75G Native Planted Riffle Tank (Central NC)

By: Itsnotme1988
May 26th, 2015
11:47 pm

75G Native Planted Riffle Tank (Central NC)

Figured as my build is going incredibly slowly I may as well start a pictoral journal! This is a 75 I picked up off of craigslist with the stand, T5 NO dual lamp, and Aqueon 75 HOB filter along with various supplies for $150. The plan as this point is to collect the majority of my decorations, flora and fauna around NC once it's up and running. I want to build a planted riffle tank (Vallisneria sp, etc) with a mix of darters, shiners and chubs with some crawfish or some arthropod that could survive with but not eat the fishes and plants. Looking to go low tech.

Built sliding glass canopies

The river manifold is 3/4in PVC with two 1" inlets and two 3/4" inlets. The hob is attached the inlet and the caps are only temporary until I order my JBJ SP2500 powerheads (530gph) and filter pads from Swiss Tropicals.

First test fit and fill with driftwood that had been soaking for several weeks...

I do still need to build a canopy to properly mount the light and need to order proper bulbs.

For gravel I used Quickrete Pea Gravel as a cap over a mixture of Scotts Topsoil and Special Kitty cat litter.

The soil is only across the back half of the tank.

The Hygrophilla difformis is planted in what I'm hoping will be a good current break. (sort of native, introduced species in Florida according to USDA) It was grown emmersed so I'm waiting for the leaves to shed.

Looking for comments, ideas, constructive criticism.

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11 comments on "75G Native Planted Riffle Tank (Central NC)"

  • Michael
    May 27, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Welcome to APC! Nice set-up, I look forward to seeing the natives.

  • Itsnotme1988
    May 27, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    My custom cut from Swiss Tropicals should be here this week, the screen is just to keep curious critters out whenever I have to pull it off to clean it. Going to wait until I get rooted plants settled in a bit before adding the powerheads though. And I've always been a fan of overkill, hence the size! Haha!

    The stump is going to stay in the center (it's tied down) but there is going to be more wood and rocks added as I find interesting pieces. I just haven't had the time to go out and hunt... I do want to get some Manzanita branches to place in the left side though and add some "boulders" to the right. The current setup is just tentative.

    Also the stump does have some holes bored and filled with soil and capped ready for something to be planted in it! Possibly dwarf hairgrass but not entirely sold on that yet...

    I have really missed keeping aquariums. When I was in high school I had a side job of delivering, setting up and maintaining various aquariums. But that was 10 years ago and I have been completely out of the hobby ever since.

    Been having a difficult time as far as collecting b/c I have never been one to just go out and explore. I just always feel lost....haha The way people are around here I'm always uneasy of stumbling on someones property... The wood I got was in a local reservoir but it has very little beach access away from property and I don't own a boat (yet) that I can go out and truly explore the Neuse River. (which I have also been struggling with exploring and finding the time since I typically work evenings/nights 55-70hrs/wk...)

    As far as bulbs what would be recommended? Right now it has a 3500k utilitech which needs to come out and 10k daylight (both 28w)

  • Itsnotme1988
    August 10, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Quick video update. Moved the tank, built a proper stand, and added a couple extra lights I had from the 29g that was torn day and changed to a 40b. Added a moxostoma cervinium (blacktip jumprock ) 2 percina roanoka (roanoke darter) and 2 pleurocera catenaria dislocata. Tried catching satin fin shiners while I was out but they were too quick for me and wouldn't enter the minnow trap. The bait in the trap was constantly being pushed to the edge and the shiners would school there and eat it....I will edit this post with other pics of what I collected that day later. Also saw a 2ft bowfin in another creek but didn't have my phone handy for a good picture...

    Still need lots of fish and plants but I'm happy with the progress!

    (sorry...can't figure out how to embed)

    My favorite and most productive collection spot. Nice, clean, fast flowing, clear and sandy with rocky structure and gravel bed around the bend. (thanks Gerald!)

    Moxostoma cervinium

    Juvenile redbreast? It was released

    One of the two P. roanokas

    Also released

    Was a productive day and a lot of fun! First day I've ever tried kick netting....and then I broke the hoop...was a $12 Frabill from Walmart. Picked up another today and I'm going to try to fix this one. Won't hurt to have two! Think seining could do even better but I've never done that alone either. Might look into DIYing one small enough for one person.

  • Michael
    August 10, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Very cool! What part of the country are you in? How are the fish adapting to the tank?

  • Itsnotme1988
    August 10, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Central north carolina. So far still settling in. Showing interest in food but yet to really see them eat. The M. cervinium is trying to school with the rosies and is constantly grazing.

  • Michael
    August 11, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Beautiful area!

  • pweifan
    August 11, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I've really fallen in love with NC the past couple years. I recently took a trip to the Wilmington area and saw some pygmy sunfish while out collecting plants.

    I think I've decided to try a native tank also. My only concern is finding a good native groundcover that isn't weedy looking.

    Please keep the pictures coming, I'm very interested in how this tank progresses. Good luck keeping the fish happy

  • HDBenson
    August 11, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    My main collection spot is starting dry up with this extreme heatwave. I've noticed that last few days that the fauna are collecting enough mass in one particular spot. I've noticed some topminnows mixed in with the crew and a few others that aren't sunfish, gambusia or, channel cats. I've gotta get down there and collect before it totally dries up! It's sad that it's happening. Some beavers damned it up creating a nice oxbow with emergent Sagittaria, ludwigia, and grasses. It's where I collected my Elassoma zonatum last fall. The pond that feeds the creek was drained

  • pweifan
    August 13, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Beavers can quickly change the lay of the land if they build in the right (or wrong) spot. Too bad they built in the wrong spot

  • ramskip
    May 9, 2016 at 4:36 am

    Tank has potential. Consider moving the focal point to a third rather than the center. What are those giant sponges? They scare me.

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