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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; --> I've not had fish shipped, but I do know that my LFS ships fish. They have a nice variety and I can vouch for ...

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setting up an amazon biotope/habitat aquarium
Old 02-09-2012, 07:49 PM   #41
 
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I've not had fish shipped, but I do know that my LFS ships fish. They have a nice variety and I can vouch for their health. They don't sell fish or even put them in their storefront until they are acclimated and healthy. I've read randomly about other people purchasing fish through them.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:35 PM   #42
 
thanks magpie and byron. i looked at getting fish from aquabid. the thing is that they are really expensive espeically with shipping and the DOA policies are really convoluted as well. my roommate ordered many shrimp from online but shrimp tend to be hardier is what i was told. i may look to put some in a tank with scarlet badis. i will have to check if they eat each other or if there are shrimp in indian waters. im trying to start he 5g as a small indian river habitat.

regarding shipping, i may have to purchase online when i get home and set up my tank. will i need to order heat packs and such? it will be shipping to california so the temperatures arent as cold as new york, where i am now.

also byron, i looked up spotted driftwood catfish and i read a few of your posts on them in this forum. the honeycomb catfish term must be a common name. are there vast differences from species to species? the ones i was interested in were labeled as tatia at my LFS. i dont know if this is a genus name or species name so could you clear it up. i did read a post you made where they were largely nocturnal and will never come out. you also said they like current flow. in my last post you said to face the spray bar downwards so i should leave their wood tunnels facing the spray bar?
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:13 PM   #43
 
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also byron, i looked up spotted driftwood catfish and i read a few of your posts on them in this forum. the honeycomb catfish term must be a common name. are there vast differences from species to species? the ones i was interested in were labeled as tatia at my LFS. i dont know if this is a genus name or species name so could you clear it up.
The Tatia name is explained in our profile, click on Centromochlus perugiae. Fishbase lists 13 described species in Centromochlus. Most have no photos, though you might find them elsewhere online.
Fish Identification

I have only ever once seen the one species that I purchased.

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i did read a post you made where they were largely nocturnal and will never come out. you also said they like current flow. in my last post you said to face the spray bar downwards so i should leave their wood tunnels facing the spray bar?
Yes on everything here.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:03 PM   #44
 
i talked to my fish store and they said they had previously ordered that same variety while i was back home for break. when i looked through the new selection they had a really large wood catfish. looked exactly the same but bigger so i was assuming it was probably a different species. ill defintely try to get them to order fish for me when this tank starts up. im doing research WAY early so that i can jump right in when summer hits :)

in the meantime my roommate has actually started cultivating all kinds of shrimp and aquascaping his tanks and what not. it got me to thinking. is it ok to get branches out of a creek and use that in my tank? my dad works near a little freshwater creek in a park. the branches that have fallen off have been submerged already. is it okay to use these branches? as far as i know the branches are hardwood not softwood.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:56 AM   #45
 
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Originally Posted by pandamonium View Post
i talked to my fish store and they said they had previously ordered that same variety while i was back home for break. when i looked through the new selection they had a really large wood catfish. looked exactly the same but bigger so i was assuming it was probably a different species. ill defintely try to get them to order fish for me when this tank starts up. im doing research WAY early so that i can jump right in when summer hits :)

in the meantime my roommate has actually started cultivating all kinds of shrimp and aquascaping his tanks and what not. it got me to thinking. is it ok to get branches out of a creek and use that in my tank? my dad works near a little freshwater creek in a park. the branches that have fallen off have been submerged already. is it okay to use these branches? as far as i know the branches are hardwood not softwood.
There is always some risk of course, but many do collect wood. I just got some myself this week, branches that I cannot find in any store or online.

First, the wood must be thoroughly dry, which means dead. Branches or wood that have separated from the tree long enough to comply dry out, containing no sap at all but totally "dead" dry wood. Picking up such branches is the easiest, unless you can ascertain that those in the water have no internal sap. Remove all bark. Some suggest boiling or baking to hopefully deal with parasites. And wood in water is more likely to have aquatic parasites and pathogens than dry wood on land.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:03 AM   #46
 
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There is always some risk of course, but many do collect wood. I just got some myself this week, branches that I cannot find in any store or online.

