The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 20 of 780 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,750 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is like a pre-journal at this point, but I do have most of the things that I will need for this project. The idea for this display originated with a couple of new riparium setups that other members have posted, londonloco's 75-gallon Rift Valley cichlid riparium and Hoppy's 10-gallon experiment.

When planning riparium displays I have generally used tanks filled to only about 40% with water, using the golden section as a guide for a setup that will leave plenty above-water space for the growth of emersed aquatic plants and marginals. These other variations mentioned above have instead involved aquariums filled almost to the top, with the plants growing in the air space above. There are a few compelling features of this kind of riparium. For one, the aquarium will have substantially more habitat for fish. The emergent plant growth grown in this way might also have more of a presence in the room than foliage contained behind glass and lend more of a garden pond atmosphere to the setup.

With the idea of enhancing the faunal aspects of this new setup, while also creating a convincing riparium plant display, I am selecting fish with more care. I have always liked catfish a lot and I think that a small shoal of cats or a good-sized specimen would be a perfect choice as dominant fetures for this tank. I really want to emphasize the gravel, stone and/or driftwood substrates with the use of a tank having a large footprint and a relatively sparse emersed planted area. The 75-gallon riparium by trackhazard gives a good impression of the general look that I am after.

I have been having fun asking around for stocking suggestions. My preference is currently gravitating toward the pictus catfish (Pimelodus pictus), although I haven't quite settled with this species. The pictus cat is a pretty common LFS offering but a good choice for my new idea. Here are some of the useful features of this species:

  • relatively small at adulhood (~4" in length)
  • active shoaler
  • fairly active during the daytime (but primarily nocturnal)
  • attractive and with classic catfish appearance
  • hardy
  • relatively peaceful

I have a few more thoughts, but close down this post because it has already run long...more later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,711 Posts
I have never seen that rip before! That's stunning, and very contemporary. I used to have a pictus. He was a cool guy. I love cats. Glass/ ghost cats are really cool too, even though they don't look like typical catfish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,012 Posts
I can see now that this going to be a fascinating display tank. You do come up with some great ideas! And, I can tell you that my 10 gallon experiment is looking better every day, as far as being an eye catcher is concerned. I'm having problems with the water portion, but the above water part really impresses me. I'm now sold on the idea of a riparium with most of the emersed plant mass above the top of the tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
696 Posts
I've kept them also, years ago. If I remember correctly (I've got a 50/50 shot on that statement) I kept them in a 45g high, three of them, they lasted more than a couple of years. They were very active, pretty fish, spikes are really sharp, careful if you have to net them, bring a plastic container to transport them in. Mine got really long "whiskers" (barbels?) on them, neat fish!

I love my rip. It's given me a new excitement with my shell dweller/tangy tank. I really like the higher water level. Since I'm only keeping Java fern on the bottom of the tank, raising the light to accomadate growing plants shouldn't be a problem.

Can't wait to see this thread continue.
 

·
Aroid Addict
Joined
·
3,493 Posts
Synodontis nigriventris would be pretty cool too. They spend most of their time upside-down, so that might make a interesting display. Phantom Glass Cats are pretty sweet too. A shoal of those would be awesome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,750 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I decided to go with the petricola. I am lining up the purchase and excited to get this fish. Oh and I need to clear some space too. This will be fun.

I might keep my sinlge Archocentrus cutteri with them, but this could also be a good opportunity to poke around for a Rift Valley cichlid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
What a beautiful display! I'm positive you are going to get many hours of enjoyment with those S. petricola; I've 3 of them in my 125g Tanganyikan tank and they are certainly the attention getters...always on the move, all three together. Great fish...great choice! :proud:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,750 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey that picture above is not my tank. It is a 75-gallon that trackhazard put together. I just linked it as an idea of the general look that I want for this new idea.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/tank-journals-photo-album/95989-75-gallon-cichlid-riparium.html

I have been pondering plant selection and a few other fish selections. Aside from the Synodontis petricola I think that this new setup will use mostly South America elements, including Otocinclus cats and Echinodorus swords. The water won't be especially hard or high pH either. I think that I will use the same water that I use for most of my other setups, which is 1/2 conditioned tap and 1/2 RO, with pH around 7.0. Does that sound OK for the S. petrocila, or do they really have to have hard water?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
I can't reliably answer your question, as I've never tried to keep them in a neutral pH. I buffer my water due to the the tankmates in this tank being F1 stock, so my pH is high.

