55gal Amazon BioTope - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-10-2009, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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55gal Amazon BioTope

Hi FW fish keepers! Im setting up a 55 gallon FW tank and will be making it a biotope(Amazon). the list of equipment is:
-AquaClear 110 Power filter
-Black Hood with 1 54W T-5 bulb
-Fine ("Pea") Gravel for substrate
-1 large piece of driftwood as centerpiece
-Sock with peat moss in it
-10gal Q-tank

Animals will be(in order of introduction to tank)
-100's of cherry shrimp
-4 black-widow tets
-6 panda cories
-15 cardinal tets
-4 emperor tets
-2 baby angels (koi and original)
-2 german blue rams

plants will be:
-Java Moss(only non-amazon plant)will be placed on driftwood
-Several Amazon Swords as accents to centerpiece
-Foreground forest of Dwarf Sags
-Background Jungle of Corkscrew Vals
-1 Hornwort as the big tree of the background jungle
-several roseafolia as red accents to background jungle

my only problem is the roseafolia-ive heard they are very hard to keep. if so, can anybody recomend another tallish, red, yet hardy type of Amazonian Plant?

Last edited by petlover516; 04-10-2009 at 05:25 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-10-2009, 05:53 PM
Byron's Avatar
Sounds like a wonderful plan; I love SA setups.

For red plants from SA there is the stem (bunch) plant Alternanthera which would grow quickly (and need regular pruning) but be a nice background plant. Some of the hybrid swords (Echinodorus "Red Diamond", "Red Melon" sword, E. "Ozelot") have reddish-brown leaves, redder in brighter light such as you will have. You can see these in the photos of my tanks, some in the 70g and one in the 90g, which are both SA setups.

One suggestion, I would use smaller gravel than "pea" size. I have natural gravel in my 70g and dark gravel in my 90g, both small grain size; I couldn't find smaller gravel without going to sand. I would suggest sand for the substrate, but it has some drawbacks in a planted aquarium if you're not careful. You might also want to look at planting substrates that can be used alone or mixed with gravel. I use only gravel with fertilizer tablets inserted next to the larger swords that are heavy feeders.

Actually, another suggestion or thought anyway. Vallisneria prefers neutral to slightly alkaline water with a bit of mineral hardness, while all the other plants (and the fish) prefer soft slightly acidic water which the peat will provide. I have never had luck with vallisneria in such water, but it always grows like a weed in water above pH 7.0 so you might consider using Sagittaria subulata in place of Valisneria (looks very similar, long narrow leaves) or there is a species of Echinodorus that has similar leaves.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-11-2009, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanx i googled some images and i really like the Saggitaria subulata. for the red plant i'll try my luck with roseafolia for right now.

Last edited by petlover516; 04-11-2009 at 12:34 PM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-11-2009, 01:22 PM
willow's Avatar
soundsd like it will be a lovely aquarium. :)

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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