First, the wood must be thoroughly dry, which means dead. Branches or wood that have separated from the tree long enough to comply dry out, containing no sap at all but totally "dead" dry wood. Picking up such branches is the easiest, unless you can ascertain that those in the water have no internal sap. Remove all bark. Some suggest boiling or baking to hopefully deal with parasites. And wood in water is more likely to have aquatic parasites and pathogens than dry wood on land.
hi byron and everyone, its been a while since i have been on the forum. i was finishing up finals and now i am back home and definitely really excited about this project finally happening. anyhow, i walked around behind my school and picked up oak branches which worked great to create my tank up at school. boiled them about 10 times through to make sure everyting was dead.

now that i am back, i had a few questions and stuff i wanted to check.

tank: 40 gallon breeder. either trying to find one at petco for the dollar per gallon sale or going to get it from my LFS
lighting: my LFS sells a dual 36 inch fixture. probably going to use one full spectrum and one cooler spectrum like you mentioned in your sticky on lighting.
filter: found a nice eheim ecco 2234 for a good price so will be using that
plants: amazon frogbit for floating and e tennelus in the front. for right now, the back will probbaly be mostly driftwood (malaysian seems to be the best) covered in java moss i think? if i get better with plants, i will use some tall ones in the background. do you ahve any suggestions?
fish: i contacted a local GBR breeder and was going to purchase 4 of them, hopefully 2 breeding pairs. they were born in march and so are fairly young. i dont have the tank set up yet but is it ok to keep them in a tank with my platies right now for about 2 weeks to a month while i set up the 40 gal? the GBRs grew up in about 82-86 degree water at a pH of 7.6, acording to my seller. my water parameters are just that. the rest of the fish will come through my LFS probablly.
substrate: i'd like to use a dark sand substrate. is that ok with the plants i have chosen? and also, where would be a good place to get that? and are there any brands you recommend?

now that this project can finally get underway, im pretty excited. thanks again in advance for your help.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:09 AM   #47
 
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Originally Posted by pandamonium View Post
hi byron and everyone, its been a while since i have been on the forum. i was finishing up finals and now i am back home and definitely really excited about this project finally happening. anyhow, i walked around behind my school and picked up oak branches which worked great to create my tank up at school. boiled them about 10 times through to make sure everyting was dead.

now that i am back, i had a few questions and stuff i wanted to check.

tank: 40 gallon breeder. either trying to find one at petco for the dollar per gallon sale or going to get it from my LFS
lighting: my LFS sells a dual 36 inch fixture. probably going to use one full spectrum and one cooler spectrum like you mentioned in your sticky on lighting.
filter: found a nice eheim ecco 2234 for a good price so will be using that
plants: amazon frogbit for floating and e tennelus in the front. for right now, the back will probbaly be mostly driftwood (malaysian seems to be the best) covered in java moss i think? if i get better with plants, i will use some tall ones in the background. do you ahve any suggestions?
fish: i contacted a local GBR breeder and was going to purchase 4 of them, hopefully 2 breeding pairs. they were born in march and so are fairly young. i dont have the tank set up yet but is it ok to keep them in a tank with my platies right now for about 2 weeks to a month while i set up the 40 gal? the GBRs grew up in about 82-86 degree water at a pH of 7.6, acording to my seller. my water parameters are just that. the rest of the fish will come through my LFS probablly.
substrate: i'd like to use a dark sand substrate. is that ok with the plants i have chosen? and also, where would be a good place to get that? and are there any brands you recommend?

now that this project can finally get underway, im pretty excited. thanks again in advance for your help.
The rams should be fine if maintained in the same water as they were raised in, good there. If the temp is at 82F, no less, they will be fine with the molly short-term. I would not maintain the molly higher, and not at 82F (the upper end of its range) any longer than absolutely necessary. The higher the temperature, the harder fish have to work. The ram is different, because it needs this temp normally.

Sand substrate is ideal. You can get black sand in some fish stores or online, it will be expensive. Black pool filter sand if you can find it also works, but do not get the white. I use play sand, Quikrete Play Sand, from Home Depot/Lowe's. It is very inexpensive, and very natural--many of the areas in Amazonia have similar-looking sand. It is not black, but you can have chunks of wood, lots of plants, floating plants. On background plants, swords (Echinodorus bleherae, Echinodorus cordifolius), Brazilian Pennywort; these are in our profiles, click the shaded names. Yu want lots of wood to break up the surface of the sand into territories for two pairs of rams. And last, when you buy the rams, make sure they are a bonded pair. Not all females will be accepted by the male.

Byron.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:10 AM   #48
 
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The rams should be fine if maintained in the same water as they were raised in, good there. If the temp is at 82F, no less, they will be fine with the molly short-term. I would not maintain the molly higher, and not at 82F (the upper end of its range) any longer than absolutely necessary. The higher the temperature, the harder fish have to work. The ram is different, because it needs this temp normally.

Sand substrate is ideal. You can get black sand in some fish stores or online, it will be expensive. Black pool filter sand if you can find it also works, but do not get the white. I use play sand, Quikrete Play Sand, from Home Depot/Lowe's. It is very inexpensive, and very natural--many of the areas in Amazonia have similar-looking sand. It is not black, but you can have chunks of wood, lots of plants, floating plants. On background plants, swords (Echinodorus bleherae, Echinodorus cordifolius), Brazilian Pennywort; these are in our profiles, click the shaded names. Yu want lots of wood to break up the surface of the sand into territories for two pairs of rams. And last, when you buy the rams, make sure they are a bonded pair. Not all females will be accepted by the male.

