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Discussion Starter #1
I was given a 55gal as a present about 17 years ago (just a kid), and kept 2 oscars for 9 years (they were HUGE!). We moved, oscars didn't make it through the move. I then set up the tank for smaller cichlids, and it didn't pull through. Sold the tank, lost interest, college, etc.

I recently found a free 10gal tank on craigslist and started it with some gravel, few goldfish, and 1 baby crawdad that was caught in a local river in Central California.

10g
feeder goldfish
1x baby crawdad
Aquaclear 20

How long do I need to keep these goldfish for the tank to stabilize before I add guppys, tetras, etc?

Can I start a very small live plant setup without doing CO2, expensive lighting, etc?
 

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My experience with wild caught crawdads, is They are very interesting creatures, I found one in a ditch, with a cluster of babies under her tail, something i have never seen before or since in my 30 plus years as a country boy, and collector of all things nature has to offer. I put this terrific find in a 15 gal, breeder tank complete with live plants, a couple of rock outcrops i constructed in the tank as a refuge, and a coconut shell cut in half and a entryway cut in the edge, so they could choose their own hide out. I fed them live earthworms as i had no idea what a crawdad eats in the wild, and she devoured them readily. She , also during her stay with me, pulled up every plant in the tank and either tore them up or drug pieces into that shell, for some reason. this continued for several weeks til the babies had become very evidently free spirits, at which time i released them back to the same ditch where i found them. Most likely happy to be free, and thanked her for the opportunity to observe one of the wonders of Nature.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Excellent story! I am also a country-born boy, and loved collecting anything from crawdads and smallmouth bass to baby racoons and fledgling hawks.

I have yet to keep a crawdad with live plants, and have heard stories such as yours depicting the destruction of a well setup tank. I will most likely return this little guy back to the river when my tank has finished its cycle, OR I could feed him to my red-eared slider =). Humane, inhumane, I'm not sure what to think, however, turtles readily eat baby craws in the wild.

I spent the last hour at a great place called Tropical Haven. It's a specialty aquarium store with TONS of products, fish, and very helpful laid back staff. After trying to rush my live plant tank, the lady told me a few times that I'd end up with a bunch of dead plants =(.

I did purchase a 20watt "plant growth friendly" bulb and hood. I also purchased 2 pieces of driftwood that are soaking in a bucket of water at the moment (no idea how long it will take to "cure?").

Excited!

Pics: (old jug is holding driftwood down in bucket) (filter/light hood arrangment are not permanent, need better cabinet for tank first)




 

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It might take a century for that piece of wood to get to where it will stay down, what i do usually in that case is find a good flat non-porus stone, heavy enough to weight down the wood, drill a hole in it with a masonry bit and use a stainless screw to attach it to the bottom of the wood. That tank is showing a lot of promise of many enjoyable hours to come. As far as feeding the craw to whatever. I have mixed feelings about live food for the aquarium. In nature its everyman for himself but they dont have a chance in the tank enviroment. BUT everybody does what floats their boat, I quit deer hunting in 1971 when i realized that i was hunting with a .243 rifle fixed with a 3X9 variable scope. so i could kill a deer at 250+ yards, the bullet would strike its target, before the animal heard the shot. Not very even odds for the deer. and im not good at creeping up on things so somebody else now owns the rifle, tree stand and all other goodies, and i enjoy just seeing them run around occasionally.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I agree with your reasoning about the prey not having a chance in a tank environment. I'll probably keep the craw until the tank has cycled, and then see how he deals with the plant life.

I have been reading up on the driftwood curing, and tannin cleansing processes. I'll probably just try what others say: boil the driftwood, change the yellowed water, soak overnight. Repeat.

I wouldn't necessarily mind having the "tea-colored" tank, but would prefer the water to be as clear as possible. I might install a DIY black background (unless that will mess up the reflective qualities of my new plant growth bulb.
 
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