10 Galllon SE Asia Biotope
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:05 PM   #1
Braden8558
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10 Galllon SE Asia Biotope


Hello Everyone,

So I have a 10 gallon planted tank, which currently has 1 female german blue ram and 2 harlequin rasboras (the other rasboras past away a while ago).

The ram is not very colorful and I think it would be best to get rid of her so she has a bigger tank and possibly a mate. With this is mind I feel like I want to try something else out with different fish I haven't had before. I have decided to try out a SE Asian Biotope and have some questions...

First off what is the habitat like in this area?

I was planning to focus on smaller species maybe micro rasboras and small gouramis, and from what I heard the region has a low ph with soft water and has leaves littering the bottom with driftwood and vegetation such as cryptocorynes, dwarf hairgrass, and blyxa japonica. The water is also blackwater Is this correct? Would I want to replicate it with indian almond leaves? I also heard that oak tree leaves would be okay to include in the tank. Is that true?

Also what would be other plant species that are native to this area, and what type and how many fish would I want in this setup to really replicate their natural environment?

I'm sure I will have more questions in the future, but I hope I can get some good answers on here. I plan to obtain my information through this thread and then start posting pictures and progress of the tank as it develops so it tracks the whole journey of this tank from the beginning stocking and setup choices.

Enjoy and thanks for the help!
Braden
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:07 PM   #2
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Dwarf hairgrass and Blxya aren't SE asian plants strictly speaking; they come from sub-tropical regions. Crypts, lotuses, polygonnum, many hygrophila species, barcalya longifolia come from south east asia. You're right in the low pH with soft water, with leaves littering the bottom. This is not always universally true depending on whether the area has limestone or not, but its generally true for rainforest areas.

Rainforest streams tend to have filtered light though, so maybe you can replicate the effect by having floating plants or allowing some plants to grow surface leaves.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:54 AM   #3
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Thank you for the response. What kind of floating plants are native to this area? Would duckweed work? I don't need everything to be natural and an exact replication, but it I can for a cheap price and easy availability than why not?

Also can I get some help with the fish? What kind and how many would I want in a tank this size? I was thinking about some micro rasboras, possibly chili rasboras or maybe boraras merah. Is there any types of wild bettas or gouramis that would live with these species? Also could I house harlequin rasboras with the smaller micro rasbora species or would they eat them up like dinner!

Would kuhli loaches work with them/from the same area? If so how many?
Is there any sort of shrimp from the area that would do well in the tank?

Sorry for lots of questions but if I do this, I want it to turn out good and be well thought out!

Thank you for your comments and information. It is greatly appreciated!

Braden
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:49 AM   #4
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You could try salvinia instead, its easier to manage cos its larger. Duckweed works also just that it might clog filters.

Micro/chilli rasboras are nice; if you get a shoal of about 10-12; they're quite hardy and their tiny size make tanks look bigger. For gouramis you'd want to keep to the smaller variety like honey gouramis cos the larger ones might be aggressive to the much smaller fish. I've also seen aggressive harlequins, so you might want to choose either them or the rasboras and not mix. I'd advise against kuhli loaches because unless your tank is bare, they usually hide too well and you won't see them unless its feeding time. You could keep glass shrimp; they will feed on leftover fishfood more than on algae though.

How much fish to stock depends on whether you have heavy plant growth or plan to do regular water changes. You can use the popular rule for 1 inch of fish per gallon, however make sure your tank is cycled properly. Healthy plants make for a healthy tank! Plant densely and plan to have a carbon source; either through using soil, excel or CO2 injection.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:54 PM   #5
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Thank you very much for the information! Do you have a list of plants native to this area? I also don't go by the inch of fish per gallon of water because I find it inaccurate and not a good way to judge stocking. There are a bunch of different aspects to what you can stock your tank with such as the actual bioload of the fish, as well as the filtration in the tank, how big the fish actually gets, etc.

Would kuhli loaches be able to work though? I don't plan to plant it that dense as I want it to be similar to the wild so lots of it is leaves and driftwood and partial vegetation with some salvinia floating overhead.

Also would sparkling and licorice gouramis be good with the chili or micro rasboras? If so how many would I want?
Would amano shrimp work better than ghost shrimp because Amanos are from south east asia, but ghost shrimp are from the Americas? Red cherry shrimp are from Taiwan so would that be okay as well?

Thanks for the help,

Braden

Last edited by Braden8558; 07-03-2013 at 04:08 PM.. Reason: I wanted to ask another question
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
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Heh I don't have an exact list; the ones I listed are from what I remembered from books and suppliers. There is a lot to explore in the cryptocoryne range; many of them come from SEA. These are some more you can explore; java ferns, ranalisma rostrata, ludwigia ovalis, hygrophila polysperma, , hygrophila corymbosa, hygrophila difformis, barclaya longifolia.

Haa yeah I guess you can try kuhli loaches if you have sharp eyes. Sparking and licorice gouramis would fit in nicely if you get a shoal of rasboras. They don't shoal much so 2 or 3 gouramis as an accent make sense. Malayan half-beaks also give a very SEA feel to the tank though they can be slightly aggressive.

Red cherry shrimps are nice, them and the Amanos really work on the algae. You could choose either but strictly speaking, Taiwan & Japan are both not part of South East Asia. Seasonally they can get much colder compared to say Malaysia/Singapore/Indonesia where the hi-low for the year is 35-24 Celsius. There are ghost/glass shrimps in SEA, they look similar to what you get in north america but I'm not sure of the exact genus. There are some colored shrimp varieties from Thailand I think but I'm not particularly sure which species.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:22 PM   #7
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Thanks for the ideas. I called around to the Local Fish stores, and the licorice gouarmis are pretty hard to come by and supposedly pretty shy to. I may be able to go with the sparkling gouramis or the chocolate gouramis though.

Is their any species of wild betta that would work and wouldn't hurt the rasboras? I think having them instead of the gouramis might be cool and give it a more SE asian feel. Also what are the malayan half beaks and do you think that they would work with the rasboras or would they be to aggresive? Also how big do they get?

So for final stocking I'm thinking 10-12 micro rasboras (either chili or b. merah, (basically a lighter chili rasbora), then maybe 3? kuhli loaches, and 2 or 3 gouramis or wild type bettas.

I might not include the shrimp if they are not from the same area.

What are your opinions on this setup?

Thanks, Braden
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:54 PM   #8
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Hmm not sure about wild bettas, haven't kept them before, but bettas are risky; they'll likely attack the shrimps as well.

Half beaks can get to 2inches, Hmm they also could be aggressive so there is some risk there. Some specimens just hang around the surface and don't approach other fish, others become fin nippers and even hunt small shrimp. Hard to say because it varies from fish to fish. If you get any probably wise to get small ones.

Your final stocking list seems good; good sizes of fish for your tank dimensions. Better to have gouramis than bettas I think. You can include glass shrimp, they look identical to the ones we find here even if genetically there are differences.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:18 AM   #9
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Thanks again for all the ideas and info! I think that I will go with the rasboras and then after that I might get some type of shrimp. I still need to do some research on the malayan halfbeaks and the wild bettas to see what would work out. I think the betta might be cooler to have if possible but if they are to aggressive then the gouramis would be a better choice.
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