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#44002 - 04/28/03 05:38 PM Keeping fish in aquariums?
Captain Jimbo Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 42
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Would it be possible to house a single or two walleye in a large aquarium? I will be able to purchase a tank of between 100 to 150 gallons, or build a tank about 6 feet long by 2 feet deep. I have access to mudminnows close to my home as a food source. Could I healithly keep this specie from fingerling to adult in a tank? If not, how about a largemouth bass or a muskie? The Minnesota Muskie Farm advertises muskies for home aquariums, is this not a very good idea? Thanks.

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#44003 - 04/28/03 06:04 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Jim Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 120
Loc: Northern California
Jimbo, you can keep fish in an aquarium but your size would be quite limited if you want to have healthy fish. In a 100 gal tank more than 1 or 2 1 - 2 lb fish would be the limit based on my experience. Alternately, you could have 20 - 40 2" fish, such as baby bluegills or bass. They are quite pretty and fun to watch and easy to feed with freeze dried foods. You have to have excellent filtration and aeration and monitor the water chemistry to prevent unpleasant surprises. I like to keep small Bluegills and Bass in a tank but find that rotating them back to the pond after a few months is the best idea for me. I don't know much about Walleyes but I wonder whether temperature could be a problem, aquariums tend to get warm. Muskies would seem to be a fools errand if you ask me.
Jim

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#44004 - 04/28/03 07:36 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Captain Jimbo Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 42
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Ok, thanks Jim. I knew that Muskie for the "home aquarium" advertising was just a little bit sketchy. I can construct a tank at just under 270 gallons (6'*2'*3*). How many full grown walleye do you think I could healthily hold in this tank? I am guessing I would also have to create a low light environment for the adults. Wow, this sounds hard. Maybe some largemouths would be better.

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#44005 - 04/28/03 09:26 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Jim Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 120
Loc: Northern California
Jimbo, full grown is a sliding scale. One of the problems you run into in a "small" tank is that the bulk of the fish is greater than the length in inches if you were to try to use generally accepted rules in keeping fish. In other words, it is often said that you can keep one inch of fish per gallon of water in an aquarium. That really applies to small tropical fish. Imagine trying to keep 100 inches of Walleye in a 100 gallon tank - not going to work! I think you should be concentrating on quality rather than quantity. If you could set up a natural looking tank with appropriate plants and rocks and have a few fish to replicate a natural lake bottom, I would think that would be a very special thing to have. Feeding smaller fish is also easier. I don't know why, but it seems to me that fish in captivity can consume an enormous amount of food. The larger they are the more important it is to have access to live food - freeze dried becomes too expensive to make sense, at least to me. Perhaps you will have to experiment to achieve the best results, but I would be a little conservative to start off with. Wish you were closer, it sounds like a fun project.
Jim

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#44006 - 04/28/03 09:56 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12343
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For predator fish, bass will be a much better tank fish. They "tame" quicker and will readily adapt to higher light intensities than walleye. They can be very aggressive in a tank setting. Walleye will be skittish at normal room light levels. Bass will not mind higher light intensities and will learn to eat most anything food wise you put into the tank. I once had bass within a couple weeks eating dead minnows dangled in the water from my fingers. I doubt walleyes would learn very fast to to do that.

As Jm said, filtration and water quality is paramount. In my experience, you can not have too much filtration; the more the better. Do not crowd fish; the more room the better. AS noted 1" per gallon is not good especially when fish get larger such as 4" to 6" or more. You now have to go by weight and waste production (ammonia). Routine water changes (15% to 25% every week or two) are also important.
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#44007 - 04/29/03 12:22 AM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Captain Jimbo Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 42
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Ok, this is coming together in my head now. I'm thinking start off with 50 mudminnows, allow them to create one batch of F2 minnows. Then stock two 3" walleye fingerlings. Leave for 6 months to one year, then think about adding 2 or 3 black, brown, or yellow bullhead. Is this sound?

As for the mechanical side of it all, the filtration issue should be easily solved with some canister filters and power heads. Is it better to have one, very powerful canister filter, or a few smaller ones to handle the job? And as for lighting, I would like to find some native plants used to growing in 6-12 feet of water, and just use some very weak flourescent bulbs. Maybe some coontails would work.

Thinking ahead now, would 260 gallons with more than sufficient filtration be able to handle a possible 2*5pounds walleye scenario? Jeeze, this is exciting!

