New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

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New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

Following up on this thread:

Looking for a new biotope to model? How about a floating litter bank habitat?
bekateen wrote: 18 Apr 2020, 23:51 Carvalho, Lucélia Nobre, Fidelis, Luana, Arruda, Rafael, Galuch, André, & Zuanon, Jansen. (2013). Second floor, please: the fish fauna of floating litter banks in Amazonian streams and rivers. Neotropical Ichthyology, 11(1), 85-94. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-62252013000100010
ABSTRACT
Floating litter banks are an ephemeral habitat consisting of branches, twigs, flowers, seeds, and fruits that are trapped on the stream water surface by a variety of retention mechanisms. These heterogeneous materials form a deep layer of dead plant matter that is colonized by a variety of organisms, including fish that forage on the aquatic macroinvertebrates found in this unique habitat.
I've finally set up the 4-foot 33 gallon long aquarium which I bought back in 2019 with a waterfall overhanging the tank at one end and an intentionally-formed kinon at the other.

Features of the tank include
  • Unidirectional water current from the waterfall at one end to a Matten filter hiding a return pump (850 gallons/hour) at the opposite end.
  • The waterfall sits outside the tank on a shelf. The outflow tray of the waterfall overhangs the tank edge by about 1-2". The waterfall bin is filled with aquaponic clay balls covered by some gravel. I've planted green onion cuttings in the bin and will try various other fast- growing plants, preferably herbs that will be edible for me and my family.
  • The return pump sends filtered water back to the waterfall via a 1" diameter hose suspended by hooks outside and behind the tank.
  • The tank back is painted black, in part to hide the return hose but mainly because this tank sits beside a window (to promote plant growth) and I wanted to limit algae growth. This is the first tank I've ever painted.
  • The kinon is a mat along the water surface, currently covering about 8" of the aquarium surface and about 3" deep, positioned just before the Matten filter. The kinon is formed using a block of foam which spans the tank from front to back. Into the foam I stuck about 5-6 Manzanita twigs in a crisscrossing fashion to form a horizontal scaffold. Then I added dry oak leaves and small clumps of Java moss, Pothos and Cryptocoryne. I'll add more plants, probably Anubias and rooted twigs of Hibiscus. The plants are emergent so the leaves will grow in air while the roots hopefully entangle the Manzanita to provide complexity to the kinon.
    • Unfortunately, at this moment the only proper-size foam block I have for the kinon is bright blue... before too long, I want to swap that out and replace it with black foam so that it's not so conspicuous.
  • I've placed a false floor of egg crate and knitting canvas at the Matten end of the tank, just beneath the kinon. The false floor covers an area of 11"x11".
  • The waterfall end and middle of the tank are covered by a thin layer of pool filter sand.
  • Other tank decor includes medium and large cobblestones, large Manzanita branches, bricks I collected in Santorini, Greece, bamboo pipe segments and some pleco caves.
  • Obviously, with the waterfall and the emergent plants (and a rather larger emergent Manzanita branch) I can't fully cover the tank, but I do plan to cut glass lids to cover the other areas of the tank top, to reduce evaporation and the risk of fish jumping out.
Initial inhabitants include the we collected along the Rio Nanay outside of Iquitos in 2022 and some I got from Eric Bodrock. I will eventually add the I got from Nigel Stock at the CSG in 2024.

Hopefully the kinon matures nicely and the decaying organic matter doesn't overcome the filtration and plants.

Cheers,
Eric
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

Here's one of the . This guy is 95mm SL. My largest specimen is 105mm SL. These fish have been cramped for the last 2 years in a standard 10 gallon (20" long) tank. I didn't realize the fish had grown so large. I expect they will appreciate the extra space to swim. Maybe now they'll finally spawn. :YMPRAY:

Cheers, Eric
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by TwoTankAmin »

A number of years ago I messed around with doing a much smaller version of this. I did not know what a kinon was until today and it was not a part of what I did. What was very similar was to have and end to end flow as opposed to the normal back to front we get from hang-on filters.

