Biotope ideas? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Biotope ideas?

First post as a new member, been meaning to join for a while and figured this is the best time to do it.
I've kept aquariums for about six years now, I recently tore down all but one tank, a little high tech nano tank with some dwarf puffers as I felt these things were too darn cute to not have around. Well, a few months later and the itch has hit me again for another tank and I just noticed I have a 20gal Long calling out to me. I have some nice med-high lights for it (2 T5s, great reflectors), a high flow canister filter (Fluval of some sort), and really everything else to start anew. But I remember the reason why I tore down the other tanks was because they didn't really feel "natural" if that makes sense. I had tons of aquatic plants, all sorts of nice looking fish, but it all kind of felt fake just having a big mash up of plants and animals from all around the world. Now that I am starting again I feel the need to do a biotope aquarium, focusing only on plants and animals native to one area, such as a single lake or a river.
If anyone here has ideas or pictures for a cool looking biotope aquarium, feel free to share them here and give me some pointers/ideas on what to do. I have a ton of time time to plan this all out and get any extra supplies that might come up as college has let out and I am basically free for a while.

There are only two things I would prefer to have, but really I'm down for everything: I love live plants and I love little schooling fish (like tetras or small rasboras).

Fire away please!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 04:45 AM
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CPD TANK!!!!! Following the rather detailed description of the Celestial Pearl Danio environment (the PDF is somewhere on the internet), you can have schools of both CPD's, rosy loaches (Yunnanilus sp. 'Rosy'), and Devario sondhii. If you plan accordingly, schools of 10 fish each seems feasible. Plant with Elodea, Egeria, Blyxa, and other plants. All the fish are relatively small, and they all seem to hail from the same environment as well, fulfilling your asking for a biotope.

So many fish to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 06:19 AM
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In a 20 g long and 6 years of experience I think something special is definitely in order. There's so much out there. As far as aquascaping goes thinking outside of the box is always good. You can play around withe ideas that touch on the golden ratio. Something that really pleases the eye. I have a thread started that may open your eyes to the possibilities https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...641&highlight=

As far as designing I always loved the idea of gluing rocks together. Like shelve dwelling cichlids. You can create lovely accommodating homes for these guys using rocks. They're a breed that just gets better as you go as they have babies and such. Idk if you've ever tried mouth breeders? The only negative is you have to seperated fry from parents after a certain amount of time as they will eat their young :O

Also I'm a huge fan of loaches in general. The ones that can swim upside down are among my favorite. I've never seen a canopy biotop done but I'd imagine a boss flat piece of driftwood at the surface with some holes for feeding would definitely be worth a shot to watch the fishies cruise upside down!

Also maybe even some glass fishes with colorful decor? In a 20 g I'm pretty sure the glass catfish like moving currents so it might work out with some river rock decor and thick matting algae with some friendly crabs?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 07:29 AM
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I am with you in that I prefer natural biotope tanks. I really enjoy South American tanks. I have done blackwater and the clear water. I research very specific south american biotopes quite a bit. Give me a pm if interested. 20 long - this depends on if you want plants or not. If you do blackwater - very little plants if any.

Clear water biotope - you can do densely vegetated and have an awesome biotope with a school of fish and apistogramma. I feel it is important to do as you said: focus on a very specific locale NOT just something like "amazon tank." The Amazon basin is 2.67 million square miles. Imagine the number of biotopes there. "Amazon tank" is a misnomer. There is no such thing. I get really frustrated by that. Right now I am working on a Rio Orinoco, Venezuela, Guyana Border, back creek, clear water tank.

Give me a holler. I know a little. No really, it's "a little."

dbw
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbw27 View Post
I research very specific south american biotopes quite a bit. Give me a pm if interested.
+1
I currently have an upper rio negro biotope set up, absolutly in love with it. it's kind of middle ground between black and clear water, but the plants and scape is more along clear water lines.
That environment has tons of stuff available for the aquarium. You can do some really cool things with the local animals there.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herku View Post
In a 20 g long and 6 years of experience I think something special is definitely in order. There's so much out there. As far as aquascaping goes thinking outside of the box is always good. You can play around withe ideas that touch on the golden ratio. Something that really pleases the eye. I have a thread started that may open your eyes to the possibilities https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...641&highlight=

