Asian river biotope - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-13-2008, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Asian river biotope

So I'm considering a new project tank. Something to house my rosy barbs and hopefully some other schooling fish. I plan to have at least a 30 gallon tank with a large tree trunk ornament as the centerpiece and lots of plants. My current school of 10 rosy barbs would be included, and I'm also looking to add one RTBS. I'm wondering if a school of scissor tail rasboras would also do well in this set up?

Plant wise I'm looking at crypts, maybe some vals (not sure if I'm thinking of the right plant here) and some onion plant.


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post #2 of 8 Old 06-13-2008, 08:35 PM
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Cryptocoryne sp. are native to Asian rivers. They're your best bet by far. For a 30g, selection is rather limited. For bottom dwellers, try the Schistura, Nemacheilus or the Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki. Pangios will not like the powerful flows if indeed you have plans for powerful flows. One of my river tanks consists of purely Asian fishes as the other one is stuck with a pair of spawning severums and silver dollars.

Get 6 scissortail rasboras or 10 Rasbora boraptensis. Bear in mind rosy barbs can reach 3-4 inches and are also prolific breeders as well. Danios are also fine additions and dwell mostly in the surface. Be careful as these are excellent jumpers.

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post #3 of 8 Old 06-14-2008, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, it is now a moral imperative that I get my hands on a shoal of Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki. Could fish get any cuter than that???

I'm thinking if I have the dwarf loaches that nixing the RTBS is a good idea? I don't have my heart set on one, so that's ok. Also, I'd be ok with pulling the three males out of my rosy barbs if breeding becomes an issues.

I really love the look of the red-tailed rasboras, plus it seems like they are a less common fish, which I think is fun.

As far as water flow goes, I'm probably only going to go with the amount of flow generated by the Emperor 200 that I currently have on the 28 gallon. The tank I'm looking at is a 30 high, so that should give enough low/no current space for the sidthimunki to be comfortable. Something I noticed in the 28 is that if the water level drops below the edge of the filter output the current is increased significantly. I may set this tank up with water level an inch or so below the filter output intentionally to take advantage of that effect. This one will *NOT* be going in my bedroom (running water at night, bad idea).

Now, for substrate, would it work to have some kind of plant friendly substrate like flourite under a thin layer of round pebbles with some sand on top? I think the pebbles and sand would be appreciated by the bottom dwellers and it simulates the river bottom look well. Otherwise, I could just stick with potted plants. The only problem with sticking to potted plants is that I think it will keep me from having the well planted look that I am going for. Otherwise, would a mix of sand and flourite work? I think that would also simulate the river bottom look well, especially with some rounded rocks scattered here and there.

Oh I love this part! The planning stages are so much fun. It's so satisfying when all the research and work turns into a beautiful habitat.

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post #4 of 8 Old 06-14-2008, 10:37 AM
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Hehe, it is fun, isn't it!?

I grow a few different kind of crypts in sand with no worries, although others will argue that sand is terrible. I'd say a mix of sand and flourite is your best bet. If you add pebbles the pebbles will end up on top with the sand below it as the biggest stuff always ends up on top.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-14-2008, 05:41 PM
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As cute as sidthimunkis are, the classic choice for a sub-tropical (which rosy barbs are) asian biotope tank is hillstream loaches. Sewellia lineolata is a gorgeous choice.

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post #6 of 8 Old 06-14-2008, 06:00 PM
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Garras are also incredible. I have a Garra Flavatra whom I love. Every time I stick my hand in the tank he sucks on my arm! A tad more outgoing than the hillstreams, and they're pretty good looking too.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-15-2008, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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I gotta level with you, I'm not real keen on the hillstream loaches. However, given the cost of the dwarf botias, I'm not likely to be acquiring a happy little shoal of them anytime soon.

I think for the time being I will keep the brochis splendens I already have in this tank, even though they are a New World fish. They have a broad enough range of pH and temperature tolerance to adapt to the biotope, and frankly, getting them out of cichlidville before they begin to look like lunch would be a good thing.

Speaking of cichlidville... I've got some posts in another forum to attend to...

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post #8 of 8 Old 06-15-2008, 10:41 PM
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See if you can lay hands on scleromystax barbatus. They're a largish Argentine (I think) cory that does really well in a subtopical river tank. I was talking with Ian Fuller about that very idea, and he thought it was a good one. (My aquarium club flew him in to give a talk on cory breeding. Good stuff.)

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