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An Ichthyogeek's Scientific Fish Space

ichthyogeek

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So I haven't even moved/gotten a job yet, but I figure I might as well start this build thread! My build will be less coral focused (there may be some coral), and more fish focused, as that's where my heart lies at the moment. Especially with fish breeding. And with science; I have a few experiments planned once I get everything set up. So this is what you're probably going to see in this thread:
  • Saltwater fish in utilitarian tanks. Think PVC pipes, egg crate caves, and bare bottom tanks.
  • Saltwater fish larvae in Big Round Tubs (BRTs) or kreisels, or maybe even both! I haven't decided yet. This is a hopefully, since the only fry I have right now are molly fry....
  • Macroalgae. Lots of macroalgae. May or may not be aesthetically pleasing.
  • Microscope shots!
  • 2-3 fish Systems (not including growout). These will be tanks/holding containers that are all centrally filtered. One will be saltwater, and the other freshwater. Whether or not it becomes three is dependent on landlords, apartments, and other joys of adulting.
  • Non-Saltwater aquatic organisms. I have some Opae'Ula that are dying (literally) to get out of their ecosphere. And once I move, they're going to get their own amazing little tank. There will also be freshwater fish as well. But no frogs. I don't do frogs.
  • Live Food Cultures. Phytoplankton. Rotifers. Copepods. Daphnia. Baby Brine Shrimp. Maybe adult brine shrimp?
  • Experiments: there's a lot of things that I don't know about this hobby, and a cursory google search doesn't have answers for me. So we (and by "we" I mean "me") are going to figure out some stuff.
  • Potentially a saltwater pond? Again, dependent on landlord + apartments + costs.
  • Links to other threads I start: I have questions. Sometimes y'all have answers. And I'd like to organize my questions in separate threads instead of having to navigate to page 42 of a build thread, or asking it
  • A youtube channel? I'm not sure. But I definitely have an Instagram, so follow me there too! I'm @ichthyogeek (yeah....I'm real original hehe). And the youtube channel is established (also @ichthyogeek), but there are no videos just yet haha.
  • Snark and Puns. I'm a snarky individual from time to time, so just remember that! You'll probably find a couple of fishy puns mixed in from time to time as well hehehe....
So welcome! And thanks for joining me!
 

Thaxxx

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Well I'm in.
I know, you know, pictures are key in build threads. That's what keeps butts in the seats watching. I'm looking forward to this one. It does sound fun.
 
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ichthyogeek

ichthyogeek

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Well I'm in.
I know, you know, pictures are key in build threads. That's what keeps butts in the seats watching. I'm looking forward to this one. It does sound fun.
Oh definitely! It’s just going to be a very, very slow start for now....I do have a few pictures, but you’ll just havta wait hehe
 
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ichthyogeek

ichthyogeek

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Fish pictures! So these are a few of the fish I'll be bringing with me whenever I decide to move. I have one male(?) Banggai Cardinalfish, a trio of firefish whittled down from a sextet, and a female black lyretail molly. So far, they're being fed frozen food every day (well, the firefish and molly are, but the banggai is just constantly waiting for the molly to give birth...). Oh, and then there's also some Chaetomorpha and a struggling Botryocladia branch as well. The tank's actually a bit more decorated than what the future tanks will look like (I'm planning an egg crate stand for some PVC pipes, no heaters or visible pumps). The molly gave birth about three months ago, and that batch is starting to get much bigger, so I'll probably try to post a bit more tomorrow.
IMG_4513.jpg
 
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ichthyogeek

ichthyogeek

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I should be sleeping...but I felt like recording what I had in mind instead. So I've had two concepts of my fish space (and wow, what a novelty it is to actually type "my fish space"!) running through my head since....January of 2020? Pre-pandemic. They're based off of how much space I'll have/how much my future landlord/roommate will let me get away with. But either way, they're designed to maximize a minimal amount of space. Right now, it's all just concepts floating around in my head. Since I have a Macbook Pro, I used the AutoDesk Sketchbook Program to draw things up! If something is drawn to scale, it'll probably have a couple of giant numbers signifying the scale of the drawing. Oh, and the stacks in the middle, left, and right represent cinderblocks, while brown sections represent the 2x4s I'll most likely use. So here's Concept 1:
Fish Space Plan 1.png

