Baltic Sea Biotope

HX67

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
FIN, EU
Hello, you brackish you.
 
My spiritual home for many years, Baltic sea.
baltic-seas.jpg

 
It's about time to start making a biotope based on the upper northern parts of this sea, namely Gulf of Finland, northern shore and a bit of Sea of Åland and the archipelago.
 
Salinity is around 1.005 SG on these waters, varying only when there's a serious pulse of saltier water rushed in from the Danish straits. The latest remarkable pulse happened early -80's.
Water quality is, well, bad. It's been said that the Baltic sea is actually the most polluted sea area on the planet. Shallow, restricted area with little water exchange and many countries around it dumping waste/nutrition into it. We are not proud of it and there's a lot of actions being done to improve the state of this sea. Awareness being the most important factor. I hope I can add my share with this project.
 
Temperature fluctuation around the year will be a challenge with my biotope. During summer surface water heats up to low 20's. Come winter, ice covers the whole area I'm interested in.
I'm not aiming at icing up the tank/s, but a serious temperature drop for winter is essential.
 
Brackish water biotopes in general are poor in fauna. Not many species of animals, from invertebrae to fish, can adapt to brackish water.
My goal is to make a system that can sustain a large variety of life, in a series of tanks connected to each other.
 
During the summer I'm going to take a few trips to figure out what I need to do to make this vision come true.
 
Here's one of the research vessels (
good.gif
)  I'm using for the purpose
DSC_3525.JPG
"Jenita" is a 24 footer, 6 mph boat. Perfect for my need.
 
Island after island, that's the archipelago pretty much throughout the biotope. The base rock is pretty much oldest in Europe, dating back 3000 - 1400 million years. The latest ice-age shaved an average of 7 meters off the top of the rock and shaped the scape to what we see today.
 
DSC_3771.JPG

 
Climate keeps the scape quite bare.
 
Thanks for looking, I hope I can make an interesting trip out of this.
 
 
 

iliveinazoo

Fish Crazy
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
254
Reaction score
3
Location
GB
HX67 said:
Hello, you brackish you.
 
My spiritual home for many years, Baltic sea.
baltic-seas.jpg

 
It's about time to start making a biotope based on the upper northern parts of this sea, namely Gulf of Finland, northern shore and a bit of Sea of Åland and the archipelago.
 
Salinity is around 1.005 SG on these waters, varying only when there's a serious pulse of saltier water rushed in from the Danish straits. The latest remarkable pulse happened early -80's.
Water quality is, well, bad. It's been said that the Baltic sea is actually the most polluted sea area on the planet. Shallow, restricted area with little water exchange and many countries around it dumping waste/nutrition into it. We are not proud of it and there's a lot of actions being done to improve the state of this sea. Awareness being the most important factor. I hope I can add my share with this project.
 
Temperature fluctuation around the year will be a challenge with my biotope. During summer surface water heats up to low 20's. Come winter, ice covers the whole area I'm interested in.
I'm not aiming at icing up the tank/s, but a serious temperature drop for winter is essential.
 
Brackish water biotopes in general are poor in fauna. Not many species of animals, from invertebrae to fish, can adapt to brackish water.
My goal is to make a system that can sustain a large variety of life, in a series of tanks connected to each other.
 
During the summer I'm going to take a few trips to figure out what I need to do to make this vision come true.
 
Here's one of the research vessels (
good.gif
)  I'm using for the purpose
DSC_3525.JPG
"Jenita" is a 24 footer, 6 mph boat. Perfect for my need.
 
Island after island, that's the archipelago pretty much throughout the biotope. The base rock is pretty much oldest in Europe, dating back 3000 - 1400 million years. The latest ice-age shaved an average of 7 meters off the top of the rock and shaped the scape to what we see today.
 
DSC_3771.JPG

 
Climate keeps the scape quite bare.
 
Thanks for looking, I hope I can make an interesting trip out of this.
 
 
 
Looking forward to seeing how this goes.  Presumably there is a lot of interesting marine and freshwater creatures that are slowly beginning to change their salinity tolerances to expand their distibution? 
 
Will you be running a chiller?  Are chillers noisy and expensive to run compared with heaters?
 

fm1978

Fish Herder
Joined
Jun 11, 2013
Messages
1,163
Reaction score
0
Location
GB
Very interesting indeed!
 
I'll be watching this space patiently...
 
What sort of life will be going into this biotope?
 
OP
OP
HX67

HX67

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
FIN, EU
iliveinazoo said:
 

 

 
Looking forward to seeing how this goes.  Presumably there is a lot of interesting marine and freshwater creatures that are slowly beginning to change their salinity tolerances to expand their distibution? 
 
Will you be running a chiller?  Are chillers noisy and expensive to run compared with heaters?
 
 
 
 
 

Oh, there's some very nice life below the surface. Not nearly the variety of either fresh of full marine, but some very interesting life.
 
Osmoregulation abilities of the reproductive phases of creatures is pretty much the key in tolerating brackish. Some have it, some don't. Surely, some are slowly acclimating to it.
 
I will definitely need a chiller for this. I'm thinking I can mod a restaurant bench fridge cooling element I salvaged a while ago.
Running those monsters is not very cost-efficient. For most of the year I'm aiming to take advantage of the freezing winter climate and make some sort of a heat-exchanger for the system.

Summertime, chiller to keep the water sub-20°C. Winter, either circulating water outdoors through a heat exchanger or bringing cool air indoors to cool the system.
Either way, tanks are indoors and well insulated...
 
Compared with heaters chillers are noisy, yes. There's always a compressor involved. Well, except with the wimpy peltier coolers...
 
Thanks for joining the ride.
 
