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Thread: First planted tank- Upper Rio Negro Low-tech Biotope. Suggestions please! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-12-2011 06:47 AM
Method
Quote:
Originally Posted by madness View Post
How about a new picture with the new livestock included so we can see how things are progressing?
I'm in the process of beginning fert dosing to get rid of some BGA. I ordered some KNO3 (currently 0ppm). Once this is done, I'll post some new pics of my livestock and plants.

Currently:
9 Black skirt tetras (they've spawned 4X in the last 1.5 months, and I have 50-75 fry growing out), 15-18 pygmy corys, 6 otos, 1 rubbernose pleco, 8 ghost shrimp (5 berried), 3 black-fingered mud crabs, and ~40 Malaysian trumpet snails.

Current params:
all rainwater
0,0,0 (need to dose NO3)
kH 3deg, GH 3 deg
76deg F

I just started feeding this tank with the leftover BBS I use for my tetra fry. I think my pygmy cories should spawn fairly soon!
10-08-2011 11:29 PM
madness How about a new picture with the new livestock included so we can see how things are progressing?
10-08-2011 03:02 AM
cableguy69846 Likin it man. I have not read the entire thread, but I will. I like that T.V./tank setup.

You have me subscribed my dirty brother.
09-16-2011 03:34 AM
lauraleellbp They're slightly larger than tetras like Cardinals, etc. They can be nippy if not kept in large enough schools and with other fish with flowing fins. But otherwise are really lovely and usually hardy once established.
09-16-2011 03:17 AM
Method Added 7 Otos and 20 Pygmy Corys last weekend. So far everyone's doing fine. However, now I'm faced with another problem. My Rio Negro biotope has become a Rio Madeira biotope! Does anyone have any experience with Kerri Blue tetras? My LFS has some, and they're from the right area.
09-02-2011 01:54 AM
Method Five days without electricity, compliments of Hurricane Irene. Once the power came back on, all the fish, inverts, and plants were still alive and kicking!

Current stock:
9 Black tetras
2 Sunburst platys
6 Ghost shrimp
3 Black-fingered mud crabs
1 barnacle
08-25-2011 01:28 AM
Method Tank is cycled today! Adding the first of my cleaning-crew (Chaetostoma). I will post more pics in a couple weeks when the stocking is complete.

Quote:
Originally Posted by driftwoodhunter View Post
I have nothing to add, as I am too new at this myself - I just wanted to say that that is the most magnificent piece of driftwood I've ever seen in a tank!
Thanks driftwood hunter! It took me two days of paddling around the river to find the right stump. BTW, you ought to have nice driftwood in the New River. My folks live in Floyd, and all my cousins seem to go to Tech. Cheers!
08-24-2011 12:31 PM
driftwoodhunter I have nothing to add, as I am too new at this myself - I just wanted to say that that is the most magnificent piece of driftwood I've ever seen in a tank!
08-24-2011 04:25 AM
Method
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuni View Post
I'd tilt the wood left, but just see what looks good. You might try have the pieces of driftwood cross visually at the golden ratio point on the right side of the tank.

I wouldn't remove the submersed plants, but blackwater + T5NO lights means they probably won't get enough light, just like in nature.

My understanding is that Farlowella are in shallower fast-flowing water, in the middle of twiggy driftwood and overhanging branches. Royals and their close relatives are sort of unique in that they prefer hanging out in big driftwood snags to eat the bacteria growing on and in the wood. Your big pieces of driftwood suggest a deeper, siltier area of the river, so I think a royal would be more appropriate, but again, it's a question of how far to take the biotope, and how close is "good enough".
I'm probably going to keep the submersed plants (until they melt). I'll do the Salvinia on the left side, and maybe move it to the right side if the other plants die.

I'm worried about the potential size of a royal pleco. I want to do a strict biotope. Mongabay has Farlowella as a Rio Negro species.

I like the idea of crossing the driftwoods at the 'golden ratio'. I'll try that for my next few pics. Thanks Kuni!
08-23-2011 07:32 PM
kuni
Quote:
Originally Posted by Method View Post
Well, the tank's OK after the earthquake. I guess I don't have to worry about the old thing breaking!
Whoa. Good to hear.
08-23-2011 07:32 PM
kuni
Quote:
Thanks Kuni! BTW, which direction should I tilt the secondary piece of wood. Top to the left or right?

I actually got a few Salvinia leaves, probably attached to the Cabomba. I'm going to try to leave the submersed veg for now, and restrict the Salvinia to the left side where there's no SAV.

Won't a Farlowella be equivalent to a royal pleco?

