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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 pandamonium yeah i read that sticky right after posting that post. i think its due to bacteria. i did some looking ...

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setting up an amazon biotope/habitat aquarium
Old 05-30-2012, 04:20 PM   #81
 
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Originally Posted by pandamonium View Post
yeah i read that sticky right after posting that post. i think its due to bacteria. i did some looking around online and read up on it as well. my main concern was that i already put my platy in there to start cycling and a lot of sources said dont put fish in while there is a bloom. however those same sources said that if you use a safe start solution to kickstart the cycling, then its ok. i dumped a whole ton of it in yesterday before putting my platy in and today he is ok :) i put my 3 woodcats in as well right before nightfall. they swam straight to my driftwood placed by my filter. then i left to go check some stuff and my room was dark. when i came back and flipped the lights on, they were EVERYWHERE. today however, they are all hidden. they arent eating yet which concerns me a bit. the platy is eating all the food i put into the tank. is this normal? 2 are in the current and one is squeezed into driftwood on the other side of the tank.
the cloudiness is noticeably less today and my water temperature is up to about 80. my goal is 80-82. im using a backup heater since my main one hasnt come in yet so its undersized for this tank. im expecting the full sized heater to arrive this week.
about fertilizers, should i use those? i have seen that its only a small dose once a week and i dont know if i should do that.
Remember that the woodcats will only normally come out in total darkness to feed, so putting food in well after the tank lights and room lights are out is necessary as the other fish in room light will eat it.

Why is the temp so high? The platy will be better in the low and mid-range given for it in the profile (well below 80F) and the woodcats too.

Fertilization depends upon the sources of nutrients in your tank. The GH of the water (calcium, magnesium, some other minerals), fish foods and organics, all add nutrients. The level of nutrients must be sufficent to balance the light intensity, to benefit plant growth and avoid algae. A basic fertilizer like Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement or Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti is sufficient once a week, unless something else major is missing.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:46 PM   #82
 
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Remember that the woodcats will only normally come out in total darkness to feed, so putting food in well after the tank lights and room lights are out is necessary as the other fish in room light will eat it.

Why is the temp so high? The platy will be better in the low and mid-range given for it in the profile (well below 80F) and the woodcats too.

Fertilization depends upon the sources of nutrients in your tank. The GH of the water (calcium, magnesium, some other minerals), fish foods and organics, all add nutrients. The level of nutrients must be sufficent to balance the light intensity, to benefit plant growth and avoid algae. A basic fertilizer like Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement or Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti is sufficient once a week, unless something else major is missing.
oh ok i see. they were out and about yesterday which was good. i just didnt want them to all get sick and die after a day.
the temp is high because i am planning on moving my rams into the tank after i get more plants. im expecting a shipment of pennywort tomorrow or the day after. once those plants are in then im going to switch the rams with the platy. is there a possibility that i can lower the temp of the tank to about 78? or will that be bad for the rams?
and i have seen the flourish comprehensive around so i will purchase that next time i visit the store.
also, for lighting, im planning on a DIY CFL setup. i dont know how to determine the wattage though. if i buy a 13W bulb that has the wattage equivalent of a 60W incandescent, do i judge by the 13 or the 60? i know the real measurement should be PAR, PUR and all that but i dont have the means to do it :(
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:20 PM   #83
 
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the temp is high because i am planning on moving my rams into the tank after i get more plants. im expecting a shipment of pennywort tomorrow or the day after. once those plants are in then im going to switch the rams with the platy. is there a possibility that i can lower the temp of the tank to about 78? or will that be bad for the rams?
No, assuming you mean the common blue ram or one of the variants it needs warmth.

Quote:
and i have seen the flourish comprehensive around so i will purchase that next time i visit the store.
also, for lighting, im planning on a DIY CFL setup. i dont know how to determine the wattage though. if i buy a 13W bulb that has the wattage equivalent of a 60W incandescent, do i judge by the 13 or the 60? i know the real measurement should be PAR, PUR and all that but i dont have the means to do it :(
If you have three sockets as mentioned previously, over a 3-foot 40g tank I wold use 13w CFL bulbs at least to start. The next wattage up might be necessary.

Watts is simply the measurement of the amount of energy a bulb uses. Watts is not directly related to light intensity. However, when dealing with the same type of bulb, as here with Daylight CFL bulbs, the higher the watts the brighter. As for PAR and PUR, I have never bothered with these measurements, and frankly I couldn't exsplain them if asked.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:57 AM   #84
 
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No, assuming you mean the common blue ram or one of the variants it needs warmth.



If you have three sockets as mentioned previously, over a 3-foot 40g tank I wold use 13w CFL bulbs at least to start. The next wattage up might be necessary.

