Amazon river basin biotope - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-15-2011, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Amazon river basin biotope

Im thinking of doing an amazon river basin biotope as it says, since I read that bgk's are there. I have a bgk and im wondering what kind of medium to large size fish would do well with them, and plants as well.
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-16-2011, 12:34 PM
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Being largely nocturnal, the lighting must be dim (in the tank) so lower plants would perhaps be Anubias and Java Fern, even though not native to the amazon. If you want to be more authentic, the decor can be chunks of wood, rock, sand substrate. And plants confined to floating, which will dim the light but still provide the benefit of plants re water quality. And this is critical, as this fish does not last in unstable water.

Tankmates need to be fish incapable of being eaten, which means nothing less than 6 inches (given the mature size of the knifefish). Angelfish and discus actually do well in this biotope, they occur together naturally, though mixing angelfish and discus in the same aquarium is not recommended due to the aggressive nature of angels when feeding. Either would suit the knifefish. And of course we are considering a large tank, 6-feet and 2-foot width to allow the knifefish to turn (the body is inflexible). Also larger characins and catfish provided they are peaceful. Tankmates should not be active, but sedate (a la angelfish, discus) as the knifefish is a timid species.

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 13 Old 12-16-2011, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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so around what temperature and ph would it be ok for the bkg and the discus to be together? i know that discus need higher temps.
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-17-2011, 09:53 AM
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so around what temperature and ph would it be ok for the bkg and the discus to be together? i know that discus need higher temps.
Temp I would maintain at 82F. This is minimum for discus, and max for the knifefish according to sources. The pH can vary from 6 to 8 for the knifefish, discus should be kept in soft, acidic water though many would advocate that they can be acclimated to basic water. It is safest to acquire discus from a local breeder so they are used to that water.

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 #5 of 13 Old 12-17-2011, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm I know that plecos are in that area as well, would an albino long fin bushynose pleco be alright with those paramaters?
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-17-2011, 04:52 PM
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Hmm I know that plecos are in that area as well, would an albino long fin bushynose pleco be alright with those paramaters?
Should be.

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 #7 of 13 Old 12-17-2011, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome, two more questions for ya since I can't really find a reliable source, what kind of plants would be around that area? And also where would one be able to get a nice piece of bogwood?
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-18-2011, 01:19 PM
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Awesome, two more questions for ya since I can't really find a reliable source, what kind of plants would be around that area? And also where would one be able to get a nice piece of bogwood?
I recommend buying proper aquarium wood from a fish store. Collecting wood from nature carries risks unless you know exactly what it is. I use Malaysian Driftwood (sometimes called ironwood, jetti wood) in my tanks, you can see it in the photos [click "Aquariums" below my name on the left]. It is very dark brown, near black; heavy (sinks immediately); minimal tannins initially; and lasts a long time (some wood will soften and begin to rot fairly quickly). You can also buy it online, though you may not see exactly the piece you are getting since they sometimes sell a "medium" or "large" piece and being natural wood each piece will be different.

Plants native to Amazonia: Echinodorus species, several stem plants, some floating plants. If the light is to be dim for the knifefish, lower plants (in the substrate) will be difficult. Providing sufficient light for them along with floating plants will still be too bright for knifefish. Providing plenty of dark shelter with bogwood can solve this problem for the fish, but it will be out less as it is basically a nocturnal fish that avoids bright daylight.

Many rivers and streams in Amazonia are without aquatic plants, because they flow through dimly-lit forest and aquatic plants cannot survive without some sunlight. There are exceptions, such as the Rio Guapore and Rio Negro; but most others have sunken logs, branches, overhanging forest canopy, vines and terrestrial marginal vegetation. However, when the forests flood as they do for half the year, the watercourses are then full with plants, and the fish live and spawn among all this vegetation.

Setting up an Amazonian tank can be done as an authentic biotope or as what I refer to as geographic aquascapes, where the fish and plants all occur in the Amazon basin but not together in the same watercourse.

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 #9 of 13 Old 12-21-2011, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the info byron i appreciate it. I have one more question sorry,what is the name of the plant in your amazonian riverscape 115g with the big broad leafs in the back. I know its some kind of sword but im unsure as to what kind. They are big tall and broad leafs that come to the top
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-22-2011, 01:13 PM
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Thank you for all the info byron i appreciate it. I have one more question sorry,what is the name of the plant in your amazonian riverscape 115g with the big broad leafs in the back. I know its some kind of sword but im unsure as to what kind. They are big tall and broad leafs that come to the top
I'm fairly certain it is Echinodorus cordifolius. I used to think it was E. macrophyullus, but the triangular stem would indicate E. cordifolius. It is in our plant profiles.

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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