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40G Moved!

December 3rd, 2008

A few days ago, I finally committed the time to completely tear down my 40G aquarium, and move it from the second floor down to my basement. I had long worried that the weight on the second floor, plus the risk of serious water damage if the tank/equipment ever leaked, was too much of a risk. So, I completely tore down the tank, removing all of the plants, fish, and hardscape. I knew the earthworm casting substrate would be problematic to move, so I did my best to scrape off the top layer of ADA Amazonia, but kept the bottommost worm-poop in the tank.

Bluespotted Sunfish

It’s amazing how something that I can describe in a few sentences above can take so long to implement. It was basically an all-day project, and a two-person job to actually move the tank. Then, after I got it setup, the Amazonia that I scraped off the top was so muddy that it turned the water into something resembling milk. After countless water changes, the water is finally clear, but there’s no aquascape in place. I’m going to use this tank as more of a farming tank to hold my extra plants. The blue-spotted sunfish and killies are still enjoying it as their home, however. I’ll post some picture of the tank itself after I’ve had a chance to fully plant and clean it up a little bit.

6 Responses to “40G Moved!”

  1. Rami Says:

    It’s funny how a few sentences can’t convey the sheer effort and planning of tearing down and remaking a tank. Monday I tore down my 5G and moved my tetras to my 35G, making room for my baby white clouds in the 5G.. and it took 4½ hours of hard labor!

    At least you removed the tank so you don’t have to worry so much about the weight. It must be a big relief having that tank out of there. I’ve been considering doing the same with my 38G bowfront and moving it to the living room, but it’s still a bit too dangerous with construction in the house going on.

  2. guitarfish Says:

    I know it, Rami! I’m quite relieved to have it moved!

  3. Mark F. Says:

    Nice to see new pics of your blue-spotted sunfish. They’re definitely a species I’d like to try myself some time; I’m attracted to the idea of a native species that acclimates well with tropicals … on the other hand, I could also see doing an all-native planted tank, with blue-spotted sunfish as the featured fish species, and our native star grass (Heteranthera dubia, as I recall?) as the main plant species; I’ve heard that the latter is as easy to grow in aquariums as its tropical cousin, and does occasionally turn up in the trade.

    I heard somewhere (maybe here on this site?!) that the MD Dept. of Natural Resources has a program for people to propagate native aquatic plants at home (the department provides the starter plants, I think), with the understanding that they’ll eventually be transplanting them in the wild to rehabilitate the ailing Chesapeake watershed. Do you know anything about this program? How does one get on board? If the department could get area public schools (and maybe GWAPA?!) to participate, it could really have a meaningful impact on improving the health of our ecosystem.

    Also: when you seined for your blue-spotted sunfish, did you need to get special permits? Or is it a common-enough species for anybody to legally take with a dip net?

    Sorry to take this on a different tangent, and grill you about all these different things – your photos of the sunfish just kinda inspired me! Plus, it’s an unusually slow day at work, and I’m bored!

  4. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks for the comment Mark. Yes, Heteranthera dubia is the native stargrass, and was actually present where we collected the sunfish. Unfortunately, I have never kept it in the aquaruim myself.

    I have heard of the Val. growing and planting program, but I don’t know the specifics. Of course, there are plenty of problems upstream from the Bay that need to be addressed to give any seedlings a chance once planted. I agree that it could raise awareness, and have some impact.

    For our location, all we needed was a regular fishing license to collect the sunfish, but every state, fish, and even some specific waterways have their own regulation, so check with your authority first.

  5. Mark F. Says:

    I guess we should probably add here that nobody should be collecting native plants from tributaries to the Chesapeake, considering the difficulty those species are having maintaining a foot-hold in the presence of run-off contamination.

    Do you ever see Heteranthera dubia at GWAPA auctions, or know of any commercial breeders that carry it? I think Arizona Aquatic Gardens carries it, but that seems like an awful long way to ship something that grows so nearby in the wild.

    Also, Rhonda Wilson has a photo on her Natural Aquariums web site of a tank overgrown with a similar-looking plant that she calls “Zosterella dubia” – might you know if this is something different, or just an archaic name for the same species?

  6. guitarfish Says:

    Mark, right. Before collecting anything, check local laws and protected species. And if it is legal to collect, do so responsibly. Only take 1 or 2 plants, and grow them out in your tank, verses a whole mat of anything. A couple GWAPA folks might be keeping H. dubia (unsure), but I can’t recall it showing up at any recent auctions. I believe Zosterella dubia is the same thing, but don’t take my word for that.

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