It's a 10' x 2' space, constructed using the standard cinderblocks and 2x4s. This is my "my landlord won't let me have enough tanks" slash "I can only afford to live in a studio/can't find a good roommate" scenario. Given the very limited amount of space, and how much rotifers are a problem, I did my best to space out all the live foods so that cross contamination was as least of an issue as possible, putting walls, unhospitable areas (in this case, freshwater tanks), and other barriers between the phytoplankton, copepod cultures, and rotifers. I'm especially proud of the triple purpose compost bin I've got planned. I want to reduce a lot of the food waste I produce (besides using it for stock, etc.), so a worm bin with grindal/whites and Euro Night Crawlers is ideal! In this scenario, I can really only work with one larval species at a time, since I'll only have one larval rearing tub available at any time....which will suck. So cross your fingers and send some good juju my wya that I can afford to get a 1 bedroom apartment wherever my job takes me! Or a happy roommate who doesn't mind a fish space.... Onwards to concept 2!
I designed this concept out of either having a 10'x10' space available and a very forgiving landlord, or a super chill roommate and a good 20'x2' to put a row of everything. It's the "happy medium" concept. So there are three pictures here, the "left side" of the fish space, the "main" fish space, and the "right side" of the fish space.
Fish Space Plan 2 %22L%22.png

This is the left side of the fish space. I fondly call it the "live food culture station". It's supposed to be 5'x2'. We have the return of The Compost Bin (I am so excited for this, y'all have no idea). My very messy notes say that I should be aiming for a gallon of Iso, and Rhodo, while the Tet and Pav each have 2L cultures instead. Each phyto culture will have a nice 12" space for itself. Then we have the zoooplankton shelf. I'm thinking I might go with electrical pumps for the rotifer cultures if that's feasible, since bubbling will inevitably case...c O n T a M I N a t I O n (It's a meme). I'll be able to up the baby brine shrimp hatcheries I have to 4 instead of 2, and have two large copepod cultures! Apocyclops and Parvocalanus are the "hottest" things right now, but if I can get away with culturing other stuff...I certainly will.
Fish Space Plan 2 %22R%22.png

This is the right side of the fish space. Or "fry growout central"! There's so. much. stuff. I want to know about larval rearing, and not just fish! I'll be able to play around with some larvae that need more than just a week or two in the pelagic setups (kreisels + BRTs), or even split a batch between BRTs and kreisels to see what's better! While the BRTs are easy to find, I'll have to resort to using those hefty 5 gallon water containers you can find at Kroger and stuff, and DIYing them into kreisels. Oh, and there's another fry growout tank, for post-metamorphosis fry. Two sponge filters because they'll be fed a lot.
Fish Space Plan 2 %22Main%22.png

Then this is my pride and joy. I'll be able to beef up both the freshwater and the saltwater sections in this concept. I'm pretty smug about the fact that the Opae'Ula tank (brackish) is a "bridge" between the freshwater and saltwater sections. Depending on how money goes, I might also be able to work with sexy shrimp and Micromussas as well! Of course...plumbing a 2.5 gallon tank is going to be a real doozy. The workaround here is to just use airline tubing or larger diameter tubing to just constantly drain into the tank and flush it that way. I'll probably start a thread if i get that far. If I can get to this Concept by having a 1BR apartment and a nice landlord, I'll be incredibly happy!

There's one last Concept that I've come up with in the past week, but I haven't really had the opportunity to put it to digital ink pen. It involves comets and corals and lots of macroalgae!
 
Corals.com
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ichthyogeek

ichthyogeek

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I didn’t see any space dedicated to marine bettas and their fry? ;)
If I'm able to somehow get a pair of comets for an amount that won't bust my bank, I'd do something like this; the sketch isn't 100% complete, but the idea is that there'd be two stages of phyto-based filtration (the BRTs and kreisels are definitely going to have something like Tetraselmis running around them for the supposed antibacterial properties they have) regardless of where the water is coming from prior to entering the sump.

Baby comets would still go into the saltwater growout tanks from the "R" picture of concept 2. Concept 3 really only adds in another 5'x2' unit to hold the tub that'll hold the pet lionfish and maybe a breeding pair of comets. I might be able to do something with the extra space though, dependent on how much space I can get. Concept 3 is very much the "I have a large 1 BR/1 Bath apartment and a good landlord". I'm not the best at figuring out if 25' is a long amount or not (I know it's like 1/3 of a non-Olympic competition pool, but that was a really really long time ago).
Fish Space Plan 3.png
 
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ichthyogeek

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I wasn't satisfied with that brief drawing since it was so rough. So today was spent just looking over notes and figuring out how to make it more symmetric and better. Hence, Concept 4:
Fish Space Plan 3 Full Shot.png

I went more in depth and changed around how I wanted water to flow. This is a 24'x3'x8' space. If I can do this one, I'd probably toss a pair of the cinderblocks (grey squares, they're to scale, 8"x8") on the center row, which would let me route all the water flow from the 20Hs and the 17g BRTs into the predator macroalgae filter, and allow for one giant pipe to empty into the sump.
Fish Space 3 Left .png

My notes say I planned for a lot more live food cultures than I thought about when making Concepts 1 and 2. Again, there's a lot of separation of the rotifers from everything else, and a top-down approach for all the other cultures. Oh, and freshwater stuff that y'all may or may not be interested in. This plan thankfully accounts for space for putting dry fish food and such, so I won't have to find a cabinet or anything to store everything....
Fish Space 3 Right.png

This has an updated water flow diagram. Water gets pumped up from the central sump, into the macroalgae display, sexy shrimp nano, and three kreisels, before draining from either the kreisels and sexy shrimp tank into the sump (joined by the BRTs), or going from the macroalgae display into the 20Hs, which then drain into the predator tub, which filters more water, and then back into the filter socks where the process repeats. I'm thinking I'll probably have to go with a sponge. Calculations of money for this are...excessive, and it's cheaper to get sponges than bioblocks (the preferred material), and with sponges, I can construct as many sponge filters as I need.

