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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I want to start a 55 gallon tank with just cold water for a single species of sub tropical Asian fish. I have been using so much hot water for my discus I think this could be something different for a change.:p
I went to visit Patrick of Canadian aquatic to check out the rainbow snakehead and while I was there I saw some very cool Denisonii barbs. I have alwasy wanted a school of those since I saw a hugh Amano tank with a school of torpedo.
Anyway, I did some research and discussed with my daughter and we finally decided to make a tank with a river rock bottom, strong current with some tree/root on the side with an open space in the middle.
I read that in the river in India the current is very swift so most plants cannot survive; therefore, I am not putting any plant inside (that is my excuse anyway LOL).
Also, we want to set up this tank with no heater--just cold water--and use only sponge filters and powerhead. I picked up a big sponge filter and a new sponge for a sponge filter I already had from Patrick. We read that these barbs need very clean water and I feel that if I rinse my sponge regularly in tank water and keep my tank clean my water quality should be okay.
I filled the tank up and kick started the cycling with some food and stability.
This is meant to be a show tank in my living room and the sponge filters were so big and very ugly. I could not stand the look of it so I did not take any picture.
I went to IPU and purchased 2 big wood pieces and 15 bags of river rocks of various colors and sizes from Dollarama. I rinsed them then put them in the tank. The wood would not sink so I had to put some rocks on top of the wood.
The tank was filled up then water quality tested until this evening when I went to Patrick's to pick up a school of Denisonii barbs. The water was quite warm in his tank so I took my time to acclimatize them. After about 45 minutes I released them. They have settled in nicely. I did not feed them and have left the light off. I will leave the heater inside for the first couple days so the temp will not drop too much to shock them.
Their color has not come back completely yet as far as I could tell.
Hopefully, they will have more colors tomorrow then.
Sorry for a lack of picture so far.
I have not seen a journal done on a cold water tank with only sponge filters yet so I thought I will share it here.
I will update pictures of the tank tomorrow morning, thanks for checking my thread.
 

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sounds interesting, the only caution I would suggest is that tap water contains chlorine, and may adversely affect the beneficial bacteria in the sponge filter, I usually just rinse the sponges out in my bucket of water I get when I do my water changes. I find the more I hide my sponge filters, the less I want to clean them! but you are right, they are not very attractive. Good luck!, Brent
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I will rinse the sponge in tank water, thanks.
I am using the dechlorinator crystals for discus in the tank to take away the chlorine.
This is the 1st day, sponge still looks very clean. LOL
Basically I am thinking it will be kind of like taking care of a planted discus tank with less frequent water change.
Here is a quick snapshot.

This is one of the ugly sponge filters:)

Another angle:

This is the 1st day. Now...let's just hope they live happily ever after. LOL
Note: I have 10 small ones in this tank to grow them out and will probably sell off a few once they are bigger.
ph:6.8 hardness: about 2, temp: about 72F
I have no ammonia, nitrite and only a tiny bit nitrate so far.
I just fed them some Prime Reef flakes mixed with Omega One and they ate them.
I know most people keep these in warmer water but I read that they can stand cold water so I want to slowly lower the temp and see if they are happy. So far so good fingers crossed.
 

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Simple setup that looks awesome. The wood pops with the white background. I dont understand the sponge filter idea. Im a filter guy myself but whatever works. You mentioned high water flow to mimic the river. Is just one powerhead enough? Add another one and get those torpedos swimming :)

I would love a torpedo tank. They are one of the coolest looking tropical fish IMO. Rogers in surrey has a planted tank with them. I could watch it for hours. Good on you for trying something totally different :)
 

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Nice tank Fish Rookie, those woods are awesome. Chuck the sponge filter, it doesn't belong there (IMHO). As JByoung said, shab a powerhead in the tank and that will make those Torpedo swimming.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks everyone, will definitely get more current. Thinking of getting some powerhead in the monster auction.

BTW, if I put a UV sterizlier like a green machine in the tank it will not kill off the nitrying bacteria and wipe out my biological filter because they live in the sponge and the substrate, right?

The woods are from IPU. 50% off right now, the left one only $17 and the right one $25 tax included. They can also be made to stand up to look like the bottom of a tree with roots extending out.

I like the sponges because they are very easy to keep clean and provide great aeration. It is an experiment in which I want to see if sponge filtration will be sufficient to keep water quality top notch in the long run. Never tried this before so I figure the best way to find out is to try it. :) I can always take them out and put a canister inside if I want to--although I do not see why this would not work.

jhj0112 I just want this to be a torpedo only tank for now--although I did also buy a very small rainbow snakehead that I am tempted to put inside, as crazy as it may sound :)--so no other cold water fish....yet :D
 

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Thanks everyone, will definitely get more current. Thinking of getting some powerhead in the monster auction.

BTW, if I put a UV sterizlier like a green machine in the tank it will not kill off the nitrying bacteria and wipe out my biological filter because they live in the sponge and the substrate, right?

The woods are from IPU. 50% off right now, the left one only $17 and the right one $25 tax included. They can also be made to stand up to look like the bottom of a tree with roots extending out.

