Biotope vs hodge-poge
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:12 AM   #1
mistergreen
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Biotope vs hodge-poge


How do you guys feel about sticking to a strict biotope or put in whatever plants & fish that looks good?

I currently have an all asian theme with plants and fish for the main reason that it's 'authentic' and since they evolved together, they look good together.

I'm going to set up a new bigger tank soon and I wonder if I should dare to add apisto and dwarf hair grass.. I'm cheating a bit now with anubias in the tank. As long as they look good together right?
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:36 AM   #2
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i am setting up a nice 125 south american biotope and am facing that dellima.

my plant species list looks something like
E tennelus
wisteria
swords
floating water lettuce
straight vals

these are all found in that region.

I dont really know about the ludwigias that i have or the rotala indica
or the L aromatica that i have. i think at least 2 of those are from asia.

I would like to keep strictly SA originated plants and fish. keeping strctly SA fish is easy.
Selecting only plants which have an origin in common is tougher, when the temptation is there to create something that looks cool. Only us plant nerds know the difference. everybody else doesnt have a clue.

so i am real tempted to plant some java ferns and anubias in this tank but it is "cheating" the biotope. i think i will do it anyhow. people are more impressed than somehting that looks good than somehting that is more biotope specific. so if i want to put some plant found in aisa in my SA tank, if it looks good il probably do it.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:44 AM   #3
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I like the idea of strict biotope tanks, and I love looking at them, but I have a weakness for plants and fish and so can't quite ever seem to see it through....I need all the space I can get.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:00 AM   #4
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I love the idea as well, in fact I even used to have a book on how to do biotopes from around the world...but in the end I hodge-poge.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:25 AM   #5
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depends on my mood....
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:42 AM   #6
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I wish it depends on my mood... If my mood suits me, I'd have multiple biotopes and therefore satisfying my addiction.

Oh, and I noticed in the wild, plants are rather homogeneous.. Maybe 2-3 species of plants within a given area... We tend to put too many species together... I know, I have a jungle.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:02 AM   #7
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I know someone that set up a South American Blackwater Stream biotope aquarium a few years ago. It consisted mainly of vertical limbs, roots and terrestrial plant leaves along with the tea colored water. It was a very accurate presentation, but it sure didn't have a pleasing look to me.

I think that the Asian biotope aquariums are more pleasing to view.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left C View Post
I know someone that set up a South American Blackwater Stream biotope aquarium a few years ago. It consisted mainly of vertical limbs, roots and terrestrial plant leaves along with the tea colored water. It was a very accurate presentation, but it sure didn't have a pleasing look to me.

I think that the Asian biotope aquariums are more pleasing to view.

yeah, if really wanted an accurate representation of the submerged location where my south american fish are generally found, i would have to design a blackwater stream that is exactly as you described.

it would be an accurate representation,
but not very neat to look at.

but i like to keep the number of plant species low in relation to the size of the tank. otherwise it doesnt look natural to me and bothers me a bit.

come to think of it a lot of ADA aquasquape type layouts look unnatural to me, they are more of a scale model of some mountian forest than anything, think of the ones with white sand rivers or the underwater waterfall. those arent my preferred style. they look like a scene in nature but dont look natural.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:33 AM   #9
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All my tanks are hodge-poge. I plant until I think it looks good and then will change it on a whim.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:23 PM   #10
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You might already have this book, mistergreen.

Peter Hiscock's Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants has a section on different biotope aquariums with planting guides.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscusIt'sWhats4DinneR View Post
come to think of it a lot of ADA aquasquape type layouts look unnatural to me, they are more of a scale model of some mountian forest than anything, think of the ones with white sand rivers or the underwater waterfall. those arent my preferred style. they look like a scene in nature but dont look natural.

I completely agree. I don't like the look of those "mountain range" style tanks, they really don't do it for me.

I think as long as it looks good together, and as long as YOU like it, thats all that matters. There are no rules to define what is attractive and what is not. We are all different and so like different things. I *think* most of my plants are Asian but I know I've got Vals in there too which I'm pretty sure aren't! And I didn't plan that. I'm hodge-podge all the way, but as DiscussItsWhatsForDinner said, I do like to keep the number of plant species low and use lots of each of them
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