I really, really need to learn how to manipulate things in Google SketchUp. Drawing's fine for small things and designing tank layouts, but multi-tank systems are really hard in SketchBook...
 
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ichthyogeek

ichthyogeek

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At last, ichthyogeek has blessed r2r with the presence of a build thread. We have so much to learn. *waits impatiently, munching on popcorn*
Ah hahaha thanks! I can't wait to move and just get started. I've got a good phone call on Monday, we just have to negotiate pay and stuff, so hopefully the employer will pay me enough so I can 1) have a retirement fund, 2) be able to afford (fish) babies!
 
Corals.com

samnaz

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Ah hahaha thanks! I can't wait to move and just get started. I've got a good phone call on Monday, we just have to negotiate pay and stuff, so hopefully the employer will pay me enough so I can 1) have a retirement fund, 2) be able to afford (fish) babies!
Fingers crossed xx
 
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ichthyogeek

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So...had a mild anxiety downspiral last night as I looked at apartments in the area I'm thinking of moving to. It's...really really depressing/anxiety inducing when "cheap" (600/mo) rent is "you're renting a bed. and sharing with 5 other people. Communal everything. But we're all 'hip' and 'artistic' ! ". Or if it's a studio, it's 30 square feet (think 6'x5'). The "really nice" (read: livable/fish-friendly) apartments are 1-1.5k...so yeah. Anxiety about being able to 1) stay alive, 2) be able to afford retirement/a wedding (not engaged, but like...I want to have a husband someday) / literally all the other savings expenses, 3) be able to afford this hobby, 4) be able to start saving up for kids eventually (the rugrats are expensive...), and 5) being in a job that I enjoy going to (I could always prep to go back into CS, but would rather not deal with that trauma until after a solid few more years of therapy). We definitely stan capitalism and gentrification....

Anyways, you're here for fish pics. So here's a few.

IMG_4523.jpg
IMG_4524.jpg

This is sargassum from Destin, FL. I posted about how I acquired it in this thread . Right now, I'm still worried about disease and pests. It came in relatively fuzzy from hitchhiking algae. It's going through the standard 77 day fallow period, and will finish quarantine on 10/29/2020. I've really wanted to keep this since I always saw giant rafts of it whenever I went to the beach.

IMG_4525.jpg

Caulerpa prolifera! This macroalgae was my first (species to keep), I got a sample for free when I was 14 because a reefer in the area had to get rid of a lot of it. I really wanted to use it in a seahorse tank, but after thorough internet searches, I realized that high school + seahorses just does not mix (I barely had time to eat breakfast, much less thaw out and feed 6-8 mysis/seahorse in the morning!). That sample died out after I upgraded from the dinky freshwater kit T5 to a full on 4 T8+MH fixture. But this was ordered in from Ebay (creative collectors? IDK, it was the cheapest option available). Also went through a 77 day fallow period as well. The tank it's in (10 gallons) also plays host to a few molly fry I'm growing out for breeding purposes.
IMG_4526.jpg
IMG_4527.jpg

Speaking of molly fry, these little fellas are going to be three months old in 2 days! I'm going to be spending Tuesday sorting out the culls out, and seeing if there's any gonopodia forming! They've been fed baby brine shrimp fairly religiously (at least 3x/week) and an Omega One Algae wafer (nothing else will touch that....). Feedings have ramped down lately, but they still get a ton of food.
 

xxkenny90xx

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Following. You've got us all excited. My advice is forget about the kids (they're a bad investment) and dedicate yourself to big fish tanks/ponds! ;)
 
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ichthyogeek

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Following. You've got us all excited. My advice is forget about the kids (they're a bad investment) and dedicate yourself to big fish tanks/ponds! ;)
hahaha, it's a bit too late for that, I literally already have the kid's name picked out and everything. Sucks that I'm going to have to figure out a surrogate (only one or two kids, more than that stretches out resources and I don't want my kids to deal with that) and stuff, but that's why the kid's probably going to be a late child. Also, I'm holding out for bipaternal research (we've gotten bimaternal mice....just gotta figure out the bipaternal bit) to get past the mouse phase. Maybe when I'm like....35. Yeah, that sounds like a good age to have kids. I'll still be young enough to do any high energy things that kid wants to do, but old enough that I'll be very very okay with a quiet kid that just wants to read all day.

Could be worse. You could live in California.
...I'm trying to move there....
 

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