 

fm1978 said:
Very interesting indeed!
 
I'll be watching this space patiently...
 
What sort of life will be going into this biotope?
 
Thanks, and yes, patience will be needed with this one.
 
I'm seeing this as a multi-tank system with a combined water circulation.
I have four 50 cm cubes for a few nice separate scapes for smaller fish and invertebrates.
I need a bigger, shallow tank for a sandy bottom biotope to hold flounders and another high tank for pipefish.
 
But in the end it all really depends on what I can catch...
 

Mads

Mostly New Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2013
Messages
54
Reaction score
0
Location
DK
Hi 
 
Sounds very interesting. I'm very interested in the baltic sea. So I look foreword to hear about your experiment with a baltic biotope. Have you started to build the tank? have you plans on making tidal water level changes?
 
Which fish would fit? Pike, Perch or other? 
 
Regards 
Mads
 
OP
OP
HX67

HX67

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
FIN, EU
Hi, Mads!
 
Nice to hear someone else is interested in the largest brackish pool in the world.
 
The difference between the Baltic Sea at your latitude and mine is that there really is no tide at the northern shores. The very shallow inlets around Denmark control the amount of water Atlantic tide tries to push up to the pool.
 
My project will contain a series of tanks.
I wish to create a reef-like biotope for invertebrates and a few separate biotopes for fish that will not be able to coexist in a tank environment.
 
The only Percidae species I'm probably going to house is 
Gymnocephalus cernuus
kiiski2.jpg

 
The largest tank in the system will be only 500 liters or so, so pikes are out… No to monster fish keeping.
But there are still many interesting options for the tank/s.
The only viviparous member of the blenny family, 
Zoarces viviparus
1024px-Zoarces.jpg

 
 is definitely on my list.
 
If I get the invertebrate portion of the system working and producing, I'm looking forward to trying out
Syngnathus typhle
10471.jpg

 
or maybe
Nerophis ophidion
Kustavi2010-3.jpg

 
Many option for smaller bottom-dwelling fish like gobies to choose from, as well as some small schooling Cyprinid species.
 
I've also always been very fond of flounders, so there's an option to study.
 
Anyhow. Im at the stage of planning the system. The most difficult angle is cooling the water without a huge electric bill.
What we do have is cold weather most of the year. I'm designing a heat exchanger utilising this endless supply.
 
Thanks for your interest. Pack up an extra dose of patience for this trip...
 
OP
OP
HX67

HX67

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
FIN, EU
The first sweeps with a net on this rocky island
10690042_751479874941300_4090226969218546008_n.jpg

 
resulted in this catch:
 
Cottus gobio
10407526_751480561607898_7790630679710106329_n.jpg

 
Phoxinus phoxinus
10417699_751483811607573_724192688967501368_n.jpg

 
Pomatoschistus minutus
10389010_751484118274209_6349631277189797294_n.jpg

 
And a shrimp only lately introduced into northern Baltic sea, Palaemon elegans.
1533881_751484424940845_6924368662610096584_n.jpg

 
A glimpse of other fauna on the baltic, here's a flock of Phalacrocorax carbo warming up in the morning mist
10805543_751492078273413_5912290385515976290_n.jpg

 
Thanks for looking.
 
OP
OP
HX67

HX67

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
FIN, EU
A very depressing find on one of my trips this summer was this Halichoerus grypus
10470604_675914739164481_4264591917469759569_n.jpg

 
A closer look at the animal revealed the reason she was dead:
10417777_675915189164436_4159307174610293221_n.jpg

 
A seal researcher agrees these seem to be bullet wounds.
Whether the kill has been legit or not is hard to tell. But upwind from the location the carcas was found there's this:
10516595_675920569163898_6062080108892043642_n.jpg

 
A quota has been set on hunting these seals annually on the Finnish waters, despite the population declining on Baltic sea these days.
 
How come we tend to F__k up everything?
 
OP
OP
HX67

HX67

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
FIN, EU
Everywhere we go, M.
 
The credit for finding the seal goes to our faithful companion on the project, Walo
10354584_675906199165335_8407097627531271067_n.jpg

 
He thinks animals are kinda cool.
 
He enjoys work onboard the M/S ApoCalypso
10500259_10153076437539778_5616006991310746925_n.jpg

 
 
Now down to the serious business.
I salvaged this beer tap cooling element from a bar I built
10394097_751995911556363_2025285962931603840_n.jpg

1604925_751995974889690_555425527717432554_n.jpg

 
It looks to be perfect for the job. Not only is it food grade stainless steel, it's also already split in two equalish parts. One for the outside chilling tank and one for the sump.
I think we're going somewhere with this.
 

sawickib

Fish Herder
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
1,768
Reaction score
7
Location
US
Definitely following! Terrible about that seal though...
 
OP
OP
HX67

HX67

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
FIN, EU
Thanks for your interest, folks.
 
Some more test fishing for prospect inhabitants this weekend resulted in a few Myxocephalus quadricornis.
Male:
10351910_754280474661240_8464634713431693444_n.jpg

 
 
Female:
1456710_754280711327883_2176135642748583017_n.jpg

 
Back in the sea after posing
10435912_754281194661168_1582085028943682340_n.jpg

 
 
These guys are a bit too large for the tank at 25-30 cm. But it would be interesting to see some younger/smaller specimens in there...
 
 
Also got aquainted with this nice fellow, Saduria entomon
10628504_754279167994704_5397973560092276143_n.jpg

10733739_754279311328023_3998397703619538031_o.jpg
64759_754279457994675_2011417701903590549_n.jpg
 
Water was +5° C.
Chilly.
 
Thanks for looking. 
 

Most reactions

Top