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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 Try the Cabomba, a bunch won't be too expensive, but it may or may not survive, it needs light. The ...

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setting up an amazon biotope/habitat aquarium
Old 06-09-2012, 03:02 PM   #101
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
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.
ok i will try the cabomba when the rest of my tank is set up.
the CO2 with air pump deal i looked into a lot because its actually really interesting to me. i looked on a different forum and the general consensus was that an airstone would drive CO2 out but then they were trying to do an experiment to see if CO2 levels after would remain relatively constant. the concentration varies but some sources say 2-3ppm and others 0.7ppm. im not worried about lack of oxygen but more about enough CO2 for healthy plant growth. i want to see the results of that experiment but i think for the time being ill just keep an eye out for air pump deals.
and going on the biofilm topic, the inverted filter seems like a good idea to get rid of it. i also read that surface movement (ripples and such) do as well. how could i get ripples in my tank since i have the outflow from the canister pointing down?
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Old 06-09-2012, 03:14 PM   #102
 
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Originally Posted by pandamonium View Post
ok i will try the cabomba when the rest of my tank is set up.
the CO2 with air pump deal i looked into a lot because its actually really interesting to me. i looked on a different forum and the general consensus was that an airstone would drive CO2 out but then they were trying to do an experiment to see if CO2 levels after would remain relatively constant. the concentration varies but some sources say 2-3ppm and others 0.7ppm. im not worried about lack of oxygen but more about enough CO2 for healthy plant growth. i want to see the results of that experiment but i think for the time being ill just keep an eye out for air pump deals.
and going on the biofilm topic, the inverted filter seems like a good idea to get rid of it. i also read that surface movement (ripples and such) do as well. how could i get ripples in my tank since i have the outflow from the canister pointing down?
If you are considering adding CO2 diffusion, you are entering a whole new ball park. I'll stay out of that since I do not use it.

I was in that other discussion, in my view it has proven nothing, so the evidence not yet refuted still says that increased water surface disturbance drives off CO2. There is a lot of natural CO2 produced by the bacterial breakdown of organics in the substrate, much more than many realize. There are ways of testing this to some extent, not by numbers (which are somewhat meaningless) but by observation.

Plants can only photosynthesize in the presence of sufficient light intensity and provided all 17 nutrients are available. As soon as any factor is missing, photosynthesis either slows or stops altogether. We call this the limiting factor to plant growth. As soon as this happens, and if light continues to be present, algae will take advantage and increases. So keeping the light duration (assuming the intensity is sufficient for the specific plants) at the point where algae will not increase means that up to that point, all nutrients--including CO2--must be available. When we are not adding CO2, in a "natural" method tank, this means the CO2 is coming from the system.

On the surface issue, I have my spraybars directed into the end glass at the angle that provides a bit of movement across the surface as well as (mainly) down the wall. Floating plants obviously affect this, as they will impede surface movement. The protein scum is not bad, unless it is excessive--and that would mean the organics nutrient balance is out.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:25 PM   #103
 
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If you are considering adding CO2 diffusion, you are entering a whole new ball park. I'll stay out of that since I do not use it.

I was in that other discussion, in my view it has proven nothing, so the evidence not yet refuted still says that increased water surface disturbance drives off CO2. There is a lot of natural CO2 produced by the bacterial breakdown of organics in the substrate, much more than many realize. There are ways of testing this to some extent, not by numbers (which are somewhat meaningless) but by observation.

Plants can only photosynthesize in the presence of sufficient light intensity and provided all 17 nutrients are available. As soon as any factor is missing, photosynthesis either slows or stops altogether. We call this the limiting factor to plant growth. As soon as this happens, and if light continues to be present, algae will take advantage and increases. So keeping the light duration (assuming the intensity is sufficient for the specific plants) at the point where algae will not increase means that up to that point, all nutrients--including CO2--must be available. When we are not adding CO2, in a "natural" method tank, this means the CO2 is coming from the system.

