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Walstad low-tech 40 B, central FL biotope, creator of Jordanella floridae x Mobula birostris hybrid
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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Apologies if this isn't the right place for this post. This is wild-collected hornwort/coontail from central Florida (Ceratophylum demersum) in a 40 gallon low-tech Walstad biotope NPT. All plants and animals in the tank were collected by myself from local waterways, and this plant has been in there for at least 6 weeks. I just found this thin blobby stuff growing on some of it. Not sure if it's fungus, algae, eggs, snail slime, an interdimensional meta-being from the hyperplanet Zarquonex-Epsilon 3A in the Fomalhaut sector, or what? Other tank inhabitants include least killies, bluefin killies, gambusia, sailfin mollies, a golden topminnow, a swamp darter, a tadpole madtom, a baby pleco, a variety of snails (including 3 large apple snails), clams, and grass shrimp, all of whom are doing well. Substrate is MTS under sand, and I do have wood aquascaping. Water parameters are all good and the only algae is on the shells of a couple apple snails. It's a biotope tank, so I'm not seeking a "perfect" show tank with unnaturally clear water and a sterile looking environment, I just want to maintain a healthy, balanced ecosystem. Is this stuff anything I should be concerned about?
 

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I'm no expert, nor very experienced, but my first thought is that is seems to be..some sort of snail eggs? But if it's getting bigger...than maybe some biofilm sort of thing, if not algae. Hopefully not harmful. Anyways, better wait for someone else to chip in!
 

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I see tiny white dots in the clear matrix which make me think snail eggs. If the individual blobs get larger, then I am probably wrong. If they stay the same size, then disappear as the presumed eggs hatch, then I amprobably right. If so, you will see more blobs as the snails lay more eggs.

Please show us a photo of your tank. Few people attempt biotopes, I'd like to see yours.
 

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Walstad low-tech 40 B, central FL biotope, creator of Jordanella floridae x Mobula birostris hybrid
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is a month old picture, the tank now has more plants and fish and the giant snails have been removed as well as the plastic floating rings... but you can get the general idea. This is an Upper St. Johns River biotope, which basically means the south half of mainland Brevard County and all of mainland Indian River County in East Central Florida. I collected all of the plants, fish, and invertebrates from the wild within that zone. I also built the stand and the lights myself, in an attempt to be as DIY as possible. The tank has a small circulation pump with foam over the intake, but no filter as such.

It's had some hiccups along the way, but one of the primary purposes of this was to learn, which I certainly have done. The tank is pretty stable now, and the fish are happy and always hungry and begging for food! They get fed probably more than they need, but it's fun to watch them eat so I don't mind and the plants are handling it all just fine.

Livestock includes lots of least killifish, bluefin killifish, sailfin mollies, golden topminnows, eastern mosquitofish, one awesome little swamp darter, and a tadpole madtom that I never see except with a flashlight at night. There used to be tons of grass shrimp, but I think the madtom has been munching on them to the point there's almost none left. There are all sorts of snails, again there were tons to start with, but they have gradually disappeared. I had three giant apple snails which we really got attached to, but I had to take them out because even feeding them large leafy green veggies daily wasn't enough to keep them from eating all of our plants. Oh yes, a dozen clams too. I'm still trying to collect some flagfish, which is the species I originally started out on this whole project to keep! Lol

Plants include hornwort, duckweed, salvinia, water lettuce, bacopa, Hydrocotyle, hydrilla, and a couple of things I'm still trying to identify... since everything is collected in the wild, I sometimes end up with interesting plants that I know are from the local ecosystem, which get put in the tank before I even positively identify it. I ended up with alligator weed which is invasive however at the moment I felt it was more important to get as much plant life growing then to get too picky over what it actually was. I've got loose eelgrass (Vallisneria americans) leaves, but the snails ate all the ones with roots I planted. Ultimately of course I'd like to close in on having nothing but natives, both plants and animals.

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