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setting up an amazon biotope/habitat aquarium

This is a discussion on setting up an amazon biotope/habitat aquarium within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Byron I would have the filter return under the surface if possible to minimize surface movement. Fish can dislodge themselves from ...

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setting up an amazon biotope/habitat aquarium
Old 06-03-2012, 02:10 PM   #91
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I would have the filter return under the surface if possible to minimize surface movement. Fish can dislodge themselves from crevices so I would let it be. On the Java Moss, I usually try to get a bit wedged in a crevice/splinter in the wood, and it will take root and spread.
i just tied in the java moss yesterday. i was trying to create a kind of tree-like structure with one of my driftwood pieces so i tied that in. the other pieces i shoved into crevices in the wood. it looks pretty good so far.
all my woodcats are not hiding in the furthest driftwood from my filter. and they weren't stuck like i thought (foolish of me). the minute the lights were out i threw in some bloodworms and all of them were out and about.
my next step is to put in the rams. my question is my temperature is about 80 degrees (a hair higher than 80). will the rams be able to tolerate this temperature. they were raised in 84, i have them now in 82 for about 3 weeks and they are doing ok. also, i dont have rooted plants in the aquarium yet. those should arrive tomorwo. should i wait until tomorrow to put the rams in? or is it ok to do it today? i have a lot of floating cover so far.
also just a progress update, the lighting fixture is done and it looks nice. i think i will elevate it a bit just to spread the light over the surface. im working on an inline heater right now. i sealed all the PVC parts yesterday and im letting it cure for a day or so before i make my test run. i need t ofigure out how to calibrate the thermometer though. first time i have ever seen that function on a thermometer ><
also for freshwater test kits, is there one (or several) that you recommend? i have only a pH kit so far. is there a brand that you like?
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:25 PM   #92
 
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i just tied in the java moss yesterday. i was trying to create a kind of tree-like structure with one of my driftwood pieces so i tied that in. the other pieces i shoved into crevices in the wood. it looks pretty good so far.
all my woodcats are not hiding in the furthest driftwood from my filter. and they weren't stuck like i thought (foolish of me). the minute the lights were out i threw in some bloodworms and all of them were out and about.
my next step is to put in the rams. my question is my temperature is about 80 degrees (a hair higher than 80). will the rams be able to tolerate this temperature. they were raised in 84, i have them now in 82 for about 3 weeks and they are doing ok. also, i dont have rooted plants in the aquarium yet. those should arrive tomorwo. should i wait until tomorrow to put the rams in? or is it ok to do it today? i have a lot of floating cover so far.
also just a progress update, the lighting fixture is done and it looks nice. i think i will elevate it a bit just to spread the light over the surface. im working on an inline heater right now. i sealed all the PVC parts yesterday and im letting it cure for a day or so before i make my test run. i need t ofigure out how to calibrate the thermometer though. first time i have ever seen that function on a thermometer ><
also for freshwater test kits, is there one (or several) that you recommend? i have only a pH kit so far. is there a brand that you like?
I would plant the plants first, then when the aquascape is as you want it, move in the rams. The move will be stressful on its own without then adding to their stress by crashing about in the tank. And when you do move them, do a partial water change in their present tank--if they are the sole fish or if all the fish are being moved over--using water from the new tank to help acclimate them. If only they are going, I would siphon half a pail of water from their present tank, net them into the pail, then slowly fill the pail with water from the new tank. Then net them out and into the new tank. Do not mix the waters in the new tank. I would raise the temp to 81F (before doing the afore-mentioned).
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:50 PM   #93
 
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I would plant the plants first, then when the aquascape is as you want it, move in the rams. The move will be stressful on its own without then adding to their stress by crashing about in the tank. And when you do move them, do a partial water change in their present tank--if they are the sole fish or if all the fish are being moved over--using water from the new tank to help acclimate them. If only they are going, I would siphon half a pail of water from their present tank, net them into the pail, then slowly fill the pail with water from the new tank. Then net them out and into the new tank. Do not mix the waters in the new tank. I would raise the temp to 81F (before doing the afore-mentioned).
ok i will do that. i tried raising it to 81 but i think i keep overturning the knob or overcompensating for my turn ill try to get it right this next time.
since they are sharing a tank, ill do the latter of what you suggested.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:21 PM   #94
 
just put the plants in my tank, the temperature is about 81 to 82 ish. the entire back half of my tank is planted. however im not sure i did it right. i broke the pennywort between the little root-like structures and then put them deep into the sand in the back. the plants are really crooked just by the stem structure. over time, since they are planted, will they grow straight up to the surface? in the back right now it looks like a tangled mess. i'd like to make it neater looking but the plant stems are crooked. haha ill learn to plant better soon hopefully.