On the surface issue, I have my spraybars directed into the end glass at the angle that provides a bit of movement across the surface as well as (mainly) down the wall. Floating plants obviously affect this, as they will impede surface movement. The protein scum is not bad, unless it is excessive--and that would mean the organics nutrient balance is out.
oh no i wasnt going to add a CO2 system. after reading your stickies on nonplanted tanks, i like the idea and i wanted my tank to be something like that. so no CO2 for me. only liquid supplements as you suggested me to use flourish comprehensive or something similar. i havent dosed it yet as i have my initial carbon filter still in to remove the last bits of gunk from the tank. i should be removing it tomorrow or monday. after that i think i will start dosing with the supplement.
yes i understand the CO2 deal now, i have been looking back at that thread and reading through it. i had thought that the discussion was on whether O2 and CO2 but it was more on CO2 in water and out of it. so i understand that CO2 from breathing fish or decaying matter will increase CO2 concentrations. this wont be driven off unless there is surface agitation.
will these CO2 levels ever be high enough to cause fish to be stressed?
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:53 PM   #104
 
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oh no i wasnt going to add a CO2 system. after reading your stickies on nonplanted tanks, i like the idea and i wanted my tank to be something like that. so no CO2 for me. only liquid supplements as you suggested me to use flourish comprehensive or something similar. i havent dosed it yet as i have my initial carbon filter still in to remove the last bits of gunk from the tank. i should be removing it tomorrow or monday. after that i think i will start dosing with the supplement.
yes i understand the CO2 deal now, i have been looking back at that thread and reading through it. i had thought that the discussion was on whether O2 and CO2 but it was more on CO2 in water and out of it. so i understand that CO2 from breathing fish or decaying matter will increase CO2 concentrations. this wont be driven off unless there is surface agitation.
will these CO2 levels ever be high enough to cause fish to be stressed?
No--at least not with a natural method as we are taling here; adding diffused CO2 is another matter, just to be clear. With live plants and sufficient light (intensity) the plants in a natural system will easily assimilate the CO2. The issue would be more a lack of oxygen than an excess of CO2, but this can only occur if the tank is way overcrowded or some other biological mishap occurs.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:01 PM   #105
 
ok i think i may skip on the air pump and just find a way to circulate water. on a completely different note, my GBRs (without my knowledge) paired up and laid eggs! i had thought they were both female but apparently i was wrong. the eggs are sitting on a pennywort leaf in the very back corner of the aquarium. as i have never raised them before, i dont know what to expect. i have raised livebearers before so if its similar i can adapt.
some questions i have i thought i would as here and maybe post on the fish section of the forum later if i needed more clarification.
1) how long will it take for them to hatch? (i have seen sources anywhere from 36 hours to 3-4 days)
2) what should they be fed? and how will should i do that? they laid the eggs on a plant leaf in the very back corner of the aquarium. will they graze on stuff that grows in java moss? i have a good amount of java moss in the tank. i read that newly hatched BBS should do as well as tiny other things.
3) should i move them to another tank like a breeding tank if they give birth? and when should i do that?
4) the only other fish in this tank are some other rams (juvenile but there are plenty of hiding places) and some honeycomb catfish. i dont think those should be a problem should they?
5) should i worry about the parents not getting enough food? or should they feed normally?
ill put images too


Last edited by pandamonium; 06-10-2012 at 06:14 PM..
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:45 PM   #106
 
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1) how long will it take for them to hatch? (i have seen sources anywhere from 36 hours to 3-4 days)
I believe it is about 3 days. I had this species spawn back in the 1990's but I can't remember exactly. My Bolivians more recently were about 3 days.

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2) what should they be fed? and how will should i do that? they laid the eggs on a plant leaf in the very back corner of the aquarium. will they graze on stuff that grows in Java Moss? i have a good amount of Java Moss in the tank. i read that newly hatched BBS should do as well as tiny other things.
Once they hatch, the fry are able to handle newly hatched brine shrimp. They will not likely find sufficient food in the tank without something being added. You can use infusoria, but the shrimp is better for cichlids. You can buy the eggs in fish stores, and hatch them in warm salt water (marine salt). An airstone to keep the water moving and tumble the eggs and shrimp is necessary. It's been years since I did this for Apistos, and I can't remember the hatching period, but the aim is to have some eggs hatching daily to provide a regular supply of brine shrimp.

You can also wean them onto prepared foods by crushing some flake food and mixing it with tank water, then squirting it into the shoal of fry.

Some of the other cichlid experts may have other suggestions. Interesting they used a leaf. Both species in Mikrogeophagus are substrate spawners, usually using a flat stone, sometimes wood, or they will dig a pit in the substrate.

