Semester long research project on aquariums! Prof has some questions!

Dewclaw83

Today I had my first Community and Systems lab of the semester, and the Professor announced we’ll be doing a semester long research project on aquariums!! Not the animals or plants in them, but the systems as a whole!

We have 9 2 gallon(?) tanks to work with, 1 of which will be the control. In the lab period we spent some time brainstorming some things to adjust and monitor and this is the list we came up with:

35B84A9E-D825-4D8F-B687-085BE210526D.jpeg
They’ll be in a room with controlled temperature, humidity, and a set light cycle.Things we are looking at adjusting are: salinity, pH, water movement, food abundance, CO2 and/or calcium levels, and the amount of plants (or potentially animals) present in the system.

We plan to allow algae to grow (though the food abundance group may scrub it out of their tank, I think) and I suggested hornwort for the plants cause it’s generally easy and means we could forgo the soil.

For the organisms, the class suggested snails, and afterwards I discussed with the professor a bit and told her that like, y’know, nerite snails won't reproduce, but ones like mystery and rams horns will, and she could probably pick up some pond/bladder/Malaysian trumpets from our LFS for free (They have like pest snails galore, I don’t like this LFS, it’s awful compared to my home one). We also have access to very prolific cultures of daphnia and brine shrimp. We’re sticking to inverts

She asked me to ask you guys some questions:
1) These tanks will be running about 8 weeks - which snails would you recommend? (E.G. what’s the reproduction rate of the pest snails I mentioned vs those of the ramshorn or mysteries)
2) She found something called an oxygen stone online, she said it was like an air stone but required no tubing and released the oxygen into the water rather than bubbling. As this would make a better control for the water movement experiment, she’d like to try it, but said there were mixed reviews. I actually can’t find anything like this online. What are your guys’ thoughts?
3) any other plant recommendations?

A couple of questions from me/my classmates to you guys:
1B) would shrimp (like ghost or cherry shrimp) work in a system like this?
2B) Do any of you have anything specific you’d like us to try tweaking for this experiment that wasn’t listed above? I know some of you may have burning questions to be answered lol

I’m sure we’ll have more questions as we continue planning!
 

nikm128

1. I think Malaysian trumpet snail reproduce the fastest, but it will be hard to guage because they stay hidden in the substrate 95% of the time.
2. I’ve never heard of an oxygen stone like that before, though it seems kinda silly to me to believe it’s just constantly releasing oxygen into the water without a source. I would go with tried and true air stones personally.
3. Mosses?
1B. I wouldn’t put shrimp in this, they need an established tank to survive, what would you do with them afterwards anyway?
 

Dewclaw83

The oxygen stones that I can think of you fill with hydrogen peroxide.

Peroxide How To | Freshwater Fish Disease 382067
1. I think Malaysian trumpet snail reproduce the fastest, but it will be hard to guage because they stay hidden in the substrate 95% of the time.
2. I’ve never heard of an oxygen stone like that before, though it seems kinda silly to me to believe it’s just constantly releasing oxygen into the water without a source. I would go with tried and true air stones personally.
3. Mosses?
1B. I wouldn’t put shrimp in this, they need an established tank to survive, what would you do with them afterwards anyway?
I'll ask her if she can get me a link to what she's talking about cause I actually have no idea.
That's what I thought about the shrimp. Someone else actually asked me about them, and I usually steer clear so I didn't know
 

CHJ

Do you live someplace warm?
If you are not buried in snow you could go to a local lake at night with a net and pail and then shine the light in for a while and scoop up all the daphnea and other stuff that swims into the light. Scrounging around the bottom can yield hydra and stuff on rocks.
If you want to go ancient freak show critters who have short lives, google up triops. They sell them in kits for kids/adults but you should also just be able to get eggs. No idea if the eggs are safe to ship in the winter, they are dry so maybe?
 

Dewclaw83

Do you live someplace warm?
If you are not buried in snow you could go to a local lake at night with a net and pail and then shine the light in for a while and scoop up all the daphnea and other stuff that swims into the light. Scrounging around the bottom can yield hydra and stuff.
If you want to go ancient freak show critters who have short lives, google up triops. They sell them in kits for kids/adults but you should also just be able to get eggs. No idea if the eggs are safe to ship in the winter, they are dry so maybe?
Uh yeah no not warm, I live in upstate New York
We already have large colonies of daphnia in our labs though, should we choose to use them
 

david1978

There's these too.

TOM Aquarium Oxygen Stone 5-pcs Amazon.com : TOM Aquarium Oxygen Stone 5-pcs : Pet Supplies
 

Dewclaw83

There's these too.

TOM Aquarium Oxygen Stone 5-pcs Amazon.com : TOM Aquarium Oxygen Stone 5-pcs : Pet Supplies
Ahh I bet these were what she was thinking of. Anyone ever used these?
 

CHJ

There's these too.

TOM Aquarium Oxygen Stone 5-pcs Amazon.com : TOM Aquarium Oxygen Stone 5-pcs : Pet Supplies
Reading the 1 star ratings makes those look scary.
 

david1978

Ahh I bet these were what she was thinking of. Anyone ever used these?
Honestly I see no need to use them ever. The ones in the peroxide how to thread help to control algae as well as supplement oxygen. I have not used either and probably never will.
 

IranianSoldier

I would recommend getting a few crayfish as well.
 

Dewclaw83

Reading the 1 star ratings makes those look scary.
Yeah, I think that’s why she’s hesitant to use them lol
Honestly I see no need to use them ever. The ones in the peroxide how to thread help to control algae as well as supplement oxygen. I have not used either and probably never will.
Maybe no need in normal fishkeeping, but we’re looking for something that will oxygenate the water without causing much (if possible, any) disturbance to the water surface, hence why she was interest in these. Normally, yes, there are plenty of alternatives, but in an experiment you need to try to control as many variables as possible, y’know?


I would recommend getting a few crayfish as well.
I thought about them. 2 gallons is very small for them though, and we’d probably have to feed them, which could throw off readings in certain tanks. Also, as with the shrimp, what would we do with them afterwards?
 

CHJ

I still vote triops as I have always wanted some but never gotten around to ordering eggs.
I wonder if they would make good puffer food?
 

david1978

Dr. Sochting's Oxydator Information | Marine Depot
These are the reactors.

But if your doing multiple tanks an air pump with a splitter and cheap sponge filters would be the way to go.
 

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