I did a smaller version on a 10 gal tank. I used an Aquaclear filter which I hung on the end of the tank rather than the back. The problem with this sort of arrangement was that the normal lids will not work. I chose to try this on a 10 gal. so that I could use a quick and easy solution for the lid. I used a single sheet of glass which as a couple of inches shorter than the length of the tank. I had two pieces of back strip on the end of the glass so the lid was pretty well sealed around the filter.

My tanks are mostly in areas of the house which are being lived in regularly. So the noise of a waterfall etc. was not wanted. But the tank was filled normally and ran quiet. I really liked the set-up but I never got around to trying it on a bigger tank and with a custom top I had planned to use which was to be hinged in the opposite direction (i.e. left to right not front to back opening) so it would open rather than the whole piece needing to be removed. On the experimental 10 I did not do this and simply took off the entire glass.

All of my tanks have lids which are fairly well fitted. This helps prevent any leaping fish from doing so and it also minimizes evaporation and helps hold in warmth to some extent. I liked the result, but I abandoned it as I had too many tank that are 33Ls and a couple that are 40L. So I never took the next step which you have done here.

I am very curious to see how this project works out, especially with the kinon. Also, I am curious as to why you needed the matten on top of everything else you described?
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

TwoTankAmin wrote: 16 Jun 2024, 14:16I am very curious to see how this project works out, especially with the kinon.
I'll update this thread as the tank matures. I've got high hopes for plants growing since the tank is under a large window. Whether the tank succeeds as a fish habitat... and particularly as a breeding ground for my woodcats, plecos and maybe bumblebees in the future is another matter. Also, I'm working on a YouTube video to share here so you can see the tank in motion.
TwoTankAmin wrote: 16 Jun 2024, 14:16Also, I am curious as to why you needed the matten on top of everything else you described?
The Matten is the only proper filter I have on the tank at this moment. Originally, I planned to use an Eheim Professionel3 or Aquatop CF-500 canister filter behind the Matten to drive the water flow, but currently there is no place to put the canister. Thus, I opted for the submersible water pump for the flow return instead.

True, the gravel bed filling the waterfall basket will also act as a filter, and hopefully the plants will remove a lot of nitrate. But the Matten is my main water filter currently.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by characinkid »

Thank you for posting, been thinking about doing this with an old 55g for a while but trying to do it all within the tank. This is inspiration to go forward with it.
They say there is no stupid question… but what’s a Kinon? Looks like an extra piece of foam in the top of the tank? Is it more that that?
Thank you
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by aquaholic »

For anyone interested, I achieved similar benefits with a surge tank. Small powerhead or pump (cheaper to buy and run, easier to hide) from the fish tank slowly fills a reservior tank above tanks water level until an auto siphon rapidly dumps back into the tank through a pipe creating a surge - wave of oxygenated water which some fish species appreciate.

Use of pipe is easier for tank lids, less fish escapes, less heat and humidity loss. Its easy to fill the water reservoir with bio media to obtain a rise and fall chamber. (Rising water pushing stale air out from the tiniest of air pockets so 100% use of media without channelling).

Another benefit is the stirring and mixing action in the fish tank a periodic wave creates. This self cleans a tank bottom better than a consistent high flow turnover. In a racked fish room situation (like mine) the same wave dump can be continued out of the first tank down into the tank racked below it which in turn can be continued down to the very bottom row. Rather than a reservoir per tank, I section off one corner to create an internal reservoir. Reasonably energy efficient.

A couple of rocks in the tank let's fish sit in water current eddies if they want to rest. They look forward to the next wave.
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

characinkid wrote: 16 Jun 2024, 23:13They say there is no stupid question… but what’s a Kinon? Looks like an extra piece of foam in the top of the tank? Is it more that that?
Thank you
As a college professor, I can confirm that stupid questions exist =)) , but yours isn't one :-BD .

