Freshwater Aquarium/Theme Tank


Hello Mr. McCorry,
I hope your vacation was enjoyable.  I am a geologist with a chemistry and biology background.  I have been a hobbyist gardener for 30+ years.  My idea is for a porously divided planted tank (75 gal).  Feeder fish would be able to pass through the divider but predators would not.  I would like to introduce Brine Shrimp or the like to create at least four links in a "Food Chain" tank.  My question is can you advise me on fauna/flora combinations that could work for this?

Theme tank will work...
depending on what type of fish you are going to keep will dictate to an extent the type of planting you can do..
PH, hardness, temp as well.
If for example you were to do a south american, ie Amazon tank, cardinals,neons, glowlights, etc with some larger such as hatchetfish,or any of the smaller tetras, maybe angels as the centerpiece....or discus if youlike a challenge...
Add some non treated peat moss to your filter to add in some tannins, and nutrients...remove the carbon as it will pull the peat out..
Peat will also act as an ion exchange and soften the water and lower the PH...
if you can get PH around 6.8 or so everything will do fine...
for plants.....some jungle Val, Amazon Swords, chain Swords,anything thats native to the Amazon area you are going habitats change as you move up or down river.... some floating plants for the hatchets...
temp around 80-82 is good...correct lighting is essential figure on a 75gal I would do at least 130 watts.
Brine shrimp will not live in fresh water very long...that said, fairy shrimp which are fresh water and like swampy type areas would do may have to collect them yourself...part of the fun...
If you are going to plant the tank, then really plant add a few will not work....
You may or may not want to add a C02 system at some point.
Google "Dutch Style Aquarium" and you will get an idea of what I am talking about....simply its where the plants are the main focus of the tank and the fish are the icing on the cake..
There is alot that you can do and several ways to get there...
If you let me know your choices I can perhaps assist you further..
enjoy your tank, sounds like it could be a show stopper...

Freshwater Aquarium

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michael mccorry


I can answer questions concerning tanks, setup, display, maintence,filters, heaters, substrates, CO2 Systems, lighting, arrangements. Also water quality, chemical makeup and altering water parameters. I can advise on fish selection, how to arrange the tank to minimize aggression, water parameters for specific fish, breeding and raisning fry. Feeding and nutrition. Lighting both flourescent and metal halide and everything in between Plants, selection, lighting and feeding requirements, CO2 Systems, and substrate selection as well as what plants will work with what fish. Heating, and cooling the tank. Automating certain functions and what maintenence is necesssary to keep things looking good. Fish diseases their diagnosis and treatment. As well as other topics related to the hobby.


I have been involved in Tropical Fish for over 30 years having bred or kept most everything that was out there at one time or annother. I have worked in several shops and managed several more, I have owned my own shop for over 12 years and currently maintain more than 3000gals of fresh water and saltwater fish, plants and invertabrates. I service tanks and respond to emergency calls. I advise on design, placement and impact of displays and custom design and install whatever the client wishes. I had a business within a business servicing systems for Dr;s,Offices, Restaurants, Hospitals, and private individuals.

TFH FAMA American Cichlid Association

I attended Clinton Comm. College and then went to work for the State of New York. I also recieved training in the unrelated field of Law Enforcement. I am a certified fish specialist both fresh and saltwater having attended seminars at the Backer Trade Shows in Atlantic City sanctioned by PPAC.

Awards and Honors
I have won awards from the New York State Dept of Education and from the Govenors Office for Business of the Year in the Northern Tier. I work as a consultant with the State assisting people who are starting a business.

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