Watts is simply the measurement of the amount of energy a bulb uses. Watts is not directly related to light intensity. However, when dealing with the same type of bulb, as here with Daylight CFL bulbs, the higher the watts the brighter. As for PAR and PUR, I have never bothered with these measurements, and frankly I couldn't exsplain them if asked.
ok i turned the temperature down to 80 just now and it cooled fairly quickly. on the profile for the woodcat, the temperature range is 77-82. i think 80 might be ok and perhaps ok for the rams as well. if not then i will up the temperature back to 82.
right now i am planning for 4 13W CFL bulbs. i bought them today and dual sockets too. in total then i will have 52 watts. the PAR and PUR maybe i can calculate after looking it all up haha. but will 4of them work? these are 6500K bulbs, 13W a piece. im not too knowledgeable on lighting at all really.
on plants, im expecting my pennywort to arrive soon. i have read that it is both a floating and rooted plant. how should i start it in my tank? should i plant the stems or allow them to float?
and just randomly, the guts of my T8 24 inch bulb, i am using it as a cabinet light beneath my tank :) so it doesnt go to waste.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:44 AM   #85
 
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ok i turned the temperature down to 80 just now and it cooled fairly quickly. on the profile for the woodcat, the temperature range is 77-82. i think 80 might be ok and perhaps ok for the rams as well. if not then i will up the temperature back to 82.
right now i am planning for 4 13W CFL bulbs. i bought them today and dual sockets too. in total then i will have 52 watts. the PAR and PUR maybe i can calculate after looking it all up haha. but will 4of them work? these are 6500K bulbs, 13W a piece. im not too knowledgeable on lighting at all really.
on plants, im expecting my pennywort to arrive soon. i have read that it is both a floating and rooted plant. how should i start it in my tank? should i plant the stems or allow them to float?
and just randomly, the guts of my T8 24 inch bulb, i am using it as a cabinet light beneath my tank :) so it doesnt go to waste.
Four CFL bulbs is fine. I would start with the 13w. Pennywort will grow rooted in the substrate or floating. If floating, the leaves will naturally all face the surface, and if rooted they will be more "normal" around the stem. To start it off, you can float some and plant some. You can plant stems that have been floating, and vice-versa.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:46 AM   #86
 
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twig catfish would look great in this aquarium
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:56 PM   #87
 
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Four CFL bulbs is fine. I would start with the 13w. Pennywort will grow rooted in the substrate or floating. If floating, the leaves will naturally all face the surface, and if rooted they will be more "normal" around the stem. To start it off, you can float some and plant some. You can plant stems that have been floating, and vice-versa.
i just finished my hood today. is there a place on this forum i can keep a tank journal? just to share the stuff i am making/doing? i used 4 13W bulbs and havent put in reflectors yet but maybe later once i figure out how good the light is. im having a problem with it reaching the front and back of my tank since the hood is only 2-4 inches wide and my tank is 18 inches front to back. is the only way to increase light "availability" to raise my hood?
and the pennywort should come tomorrow, i will probably grow it rooted since i want the normal looking array of leaves. some i will grow floating just to have a little variety. the frogbit so far is growing well. i already see much more roots than the day they came :)

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twig catfish would look great in this aquarium
i was looking at that but i dont know if it would be good with rams. i want to eventually breed rams so having a lot of catfish might be bad at night. but if i can find it in my area i will look into it.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:56 PM   #88
 
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im having a problem with it reaching the front and back of my tank since the hood is only 2-4 inches wide and my tank is 18 inches front to back. is the only way to increase light "availability" to raise my hood?
You don't want to raise the light any farther above the surface than necessary, i.e., keep it as close as you can (with glass between water and light fixture) because the higher the light is above the surface the more light is diffused out and not down into the water. Most light fixtures only cover a part of the tank width. I find they work best about in the middle or slightly toward the back. It is better to have some less direct light at the front, for better viewing.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:48 PM   #89
 
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You don't want to raise the light any farther above the surface than necessary, i.e., keep it as close as you can (with glass between water and light fixture) because the higher the light is above the surface the more light is diffused out and not down into the water. Most light fixtures only cover a part of the tank width. I find they work best about in the middle or slightly toward the back. It is better to have some less direct light at the front, for better viewing.
ok i lifted the light so far about 6.5 centimeters about 2.5 inches temporarily. it gets light to the front and back of the aquarium and the light still hits the bottom of the tank fairly well. i will probably adjust it but i only did this to ensure that the light hit the entirety of the surface so that the frogbit could grow. on another note, my current keeps pushing the frogbit into a dead spot. i have it right now facing downward at a 45 degree angle pushing water towards the front center of the tank. i did this so that the water would hit the driftwood for the catfish. only 1 of them sits there now. the other 2 are on the other side. is there a way to position the water that ensures that it is filtered well, good for the catfish, and good for frogbit circulation?
also really random but my woodcat is chilling upsidedown in a hole. can they get stuck in holes they go into?
and just bought java moss today. im gonna try to aquascape my wood to make it look more realistic. i am planning on using fishing line to tie it until it attaches. is there any other thing i could use?
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:25 PM   #90
 
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ok i lifted the light so far about 6.5 centimeters about 2.5 inches temporarily. it gets light to the front and back of the aquarium and the light still hits the bottom of the tank fairly well. i will probably adjust it but i only did this to ensure that the light hit the entirety of the surface so that the frogbit could grow. on another note, my current keeps pushing the frogbit into a dead spot. i have it right now facing downward at a 45 degree angle pushing water towards the front center of the tank. i did this so that the water would hit the driftwood for the catfish. only 1 of them sits there now. the other 2 are on the other side. is there a way to position the water that ensures that it is filtered well, good for the catfish, and good for frogbit circulation?
also really random but my woodcat is chilling upsidedown in a hole. can they get stuck in holes they go into?
and just bought java moss today. im gonna try to aquascape my wood to make it look more realistic. i am planning on using fishing line to tie it until it attaches. is there any other thing i could use?
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.
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