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#44008 - 04/29/03 12:55 AM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
LRunkle Offline

Lunker

Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 181
Loc: Norman, Oklahoma
No matter what kind of filtration you use you will have no way to remove dissolved nitrogen waste products, i.e., nitrites and nitrates without 1)changing the water partially or 2)establishing plants(requires a lot more light than you think)3) or establishing a culture of bacteria that metabolize nitrates and nitrites, such as is done in saltwater aquariums. Fluorescent lights are not enough to grow most aquarium plants very well. There are special lights made for this though that work pretty well. Or you can put your aquarium in the sunlight. Problem is that when you give the plants enough light to grow, the phytoplankton also grow and cloud the water.
Between changing water and having plants there is a balance that people reach. I have had
many aquariums and have reached it without much trouble but it takes a little practice. You will get the best advice from a tropical fish store, especially if they handle salt water tanks since they are much harder to manage than fresh water.
I highly recommend starting with a few fish and gradually building up to where you want to be rather than rushing things.

Layton Runkle
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#44009 - 04/29/03 07:53 AM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
shan Offline
Member

Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 202
Loc: Georgia
Once again Cody is right on, bass do make good pet fish. While in college my roommate was a nut for aquariums. We had a smallmouth bass that we sampled in a north Georgia stream. We thought it was really cool because there are not too many smallmouth around here. He was about 2 inches when we put him in and grow to around 6. he dominated the tank. once he figured out food came from above nothing else could get close to the top of the tank. He even managed to intimidate a clown knife much larger than himself. Once he graduated to feeder gold fish the fun began. He would eat goldfish like no tomorrow. It would get to to the point where he would open his mouth to eat a goldfish and two would swim out of his mouth. It seemed that he could he his own weight in fish, maybe more weight. He was a stone killer, we called him the #1 hammer.

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#44010 - 04/29/03 10:01 AM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Jim Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 120
Loc: Northern California
Jimbo, given the size of the tank you are talking about, I think most would recommend 2 large power filters, 1 on each end. This gives lots of filtraton as well as a backup filter. You should also keep a cover on the tank, they will jump out if you don't. The suggestions about replacing water are critical but you normally cannot use tap water without treating it to get rid of disolved chemicals, particularly chloramin. You are better off using a natural source such as the place you collected the fish from. You will need special flourescent bulbs to grow plants well, with the attendant increase in water temp and algae growth. Even though your tank will be large, it is still small enough to experience large temp changes during the day depending on where it is placed. Fish don't do well in constant big temp swings. On the low side you can provide heating, on the high side ??? As you may be beginning to see, while this is a lot of fun, it does require some time, effort and money to do it right. I think the advice to keep it simple in the beginning is great, small mistakes are much easier to deal with.
Jim

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#44011 - 04/29/03 12:49 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
BrianH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 417
Loc: Hico, TX
I once had a small bass and a crawdad in a 75 gallon aquarium. The bass ate everyting. When I tried to feed the crawdad some lunch meat, the bass would eat it before it sank. He would eat canned corn, canned peas, bread, lettuce, and anything else that I was eating at the time. At three inches long he would eat several gambusia at a time and they would swim out of his mouth too. I released him pretty small because he ate more than I could find time to feed him.

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#44012 - 04/29/03 06:20 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Jim Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 120
Loc: Northern California
Jimbo, 2 additional considerations on the placement of your tank. 260 gallons of water weighs 2170 lbs. Your finished setup will probably weigh about 2500 lbs, you want a very substantial stand that will spread the weight. You will need to be changing about 50 gallons of water on a regular basis, the ability to conveniently siphon is important as well as having a convenient water source to be able to use a hose to add water. If you use buckets, you will grow weary of the whole thing in a hurry. \:\)
Jim

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#44013 - 04/29/03 06:39 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Captain Jimbo Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 42
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Well, I just got off the phone with a local hatchery within 2 hours of my house. The owner tells me he has had very limited success in keeping walleye in tanks, especially with mature specimens. He highly recommended that I go with largemouths in an aquarium, as some of you have also advised. I think I will save the walleye for my dream pond down the road. Thanks for all the pointers. I will keep you all updated with my progress. Construction starts this weekend.

