29 Gallon Upper Rio Negro Biotope - August 9, 2014 START - UPDATE
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:48 AM   #1
dbw27
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29 Gallon Upper Rio Negro Biotope - August 9, 2014 START - UPDATE


Hi:

I am not sure there are too many biotope-ers on here. It is kind of difficult because first, you must actually pick a very specific biotope. Then, very specific fish/plants with very specific water parameters. But I like it. And it distracts me from stress.

Okay, so I decided to do a tank journal although I probably should have started it already a while back. I have been working on this for a month. Every piece of wood was personally selected from the woods, park, etc., washed, boiled, shaved, carved, etc. Mostly I find myself these days personally emailing people for plants because they are 1) not expensive but 2) hard to come by.

Anyway, this is currently my wall tank.

So in the beginning, there was an empty tank with the cardboard box on top as a lid. The cardboard was required because otherwise the cats thought it was a luxury kitty litter box and were caught jumping in it, standing there, and preparing to "make."

The tank was purchased from Pet Supplies Plus on sale and with a coupon.

August 9, 2014
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Finally, a real lid. Versa-top glass. The first of leaves were collected and boiled.
August 16, 2014
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Bump: August 19, 2014

The wood was hosed, boiled, washed in the dishwasher, soaked in diluted bleach, hosed, and set to dry. Here I was setting up wood placement in the aquarium. I thought this was nice. (Stupid pic posts upside down for some reason).

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I forgot that wood floated however, and headed to Wal-mart to buy fishing weights. When I started to fill, none of the wood stayed down. Big mistake.

...

Last edited by dbw27; 09-16-2014 at 06:20 AM.. Reason: change title
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:13 AM   #2
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August 24, 2014 - Filled
I added Cabomba C. from the good old USA. This plant does not belong. I actually need Cabomba Aquatica (true from the Amazon) but I got the green cabomba from the Missouri Aquarium Society club meeting. It would do in the meantime as something to remove nutrients. I realized that the "hole" on the left hand side of the tank wherein I was missing just one more half piece of douglas fir on the bottom of the tank - was going to drive me crazy if I didn't get another piece of board. Found myself praying it didn't collapse at night and checking on it first thing in the morning every morning. In the meantime, in my late night stupor one night, I actually coiled up a paperback book and put it in the slot under the tank. As if that would help. (This pic is not upside down. I cannot edit it to be right side up because it IS right side up on my computer. It is posting upside down - any way to fix this?)

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August 26, 2014
I have been putting in Prime and the biological starter. I also threw in a nasty pre-filter from my established community tank into the waters. The nasty pre-filter is a couple of months old. I topped off the water which unfortunately, diluted my tannins. Lesson learned: top off with tannin-ed water.

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Old 09-02-2014, 06:22 AM   #3
Bettatail
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where are the Rio Negro angelfish?
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:27 AM   #4
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August 31, 2014
Tank is in progress. I do not have the plants or the livestock or even the proper wood placement. The big log down the middle has been removed as it needs to be glued to slate and actually placed in the back of the tank laying down. Floats like crazy. The wood needs to be rearranged. When and if I get plants, definite rearrangement.

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Bump: No angelfish or discus.

I also like peaceful tank inhabitants (mostly).

When I get the livestock hopefully, it shall be
1. School of Cardinals.
2. A few three lined pencils.
3. starry night pleco (L183)
4. Blackwing hatchetfish
5. schwartzi cory.
6. potentially 2 dwarf apistogramma who are polite and friendly instead of the cory. I need to conduct apistogramma interviews about their "moods."

Flora should be hopefully
1. eichhornia crassipes
2. salvinia oblongfolia (both of these are pictured)
3. cabomba aquatica
4. e. horizontalis
5. red root floaters
6. e. angustifolius
7. tonina fluvalitis (sp?)

I need to soften my water (collecting rainwater now as of tonight), pH is going down (I have peat moss in a stocking in the tank - it is now between 6.0 and 6.5), and need it to be darker. Someone plans to bring some alder cones to our local club's upcoming swap meet.


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Old 09-02-2014, 06:55 AM   #5
Bettatail
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for amazon type tank, make sure the filtration system is big, if the PH is below 5, the nitrification bacteria culture has less than 10% efficiency of that a normal PH.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:03 AM   #6
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Nice start so far! Another fun fauna option is Dicrossus filamentosus. Pretty peaceful and an underrated fish overall.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:51 AM   #7
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Have you tried Indian Almond Leaves?
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:53 AM   #8
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Thanks. Actually I did want dicrossus filamentous. I think they would be nice instead of the interviewed dwarf apistogramma. Who knows? They could lie in the interviews. I have just been having a bit of difficulty finding local dicrossus but I think I may be able to get some at the upcoming swap.

Thanks Morbo for the compliment. I want to enter this biotope in AGAs biotope contest which has a deadline of September 15th. So I better start acquiring um... more than a few cardinals and some floaters.

Bettatail: why thanks so much for throwing a wrench in the works. I had no idea that lowering the pH would cause me to lose precious denitrifying bacteria. Argh. Well I have a 50 gallon Aquaclear on here and was going to add a powerful sponge. I can't have more power HOB with hatchetfish than I already have. Hmm.. maybe I ought not let it get below 6. My normal community tank sits at 6.5 because of manzanita.

Maybe I can somehow stop this one from getting no lower than 5.5 somehow. Darn finicky acidic plants.

I just ordered some Indian Almond leaves online.

dbw
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:54 AM   #9
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Just make sure you wash them before putting them in the tank (the almond leaves)
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:20 AM   #10
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ok thanks. Glad you are referring to almond leaves and not washing the fish first.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:52 AM   #11
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Update - September 15, 2014

Addition of Fish (Wild type cardinals, more pencils, and Wild Apistogramma Agassizii pair).
Addition of Plants (Cambomba Furcata, E. Diversifolia, E. Crassipes, E. Angustifolius)

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Thanks for looking!

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