ends of the tank.  This would also
achieve a current that would make the stream environment more realistic.

> My questions are, does anybody see anything potentialy wrong with such a
> setup? I'm also concerned about water temperature. As anyone familiar
> with the northern Illinois area can tell you, we usually get the
> extremes of every season. It could get a bit warm in my apartment over
> the summer. What, if any, darter species are the most warm water
> tolerant? Which are the least?

I live in southern Michigan, and I have similar temperature problems
with my sculpins.  By using a low-wattage filter and evaporative
cooling, I can keep the temperature below 75 F (usually considered the
upper limit for sculpins) even when the air is 80-85 F.  Sculpins are
one of the least heat-tolerant fish--surpassed perhaps only by
trouts--so darters should do well in any environment that is suitable
for sculpins.

The effectiveness evaporation will severely diminish if the weather
suddenly becomes humid.  The room should be equipped with air
conditioning in case it is needed during hot and humid weather. 
Nevertheless, the modest and fickle nature of evaporative cooling is
compensated by the fact that it's cheap, especially when compared to the
purchasing and operating costs of a chiller.

Andrew Dalton