As far as designing I always loved the idea of gluing rocks together. Like shelve dwelling cichlids. You can create lovely accommodating homes for these guys using rocks. They're a breed that just gets better as you go as they have babies and such. Idk if you've ever tried mouth breeders? The only negative is you have to seperated fry from parents after a certain amount of time as they will eat their young :O

Also I'm a huge fan of loaches in general. The ones that can swim upside down are among my favorite. I've never seen a canopy biotop done but I'd imagine a boss flat piece of driftwood at the surface with some holes for feeding would definitely be worth a shot to watch the fishies cruise upside down!

Also maybe even some glass fishes with colorful decor? In a 20 g I'm pretty sure the glass catfish like moving currents so it might work out with some river rock decor and thick matting algae with some friendly crabs?

Hmm... I'm not sure if I could do cichlids because my tap water sits comfortably around 5.5-6.0, perfect for amazonian fish but not so fun for cichlids. It would take a bit of playing around with to get the PH up. Glass cats are pretty awesome though. I've always wondered
how their muscles are clear.



Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by windelov View Post
+1
I currently have an upper rio negro biotope set up, absolutly in love with it. it's kind of middle ground between black and clear water, but the plants and scape is more along clear water lines.
That environment has tons of stuff available for the aquarium. You can do some really cool things with the local animals there.
Mind dropping off a pic if it's not too much trouble?

I was at my LFS the other day and saw some hillstream loaches... those looked pretty cool but wouldn't their biotope just be sorta rocky with no plants? I like the Rio Negro ones on google images, the swept look of the driftwood is interesting and tea colored water really brings out the colors of the neons (neon tetras are one of my favorite fish haha)

Last edited by klawfran3; 07-25-2015 at 01:49 PM. Reason: adding stuff
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 09:49 PM
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Unfortunately I don't have the proper substrate for a rio negro biotope, and I also have dwarf sag in there, as well as an unknown crypt, all of which are not endemic to the area. But the wood is still actively leaching tannins and the two species of swords, chain sword, cabomba, pennywort, frogbit and fauna are all accurate.

If only I knew better I wouldve dirted it, capped it with sand, and had more bunches of DHG and wood in there than anyone could've imagined. Thats the next iteration
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by windelov View Post
Unfortunately I don't have the proper substrate for a rio negro biotope, and I also have dwarf sag in there, as well as an unknown crypt, all of which are not endemic to the area. But the wood is still actively leaching tannins and the two species of swords, chain sword, cabomba, pennywort, frogbit and fauna are all accurate.

If only I knew better I wouldve dirted it, capped it with sand, and had more bunches of DHG and wood in there than anyone could've imagined. Thats the next iteration
Beautiful tank!
I used to dirt my tanks but I felt it was too much work for it to be worth it. Wayyy too messy for me, but I might give it another try if I do this 20 gallon, even if it's just for the tannins
Dwarf hairgrass is the greatest carpeting plant I think I have ever had. It just won't stop growing.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 04:39 PM
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I have an image in my head of what I want to do next in a 40B based off one of my buddies who's been going down to Brazil for a week a year for about the past 5 years. The pictures I've seen are mostly fine sand, large rocks, wood, and isolated bunches of DHG growing so dense and so tall they were almost unrecognizable. Other plants too, but the DHG was what stood out to me.

I kick myself pretty much every day: I used to have a carpet of DHG in a low tech 10 gal, that I broke down. Threw 90% of the plants away, including the hairgrass.
The old 10:
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by windelov View Post
I have an image in my head of what I want to do next in a 40B based off one of my buddies who's been going down to Brazil for a week a year for about the past 5 years. The pictures I've seen are mostly fine sand, large rocks, wood, and isolated bunches of DHG growing so dense and so tall they were almost unrecognizable. Other plants too, but the DHG was what stood out to me.
Think you could post a picture or two of theirs here (with their permission of course!) So we could see hat you're talking about? I've mostly decided now that a Rio Grande biotope is my #1 choice, and every little bit about Brazil could help!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 11:14 AM
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Unfortunately I havn't kept in close touch with the individual. Don't really have access to any of the photos.
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