English Biotope Tank

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by OllieNZ, 29 Nov 2009.

  1. OllieNZ

    OllieNZ Member

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    Hi All

    My father inlaw has just inherited 2x 9ft long 3ft deep 18 inch high tanks with his new house and wants to set one up as an english biotope tank.
    Has anyone else out there done this?
    Looking for advice on plants and fish.
    He is currently considering trout as we have a couple of trout farms nearby so no need to catch wild fish.
    Currently no idea in regard to plants.
    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Ollie
     
  2. aquaticmaniac

    aquaticmaniac Member

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  3. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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  4. OllieNZ

    OllieNZ Member

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    Thanks
    Looks like a great place to start :thumbup:

    Ollie
     
  5. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    Nice idea but trout are going to be rather problematic. They'll grow quickly and need cool, very well oxygenated water - if the tanks are inside they're going to get too warm quickly. I'd look at smaller natives such as gudgeon which will live in shoals on the bottom of the tank (and are nicely coloured too), dace (which will love a strong flow and move much like trout), Silver Bream (Would like slower flowing areas) and sticklebacks and minnows. With tanks that size barbel and carp could be an option too but will need a pond outside at some point once they grow. If you really want a trout relative then grayling may be a better option as they'll tolerate slightly lower O2 levels - one didn't survive in my stream outisde though.

    As for plants, you could use Water Crowfoot and water cabbages from the trout stream for a really authentic idea. If the tank is open then it'd look amazing with some pond plants growing emersed at the back with their roots in the water. Rushes or reeds would be superb sticking up out of the water.

    You'll need a high turnover and koi pond filtration really too IMO.
     
  6. OllieNZ

    OllieNZ Member

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    Thanks for the advice, now I think about it I have only seen trout inside once and it was in a tank at least 10m long with 5 waterfall steps room temp was lucky to be 18C
    Will look into the smaller fish
    The water crowfoot looks nice
    The 2 tanks are built in one above the other so no open top. Ill have a good look at the filtration next time Im round there the previous owner kept large catfish so I would imagine its fairly substantial.

    Thanks

    Ollie
     
  7. Stickleback

    Stickleback Member

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    Hi Ollie

    I am currently in the process of doing much the same thing, although I have cheated with the plants and used tropical species. My tank is room temperature and I keep minnows, sticklebacks, bullheads, loaches, newts, crayfish, caddisfly lavae, freshwater shrimps etc. The beauty of this type of setup is that you have access to the whole ecosystem in any river so can go beyond just fish and plants.

    I have had no luck with either rainbow or brown trout. But have not tried since I have managed to stabilise the conditions and create a real river flow using pumps. I get the feeling it wouldn't work though. Crayfish are great fun, but if they get too big they really stir up the substrate. You can't rerelease them if they are american crayfish cos they are an invasive species but you can eat them.

    Minnows are so active and interesting, especially if you have a good flow moving through the tank.

    Sticklebacks... The male goes red, builds a nest in spring (a tunnel of twigs) and dances around it to attract the females. The female lays her eggs and leaves the male to protect the brood, which he will do fiercly. You will see a little shoal of tiddlers coming out of the nest and being chased back by the dad.

    Caddisfly lavae build a tubular shell from what ever material is available, usually twigs or gravel.

    Newts are awesome but will need some land too. Sadly mine got eaten by my Mynah bird. That's the trouble with nature it's always eating itself. With a tank the size of yours you could have frogs and toads too. Dragonfly lavae are great, but will eat the small fish, it's worth it to watch them hatch and to have a beautiful dragonfly drying itself on a reed.

    Best of all is catching the fish. For my 32nd birthday I had a biology field trip themed picnic. Nets jam jars and pack lunches.

    Best of luck. The whole thing is so fascinating.

    Rufus

    Keep it real.
     
  8. Brenmuk

    Brenmuk Member

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    I remember seeing an article in PFK back in the mid 90's about someone who kept trout in a large aquarium. It was outdoors though to help keep the temp down and had a large pebble and boulder aquascape.

    I don't think I would care where the house was situated or how much it cost or if the rest of the family had to sleep and live in one small room I would definitely love to move into a house with just one 9ft long 3ft deep 18 inch high tank let alone 2 :sick: :twisted:
     
  9. OllieNZ

    OllieNZ Member

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    Lol the tanks are in the conservatory which is bigger than my living room the rest of the house is to scale and has 3 ponds in the back yard as well :thumbup: . Lucky lucky man.

    If you or any one still has a copy of the article I would love to see it.

    Thanks

    Ollie
     
  10. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    Great post Rufus :clap:

    It was seeing this in my first tank 20 years ago that got me hooked on fishkeeping, and I have had a tank ever since :thumbup: :D
     

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