also the rams are now in the new tank. they look pretty good. their blue is starting to show, much more than when they were in the 10 gallon QT tank. the two largest ones, about 3/4 of an inch now have a pink belly. im assuming that those two are females. they do not follow each other often either, just when feeding comes around.

also the bacteria bloom i had earlier, it is still in my tank. the fish do not seem to be affected at all. my woodcats come out at night to ear (a lot i might add). the rams browse through the plants and are eating well. and the platy, which is my temporary cycle buddy (ill move her back to her 10 gallon once this tank is cycled) hasn't had any problems. i use nutrafin cycle, which according to other users on another forum who have used it actually works. they did ammonia tests and such. i will soon be on my way to get a test kit to report water parameters. im guessing according to your article, byron, that the bacteria bloom will subside soon enough?
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:15 PM   #95
 
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just put the plants in my tank, the temperature is about 81 to 82 ish. the entire back half of my tank is planted. however im not sure i did it right. i broke the pennywort between the little root-like structures and then put them deep into the sand in the back. the plants are really crooked just by the stem structure. over time, since they are planted, will they grow straight up to the surface? in the back right now it looks like a tangled mess. i'd like to make it neater looking but the plant stems are crooked. haha ill learn to plant better soon hopefully.
Yes they will straighten from the point where they are now. Plants grow toward the light, so the stems may twist accordingly. You can't straighten out the existing stems, but eventually when the new growth is substantial you can pull them up, trim off the bottoms, and replant the tops. But having them non-straight is more natural and interesting.

Quote:
also the bacteria bloom i had earlier, it is still in my tank. the fish do not seem to be affected at all. my woodcats come out at night to ear (a lot i might add). the rams browse through the plants and are eating well. and the platy, which is my temporary cycle buddy (ill move her back to her 10 gallon once this tank is cycled) hasn't had any problems. i use nutrafin cycle, which according to other users on another forum who have used it actually works. they did ammonia tests and such. i will soon be on my way to get a test kit to report water parameters. im guessing according to your article, byron, that the bacteria bloom will subside soon enough?
Cycle will quicken the establishment of the nitrifying bacteria, but with live plants this is a moot point. It will do no harm.

Bacterial blooms are generally harmless, and as the various bacteria establish in the substrate and elsewhere the water will clear. Depends upon this and that. I've had new setups clear in a few days, and some took weeks.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:09 PM   #96
 
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Yes they will straighten from the point where they are now. Plants grow toward the light, so the stems may twist accordingly. You can't straighten out the existing stems, but eventually when the new growth is substantial you can pull them up, trim off the bottoms, and replant the tops. But having them non-straight is more natural and interesting.

Cycle will quicken the establishment of the nitrifying bacteria, but with live plants this is a moot point. It will do no harm.

Bacterial blooms are generally harmless, and as the various bacteria establish in the substrate and elsewhere the water will clear. Depends upon this and that. I've had new setups clear in a few days, and some took weeks.
ok that sounds good. i like the twisted growth in the back but its a bit tangled so some straight ones would be nice, especially on the sides. and about the bloom im glad that it will eventually sort itself out. if anything i worry more about aesthetics, with respect to the bacteria bloom. if it will not affect my fish then i'm good. the longer this tank takes the more time i will have to play around with it :)
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:36 AM   #97
 
so today i was looking at my tank and noticed that some of the java moss that i tied down has this very thin blue/green kinda filaments coming off of it. i tied it to the driftwood with fishing line and it is in the path of my filter outflow so it has a lot of water running by it. is this normal? and will the java moss being in the water current affect its ability to take root? the other java moss strands have very little of this filament like extension on them.
also some of my pennywort leaves are dying. just like 1 or 2 out of the entire planted group. is this just melting? i dont quite know what melting is yet but i have heard that it is like leaves just dying. i shouldnt be concerned yet should i?
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:16 AM   #98
 