The term "kinon" is used by scientists to describe complex floating mats of organic matter (floating plants, vines or reeds extending from land onto water, floating branches, leaves, fruit, etc.) which accumulate on water, especially along shores. These floating mats create a surface habitat that gets populated by lots of animals, mostly insects, crustaceans and fish, which make the kinon their home. A full explanation of kinons can be found in the scientific paper cited in my OP.

I'm using the blue block of foam to provide the initial floating support, and into it I've stabbed twigs and started plant clippings and added dead leaves. I'm hoping to eventually remove the foam as the plants grow more roots.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

aquaholic wrote: 17 Jun 2024, 00:17 For anyone interested, I achieved similar benefits with a surge tank. Small powerhead or pump (cheaper to buy and run, easier to hide) from the fish tank slowly fills a reservior tank above tanks water level until an auto siphon rapidly dumps back into the tank through a pipe creating a surge - wave of oxygenated water which some fish species appreciate.

Use of pipe is easier for tank lids, less fish escapes, less heat and humidity loss. Its easy to fill the water reservoir with bio media to obtain a rise and fall chamber. (Rising water pushing stale air out from the tiniest of air pockets so 100% use of media without channelling).

Another benefit is the stirring and mixing action in the fish tank a periodic wave creates. This self cleans a tank bottom better than a consistent high flow turnover. In a racked fish room situation (like mine) the same wave dump can be continued out of the first tank down into the tank racked below it which in turn can be continued down to the very bottom row. Rather than a reservoir per tank, I section off one corner to create an internal reservoir. Reasonably energy efficient.

A couple of rocks in the tank let's fish sit in water current eddies if they want to rest. They look forward to the next wave.
That sounds like a great idea. Thanks for sharing. What species or types of fish do you find this works well for?

Cheers, Eric
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by OregonOutdoorsChris »

I'm excited to see how this turns out!

I tried doing something similar last year.
PXL_20221212_055330693.jpg
I got about 9months of decent plant growth but it ultimately ended in failure. Don't try using coco coir wrapped around egg crate light diffuser as a jump start of your raft. The coir decays too fast and the whole raft falls apart.

I'm planning to reset this tank in the next month, so I will be watching for any new techniques I'll need to incorporate :-)
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

OregonOutdoorsChris wrote: 17 Jun 2024, 16:51 I'm excited to see how this turns out!

I tried doing something similar last year.
PXL_20221212_055330693.jpg

I got about 9months of decent plant growth but it ultimately ended in failure. Don't try using coco coir wrapped around egg crate light diffuser as a jump start of your raft. The coir decays too fast and the whole raft falls apart.

I'm planning to reset this tank in the next month, so I will be watching for any new techniques I'll need to incorporate :-)
I've never thought of using coco coir for exactly the reason you explain. But in my other tanks, I use coconut fiber sheets which I pick apart and they hold up well.
coconut fiber husk for plants.png
I bought a big sheet of it for this tank which I plan to hang on the back wall of the tank and use to implant small rooting plants which will make a living wall effect, but I want the rest of the tank to get started first.

@OregonOutdoorsChris will you be at FIN-DIG 2024 in Sacramento this weekend (June 22-23) or Fishtoberfest in Portland on Sept 28-29? I'll be at both, and speaking at Fishtoberfest. If you make one or the other please introduce yourself to me. I enjoy meeting other PlanetCatfish people.

