75 gallon South American biotope by D.gilly - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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75 gallon South American biotope by D.gilly

The tank is finally in its last stages of production and plants and some fish have been added this tank has been in the works for just under a year equipment is listed below

75 gallon All-Glass
250 Watt Eheim jager
Eheim Professional 2026
aquariumplants.com co2 regulator
20 lbs co2 tank
Milwaukee Ph probe
4x54 watt HO T5
Aqua medic 1000 co2 reactor (coming this week)


I'm using a Coralife power center because moonlights are going to be added hopefully within the next month as well as all the extra equipment for the co2. I'm also running a separate power bar for a second timer to achieve the progression of brightness effect. As for substrate I chose 8 bags of flourite. My dosing regime is listed below.

Monday: KSO4 1/8, KH2PO4 1/8, CSM+B 1/8, KNO3 1/2
Tuesday: Waterchange
Wednesday: KSO4 1/8, KH2PO4 1/8, CSM+B 1/8, KNO3 1/2
Thursday:
Friday: Water change KSO4 1/8, KH2PO4 1/8, CSM+B 1/8, KNO3 1/2
Saturday:
Sunday:

Once all the fish are in Iím going to monitor the KNO3 dosing as I believe less will be needed due to the high fish load. Also being a student water-changes can get problematic I try to do 3 a week but usually only end up doing 2 how ever if I get time I do them whenever possible. PH stays at about 6.0 constantly due to co2 addition at about 4-6 Bps. KH is usually high at about 6-8. GH at about 8-10. Plant list is below

Echinodorus bleheri
Hemianthus callitrichoides
micranthemum umbrosum
Ludwigia palustris
Mayaca fluviatilis
Myrio pinnatum
Myriophyllum heterophyllum
Myrio simulan
Riccia Fluitans
Sagittaria subulata (not the dwarf kind the 14 inch kind)
Echinodorus bleheri 'compacta'
Alternanthera reineckii
Vallisneria "Dark Red Jungle Val"
Echinodorus rose
Echinodorus palaefolius var. latifolius
Helanthium tenellum(E. tenellus)
Echinodorus quardicostatus
Vesicularia montagnei
Cabomba caroliniana
Bacopa carolina
Heteranthera zosterifolia
Hemianthus micranthemoides
Eleocharis ''parvula"
Limnobium laevigatum
Hydrocotyle Leucocephala

25 species........dam I have collectoris ha-ha oh well all that matters is that it looks good right? Now on to the fish list (this is the final fish list not the current)

10 Otocinclus Sp.
10 mix of Corydoras trilineatus and Corydoras julii.

16 Paracheirodon innesi
7 Nematobrycon palmeri
3 Microgeophagus ramirezi (1M 2F)
4 Apistogramma sp (havenít decided maybe cockatoo or Apistogramma eunotus hopefully something a bit more rare)
5 "red turq discus"

Fish list isnít too bad it could be a tad smaller but Iíve seen more discus crammed into a smaller tank with more tank mates than this!

As for the hard scape I collected about 14 pieces of driftwood from LAKE ONTARIO.... rinsed it for about a week scrubbed it for about 8 hours, rinsed it for another 2 weeks bleached it. Rinsed it for 2 weeks, bleached it again, scrubbed it, rinsed it multiple times and let it soak for about a month changing the water about once a week. Well lets just say now its about the cleanest thing in lake Ontario It still didnít sink so it's being held down by a card board box, shoelaces, and tape.

Over all I have found literature on the internet stating all these species can be found in South America... some plants are pushing the border into more northern South American but never the less still just inside... as for the fish all are found in South America apart from the discus but it came from a few species in south America so it still counts. I wish i could have wilds but I donít have the money for that.

Enough said here are some pics

Corydoras trilineatus

Otocinclus Sp.
[B]
Discus

hehe me trying to be fancy and not doing a very good job

E. tenellus (the real stuff)

Amazon compacta and Mayaca fluviatilis

HC

The first day

Fourth Day

I was having some problems with the camera so please excuse the lack of quality, other wise Iím really interested in comments and criticism is appreciated. The tank really just started perking up today so I will update at the end of this week

happy fishing
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 08:54 PM
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Looks great! I like what you did with the wood.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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thanks i took about 2 hours arranging it to make it as good as i could then i spent like 6 hours figuring out how to keep it from floating upand replanting all the plants i ripped up keeping it down.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:03 PM
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looks great. i don't know about the wood though. i like it, but it lacks character.

