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Amazon Biotopes
December 2, 2008
4:22 pm
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clark136
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Hello all, just thought id say hello and what a great site! loads of great information!!

I keep tropical freshwater fish from the amazon blackwater regions, and i am a great lover of biotope tanks and im in the process of making one at home (i'll post osme pics when its done). I keep mainly cardinal tetras -as i am trying to breed them - ahve had lots of successful spawnings but no fry yet /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />

I was wandering how many of you out there prefer a planted tank and how many prefer a true biotope tank, like with black water where there are little, if any, aquatic plants?

Cheers

Chris

December 2, 2008
9:16 pm
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Eyrie
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I prefer biotopes, but will always have a few plants for aesthetic reasons even if this is incorrect.

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December 2, 2008
9:27 pm
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dunc
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I much prefer true biotope settings.. I really struggle to find decent tree roots for my Amazon setups though /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" /> I always try to keep fishes from the same area together.. I'd love to keep an exact location setup, i.e. a specific area of the Amazon.. but it's so difficult finding species that live together in the wild and can also live together in a four foot tank /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

December 3, 2008
10:54 am
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clark136
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QUOTE (dunc @ Dec 2 2008, 09:10 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
I much prefer true biotope settings.. I really struggle to find decent tree roots for my Amazon setups though /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" /> I always try to keep fishes from the same area together.. I'd love to keep an exact location setup, i.e. a specific area of the Amazon.. but it's so difficult finding species that live together in the wild and can also live together in a four foot tank /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

i agree - finding roots is a pain! mostly just seem to find lumps of wood that dont do much for the looks of the setup rather they just end up taking up space and looking un-natural. i think the wood reptile shops sell is ok though, not sure what its called but its basically thinish branches. anyone know if these are tank safe?

December 3, 2008
11:27 pm
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Eyrie
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I'd assume the thin branches that a reptile shop sells are the same wood that I've got from my LFS, so yes. Problem is that the pieces in my tank are at the back and planted with java fern, so getting a pic could be tricky.

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December 4, 2008
9:52 pm
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clark136
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a pic would be great. im just about to set up my small 60litre as a blackwater biotope this coming week - i'll get some photos asap.

December 5, 2008
1:00 am
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Nev
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Hi All,
I am planning to set up a biotope tank over the next couple of weeks once my current 3ft tank becomes empty and all the inhabitants have moved to a new 4ft tank. The biptope will contain just 1 type of fish and that is my favorite tetra, the Black Phantom. I plan to have about 25 in a setup with river sand and bogwood. I will be looking into getting some branches or twigs, I have been told that Beech wood is safe if stripped of bark and dried and that Beech leaves and Oak leaves are fine also. I have an external Aquis 550 which I will use and will put some peat into one of the trays. Since subdued lighting is recommended I am looking into using black light.
My tanks are going to be changing a lot over the next couple of weeks but if anyone is interested here are some pics of them as is. http://www.catalystastrology.c.....htank.html
Great site really like the in depth knowledgebase of tetras.

December 5, 2008
9:37 pm
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clark136
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QUOTE (Nev @ Dec 5 2008, 12:43 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi All,
I am planning to set up a biotope tank over the next couple of weeks once my current 3ft tank becomes empty and all the inhabitants have moved to a new 4ft tank. The biptope will contain just 1 type of fish and that is my favorite tetra, the Black Phantom. I plan to have about 25 in a setup with river sand and bogwood. I will be looking into getting some branches or twigs, I have been told that Beech wood is safe if stripped of bark and dried and that Beech leaves and Oak leaves are fine also. I have an external Aquis 550 which I will use and will put some peat into one of the trays. Since subdued lighting is recommended I am looking into using black light.
My tanks are going to be changing a lot over the next couple of weeks but if anyone is interested here are some pics of them as is. http://www.catalystastrology.c.....htank.html
Great site really like the in depth knowledgebase of tetras.

oak leaves do look great - i had a few in my tank along with twigs last year and with subdued lighting, play sand substrate and some other bits of bogwood it looked great - hopefully i want my next setup to be finished by next week - and as it takes a while for oak and beech to properly dry out it looks like ill be usuing the 'reptile wood'. bit of advice - if you are having leaves, gather and dry out lots - this way when the ones in thank start to rot - which wont be long, you can remove them and be able to replace them quickly. YOu may also want to boil leaves to get rid of any nasty things.

another thing i found to look good is peat. get some aquarium peat and scatter it on the surface - within a few days it will become water logged and will sink and it does look really natural.

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Chris

December 5, 2008
11:07 pm
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Nev
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QUOTE (clark136 @ Dec 5 2008, 09:20 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
oak leaves do look great - i had a few in my tank along with twigs last year and with subdued lighting, play sand substrate and some other bits of bogwood it looked great - hopefully i want my next setup to be finished by next week - and as it takes a while for oak and beech to properly dry out it looks like ill be usuing the 'reptile wood'. bit of advice - if you are having leaves, gather and dry out lots - this way when the ones in thank start to rot - which wont be long, you can remove them and be able to replace them quickly. YOu may also want to boil leaves to get rid of any nasty things.

another thing i found to look good is peat. get some aquarium peat and scatter it on the surface - within a few days it will become water logged and will sink and it does look really natural.

-----------
Chris

Cheer's Chris thanks for the advise, I especially like the idea of floating the peat for a more natural look. I am also hoping the peat will bring my ph down hope fully to about 6.8 to make things more comfortable for the little guys and of course the added advantage of less problems with ammonia.

