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Thread: Caddisfly Larvae
03-24-2011, 08:27 PM #1
So, I'm looking to build a biotope for caddisfly larvae (Family Trichoptera). I know that they need stream-like conditions and really clean water. I'm hoping to set up some sort of scaled-down stream biotope in an aquarium, hopefully a long 20-gallon if I can find one used.
Has anyone kept these guys before? I'm looking to keep Pychnopsyche gentilis. I want to do a North American stream biotope, but I really don't know where to start with that. Obviously, this will be for next year's hatching of larvae--next February or so. It gives me time to collect my supplies...and save up for that Aquaclear filter I'll need.
03-25-2011, 02:56 PM #2
I haven't kept any...but I know some of the lab set-ups are relatively elaborate. Depending on the species you do need to keep a constant flow and don't forget they need enough 'prey' (if that's what you're interested in) to eat...
Be fun to experiment and see if you can keep it going...55 g Goldfish Tank - 5 Fancies, 2 Dojos
25 g Tropical Tank - Celestial Pearl Danio/Mixed
03-27-2011, 05:57 PM #3
Yeah, I've been collecting/studying them in my Freshwater Ecology lecture/lab and the professor mentioned that he had former colleagues keep them in a simulated stream. I'm dying to get my hands on some pictures of that set-up.
These will be eating leaves exclusively, so no worries about food...although, it will be one kept at a time, as they try to eat each other if they're confined...
Water flow and water quality will be the issue, you've hit it right on the head for sure. They are a water quality indicator species, so they die off very quickly if water is even slightly polluted.
I guess experimenting will be the way to go. I just hope I won't have a whole bunch flying around my apartment after they pupate!
03-27-2011, 06:27 PM #4
0Originally Posted by lotus flower300 gallon mega tank: sailfin pleco, clown loaches, silver dollars, roseline sharks, congo tetras
75 gallon community tank: black skirt tetras, danios, bronze corys, harlequin rasboras, otos, bristlenose and bulldog plecos, assassin snails, red cherry shrimp, bamboo shrimp
60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish
03-27-2011, 08:41 PM #5
You can build a "river" tank manifold from pvc tubing with powerhead/s at one end and filter sponges over the open pipes at the opposite end. Not too expensive, particularly for a 20 gallon tank. Water quality shouldn't be too difficult to maintain with filter carbon, just replace it weekly. Nothing but insect larvae and some vegetation would be a very low bioload anyway.
03-27-2011, 09:28 PM #6
Lotus, your photo isn't coming through. I right clicked on the red x in the corner box and clicked on "show picture", but it doesn't come up. Just goes right back to being a red x in the corner box.
I assume this is a photo of the larvae? I'd love to see it, if I can.
-- mermaidwannabe20 gal. high: planted; 3 white cloud minnows, several RCS, 2 blue shrimp, 5 Amano shrimp, several snails; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 7 rosy barbs, 2 glofish,, 1 zebra danio, 1 rosy red (fathead) minnow, 2 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.
03-29-2011, 01:47 AM #7
0Originally Posted by mermaidwannabe
To update: I had gotten a used desktop fountain and was going to rig up the pump to create a sort of mini-waterfall, but the directions say it's a federal law of some sort that any fountain has to have a ground-fault interrupter...and I couldn't find any in town that you didn't need to install in the wall electrical wiring. I was hoping I could find a version like a surge-protector or like an extension cord. Maybe online...
However, I do have a small air pump that's not in use, so that's going to be put toward the new rig. And I found a nice, clear plastic bin that's clear on all sides...I couldn't find any used aquariums that were within my budget. I figure with the amount of water I need, I should be able to get in a good 3-4 gallons, which should be plenty, as according to the websites I've been on, these guys can survive in small aquariums for a few days.
Oh, I guess I didn't mention...I'm not permanently housing these little critters. I'm using them to make jewelry out of their casings. I know, crazy as heck, but people do it a lot! Or, do it sometimes...heck, I'm the weird biology gal.
So, they'll go in for about 2-3 days...I'm working on the filtering now. If I can afford a powerhead, then I'll do the set-up you've described, toddnbecka. Thanks for the link!
Then, after a couple days, it's back to the stream from whence they came and a new one or two will be brought home. And so forth.
This way we avoid the inevitable "Duck! We're being dive-bombed by caddis fly adults!" dilemma. I'm looking at you, Brhino.
Although, my betta would like to try an adult as a snack...
03-29-2011, 02:53 AM #8
Lotus, I can see in your "Hey everyone" post a blank box in the lower left hand corner with a small corner box and red x in it. There's supposed to be something there, usually a photo, and I can't get it to come up when I right click on the x -- which usually works by then clicking on "show picture" in the menu.
What was that supposed to be? I'm eager to see it...
-- mermaid20 gal. high: planted; 3 white cloud minnows, several RCS, 2 blue shrimp, 5 Amano shrimp, several snails; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 7 rosy barbs, 2 glofish,, 1 zebra danio, 1 rosy red (fathead) minnow, 2 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.
03-29-2011, 03:19 AM #9
I actually had a 55 gal tank when I was younger that I kept only fish and stuff I would catch in the local stream. I had about 5 or 6 caddis fly larvae in there, a few got eaten by the crawdads, but 2 did end up making it to adult-hood. Can't remember how long it took, but my mom sure freaked out when I told her the "flies" came from the fish tank,
03-29-2011, 07:44 AM #10
Mermaid: Ohhh, I know what you're talking about now! That's in my sig, and they're just silly little Fishy Eggs digital fish...you click on them and they grow up from eggs to adults. I joined Fishy Eggs from the link in William's sig. It's a fun way to become obsessed over yet another internet fad. And I love it. But I will post pics in a few days or weeks, once my tank is running.
tkdracer: "Flies" is really misleading, given how big and moth-like they are! And I envy your childhood 55-gallon!