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breeder tanks with gravel & sump filtration?


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#1 gutted

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:36 PM

I have been thinking of a different way of setting up a breeder tank and id like any input on it. I want to run 4 10g tanks with gravel and a pvc overflow from each tank then drain it into 1 sump. My goal is to have better water quality which will be more forgiving in case I miss a day or 2 of water changes. I will still be doing daily water changes because of the hormones that the fry release which stunt their siblings growth.

Each tank will have gravel and a few hornwort plants to provide cover for the female, provide infusoria for the fry & reduce ammonia & nitrate levels. I will put large flat shale rocks underneath the bubblenest so no fry or eggs get stuck between the gravel. In the back of the tank Ill make a tank divider to house the pvc drain and sump return hose. The reason for the divider is so no fry gets sucked into the sump.


** NONE OF THESE PICTURES OR VIDEOS ARE MINE, IM JUST USING THEM FOR REFERENCE **

this is how i want to stack my tanks, but not as much, but i wish i could. lol
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the shale rocks underneath the bubblenest
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video of the pvc overflow


tank divider
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So what do you guys think???

#2 Maryanne

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:07 PM

I personally will always use bare bottomed tanks for breeding just because they are MUCH easier to clean.

The problem with adding all 4 tanks to the common filtration system is:
1. common water means common diseases. Fry are easily wiped out by many bacterial and parasitic infections. UV filters will help with this but I'm not sure it will help entirely.

2. when you set up a breeding tank, you want a small amount of water - maybe 4-6". The common filtration system is going to have trouble unless you have powerheads pumping the water out.
2.1 if you use powerheads to pump the water out of the tank, there is a good chance it will be WAY TOO STRONG for your newly hatched babies.
2.2 If you have any significant amount of flow, it will potentially interfere with the nest and shake babies loose. You will need varying amounts of flow for their different stages which will be hard to integrate into the system's design.

3. The reason you do water changes every day to every other day on fry is only partially due to water quality. The majority of the reason (since unless you have about 200+ fry in a 10 gallon) is that the fry will secrete a hormone which stunts the other fry. Your fry do not grow without frequent water changes. Filtration cannot remove this hormone.

Now if you want to use this as a growout mechanism for fry 1" or more, then that's fine, but you still have to change the water at least 50% every other day... Which makes this system not really worth it IMO.

#3 gutted

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:38 PM

thanks maryanne for your fast reply!

1. I didnt even think about spreading bacteria or disease. Good point!

2. The best thing about the pvc overflow is you position the drain at whatever you what your water level to be. If you have time watch the youtube video and itll give you a better idea of how it works. Its quite an ingenious idea. Also the pvc overflow is more of a slow drain depending on how much water is actually pumped back in. I was planning on using a small pond pump rated at 40-70gph, which should be 10gph-17.5gph when split 4 ways which sounds like that wont cause too much turbulence.

3. I understand that, Ive been reading a couple of people's spawn logs and found that very important information. I would still do water changes daily but it would be much easier to do water changes in 1 sump vs 4 tanks where i have to worry about sucking up tiny fry.

Heres a pic of the pvc overflow drain
Posted Image

#4 Maryanne

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:43 PM

You would have to easily be able to change out the overflow.

Have you bred bettas before?

#5 gutted

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 04:04 PM

Just have to add a coupler and a taller pvc pipe.

Yes but both times were unsuccessful. First batch either no eggs hatched or the male ate them, 2nd time i tried the "leaving the father with free swimming method" and only had 7 surviors but i had a problem hatching the next batch of BBS so they all died. Next time i try breeding i will remove the father as soon as theyre free swimming

#6 Maryanne

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 05:33 PM

I would suggest raising AT LEAST 4 spawns to adulthood before you try to modify your setup. You need to have a couple of spawns under your belt to understand first hand what works and what doesn't for you. Investing a lot in making a system to help streamline things before you have a good feel for how they are going to go might leave you a bit disappointed in the results or wishing you had changed things.

