nature's friend to self cleaning bogs and filters


crsublette

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Warning. Post contains creepy crawly things that cause you to itch at night. Hehe, not really, but kind of ... ;)


I have been researching quite a bit about aquaponics. Aquaponics is the process of recycling pond water through a hydroponic garden resulting in nitrate and nutrient free, clean water to be put back into the pond.

One question I have always had was how to treat the solid seperation process since I would think the solids are fertilizer as well. Welp, turns out I have not found this out to be true ... yet.

However, I have an alternative to self cleaning sieve and RDF filters. Alternative is to use natures helpful little crustaceans, the Assellus Aquaticus (wikipedia, asellus). I have been reading they are extremely hardy, able to live under near frozen situations, like water that is somewhat idle with a little flow to it (like a settling chamber), and are nocturnal.

To read more How To's and for online distributors, check out thread on koiphen.com, A wonderful thing has happened ... The author actually got the bugs from a buddy's bog where some ducks likely transported the little critters to the bog.

Bog owners might want to look into these little guys so to remove those crud pockets that can form all throughout the bog.

Also, the poor little guys are a good snack :bye2: for koi as well. Circle of life.
 
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Thanks for the links Charles. Looks like a lot of information on those little critters, I'll be doing some reading later.
As I've said before in this forum, I enjoy having a great biodiversity in my pond and all the tiny things add to the appeal. When ever I clean out my filters I like examining the muck to see what sort of things are living there. I have found quite a few different bugs, but I can honestly say I have yet to find any Asellus aquaticus.
 

addy1

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I sort the muck every time I clean the pond, all living things are tossed back into the pond. The only time I do a good clean job, well sort of good is when I pull the leaves in the fall. Always leave piles of stuff for the critters to live on but the large dump of leaves are yanked.

Thanks for the info on the bugs.
 
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crsublette

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As I've said before in this forum, I enjoy having a great biodiversity in my pond and all the tiny things add to the appeal. When ever I clean out my filters I like examining the muck to see what sort of things are living there. I have found quite a few different bugs, but I can honestly say I have yet to find any Asellus aquaticus.
Gonna toss out a few things I have read

They are very tough find, but some folk do have success in fishing out some. They are nocturnal so they only come out to do their feeding at night. So, best chance of catching them is at night. Often found in areas of decaying plant material where there is flowing water. I have seen a fella use a milk carton with 1/4" holes, full of green and brown leaves, then just dipping it in the river for a couple days; he eventually caught a couple. Also, it appears they do not like tropically warm water temperatures, but unsure on this one; it just appears they often die to big temperature swings.

They start breeding at around 40*F~50*F.

They require some good water flow since they do consume, not very much, dissolved oxygen.

The adult asellus poo is food for their babies. The adult asellus get up to around 1/4" size and the babies are extremely tiny. So, the asellus waste is broken down to the microscopic level. The waste does add some level of ammonia to the water. One poster mentioned he collected about 1cm or so of the asellus in a small test tube and the test tube did eventually register 2~3ppm of ammonia. The ammonia added to the water will be easily converted to Nitrates and better feeds the plants or hydroponic aspect of an aquaponic system.

The original author just simply used them to make a self cleaning SC tank and mentioned that he just adjust his bio-filter to consume the ammonia, but he does not mention about the increase in nitrates. He might actually be doing a very high rate water change system that I see commonly done by big koi enthusiasts since many do not have plants in their pond.

For me, the point of using asellus would be to help create fertilizer out of the debris for the plants in an aquaponic system.

My question is, where do you get a starter culture?
BugGuid.net talks a little bit where asellus has been spotted. However, I have read posters on that koiphen thread, A wonderful thing has happened..., found asellus in areas of California, even though asellus are not allowed to be sold in California.

To buy them online, it appears the most referenced store is Carolina, aquatic isopods, living - crustaceans. The shipping cost is what makes the bugs quite expensive. So, buy alot of the bugs so the shipping cost spreads out a bit.

The author also said he have given some bugs to folk near him, but never has shipped them across states. From what I understand, transportation could cause a warm water temperature that can kill the bugs, which is probably due to lack of oxygen.

Once the debris starts to form a soil layer, or mulm, then the asellus will not feed on the mulm.

It was mentioned toward the end of that thread that an ERIC filtration tank may be the best environment for the bugs.

I am told the bugs do not swim well at all and will hide when there is light or only feed on more shaded areas.

According to the Ramcat, the author of the thread, said the asellus can possibly reproduce enough in 2 years to keep a 5,000~7,000 gallon mechanical filter clean of gunk.


------------------

The author references to a French website where he learned all about it, at Google Translated: http://nishikigoi-bassin.fr. Apparently there is an entire forum section about these critters, I just got home and gonna start browsing it. Unfortunately, google does not translate the slang and supposedly there is quite a bit of slang used on the forums.

If you're curious how to translate web site pages, then go to Google Translate. Google detected it as a german website, but I chose French instead since it appears to be more French than German.
 

crsublette

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Some have had good success.

Some have had no luck with them yet.

I don't know. I find it as interesting as a self milking cow. ;) boy howdy, which is pretty dang interesting!!
 

fishin4cars

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From the link above $9.95 for enough for 30 students? Guessing 30 bugs? Plus $17.95 shipping. The links of maps where they have been found doesn't show any findings for our area. But I may go out and check the river on the side of the property and see if I can locate some. that is once the river goes back down, kind of flooded right now.
 

crsublette

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Yeah, the shipping cost is a one time fee. I was reading of posters buying up to 7 containers of them. Supposedly, you do not receive all 30 since some die in transportation, but some posters did receive all 30 that were alive. I have also read the store gives zero warranty for the bugs that do die.
 

Mmathis

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From the link above $9.95 for enough for 30 students? Guessing 30 bugs? Plus $17.95 shipping. The links of maps where they have been found doesn't show any findings for our area. But I may go out and check the river on the side of the property and see if I can locate some. that is once the river goes back down, kind of flooded right now.

Were you ever able to find any in the river?
 
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fishin4cars

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No, tried a few times and then forgot about this. I'll have to try and remember to see if I can find some when the weather warms up. Right now I'm not going wading through the river at night. LOL
 
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j.w

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They do remind me of sow or potato roly poly bugs w/ their little armor coats. Never noticed any around our waters.
 

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