However, fish can usually acclimate to a "stable" pH, regardless of its measurement.

Now that I know you're looking for a SA tank, my personal opinion is you should go with the Pimelodus pictus. It has the same general appearance but with a silvery body vice the brownish of the S. petricola, it's behavior is very similar (always busy), its adult size is the same (4.5") and it hails from the Amazon and Orinoco River basins where the water parameters are more like what you plan to create. Seems to be the obvious choice...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,750 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You're right, but I think that I am already in love with the looks of the S. petricola. I'm not really shooting for a specific biotope--I just want to put together a healthy and engaging display. I know that my plant selection won't tightly conform to any specific biotope, although I do want to use some swords as the largest background plants.

Can I just get the petricola and pretend they are pictus?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Can I just get the petricola and pretend they are pictus?
:red_mouth:

If they (S. petricola) are tank bred fish, I'd say you're probably safe since you don't plan to pursue breeding them. Generally it's only important to provide the optimal water conditions when you are dealing with F0 or F1 stock, or if you are trying to entice a fish, which hails from an acidic location, to spawn. Like I mentioned above, stable water is always good! :proud:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
Not only will you love the looks but you'll love their personality.
I have some s. petricolas and their so fun to watch. Every time i would sit on my couch they would be swimming all over the tank or more likely running laps around my spray bar and thermometer. Like in a figure eight pattern and all 6 would be doing it.
 

·
ShrimpRetirement
Joined
·
8,313 Posts
hydro,

You made a wise decision going with the petricolas. I've kept them in the past. Now I'm keeping 4 Synadontis luccipinis in my 40B and they are one of my all time fav. fish. These fish act just like the petricolas but stay a little smaller and have a slightly darker appearance and different spot patterns, otherwise they're pretty hard to tell apart. For some reason, mine only come out when feeding and when it's recess time. They have some sort of schedule and are not always active all day long. They love caves. They have characteristics of a shark :) Just watch them swim, you'll see what I mean. Here's a not so good shot at one of them:


Post lots of pics once you get em.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
OOOOOOoooooOOOO!!! I've wanted some S. Petricola for a few months now, but haven't really been too interested in looking for them. LOL

I've gotten more and more feed up with fish and am starting to go all plants. ;)

Still, I really hope this goes good & I can't wait to see it complete [or even started]!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,750 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here's the sales thread where I found the S. petricola.

http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=209775

It sounds like a good seller who is offering the fish.

I have been pondering this setup some more. One variable that I have wondered about is additional fish selection. A few other ideas came to mind for fish to swim around in the mid-level/top-level of the tank. I wondered about rainbows, or West African tetras or some kind of barb. The best solution was right under my nose. I have colonies of several different livebearer species that originated from fish that I collected in Jalisco, Mexico during two different trips in 2007 and 2008. These are really great fish, but I have had them in these colony tanks for so long that I don't really think of them as display fish. However, they have beautiful appearances. I am likely to use this one, Poecilia chica as the main shoaling fish in addition to the group of S. petricola.



What a gorgeous fish! It doesn't have super bright colors, but it has that turquoise iridescence on its flanks as well as patches of metallic gold. The breeding males develop more vibrant turquoise coloration as well as dark black on their fin margins. I got that picture above at the same location where I collected beginnings of my colony in the Río Purificación near the town of La Huerta (GPS: N 19°30'22.8" W 104°39'28.6"). I currently have about 40 of these--most are fry--in a 40 breeder. I think that I will pick out a group of about a dozen medium-sized individuals to form the school in this new tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,750 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This one, Poecilia butleri, is a second possibility, although I think that I am more inclined to use the P. chica.



P. butleri is also an appealing fish, but it is somewhat less colorful than P. chica. They grow larger, to about 4" long and have little flecks of iridescence of different colors. I shot that picture at an access point (GPS: N 19°42'43.2" W 104°09'11.2") on the Río Ayquila near the town of Aguacate, although I collected my colony fish at another point further upstream
 
1 - 20 of 780 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top