Cardinal Tetra Amazon Tank ? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 26 Old 01-24-2012, 03:33 PM
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I came across the attached photo in my collection and thought it might illustrate this thread. I can't remember where I got this photo, it was online, but it shows a very authentic cardinal tetra aquascape that applies equally to the majority of Amazonian fish (characins and others). Dim light, achieved by minimal lighting plus floating plants and lots of wood branches. Cardinals will glow in such an environment. If you want to recreate an authentic biotope, this is what you aim for. The only thing I would recommend here is more leaves on the substrate.
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File Type: jpg Amazon cardinal habitat.jpg (38.9 KB, 40 views)

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 #12 of 26 Old 01-24-2012, 04:25 PM
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That's gorgeous, just the kind of thing I love!

I'm wondering though- how did they get light that was strong enough to grow water lettuce, but still have the light look warm (not like the blue tones of a 6500K) and dim? Every time I try to get light that's strong enough to grow water lettuce or frogbit, it makes my blackwater look green instead because of the strong blue tones in a typical 6500K lamp. Also, a single 6500K is incredibly bright, even with the mass amounts of floating hornwort I have in there now.
Its frustrating. It makes me think either I'm missing something, or tanks like that are just set up for that particular photo and can't sustain themselves in the long term. I hope its the former. And if it is, everyone please feel free to clue me in!

FranklinS, what lighting are you planning? And are you going to have blackwater, or keep it clear?

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #13 of 26 Old 01-24-2012, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MinaMinaMina View Post
That's gorgeous, just the kind of thing I love!

I'm wondering though- how did they get light that was strong enough to grow water lettuce, but still have the light look warm (not like the blue tones of a 6500K) and dim? Every time I try to get light that's strong enough to grow water lettuce or frogbit, it makes my blackwater look green instead because of the strong blue tones in a typical 6500K lamp. Also, a single 6500K is incredibly bright, even with the mass amounts of floating hornwort I have in there now.
Its frustrating. It makes me think either I'm missing something, or tanks like that are just set up for that particular photo and can't sustain themselves in the long term. I hope its the former. And if it is, everyone please feel free to clue me in!
From the colour of the light at the surface, which has a decidedly cool "bluish" hue especially around the plants, I suspect that is actually full spectrum/daylight around 6500K. The reason is looks warmer down in the tank is likely due to tannins, or the presence of so much "red" in the wood and leaves. When I reset my 115g, I moved all the fish into a 29g and I stuck all the wood from the 115g in with them. The wood had been in my tanks for long enough that they no longer leeched tannins, but the 29g (with a Life-Glo 6700K tube) had a very brownish-red hue simply from so much wood.

I can't remember where I found that photo, so I can't go looking for specs, but I would also assume that is T8 light and not T5. My single T8 tubes create a very similar light effect, though I have substrate plants. The floating plants in that tank I think are Frogbit.

Byron.

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 #14 of 26 Old 01-24-2012, 08:03 PM
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Hmmm... maybe I don't have enough tannins? My 55g is a light yellow/amber color. Maybe I just need to go big!

FranklinS, do you have ideas for lighting? Will you do blackwater or clear water?

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #15 of 26 Old 01-24-2012, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MinaMinaMina View Post
Hmmm... maybe I don't have enough tannins? My 55g is a light yellow/amber color. Maybe I just need to go big!
I thought you said your 6500K was blue?

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 #16 of 26 Old 01-24-2012, 08:27 PM
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Yes, what I meant was that the water itself is a light yellow/amber color from tannins, the 6500K lamp gives off blueish light, so the result is water that looks lime green. So I was wondering if I just need a darker staining of the water from more tannins to overcome the blueish cast of the light.

Does that make any more sense? Intelligible english doesn't seem to be my forte tonight. Heck, its not even my three-te!

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #17 of 26 Old 01-24-2012, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinaMinaMina View Post
Yes, what I meant was that the water itself is a light yellow/amber color from tannins, the 6500K lamp gives off blueish light, so the result is water that looks lime green. So I was wondering if I just need a darker staining of the water from more tannins to overcome the blueish cast of the light.

Does that make any more sense? Intelligible english doesn't seem to be my forte tonight. Heck, its not even my three-te!
Not sure what more tannins would do in this situation. Might make it moreso.

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 #18 of 26 Old 01-24-2012, 08:50 PM
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FranklinS, how deep would your substrate be? If you didn't have any digging fish, you could put slate in the area that the main branch would rest, cover it in substrate, then put the main branch of the wood on that. Would that give enough height, while still maintaining the look you're going for? I don't know, I've never had the opportunity to play with an open top. But I like your idea!

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #19 of 26 Old 01-24-2012, 09:09 PM
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I don't want to steal your thread, but I have a quick question for Byron regarding the picture. If that is an authentic aquascape, then where do all the plants come from? I have looked at your tanks, and they all seem to be heavily planted. Is that not natural for the fish?

Advice for anyone new to the hobby: Do your research!! Before you do anything to your aquarium, take some time to research it. It has made a huge difference for me

S.A. Flooded Jungle (20 gallon)
A heavily planted tank. Inhabitants include: 7 Lemon Tetra, 1 Whiptail Catfish, and MTS.
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post #20 of 26 Old 01-24-2012, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I came across the attached photo in my collection and thought it might illustrate this thread. I can't remember where I got this photo, it was online, but it shows a very authentic cardinal tetra aquascape that applies equally to the majority of Amazonian fish (characins and others). Dim light, achieved by minimal lighting plus floating plants and lots of wood branches. Cardinals will glow in such an environment. If you want to recreate an authentic biotope, this is what you aim for. The only thing I would recommend here is more leaves on the substrate.
Very nice, Byron! See below for a video that I thought you may have posted?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinaMinaMina View Post
FranklinS, how deep would your substrate be? If you didn't have any digging fish, you could put slate in the area that the main branch would rest, cover it in substrate, then put the main branch of the wood on that. Would that give enough height, while still maintaining the look you're going for? I don't know, I've never had the opportunity to play with an open top. But I like your idea!
Hey Mina, I am not sure I can do it without it looking "contrived". We'll see when the piece comes in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfish93 View Post
I don't want to steal your thread, but I have a quick question for Byron regarding the picture. If that is an authentic aquascape, then where do all the plants come from? I have looked at your tanks, and they all seem to be heavily planted. Is that not natural for the fish?
No problem Bigfish, and thanks for the consideration! I think you can learn more when you go off on the side road a bit!

Here is the link that I referred to that I thought you posted, Byron:
Swimming with Paracheirodon axelrodi Cardinal Tetras Mikolji - YouTube
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