#7 gutted

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:47 PM

ill keep that in mind and post up any results i get

#8 marko

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:14 PM

i agree with maryanne about the possibility of contagion. IMO you never want multiple tanks connected (possibly with the exception of a reef and frag growout tank), if anything happens it can wipe out your entire stock.
if you want better filtration, check this out: http://www.waynesthi...m/fryfilter.htm

what exactly do you want to accomplish with gravel? with a filter or sump you can provide biomedia with much more capacity than aquarium gravel. hornwort is a rootless plant meant to float, so any gravel nutrients are wasted.

also, if you want a little buffer room in case of an ammonia spike, the hornwort itself will go a long way (depending on how much you have). duckweed is even more helpful in that case (USE CAUTION, DUCKWEED IS FOREVER AND YOU WILL GROW TO HATE IT), in my 10 gal growout with 15w light, i was scooping out a palmfull every single morning, and it would grow back in by night. that is a very nutrient hungry plant, and it will soak up any nitrogen in the water. other options are limnophila sessiliflora and egeria densa.

#9 gutted

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 01:37 AM

my thinking was with the gravel in each tank, it would be "cycled" and any leftover food/waste would be break down easier and the hornworts would use that for their nutrients therefore keeping the water cleaner. basically running a NPT setup.

#10 Maryanne

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:09 AM

The cycled part of cycled tanks happens in the filter, not the gravel.

You still have to siphon the bottom of cycled tanks to remove wasted. Just because a tank has a filter attached to it, does not mean it is cleaner for having waste in the bottom.

What I am saying is the level of water changes in a cycled tank is way less than the number of water changes in a fry tank. You'd do much better and not have an issue of disease if you just had sponge filters running in each of these tanks. That way you build up your N bacteria without building this entire contraption.

#11 marko

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 07:20 PM

cycling is independent of gravel. i have a bare-bottom reef tank, and trust me, its well cycled.
the bacteria can colonize just about any surface, and the more flow it has, the more they like it. so the inside of a canister/HOB/sponge filter, filled with porous biomedia, is their #1 choice.
gravel provides 2 benefits to a filtered aquarium:
1-a medium for plant growth IF (and only if) you get a high-quality gravel (ADA aquasoil, eco-complete, or flourite with a layer of mineralized topsoil underneath). and this only helps plants that are heavy root feeders, such as crypts and erios.
2-aesthetics to the viewer

actually, maryanne, a heavily planted aquarium doesnt need its gravel siphoned, as the plants will remove any nutrients as they are made waterborn by decomp. i actually had to add extra NO3-, PO4-, K, S, and Fe to some of my tanks daily. try vacuuming the gravel around a crypt and youll see its clear protestation by melting its leaves.
to anyone who wants to try to get away with not siphoning gravel by adding a bushel of egeria sp. and calling their tank "heavily planted", this is what i mean by the term:
http://i171.photobuc...20L/7-7-101.jpg
and its much more work to maintain then siphoning. you will need pressurized CO2 injection, dosing of NPK and micros, weekly pruning, and weekly water changes (just not gravel siphoning :) ).

#12 Maryanne

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 07:50 PM

actually, maryanne, a heavily planted aquarium doesnt need its gravel siphoned, as the plants will remove any nutrients as they are made waterborn by decomp. i actually had to add extra NO3-, PO4-, K, S, and Fe to some of my tanks daily. try vacuuming the gravel around a crypt and youll see its clear protestation by melting its leaves.
to anyone who wants to try to get away with not siphoning gravel by adding a bushel of egeria sp. and calling their tank "heavily planted", this is what i mean by the term:
http://i171.photobuc...20L/7-7-101.jpg
and its much more work to maintain then siphoning. you will need pressurized CO2 injection, dosing of NPK and micros, weekly pruning, and weekly water changes (just not gravel siphoning :) ).


Sorry, I wasn't referencing heavily planted tanks, but the kind of breeding setups he was talking about. I may have jumped the gun on assuming he as going to float the hornwort instead of root it.




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