Cheers,
Eric
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

The green onion clippings which I planted in the waterfall are starting to sprout.
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by OregonOutdoorsChris »

bekateen wrote: 17 Jun 2024, 19:08 @OregonOutdoorsChris will you be at FIN-DIG 2024 in Sacramento this weekend (June 22-23) or Fishtoberfest in Portland on Sept 28-29? I'll be at both, and speaking at Fishtoberfest. If you make one or the other please introduce yourself to me. I enjoy meeting other PlanetCatfish people.
There's zero chance I'll be in Sacramento over the weekend. And Fishtoberfest in Portland wasn't on my radar, but location wise it's possible, the issue is just going to be whether the family schedule lines up with letting that happen.
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

OregonOutdoorsChris wrote: 18 Jun 2024, 06:34There's zero chance I'll be in Sacramento over the weekend. And Fishtoberfest in Portland wasn't on my radar, but location wise it's possible, the issue is just going to be whether the family schedule lines up with letting that happen.
:-BD
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

The onions are sprouting fast. This photo is just 24 hours after yesterday's photo. Ignore the new Cryptocoryne stems; I dropped those here in an attempt to resuscitate them.
Onion growth one day later.png
Also, today I added horsetails to the kinon. Horsetails did really well in my greenhouse tank; let see how they do in an indoor tank by the window.
horsetails in 33.jpg
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by dw1305 »

Hi all,
bekateen wrote: 18 Jun 2024, 22:10 Also, today I added horsetails to the kinon. Horsetails did really well in my greenhouse tank; let see how they do in an indoor tank by the window.
I might be careful for what you wish for, in my experience they tend to do a bit to well.

To give a catfish related analogy it is a bit like saying
I really hope these Common Bristlenoses breed for me.
cheers Darrel
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

dw1305 wrote: 19 Jun 2024, 11:46 Hi all,
bekateen wrote: 18 Jun 2024, 22:10 Also, today I added horsetails to the kinon. Horsetails did really well in my greenhouse tank; let see how they do in an indoor tank by the window.
I might be careful for what you wish for, in my experience they tend to do a bit to well.

cheers Darrel
:)) They did exceedingly well in my Marineland HOB in the greenhouse tank, to the point that their roots grew out over the spillway of the HOB into the tank. Not only that, they had started forming strobili!

I'm hoping their roots will help provide the complexity to the kinon over time so that I can remove the foam block support.

I did one more thing to the tank yesterday. I added a 4-foot-long LED light strip along the outer front upper rim of the glass, and adjusted the color to a faint blue. My main light bar doesn't do an evening sunset fade, so it's either on or off. My Tatia and Microglanis are very nocturnal so I don't see them in the daytime. I'm hoping the light bar will allow me to see the fish at night without disrupting their behaviors.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by OregonOutdoorsChris »

bekateen wrote: 19 Jun 2024, 13:59 adjusted the color to a faint blue. My main light bar doesn't do an evening sunset fade, so it's either on or off. My Tatia and Microglanis are very nocturnal so I don't see them in the daytime. I'm hoping the light bar will allow me to see the fish at night without disrupting their behaviors.
That seems like a good segue to bring up something I've been wanting to post about for a long time here on planetcatfish... what spectrums of light do catfish see?

In humans we have the three types of cone cells; short wave (blue), medium wave (green), and long wave (red), plus rod cells for low light which tend to be sensitive toward the blue end of the spectrum, causing the purkinje effect, which IMHO is a part of why fish tank lights use blue for night time instead of a really dim 4000K to match the moon.

From all that on humans at least, the traditional wisdom for night time viewing (outside of aquarium lights) has been to use red lighting (doesn't stimulate rods, doesn't cause pupil constriction, etc..).

But that's humans, what/how do catfish see? Are their rods sensitive in the same spectrums, are the rods hooked up to the autonomic nervous system in the same way?
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

OregonOutdoorsChris wrote: 19 Jun 2024, 15:22That seems like a good segue to bring up something I've been wanting to post about for a long time here on planetcatfish... what spectrums of light do catfish see?

In humans we have the three types of cone cells; short wave (blue), medium wave (green), and long wave (red), plus rod cells for low light which tend to be sensitive toward the blue end of the spectrum, causing the purkinje effect, which IMHO is a part of why fish tank lights use blue for night time instead of a really dim 4000K to match the moon.

From all that on humans at least, the traditional wisdom for night time viewing (outside of aquarium lights) has been to use red lighting (doesn't stimulate rods, doesn't cause pupil constriction, etc..).

