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Rainwater, peat, and water changes

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by aarhud, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. aarhud

    aarhud Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Hey all,

    My house does not currently have gutters, but my dad and I are putting some up this week. I'm going to run the gutters into a couple of rain barrels. I have a couple of questions about using the water.

    1)How do you move the water for changes? I assume you use the bucket method? I suppose I could run a hose from the barrel to the tank, but the water would be cold in winter.

    2) How do I keep daphnia in the barrels? Is there anything special I need to do to get them to live? Can you suggest a species?

    Any tips or things you wish you would have done?
  2. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I use buckets, but then I don't change water as much as some folks. You could also use a submersible pump and run it into an indoor barrel to allow it to warm up or cool down to room temp. I have one barrel that the rain pours directly into, and I dont think Daphnia will live in that one - too soft and too much turnover when theres a heavy rain. I have other barrels/ tubs that receive overflow from the first, where I can grow Daphnia, Moina, Bloodworms (midges), Mosquitoes, Copepods, Ostracods, Amphipods, etc. Leaves, vegetable peelings, or dog food can be used to create bacteria for the Daphnia & friends.
  3. aarhud

    aarhud Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Gerald,

    Good point on the turnover. I like your live food setup (besides the mosquito bit), you don't have any pictures do you? How much upkeep is required to raise all of that live food? You just add a food source periodically? Can you grow Daphnia and Moina alongside each other? How seasonal is the live food smorgasbord you have going on?
  4. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    See pics below of my rain collection barrels and various tubs for growing food bugs, plants, frogs, dragonflies, snails, etc. Upkeep depends on how much food you need/want to harvest. I use live food from the tubs mainly when I have new or stressed fish that need special care and encouragement, or run out of other live foods, so the tubs usually stay in low density mode, infrequently harvested. Except when mosquitoes are abundant then I harvest often! In the Carolinas we can grow food bugs from about late Mar to early Dec, and enough bugs survive over winter I usually do not need to restock. Rain Barrels GBP-1sm.JPG Rain Barrels GBP-2sm.JPG
    ButtNekkid, Karin, MickeM and 2 others like this.
  5. aarhud

    aarhud Active Member 5 Year Member

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    What a cool setup, I like all of the plants. You just gave me the container bug. I only have one big tank and a couple of small ones for breeding. I'm sure a similar setup would provide all of the live food I would need.

    How do the plants handle the winter? I think I see parrots feather, water hycinith, duckweed, and I'm lost on the rest. What is the plant with red flowers? Currently I have some cattails that are supposed to bounce back after winter, I would like to add to that.
  6. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    No parrot feather, no duckweed in these tubs. I have Pitcher plants (purple, white-top, red, and hybrids), water hyacinth, water lettuce, frogbit (both tropical and native spp), Elodea, Rotala, Azolla, Didiplis, Sagittaria, Lobelia cardinalis, Micranthemum, Ludwigia (all NC natives), .... Most stay out year-round, except hyacinth, lettuce, and tropical frogbit which die when frost hits. This will be my first winter with the native frogbit - not sure how it will do. I will bring some inside as a backup.
    ButtNekkid, Karin and dw1305 like this.
  7. aarhud

    aarhud Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Where did you find those green tubs?
  8. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    A farmer gave them to me. He used to get some kind of cattle feed protein supplement in them. I saw them in his barn when I was doing some work on his land and asked about them, and he said he had these extra ones he could give me.