I like the sponges because they are very easy to keep clean and provide great aeration. It is an experiment in which I want to see if sponge filtration will be sufficient to keep water quality top notch in the long run. Never tried this before so I figure the best way to find out is to try it. :) I can always take them out and put a canister inside if I want to--although I do not see why this would not work.

jhj0112 I just want this to be a torpedo only tank for now--although I did also buy a very small rainbow snakehead that I am tempted to put inside, as crazy as it may sound :)--so no other cold water fish....yet :D
A UV is always a great addition IMO. It will not effect bacteria. How or why is a great question??? I"ll read up on that shortly. I have a UV in my African tank and have since I setup my tank up a a year and a half ago. Ive seen the benefits of having one. Algea in my tank is very minimal even though they say it only kills free floating algea. The UV seems to make my water cleaner per say and less likely to have algea. I"ve never seen any hair algea in my tank. My other tanks get it and they dont have a UV.

Heres a good article on UV's
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=16+2148&aid=2855
 

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A UV is always a great addition IMO. It will not effect bacteria. How or why is a great question??? I"ll read up on that shortly. I have a UV in my African tank and have since I setup my tank up a a year and a half ago. Ive seen the benefits of having one. Algea in my tank is very minimal even though they say it only kills free floating algea. The UV seems to make my water cleaner per say and less likely to have algea. I"ve never seen any hair algea in my tank. My other tanks get it and they dont have a UV.

Heres a good article on UV's
Ultraviolet Sterilizers: Improving Bacteria and Algae Control in Your Aquarium or Pond
I read up on it and I think I get it. The UV WILL kill good bacteria. (I was wrong) :) However your beneficial bacteria isn't free swimming. Its attached to your bio media and in your gravel but not floating around the tank. This is also why when you install a UV its always installed on the outake side of your canister so you can assume all the good bacteria is hangging on to your bio media in the filter not passing through it and beeing zapped by the UV. This is also why they say dont run one on a newly setup tank. It can play a factor in the good bacteria at the start :)
 

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Nice simple setup! The wood pieces look awesome!

I have kept a school of 6 4"-5" ones in my 90g community tank in the past. I found that they are one of the most sensitive tropical fish. If anything goes wrong in the tank, they will be the first to go. They do need lot of aeration so they might not survive a long power outage. I had 2x Fluval 404 plus a big powerhead so there was LOT of flow in the tank.

I'm never a big fan of the sponge filters. They are good bio filter but not mechanical. I'm just too lazy to clean them all the time. I only service canister once a month. I might have read it wrong but I thought these guys are tropical fish... is there a reason why u don't want to run a heater!?
 
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks for all the help.
I added an additional powerhead. :D They are really swimming now.
I thought they are sub-tropical so I intend to keep them around 72...if you guys say they prefer warmer water I can run a heater inside. I just wanted to make the tank kind of like their natural habitat and I have never really have an unheated tank (except with my gold fish tank) so want to experiment with using just cold tap water...
Anyway, I put a UV inside but I was a bit concerned that it is a newly cycled tank and all. I check my parameters and everything is fine. My nitrite and ammonia is zero, my nitrate around .25. I just changed my water this morning. I would assume there is probably still some bacteria inside the tank.
About sensitivity I do notice that they acted scared when I turned on the light in the morning, not sure if it is normal. LOL But they are eating and swimming fine so far.
In your opinion speaking from experience, what temperature will make these guys the happiest?
 

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I kept mine the same as the other tropical fish. Probably 23-24!? But I just read that they are OK in the 18-26 range.
 

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I kept mine on 84 degrees together with my discus, "when I used to have them" without any issues. My buddy pieces71 has some nice school of large Turpedo Barbs on his Discus tank for years without any issues on high temps.

This fish are originally from India which has extreme climate condition... summer is very hot and winter is tad cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guy, makes sense.
Do you guys feel that their color pops the best at a certain temp or pH or is it just good water quality that make them happy so they will show great colors?
 

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Thanks guy, makes sense.
Do you guys feel that their color pops the best at a certain temp or pH or is it just good water quality that make them happy so they will show great colors?
Both good water quality and suitable temperature are essential to make a fish happy. Their color tells you when they are happy. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Updates:
Added 3 yoyo loach, a bredding pair of bosemani rainbow, which I will be selling soon as they are getting aggressive toward my torpedo. I think they have laid some eggs.
Tied some moss to the branches, added some bigger river rocks, and some sand to the bottom.
PH is 7.6, temp is 25 C, ammonia & nitrite=0,nitrate=25ppm, water change: 50% every 3 days.
Equipment wise, the sponge filters are definitely sufficient as my reading of nitrate was about 25ppm and everything else was zero. But my water was very dark due to the wood so I added a XP3. I also replaced my original powerhead with a Fluval Sea CP1 which is not as bulky. In my XP3 I have sponges in the bottom tray, bio media (metrix, sintered glass, bio balls) in the middle tray, and purigen and carbon with polishing pad in the top tray.
I am still keeping my sponge filters inside.




 

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Your tank looks amazing. I love simple tanks like this. It looks very natural :) The moss on the wood makes it all come together. Good work!!!!!
 
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