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Joshwd

Designing 1000L bristlenose growout

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Hi everyone,

I am in search for tips and tricks on constructing the ultimate bristlenose growout system from a 1000L IBC/pod. I already have a pretty dodgy set up so I’m  looking at recreating the whole thing to best suit growing out the hundreds of bristlenose fry my breeders are creating. 
 

The existing setup is one i built on a high school students budget some time ago. It contains a diy bucket filter with a standard ebay pond pump connected to a 20L bucket filled with filter wool and lava rock. This along with 3 other empty IBC’s are setup in a improvised greenhouse. These all work great outside as the temperature is generally fine throughout most of the year. The issue i have is the filtration. I feel like i can DIY something else up that is also simplistic but effective. The main issue i have with this is the pond pump. It is not as fry friendly as i would like it. I also would like to put my red cherry shrimp in with them. Last time i did this it did not end well and i slowly lost numbers. I tried wrapping the the pump with that gutter mesh stuff and then coarse filter pad but they restricted flow quite a bit and got clogged often. Ideally i would like to:

- clean the tank, do a layer of blue pond liner paint
-redesign the filter system to be more fry friendly (also need it to be as minimal on the maintenance side as possible as i go to uni and have my parents looking after it all for long period of time)

I am open to all suggestion, tips and tricks. Let me know your thoughts and ideas. I will be extremely appreciative.

Here is my current mess below 

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Hey Mate,

These screw onto most pond pumps. they are probs your best bet to reduce fry getting sucked into the filter. this is a bunnings one but you can buy them from other places. the sponge slides off the centre pipe for easy cleaning aswell. 

 

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Like Merkinaer suggested - I'd find a very large sponge(biggest you can) on ebay, add your own drilled pvc pipe to a big pump which sits in the centre pushing water towards the surface. You could even run multiple sponges to the one pump, creating a lower flow through in each sponge which is great for beneficial bacteria. The central upward flow creates a great circulation & aeration effect. It will also make sure the side walls of the ICB have a flow downwards which is nice for the fry to encourage a more natural growth pattern as they will sit head facing he oncoming flow. The sponge, if large enough will also provide an excellent biofilm source for the fry. 

Run a big shop LED light, ~6500Kelvin, 12hr/day to encourage natural biofilm and algae growth in the system - Helps if the folks forget to feed, but not needed if some decent natural light is available.

Then, if possible, have a second large source of treated water (maybe a second ICB) - With an automatic timer running a pump for "X"mins/Week pumping into the original ICB. Equip an overflow drain out w/ a sponge to guard the fry.  This allows for automatic water changes of a certain volume. (figure out the Litre/min rate of the pump, set the digital timer up accordingly.) You can also run a second smaller pump from this same ICB of clean water on a ATO system to account for evaporation. 

Something like this is about as low upkeep as possible - could run for months without intervention, just feeding required. 

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The simplest filter I've found is to put your pump into a 20L bucket with a short hose on the output. Then bury the pump in 6 or 8mm gravel and drop the bucket into the tank. Essentially a 20L canister. Lift the bucket out to clean. It will take a very long time to clog and have superior mechanical and biological filtration to a sponge block. 

You should be made aware of the dangers of raising bristlenose (or orher L number species) in plastic. They will graze off micro plastics into their body, especially if the plastic is encouraged to grow algae. 

 

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