Neville

December 7, 2008
3:44 pm
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Eyrie
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QUOTE (clark136 @ Dec 4 2008, 09:35 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
a pic would be great. im just about to set up my small 60litre as a blackwater biotope this coming week - i'll get some photos asap.


Sorry Chris. I've tried taking photos but can't get any that are decent enough to show what the wood is like /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />

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December 9, 2008
8:55 pm
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clark136
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QUOTE (Eyrie @ Dec 7 2008, 03:27 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry Chris. I've tried taking photos but can't get any that are decent enough to show what the wood is like /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />

lol dont be sorry /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> im pretty sure the wood is the same as what im thikning of - im getting a bit tomorow and im 99% sure its fine.

December 10, 2008
10:56 am
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dunc
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Get us a pic when you've thrown it in your tank Chris /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

December 10, 2008
11:56 am
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mickthefish
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Chris about your not getting any fry out of your spawnings, could you put a thread up on the trop section as i'm intrested in why your not getting fry.
cheers
mick

December 10, 2008
4:34 pm
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clark136
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alas i'm not currently trying to spawn them, as things have came up that mean i dont have the time to pay them the attention needed, but when i do again i will record all that i do in a diary thread on here. Im also a member on Simply Discus forums and have had lots of help from Heiko Bleher (very famous in the fish world) on how to spawn them - basically its a case of soft water, i use rain water, very acidic - ph4 plenty of live foods and about 30C temp and darkness. and indeed that always gets tem spawning after a week or so and then they spawn every few days. I just cant get any fertilised eggs at all! ah well. i'll get back on the case soon!

December 12, 2008
8:49 pm
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stingrays4
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Hi i think biotopes are great, but just how realistic can it be in all honesty? The amazon is a HUGE river with some very diverse area's,hence why its so popular i guess!! So unless you are lucky enough to do as Heiko bleher and actually visit the area then we can only make educated guess's?
Good luck and be great to see some photo's no matter how poor!

December 16, 2008
12:29 pm
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clark136
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QUOTE (stingrays4 @ Dec 12 2008, 08:32 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi i think biotopes are great, but just how realistic can it be in all honesty? The amazon is a HUGE river with some very diverse area's,hence why its so popular i guess!! So unless you are lucky enough to do as Heiko bleher and actually visit the area then we can only make educated guess's?
Good luck and be great to see some photo's no matter how poor!


I agree - The only true way to ever recreate the exact habitat all fish come from is to let mother nature take its course over thousands of years until i have discus swimming around my local river in the UK /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />:D but i think so long as we keep fish, it is our responsibility to give them the very best conditions we can - and in my opinion that has to be a replica of their natural habitat - they chose to live there in the wild so it must be the best place for them! /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> Heiko actually gave me a few good tips on how to breed the cardinal tetra on another site that i am on, his knowledge is fantastic!

I have found some great looking bits of wood in my lfs - i think they called it vine wood - picking osme up on friday, its going to look great!! /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> the tank im using at the moment has the sand substrate in it a couple bits of wood and two lcumps of java moss, and some peat scattered around. over time this peat will naturally find a place to settle as the water flow moves it gently, and it will look like a slow moving blackwater creak - hopefully lol

December 20, 2008
8:34 pm
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stingrays4
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Hi well said /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" /> the fish we keep deserve the best we can give them /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />
But a question - with many bread and butter fish being bred commercialy they have never seen there 'real' homes? Just a thought.

December 22, 2008
4:46 am
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Richy
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QUOTE (stingrays4 @ Dec 20 2008, 08:17 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi well said /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" /> the fish we keep deserve the best we can give them /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />
But a question - with many bread and butter fish being bred commercialy they have never seen there 'real' homes? Just a thought.

I used to think this too, but, if you think about it. In theory the fish will still pass "genes (or whatever the fish terminology is)" down the line and know what they prefer and will look and be happier in the right conditions to the envioronment.

Apologies if I went off topics, 4am and havent read it all /blush.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":blush:" border="0" alt="blush.gif" />

Oh, the wood, Redmoor?

December 22, 2008
4:20 pm
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clark136
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Although it goes against what i have already said, i guess one could 'argue' that fish don't really need their biotope to be happy - look at how a lot of breeders spawn discus - in a bare tank with brightish lights and a bright blue background - the fish would breed if they werent 'happy' with the arrangements. or are they only breeding because they DONT like the environment they have been put into and they 'fear' for the future - so they are trying to boost the population?

lol, the more i type the more strange contravercial ideas i come up with - BUT either way i still believe the fish would be less stressed and more 'at home' whether they are wild caught or not, in a biotope tank. There is something to be said however for the notion that captive bred fish 'dont know any better' than a bare tank for example, and therefore they may be happiest in such a tank?!?! ARRGHH too much to think about lol

By the way, just to bring us kicking and screaming back to where we started - im having to put my plans on hold for my main tank - i have a young pair of discus in there at the moment before they move on to bigger things - trouble is, they have spawned on the outlet pipe for the external filter lol!! i htink i'll still do my smaller tank though.

the photo is of the 100litre tank that i was going to setup - as you can see its pretty bare but the sand looks good and the small bits of wood i have there at the moment dont look out of place. It need twigs, a background and floating plants to make it complete - the java moss isnt true to biotope /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" /> other fish in there at present are 6 black neons, 1 bolivian ram and 3 corys

Chris

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