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Amazon biotope

This is a discussion on Amazon biotope within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by TFish Thanks for the explanation, it helped a lot . I'll put as much wood as I can in there. I ...

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Old 08-31-2010, 07:42 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by TFish View Post
Thanks for the explanation, it helped a lot. I'll put as much wood as I can in there. I just have three quick questions:

1) How much gravel or sand or whatever should I need?

2) As for stocking, can I switch the ottos with hatchetfish?

3) Can I put some sort of carpet plant along the bottom or do the cories need to be able to reach the substrate?
Depth of substrate depends upon the plants; as this is Amazon-geared, you will want swords (Echinodorus species), and they have extensive root systems. Two inches minimum at the front, with 4 inches at the back. You can slope it front to back, or if you have some flat-like rock (inert, nothing calcareous remember) it is nice to build terraces which keeps the substrate more where you put it (it does shift over time). So for a 20g tall, I would think probably 20-30 pounds. Eco-complete comes in bags, I've seen it in stores but can't remember the weight, but one of the "larger" bags would suffice.

Yes on the hatchets, a good idea. Otos if needed can be added later, but there are several neat fish that will eat algae the same as otos, like Farlowella, whiptails, so that's something for later consideration.

My 90g flooded Amazon forest tank is the most plant-thick tank I have, and I try to keep some open substrate along parts of the front for feeding corys and other bottom fish. I'm not much on "carpet" plants, but I have the pygmy chain sword in the 90g and it is ideal. It would do well in your 20g. Check the profile for info, or have a look at photos of my tank under my "Aquariums".
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:12 PM   #12
 
as for substrate a good rule of thumb for a planted aquarium is two to three inches of substrate and cories need to be able to easily reach the surface of the aquarium. the are naturally a shallow water fish. as long as your tank isnt deeper than 18" max from water surface to substrate you will be fine. also cories are very sensitive on their undersides and you dont want to use a pointy abrasive sort of substrate. a smooth river rock is nice also a sand sort of substrate. i mix the two. i have river rock and a black semi sandy plant substrate. the cories love the sand substrate. the like to dig around it and even bury themselves in it. also keep in mind that they are a shoaling fish and should be kept in groups of 6 or more. i love them! lots of fun to watch!
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:29 PM   #13
 
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as far as I know eco complete only comes in 20lbs and you should be fine with 2 bags
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:32 PM   #14
 
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as far as I know eco complete only comes in 20lbs and you should be fine with 2 bags
you are correct. its good stuff its what i use
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:22 PM   #15
 
Ok, so I plan on getting the substrate (and possibly driftwood) this weekend and now have a few questions on plants:

Are there any sword plants that would take up no more than a quarter of the tank (preferably smaller)?

Are there any floating plants?

Any other plants that are easy to grow?
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:59 PM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by TFish View Post
Ok, so I plan on getting the substrate (and possibly driftwood) this weekend and now have a few questions on plants:

Are there any sword plants that would take up no more than a quarter of the tank (preferably smaller)?

Are there any floating plants?

Any other plants that are easy to grow?
I suggest you browse the plant profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top. Several swords are included, floating plants, stem plants (some also do well floating so check those too). Your questions are all covered in the profiles, and there are photos of the plant species.
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:06 PM   #17
 
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Ok, so I plan on getting the substrate (and possibly driftwood) this weekend and now have a few questions on plants:

Are there any sword plants that would take up no more than a quarter of the tank (preferably smaller)?

Are there any floating plants?

Any other plants that are easy to grow?


most amazon plants are easy to grow and take low to moderate light and are very tolerant to a wide rang of water perimeters. a good floating plant is amazon frogbit. it grows very fast though. also anubias is a good hardy amazon plant that you grow attached to a rock or driftwood. sword plants come in many colors and sized and will do nice in your aquarium. a standard amazon sword will do nice as a mid plant and doesn't get to big. Brazilian penny wart is pretty also. it is more of a vine like plant and will even grow across the surface if you let it to give some shade. just dont let the sword have to much shade or the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. if you plant accordingly you will have a beautiful planted aquarium full of awesome plants that are hardy with no need for special lights or Co2. the plant section on the fish profiles page gives a lot of useful information as well.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:15 PM   #18
 
Ok, so I'll probably will use amazon frogbit, but sweetaquatics is sold out. I'm also looking at a few other plants, but I'll have to wait anyway for the frogbit. I will also get driftwood from there. Do you think this piece:

Aquarium Plants Pond Plants From Sweet Aquatics

plus this piece:

Aquarium Plants Pond Plants From Sweet Aquatics

would be too much?
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:25 PM   #19
 
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If your tank is 24" long (you said 20 high right?) then both pieces laid longways next to each other would only be 21" so that will give you some room on the sides for any bottom dwellers to swim around and since they are not wide you should have room in the fron and back to plant. Plus you can always stack the wood on top somehow to make your own caves and whatnot.

I donno about you but driftwood is expensive around me, and I dont really ever see small pieces. Since I was already ordering from SA I ordered a few extra pieces and combined the shipping. Overall i spent less on the wood and plants then I would have spent on a large piece of prepared wood from my LFS so it was worth it IMO. I now have some extra pieces I can add later or use in another tank. SA is not the best wood but it is nice and cheap and you may already order plants from there. I think you will be really happy with those pieces.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:10 PM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by TFish View Post
Ok, so I'll probably will use amazon frogbit, but sweetaquatics is sold out. I'm also looking at a few other plants, but I'll have to wait anyway for the frogbit. I will also get driftwood from there. Do you think this piece:

Aquarium Plants Pond Plants From Sweet Aquatics

plus this piece:

Aquarium Plants Pond Plants From Sweet Aquatics

would be too much?
i go down by the river and collect my own driftwood. now this means driftwood, not fallen branches and pieces of trees. its pretty easy to tell the difference between tree pieces and wood that has been in the river for who knows how long. i take it home and scrub the hell out of it with bristle pads and tooth brushes in the tub under hot hot water. then i let it dry and cook it in the oven at about 350 to 400 for about 20 min. this kills everything then i tie or silicone (with aquarium silicone) rocks to the pieces to make sure it stays on the bottom. after being under water for awhile it will stay on its own. it will release tannins into the water making your aquarium a tea color. this is perfect for an amazon biotope beings that native species of fish and plants are blackwater species anyhow. it will also help lower the ph and soften it up a bit. total cost $0
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