I'm totally in agreement about the cardinals!
I'd tilt the wood left, but just see what looks good. You might try have the pieces of driftwood cross visually at the golden ratio point on the right side of the tank.

I wouldn't remove the submersed plants, but blackwater + T5NO lights means they probably won't get enough light, just like in nature.

My understanding is that Farlowella are in shallower fast-flowing water, in the middle of twiggy driftwood and overhanging branches. Royals and their close relatives are sort of unique in that they prefer hanging out in big driftwood snags to eat the bacteria growing on and in the wood. Your big pieces of driftwood suggest a deeper, siltier area of the river, so I think a royal would be more appropriate, but again, it's a question of how far to take the biotope, and how close is "good enough".
08-23-2011 07:31 PM
Method Well, the tank's OK after the earthquake. I guess I don't have to worry about the old thing breaking!
08-23-2011 07:23 PM
kuni
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
That's not true, we caught at least 3 or 4 species in the Rio San Martin, including tons of C. hastatus. At night they'd be schooling in the thousands in the shallows.
I meant very few species. There are definitely cories in blackwater, there are just more species in clear streams. And wherever there's one cory, there's also his thousand friends...
08-23-2011 05:05 AM
lauraleellbp I was in Boliva, so we're talking about a different biotope. I'm not up on what is or isn't in the Rio Negro, unfortunately lol
08-23-2011 05:03 AM
Method
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenyearnight View Post
I don't know plants all that well, but the set up looks sweet. I guess I would suggest hiding the heater behind the wood.
Agreed sevenyearnight. That'll be the first thing I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kamikazi View Post
+1 for hiding the heater, I'd also suggest a background to hide the cords and such (black is a good choice, brown might look ok for a biotope like this)

I'm assuming the brick is in there to act a weight to hold the wood down? I'd either hide it behind some plants or get rid of it as soon as you are able.
I tried a brown and a beige background, but they really made the tank seem less deep horizontally. I'll either go with white, black, or none- in which case I'll hide all the cords.

Yeah, the wood wasn't fully waterlogged. I live close to a tidal river that's tributary to the Chesapeake Bay. This particular stump was towards the high tide line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuni View Post
I love the big piece of wood! It gives the "sunken tree" feel that characterizes the deep blackwater portions of the river. (The smaller one would look better at more of an angle)

Here are a few comments regarding a "strict" Rio Negro biotope. Disregard them if you're fine with a "loose" one.

Amazon swords aren't actually found in what people think of as the Amazon River. Crazy, I know.

In fact, while you might find a bit of Cabomba, submerged plants will be very rare in this biotope. Consider some South American floating plants instead, like Salvinia, frogbit, giant duckweed, or red root floater. Water hyacinth would also work, if you want something a bit more robust. My recommendation is to go with Salvinia and ignore submersed plants entirely. Floating plants will also be right under your lights, which means even your T5NOs will grow them nicely. Heck, double-strip T8s from Home Depot would.

Don't bother with any carpeting plants at all. You don't have the lighting for it, and they're not biotope-appropriate.

If you're cool with your giant awesome piece of driftwood being slowly nibbled away, consider a royal pleco - they chew driftwood to get at the tasty bacterial colonies inside, and they may even keep your glass clean in the process.

A school of cardinals would look fantastic in this tank. Other tetra species could work too, but cardinals are classic for a reason.

Substrate: yours will work, but some clean white river sand would be best, as the Rio Negro is known for fine white sand. Since I've just advocated removing all your substrate, I'll point out that for moving substrate out of a tank, nothing beats a small shop vac. You might add some dried oak or katappa ("indian almond") leaves to the bottom to improve the look. Skip cory cats - very few are found in blackwater habitats.

Those are my suggestions - good luck!
Thanks Kuni! BTW, which direction should I tilt the secondary piece of wood. Top to the left or right?

I actually got a few Salvinia leaves, probably attached to the Cabomba. I'm going to try to leave the submersed veg for now, and restrict the Salvinia to the left side where there's no SAV.

Won't a Farlowella be equivalent to a royal pleco?

I'm totally in agreement about the cardinals!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
That's not true, we caught at least 3 or 4 species in the Rio San Martin, including tons of C. hastatus. At night they'd be schooling in the thousands in the shallows.
Laura, did you see any C. habrosus, or would C. hastatus be more biotope appropriate?


So it might be cheating, but there's a distributary of the Orinoco that connects it with the Rio Negro. It's called the Casiquiare Canal. I just spoke to one of our visiting scientists from Venezuela, and she was pretty sure that the Casiquiare had a good mix of flora and fauna from both watersheds. Can anyone speak to this? A 'Casiquiare Biotope' would give me a little more leeway into plants and livestock.

Thanks all!
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