Too poor to keep any tanks up
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:22 PM
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I really like your biotope. When I was in the amazon, I did not go swimming or see any underwater biospheres, but the way you arranged the branches really reminds me of jungle tributaries. Excellent work!
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the comments. Yeah i know the wood kinda sucks but its hard to find nice branchy stuff i tried to arrange it so it looked nice despite the lack of characher i think i did a pretty good job making it look like a pile of roots though.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:52 PM
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I like your tank, I know how hard it is to design an aquascape and imagine how it will be when everything grows in. Great start. I think the tank might look a little better if you didn't have the wood on either side - it's a little too symmetical, especially since the wood piece are very similar. I would keep the ones on the right and move a couple of the ones on the left to the right and maybe put a couple on the existing branches so you get more angles. Then, if possible I would try to find a small branch on the left side, maybe six inches high with a couple branchings so that the eye is drawn from the right side down the branches and then to the small piece at the left. also, once things grow in, think about using fewer species of plants and instead bigger groupings of them. If you look at some of the outstanding aquascapes out there, they have big patches of a particular species, so they really stand out, with other species of a different shape, color or texture nearby. If you have little pieces here and there, they'll get mixed up with each other and you won't have the same impact. This is something I struggle with too, it's hard for me to get 'collectoritis'! I also like your selection of fish, it's almost the same as what I have in my 60 gallon, and works really well - although I'm definitely at my limit with 5 discus!
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I think your right but I believe as every thing grows in I will be creating a u shaped composition and make one side a stronger side. I researched a bunch a T. Amano tanks of a similar size ( his where 240 L mine is 280 L) and in a lot of his tanks he used the U shaped composition( although most where dome shaped.) Despite your eye being drawn back and fourth he would make a main focal point and it would be easy to tell. Also when you sit or lie down the main focal point is the right side there fore I used most reddish plants on that side and the Alternanthera reineckii to hope fully catch your eye. If you look at T amano's tanks he almost never does a u shaped composition in anything under a 240 but he uses it in a lot more of his larger tanks because a gigantic triangle isnít too appealing also if you look at the u shaped ones they are usually more diverse in the amount of species. I also found that if I make the right side a lot denser and with more species and a larger triangle your eye will be drawn towards the left here is a Photoshop drawing of what I mean itís kind of crude but hey you'll get what I mean

Also about the amount of species Iím going to grow them out and then leave only the ones I like best and which ones blend together best. Thanks for the comments on the fish I canít wait to get my apistos I love them. Also I do agree with you that it looks out of place at the moment but Iím going to leave this scape for a while and let it grow out and then see what I can make of it.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 12:19 AM
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'wince' ... do not like to question obvious experts compared to myself, but I have a Sth American set up and I noticed a couple of things in your tank which during my research for mine are contradictory, I know advice is always a bit like that so maybe what I've read is wrong.. anyway here goes.. your gravel is far too big for corys, they much prefer sand, mine dig right up to thier eyes! :-) they sift it through the gills and your bigger gravel could damage their mouths.. the other thing is the Otocinclus Sp. can attach themselves to flattish fish like Angels & Discus and cause them problems..
Sorry if i'm wrong, I never stop learning !! :-)
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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i have heared about a cory loosing its barbles in rough gravel never anything more although they might prefer sand i havent had much of a problem with it i had one loose its barbles once... they grew back i guess it learned it's lesson because i havent had anyother problems. As for the otto's yeah ive had one attatch its self to the discus the discus flipped out and chased it off the otto went straight into the glass after that and i havent had problems since everyonce and a while one will come near a discus and the discus will just swim away never causing much of a commotion. There has been lots of topics about this some say never put discus with ottos some say there fine. If you look in T Amano's discus tank he had cardina japonica as well as ottos and im guessing he would be aware of any problems associated with them. Over all i guess your risking a 50/50 chance the ottos might attatch themselves they might not. I think the best substrate you coukd buy would be the sandy aquasoil amazoinia, if i do recall flourite is releasing "black sand" which would also work well.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 12:27 PM
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There's a thread on APC on "innovation" that I like, because it challenges the concepts of what else can I do. I already know what manzanita with plants look like. This looks nice because I can see lots of plants growing thru the woods. It will look very different with large growing plants, then the wood will be covered in plants.

I think the biotope is really in our imagination. I've heard it said that Discus are found in rivers without plants. so there!
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 03:14 PM
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Looks good, but there aren't any native mosses(Vesicularia montagnei) in south america, i'm pretty sure anyway.

i feel your pain on the branchy wood, it just doesn't exist in the wild i think!

