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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now I have a 36 gallon community tank, but I want to convert it to an Amazon biotope. Already, all of my plants are amazon except for the dwarf lilies I believe, and most of my fish are. I would have to get rid of my celestial pearl danios and dwarf rasboras, as well as my cherry shrimp, and my livestock would be all amazon with Amazon plants, a school of rummy nose tetras and otos. I would like to add apistos. Already my water is tannin stained from wood. The only problem is the substrate. I use eco complete, but from what I read an amazon tank uses a sand substrate. Do you think I could add a top layer of fine substrate or sand and be okay for an Amazon biotope?
 

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I consider there to be two types of bio type tanks. I call one a "loose" bio type, basically every thing is from the same region. The other would be a "strict" Bio-type, hard scape, plants , fish from the same exact location.

The second while true & correct can be a bit boreing as in many areas one or two plants live together as do fish and more often that not those fish are preying on each other. Not the best recipe for an aquarium.

I tend to create the 1st, and very few people do well with the 2nd. You see most of the wild world habitat isn't really all that nice to look at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not talking about a super strict biotope, I'm talking general Amazon river basin. Certainly southern Asia doesn't fit in there. What I'm really wondering is if I can make it work with either just Eco Complete or some sort of Eco Complete/sand mixture, and I'm wondering if apistos can be kept with tetras. I don't plan on breeding them because I don't have time or space to raise fry. I plan on getting all males or females.
 

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if you decide to do a "strict" biotope.. there are several biotopes within say the amazon river, black water, clearwater, fast slow, pools, etc. choose your specific biotope you want to replicate. then research it and choose things from there.

i made the mistake of not doing enough reading. i bought things from the same general area, but ended up with things from the same area, different biotope. but i wanted a strict biotope, so i had to get rid of things
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not looking to do a super "strict" biotope, but I want it to be generally Amazon black water. I want to keep my rummy nose tetras and also include apistogramas. I don't think the substrate matters for much other than accuracy, so its not the end of the world if I need to have an Amazon river with a slightly larger grain size substrate than would be natural. I was also thinking of capping it with something like dry leaves that would simulate the natural environment as well.
 

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You could get a bag or two of the new ADA AS Ammazonia and just add it slowly over the course of a couple months so you dont kill all your fish from the ammonia spike. I have done this in the past and everything worked out great. You may have a bout or two with GW (caused from a small ammonia spike) but other than that everything was good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Right now, my plants are doing just fine and they have been for about a month even though my water is tannin stained as is. I'm going to the LFS saturday to check out the apistos they have there. If I like them in person as much as I like the pictures, I'll probably go for the switch. Eco-Complete is probably fine. I have read that some South American/Amazon ecosystems have small gravel or pebbly substrates, which is similar to what I have, and I could overlay with a little bit of gravel.
 
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