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#44014 - 04/29/03 11:34 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Captain Jimbo Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 42
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Good points Jim. I think I am going to go with the no stand option. My garage is heated, has a tile floor, and is very quiet (its empty and we don't keep any cars in the thing). The tank will be three feet tall, so sitting in front of the tank with some lawn chairs will make up for the expense of constructing or buying some sort of stand. \:D

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#44015 - 04/30/03 09:48 AM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Jim Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 120
Loc: Northern California
Jimbo, good luck with the construction. How are you going to construct it? Sounds like something I would be interested in attempting.
Jim

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#44016 - 04/30/03 07:49 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Captain Jimbo Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 42
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Well, as a man who watches every penny, I am using marine grade plywood(coated with an extra 2 layers of epoxy) for the back, bottom, and 2 side panels. And acrylic or glass or plexiglass can be used for the front panel. This may not look as good, but its a whole lot cheaper than doing an all glass tank and also allows the fish to feel more secure by not having the transparent glass. Here are a few good websites for info on buliding these tanks: http://www.geocities.com/gletiecq/fish.html http://fp.marksfish.f9.co.uk/diy/plywood.htm http://www.athiel.com/lib6/tank.htm http://jan.boegh.net/akvarium/Fort%C3%A6llinger/118G%20Tank/118%20G%20Plywood%20Tank. htm.

Here is a pic of a pretty rough looking 140 gallon tank.


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#44017 - 04/30/03 08:32 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Jim Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 120
Loc: Northern California
Jimbo, thanks for the response, but the links didn't work. What size plywood are you using, and what are you bonding the joints with? What thickness of glass are you using, tempered?

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#44018 - 04/30/03 11:15 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Captain Jimbo Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 42
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Ok, darn, your going to have to type out those URLs in your address bar. Make sure NOT to include the ,(comma) after each address. All that info about glass type and the necesary thicknesses are found on these sites. Does anybody out there know whether I still need to coat the marine plywood with epoxy to make them waterproof?

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#44019 - 05/01/03 09:22 AM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Jim Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 120
Loc: Northern California
Jimbo, you will have to epoxy the marine plywood. What makes it marine grade is the glue which is not attacked by water. The sheet however is still quite porous.

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#44020 - 05/01/03 12:21 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Jim Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 120
Loc: Northern California
I have continued to research this type of construction and came accross a very strong warning to use only 2 part epoxy approved for use in potable water tanks. You proably already know this, but I thought I would pass it along.

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#44021 - 05/05/03 01:21 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Nick Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 241
Loc: Dallas, TX
Couple of thoughts.

The marine grade plywood would have to be coated with something that would not leech into the water.

A large pump / filter causes the water to roll. Better to use a couple of small filters.

Water weighs 8.17 pounds per gallon.
One gallon is 231 cubic inches.
Talk to your local pet store about aquariums and their upkeep.
_________________________
Nick Smith

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#44022 - 05/14/03 06:53 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Captain Jimbo Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 42
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Hi all,

I have finally gathered most of the materials for my 240 gallon tank. The 3/4 inch plywood was relatively inexpensive, at about 42 bucks Canadian for a 9 foot by 4 foot sheet. I am picking up the epoxy paint after dinner to start the construction. I am having some trouble locating the 3/4 inch acrylic though. Home Depot's thickest stuff is 1/4 inch. I will post some pictures and updates as time goes on.

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#44023 - 05/18/03 07:42 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
jbrockey Offline
Member

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 293
Loc: South Central VA
I have a 10 gallon aquarium with a three inch largemouth that I am attempting to pellet train. If this is even possible how should I go about it?

-Scott
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Take great care of it, or let someone else have it.

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#44024 - 05/18/03 08:51 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Ric Swaim Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1902
Loc: Surry Co NC
Jimbo,
Just a thought but if you put a mirror in the back it would look twice a big inside.
Ric
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#44025 - 05/18/03 09:28 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Jim Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 120
Loc: Northern California
Scott, you might have better luck with freeze dried foods which should be locally available. Daphnia and Red Worms should be available from your local pet store. They may take a few days to acclimate, but be patient and do not overfeed!
Be sure to monitor closely for behavior changes which could indicate enviornmental problems. Often the sand, rocks or plants we put in can cause a problem. Be sure and change about 25% of the water weekly. If it is coming from a municipal supply, you will have to treat the water with a conditioner to remove the chemicals added during purification. This is commonly available at your pet supply store.
Have fun
Jim

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#44026 - 05/20/03 11:27 PM Re: Keeping fish in aquariums?
Captain Jimbo Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 42
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
LOL! Thanks Ric. \:D

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