-Devin-
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 05:47 PM
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I think there are so many biotopes in the Amazon area alone that it isn't even funny, I pretty much gave up on calling my own tank a biotope. I think if it were a correct biotope it would be mud and dead leaves, maybe some sticks, something that obviously doesn't appeal to us nor would it be easy to keep healthy in a closed system. There are blackwater creeks, whitewater rivers, oxbows etc. Then there's the flooded forest effect that happens in most of these areas as the waters rise and fall, where they catch a lot of the angelfish and many others we keep, something we can actually work with, depending on how often they're flooded there should be at least a few plant species there including tree roots and stumps. When it comes down to it, we are manicuring our tanks way more than mother nature does to the Amazon, most wild areas with Vals I've seen (in pictures) was absolutely choked with Val. I'd like to see a list of all the SA plant species we use and how many of them are actually found together in the same niche.

I think it was D.gilly that had a post pointing out that Xmas moss is actually a SA species. I pretty much consider moss moss and it grows everywhere, so I don't kill myself over what species it is, especially due to all the factors that come into play when we're talking about what an actual biotope is going to be in comparison to our manicured tanks. Same reason I used Val nana instead of V.americana, it works better for me in the setting of my tank, and anyone who comes over doesn't know the difference anyway.

You all should read this interesting Q&A I found about the Rio Sucasari biotope. And here are some of Amano's underwater pictures from his Amazon expedition.




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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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yeah i love amano's amazon experience but i wish he visited a few more habitats rather than just a black water stream. I was interested in doing a really tanning filled tank but i decided against it due to the fact there would be leaf matter on the bottom and places that plants could take up would be tanken up by leaf litter ect. I was thinking about doing a real hard core biotope with soil leaf litter and a bunch of swords but i decided it was to basic for me and decided on doing a more clear water approach.

As for the moss factor there are lots of mosses in south america there is a thread on it if you look at this http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...central-3.html also somewhere on this forum someones friends went on a trip there and took pics of plants ect and labeled plants and fish and the did find moss. Also on tropica they list "christmas moss" as south american.

As for
I
Quote:
think there are so many biotopes in the Amazon area alone that it isn't even funny, I pretty much gave up on calling my own tank a biotope. I think if it were a correct biotope it would be mud and dead leaves, maybe some sticks, something that obviously doesn't appeal to us nor would it be easy to keep healthy in a closed system. There are blackwater creeks, whitewater rivers, oxbows etc. Then there's the flooded forest effect that happens in most of these areas as the waters rise and fall, where they catch a lot of the angelfish and many others we keep, something we can actually work with, depending on how often they're flooded there should be at least a few plant species there including tree roots and stumps. When it comes down to it, we are manicuring our tanks way more than mother nature does to the Amazon, most wild areas with Vals I've seen (in pictures) was absolutely choked with Val. I'd like to see a list of all the SA plant species we use and how many of them are actually found together in the same niche.

I think it was D.gilly that had a post pointing out that Xmas moss is actually a SA species. I pretty much consider moss moss and it grows everywhere, so I don't kill myself over what species it is, especially due to all the factors that come into play when we're talking about what an actual biotope is going to be in comparison to our manicured tanks. Same reason I used Val nana instead of V.americana, it works better for me in the setting of my tank, and anyone who comes over doesn't know the difference anyway.

You all should read this interesting Q&A I found about the Rio Sucasari biotope. And here are some of Amano's underwater pictures from his Amazon expedition.
Yeah i know what you mean i was really interested in doing something like that but i couldint acheive a real nature aquarium look. I wanted to use just swords and mabey some myro sp. but i decided against it. Most pics ive seen have had a sword or 2 sometimes a chara sp. But you never see HC and echindorous tennelus. Ive seen peoples tanks where they had reasearched a specific area ie. rio de genero (sp) and they used only plants and fish they knew for certian gre there. So they would have a soily peat bottom some sand a sword some vals and a geographeous sp. im just not interested in that its to plain. Sure T amano makes some nice tanks with 2 or 3 species biut i prefer his tanks in which say 12-18 plant species are used. I also agree with you many plants could be used instead of another a SA biotope contaning only SA species your getting limited on plant choices.

sweet link -->http://www.amazonian-fish.co.uk/
http://fish.mongabay.com/biotope_oxbow_peru.htm

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 07:43 PM
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Nice links, I've seen the second one and it has much more promising photos for us planted freaks.

I was thinking of doing a hardcore blackwater oxbow biotope in the future, not really high tech at all as far as lights and ferts go. My plan is basically a hardscape similar to yours with branches, some brown sand similar to the Repti-sand without calcium in it (if I can find any) perhaps ADA amazonia (but what a waist that would be if mainly unplanted), very few submerged plant species but a surface completely covered in floaters allowing their root systems to add to the depth of the water column, was even thinking of creating a faux leaf litter on the bottom using silk leaves if I can find any that are the right shape and color, maybe a few rocks here and there.
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