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3) should i move them to another tank like a breeding tank if they give birth? and when should i do that?
It might be best to let nature takes it course this time, and if the eggs/fry get eaten, prepare for the next spawning which will be in a couple weeks. For this spawning, you could remove the eggs to a small tank; the eggs must be fanned to prevent fungus (the parents fins do this) so a small airstone beneath the clutch of eggs can work. Some recomend methylene blue in the water to further avoid fungus, this used to be done for angelfish I know. Moving the parents with the eggs/fry now will almost certainly cause the parents to eat them, or just abandon them, from the stress. They may do this where they are, if they feel threatened by anything.

For future spawnings, now that you have a pair you can move them to their own tank, which is the preferred method. Then let nature do its thing. It is fascinating to observe the parents guarding the eggs and shepherding the fry around the tank.

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4) the only other fish in this tank are some other rams (juvenile but there are plenty of hiding places) and some honeycomb catfish. i dont think those should be a problem should they?
The parents will likely defend the eggs/fry against the other rams, even though this is a first spawning for them. Catfish are different, as they are nocturnal--especially Centromochlus as we have previously discussed. It might be different, but I would not expect the fry to survive.

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5) should i worry about the parents not getting enough food? or should they feed normally?
They will be fine. Feed the tank normally.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:07 PM   #107
 
i just did a water change today but even before i did that, the parents seemed to be a lot more relaxed. a lot of the rams are now swimming around the eggs and there is no defending or no protecting or anything. im thinking that they may have abandoned the eggs but im not sure. ill keep an eye on them over the next few days.
also i read tat captive bred rams may not have as much success as wild caught rams. is this true?

Last edited by pandamonium; 06-11-2012 at 04:12 PM..
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:08 PM   #108
 
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i just did a water change today but even before i did that, the parents seemed to be a lot more relaxed. a lot of the rams are now swimming around the eggs and there is no defending or no protecting or anything. im thinking that they may have abandoned the eggs but im not sure. ill keep an eye on them over the next few days.
also i read tat captive bred rams may not have as much success as wild caught rams. is this true?
On the last question, I don't have statistics but most of the rams are captive bred and any I've had certainly spawned fine from day one. Angelfish I know are different, the first several batches will often be eaten by captive-bred fish, whereas wild fish do not do this unless provoked.

The other rams may be "helping" in the care, or at least not willing to risk the ire of the parents by attacking the eggs. If the eggs were truly abandoned, they would get eaten fast by something.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:22 PM   #109
 
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On the last question, I don't have statistics but most of the rams are captive bred and any I've had certainly spawned fine from day one. Angelfish I know are different, the first several batches will often be eaten by captive-bred fish, whereas wild fish do not do this unless provoked.

The other rams may be "helping" in the care, or at least not willing to risk the ire of the parents by attacking the eggs. If the eggs were truly abandoned, they would get eaten fast by something.
ok the eggs are still there. they havent been fanned or cleaned in a while. it looks as if they are covered in some kind of film? i dont recall doing anything to stress the parents since yesterday but i guess if the eggs are abandoned then its the first failed attempt hopefully the ones following will be more successful. if the will hatch then ill be more than happy :)
on another note, at night i cant seem to see my catfish roaming everywhere. ive kept the room in pitch black conditions and thrown in some bloodworms. the past nights, the bloodworms have been eaten but then 2 nights ago, they werent and when i checked on the catfish with a flashlight, they were still in their holes. i guess its a burp in their behavior, nothing to be concerned about. i am more worried they arent getting enough food.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:46 PM   #110
 
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ok the eggs are still there. they havent been fanned or cleaned in a while. it looks as if they are covered in some kind of film? i dont recall doing anything to stress the parents since yesterday but i guess if the eggs are abandoned then its the first failed attempt hopefully the ones following will be more successful. if the will hatch then ill be more than happy :)
on another note, at night i cant seem to see my catfish roaming everywhere. ive kept the room in pitch black conditions and thrown in some bloodworms. the past nights, the bloodworms have been eaten but then 2 nights ago, they werent and when i checked on the catfish with a flashlight, they were still in their holes. i guess its a burp in their behavior, nothing to be concerned about. i am more worried they arent getting enough food.
If food is in the tank, they will get it. And they can go days without food anyway. I trained my woodcats to eat bloodworms around 5 pm, so twice a week I feed them then, and I know they are fine as I see them. During the week, what they eat at night, I've no idea.

The white sounds like fungus. You were doubtful about having a pair, maybe the female laid eggs but there was no male to fertilize them. Angels and discus will do this, I'm not sure about rams.
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