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so today i was looking at my tank and noticed that some of the java moss that i tied down has this very thin blue/green kinda filaments coming off of it. i tied it to the driftwood with fishing line and it is in the path of my filter outflow so it has a lot of water running by it. is this normal? and will the java moss being in the water current affect its ability to take root? the other java moss strands have very little of this filament like extension on them.
also some of my pennywort leaves are dying. just like 1 or 2 out of the entire planted group. is this just melting? i dont quite know what melting is yet but i have heard that it is like leaves just dying. i shouldnt be concerned yet should i?
Most plants go through a set-back when moved to a new environment. It will rebound. And the Java Moss should be fine.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:44 PM   #99
 
ok thats good.
another different topic but i noticed that my tank often has this oily film on the surface. im not sure what it is but im assuming it is some kind of biofilm? it looks like oil on water. on my 10 gallon outside, this film is a lot less apparent, i think its because outside i have surface agitation (HOB filter and aeration).
i read your sticky on plants and you said that aeration was not good in the planted tank because it hastened the release of CO2 into the air. i thought that the solubility of CO2 was greater in liquid than O2 is. like in the human body, only 2% of O2 is carried in plasma while 98% must be bound to hemoglobin. for CO2 the percentage is about 20% carried in plasma i think.
i was thinking about adding aeration to my tank and i looked up a couple more posts on other forums. the results were very mixed. some people swore that aeration was amazing; others swore it's not needed; and some others said that running aeration at night, when plants are in the calvin cycle, helps to dissipate excessive CO2, then turning off the aeration in the day when plants photosynthesize. other people said they use some kind of supplement that adds a liquid form of CO2? im assumign its some kind of carbon?
so i was wondering about this entire idea of aeration in a tank. could you elaborate on it whether its good bad neutral?
also, how do i deal with the biofilm like stuff on my tank?
and final question. im thinking about adding purple cabomba to my tank for a bit of color. on the plant profile it says it is more tolerant of basic, high temperature water than the green cabomba is. im still fairly new to planted tanks and i was wondering if that was a good choice to add some color to an amazonian themed tank.

Last edited by pandamonium; 06-07-2012 at 06:53 PM..
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:42 PM   #100
 
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ok thats good.
another different topic but i noticed that my tank often has this oily film on the surface. im not sure what it is but im assuming it is some kind of biofilm? it looks like oil on water. on my 10 gallon outside, this film is a lot less apparent, i think its because outside i have surface agitation (HOB filter and aeration).
i read your sticky on plants and you said that aeration was not good in the planted tank because it hastened the release of CO2 into the air. i thought that the solubility of CO2 was greater in liquid than O2 is. like in the human body, only 2% of O2 is carried in plasma while 98% must be bound to hemoglobin. for CO2 the percentage is about 20% carried in plasma i think.
i was thinking about adding aeration to my tank and i looked up a couple more posts on other forums. the results were very mixed. some people swore that aeration was amazing; others swore it's not needed; and some others said that running aeration at night, when plants are in the calvin cycle, helps to dissipate excessive CO2, then turning off the aeration in the day when plants photosynthesize. other people said they use some kind of supplement that adds a liquid form of CO2? im assumign its some kind of carbon?
so i was wondering about this entire idea of aeration in a tank. could you elaborate on it whether its good bad neutral?
also, how do i deal with the biofilm like stuff on my tank?
and final question. im thinking about adding purple cabomba to my tank for a bit of color. on the plant profile it says it is more tolerant of basic, high temperature water than the green cabomba is. im still fairly new to planted tanks and i was wondering if that was a good choice to add some color to an amazonian themed tank.
Try the Cabomba, a bunch won't be too expensive, but it may or may not survive, it needs light.

The protein film on the surface is normal, it will vary according to each aquarium. I have a couple tanks that get it and others that never do. Siphon it off during water changes (invert the siphon) and with some surface disturbance it will be less, or with a surface skimmer attached to the filter if that is possible. I used to use the latter, then the Boraras rasbora kept getting sucked into the filter, and surface plants too, so rather than fuss with screening I just removed them. If the balance is good, it should not be a problem.

Surface disturbance is debatable. Majority opinion is that it drives off CO2 and this is not good. I have some caused by the filters on each tank, but you don't want to go overboard. As for oxygen shortage, this is simply not going to occur unless something is seriously wrong. Aeration at night driving out CO2 means there will be less available in daylight for the plants. And with CO2 the nutrient that is likely to be in least supply anyway, you want to retain it.

As for liquid carbon supplements, I don't recommend them. They are chemical, they will melt (kill) some plants at normal dosage, at higher dose they will kill other plants, some algae and fish. There should be sufficient natural CO2 from the breakdown of organics.

Byron.
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