Byron.
the rams were pretty nice. they were tiny though. from a little smaller than 1/2 an inch to about 3/4 of an inch. i cant sex them yet, at least to my knowledge. im keeping them in a breeder box for now so my platies dont have lunch too early haha ;)
i went to home depot and looked at some of the same. they didnt have quikrete but they had sakrete, im assuming they are the same. luckily one of the bags was broken (lucky for me not for home depot) and the grain was really fine which was nice cuz i do plan on keeping some catfish.
as for building my stand, i found plans online and picked up some spare wood to start this weekend.
regarding the lighting, do you recommend that i use 2 lights? like t8s or t5s? right now 40 gallon breeders are hard to come by. there are 3 that i am looking at.
1) petsmart - $120 which includes lid and lighting fixture, which has only 1 slot for a bulb, so i'd buy a $50 light fixture from LFS
2) LFS - $100 which includes just the tank. light fixture through my lfs would be $50 for a dual fixture. the lid i would either make or buy for anywhere from $10-$30
also im looking for other foreground plants similar to e tenellus but smaller. are there any other amazon plants that are good foreground plants that are shorter? in the end i will still use tenellus but i wanted some more variety. thanks :)
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:44 AM   #49
 
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the rams were pretty nice. they were tiny though. from a little smaller than 1/2 an inch to about 3/4 of an inch. i cant sex them yet, at least to my knowledge. im keeping them in a breeder box for now so my platies dont have lunch too early haha ;)
i went to home depot and looked at some of the same. they didnt have quikrete but they had sakrete, im assuming they are the same. luckily one of the bags was broken (lucky for me not for home depot) and the grain was really fine which was nice cuz i do plan on keeping some catfish.
as for building my stand, i found plans online and picked up some spare wood to start this weekend.
regarding the lighting, do you recommend that i use 2 lights? like t8s or t5s? right now 40 gallon breeders are hard to come by. there are 3 that i am looking at.
1) petsmart - $120 which includes lid and lighting fixture, which has only 1 slot for a bulb, so i'd buy a $50 light fixture from LFS
2) LFS - $100 which includes just the tank. light fixture through my lfs would be $50 for a dual fixture. the lid i would either make or buy for anywhere from $10-$30
also im looking for other foreground plants similar to e tenellus but smaller. are there any other amazon plants that are good foreground plants that are shorter? in the end i will still use tenellus but i wanted some more variety. thanks :)
As this is going to be an Amazonian geographic tank, I would not have bright light. So T8 is better; do you know the tube length that comes with the Petsmart tank? And the tank length for comparison? My last tank that I got from Petsmart was a tank/hood combo and it worked fine and saved money.

I myself would not try "carpet" type plants. Amazonian fish occur in streams with sand substrates littered with branches and leaves but very rarely plants. We use aquatic plants to represent marginal vegetation, flooded forest, etc. I also like seeing patches of sand, esp if you have substrate fish that will feed in these areas.

One good low sword that contrasts well with the pygmy chain sword is the dwarf sword in our profile. A trio of these would be nice.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:47 PM   #50
 
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As this is going to be an Amazonian geographic tank, I would not have bright light. So T8 is better; do you know the tube length that comes with the Petsmart tank? And the tank length for comparison? My last tank that I got from Petsmart was a tank/hood combo and it worked fine and saved money.

I myself would not try "carpet" type plants. Amazonian fish occur in streams with sand substrates littered with branches and leaves but very rarely plants. We use aquatic plants to represent marginal vegetation, flooded forest, etc. I also like seeing patches of sand, esp if you have substrate fish that will feed in these areas.

One good low sword that contrasts well with the pygmy chain sword is the dwarf sword in our profile. A trio of these would be nice.
the tube length of the petsmart tank is 36 inches, which matches the length of the 40BR. there is only one light slot though so i wasnt sure how to go about that. my LFS sells a cheap light fixture that has 2 slots for $50 but if one slot works then i'd do that. which one do you recommend and what type of lighting should i use? in your sticky you mention that 2 lights with one being full spectrum and the other being cool is the best. how would this work if i use only 1 light?
ill try to find the dwarf sword as well as the pygmy sword. ive seen them online and some in my LFS.
also my LFS had a single driftwood catfish, the same as your profile image. i asked them the species name and its centromochlus perugiae too. is care for these fish hard? i was gonna ask them to order a few for me (from 4-6). will they have territory issues with the rams i already purchased?
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