Rio Negro Biotope - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Rio Negro Biotope

So I have desided to turn my small 25l nano tank into a Rio Negro biotope and I need some help with selecting the fish.

I've been thinking some black-winged hatchetfish and some cardinal tetras but as they both require to be in groups of 6 would there be enough space in the 25l? 12 fish in 25l?

I was also thinking of switching three cardinals for three ghost tetras. Would that work or would 6 of each be needed.

Also was thinking of having lots of drift wood and leaf litter with water lettuces floating on top and a single hornwort plant around the back anchored to driftwood or ground. Maybe throw in a mangrove also.

What do you think? Please reply and many thanks in advance,

Will
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 04:51 PM
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Sounds like you have a great plan for a larger tank than 25l. 25g and you'd be fine with lots of extra room

If you compromise a little, and not go for a specific rio negro biotope, rather just a blackwater setup, you can get a nice sized school of the smaller tetras, like ember tetras. Or pencilfish. If it were my tank, I'd rather see a lot of one species, than a handful of two. I've always had better succes with tetras in as large a group as possible. They are just happier.

That being said, i tend to overstock, as far as bioload, so a well managed tank can handle more fish than many guides will tell you. In a tank as small as yours, with your fish choices, I wouldn't be worried as much about the bioload as just crowding the fish. What are the dimensions of your tank?

Another thing to keep in mind, a leaf litter tank adds a lot of decaying organic matter. So nitrate export is a challenge. Your idea of water lettuce is a good start. Although with the length the roots can get, they may end up dominating the tank. Have your though about smaller floaters?
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response. Your right I am thinking to big but I do want to keep it as a Rio negro biotope although it may be better to have one single species. Any suggestions for the species?
Also I couldn't find any other smaller plants like the water lettuce that are found in Brazil although I will have a look. If you know any please feel free to say.
Dimensions are (cm)
30 accross
28 deep
27 up
Quite odd shape I know but it was the only tank I have that isn't running a good community and I really would like to do a Rio Negro tank as I am very interested in the river.
Thanks,

Will
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 06:40 PM
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Here's a start for you for fish species

Freshwater Fish Species in Rio Negro [Brazil]

Mongabay has a lot of biotpe related resources. Take some time and go through it.

I'm not affiliated with the site, but I've gotten a lot of info, and items, from Tannin Aquatics. Check them out, too.

I'll let the plant experts offer some suggestions for the flora.


That's an interesting tank dimension! Looking forward to the setup.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 02:37 AM
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Rio Negro Biotope

Amazon frogbit or Phyllanthus fluitans? Both are South-American floaters that are smaller than water lettuce. There are definitely more but those are the 2 that I thought of initially.
You could also use Brazilian pennywort either floating or planted.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Okay so my supplier sells frogbit but is out of stock so I will try to look for some somewhere else. Their is also Lesser Duckweed but I'm not sure if it will go with the biotope. I would also have some Hornwort to add a little bit of green to the underwater area.
For fish I think 6 black winged hatchet fish and because they are surface dwellers I could then have a clown Pleco!
Does this sound like a reasonable setup? Many Thanks,
Will
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 01:57 PM
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Sounds like a good start, but I think that the hatchets will be better in a larger school. They are skittish fish and the numbers will help them be more at ease. Are they one of the smaller hatchets? I know some can get fairly large. If your tank management skills are up to it, go for a larger school.

One other thing, hatchets are jumpers. Are you planning on a cover? Some people have success with keeping them in the tank with just floaters, some not.



If you are looking for a showcase fish, a clown pleco may not be the best choice. I have a clown pleco, and rarely see him. That's ok with me, because I've always loved plecos, and enjoy the occasional sighting. Clowns are xylivores, so your inclusion of a lot of wood will make it happy. I also notice mine has been gnawing on some of the woody pods I put in the tank.

I can send you some Frogbit if you'd like. PM me if you're interested.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by longgonedaddy View Post
Sounds like a good start, but I think that the hatchets will be better in a larger school. They are skittish fish and the numbers will help them be more at ease. Are they one of the smaller hatchets? I know some can get fairly large. If your tank management skills are up to it, go for a larger school.

One other thing, hatchets are jumpers. Are you planning on a cover? Some people have success with keeping them in the tank with just floaters, some not.



If you are looking for a showcase fish, a clown pleco may not be the best choice. I have a clown pleco, and rarely see him. That's ok with me, because I've always loved plecos, and enjoy the occasional sighting. Clowns are xylivores, so your inclusion of a lot of wood will make it happy. I also notice mine has been gnawing on some of the woody pods I put in the tank.

I can send you some Frogbit if you'd like. PM me if you're interested.
Okay I think I could handle more but it's only 25l. There grow to maximum 3.5 cm but generally smaller in aquariums so how many do you think I could humanly keep in a 25l?

I have a hood I could possible use but if the floaters could keep them down then that would be preferred. Also thanks for the offer but I've just ordered some but thanks anyway!

Honestly this isn't going to be for showing off to lots of people it's mainly just for my enjoyment and my tank will have a lot of driftwood anyway, also the clown Pleco, or very similar plecs, can be found in the Rio negro area and as it's quite a small tank a pleco that lives hidden away should feel more at home than a pleco that normally moves in the open a lot.
Thanks and all the best,

Will
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 05:33 PM
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I have a question, we're talking here about 25 litre tank. Clown pleco grows to 10 cm, really want to put it there? Hatchet fish needs space to swim, I wouldn't place them in tank shorter than 60 cm. There are not many fish you can put in such a small tank.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nel View Post
I have a question, we're talking here about 25 litre tank. Clown pleco grows to 10 cm, really want to put it there? Hatchet fish needs space to swim, I wouldn't place them in tank shorter than 60 cm. There are not many fish you can put in such a small tank.
What do you surgest then?
I could go with cardinals or dwarf pencilfish? Or any other ideas?
Thanks,

Will

Bump: Also do other people agree with this?
Longgonedaddy do you agree with this or have a different opinion?
Many thanks,

Will
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 03:27 AM
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My clown is probably more like 5-7 cm but there are always exceptions. It didn't occur to me about the hatchets needing space to swim,every time I see hatchets, they are just hanging out. Size aside, my initial concern about the clown, or any pleco for that matter is the amount of waste it generates. With that small of a tank, you may be doing a lot of vacuuming.

Pencils are probably the best choice for your tank, or maybe the ember tetras.

There is a whole sub forum here devoted to nano tanks. You might find some good information there.

Again, I go back to my thought that maybe you should reconsider being dedicated to a Rio Negro biotope and consider doing a general blackwater tank.

My other real thought is get yourself a 100l tank and get the school of a dozen hatchets, a dozen cardinals, and have room left for those clown plecos.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 04:49 AM
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Cardinals would be too large for the tank IMO, Embers would be your best bet.


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Okay! Thank you very much for your help I will consider all these.
I may post an image when it's running to see how it's going.
Thanks and all the best,

Will
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-12-2016, 04:05 AM
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I'm doing a 40g Rio Negro biotope (modified to include plants) at the moment for my honeycomb catfish using red root floaters and Brazilian pennywort, so I'm curious to see what people say.

I will, however, recommend firmly against hatchets if you don't have a cover. I've had several in my 50g tank that not only has a full-coverage lid but is also filled with floating salvinia and I've had to put at least five back in the tank after floor surfing adventures. On top of that, one got stuck on the lid from jumping and didn't make it. They jump almost every evening just from me sprinkling in some flakes.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-12-2016, 04:55 AM
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wow, really? those hatchet fish are crazy!

is that just normal behavior or is something going after them?

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