But that's humans, what/how do catfish see? Are their rods sensitive in the same spectrums, are the rods hooked up to the autonomic nervous system in the same way?
That's a great question. I don't really know the answer to that. What I have observed is that the fish seem to "see" me when I approach their tanks in an otherwise pitch-black room with only either red or blue lights over their tank because I've seen them react to my movements. However, the fact that these noctural catfish are out and about in both the blue and red lights tells me that they don't mind it too much, whereas in white light they don't come out at all.

All that is to say that they'll come out under red and blue light to feed. But whether that inhibits their spawning behavior or makes their other behaviors anything less than "natural," I don't know.

I've read online that they see the full spectrum of visible light, which makes sense given the behaviors I've observed, but whether they show negative phototaxis to specific colors is beyond me. Also, the only scientific papers I've read either deal with diurnal species or don't address nocturnal species in a way that is meaningful to me.

Cheers,
Eric
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by dw1305 »

Hi all,
bekateen wrote: 19 Jun 2024, 13:59 :)) They did exceedingly well in my Marineland HOB in the greenhouse tank, to the point that their roots grew out over the spillway of the HOB into the tank. Not only that, they had started forming strobili!

I'm hoping their roots will help provide the complexity to the kinon over time so that I can remove the foam block support.
That sounds a plan.

cheers Darrel
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by characinkid »

bekateen wrote: 17 Jun 2024, 07:05
characinkid wrote: 16 Jun 2024, 23:13They say there is no stupid question… but what’s a Kinon? Looks like an extra piece of foam in the top of the tank? Is it more that that?
Thank you
As a college professor, I can confirm that stupid questions exist =)) , but yours isn't one :-BD .

The term "kinon" is used by scientists to describe complex floating mats of organic matter (floating plants, vines or reeds extending from land onto water, floating branches, leaves, fruit, etc.) which accumulate on water, especially along shores. These floating mats create a surface habitat that gets populated by lots of animals, mostly insects, crustaceans and fish, which make the kinon their home. A full explanation of kinons can be found in the scientific paper cited in my OP.

I'm using the blue block of foam to provide the initial floating support, and into it I've stabbed twigs and started plant clippings and added dead leaves. I'm hoping to eventually remove the foam as the plants grow more roots.

Cheers, Eric
Thank you Eric, Very useful. Im inspired to try something new :)
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

Green onions, three days later. They're growing fast!
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Re: New 33 gallon long (4 foot) tank with waterfall and kinon

Post by bekateen »

Added more plants and botanicals over the last week. With the Sutton of the primrose, I removed the Pothos.

Current plant inventory includes:
  • In kinon:
    • Monstera adansonii (Adanson's monstera, stem cuttings)
      20240623_172828~2.jpg
    • Ludwigia hexapelta (water primrose)
      20240627_100121.jpg
      20240630_114332.jpg
    • Azolla filiculoides (Pacific mosquitofern)
      20240630_114322.jpg
    • Equisetum sp. ... maybe E. laevigatum (smooth horsetail) or E. hyemale (rough horsetail)
      20240630_120121.jpg
    • Java moss
  • Along tank back wall:
    • Dietes iridioides (African iris)
      20240630_165633.jpg
  • In waterfall basket:
    • Allium sp. (Scallions/green onions, bulb cuttings)
    • Zingiber officinale (Ginger root from grocery store)
      20240630_120149.jpg
    • Cryptocoryne sp. (stems)
The tank is stocked with: Filtration includes the Matten filter at one end, the waterfall/plant combo for nitrates removal, and now I've added an eheim Professionel 4 canister filter.

Lighting includes
  • The sun ... this tank sits under an open window, although the back (window-side) of the tank is painted black
  • 48" Fluval light bar on a 12L:12D timer
  • a 48" LED light strip tuned to blue light on 24 hr/day for nightlight
Still no eggs. So tonight I turned off the blue light this eve.

Cheers, Eric
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