Aqueon 36 Bow Amazon Biotope
I've been wanting to get a fish tank for many years and now I'm finally able to. The idea that I have been having for a layout or landscape was all natural from a certain region and googling for it is when the discovery of biotope was made and my research started. Been reading a lot from different forums (including this) and wikis on species of plants, fish and items used to give it a more natural look such as wood and rocks/stones.
Seized the oppourtunity of the Aqueon 36g Bow and stand being on sale at my local PetSmart and purchased it last week.
I'm a total noob and maybe a biotope is an agressive attempt on my part, but I like challenges and learn very fast.
A friend that is knowledgeable and has experience in aquascaping and biotopes has been helping out a bit and telling me where what I can add/remove in order for it to a well balanced environment. But insight and opinions from others is helpful as well, the more the input the better the outcome 8-)
As the title states, I'm aiming for an Amazon River Biotope with this first set up. If all goes well then I might go for another region, maybe Korean or African biotope... we'll see :)
So far the list that I have compiled for filter, plants, fish and landscape is the following:
24" 17-watt T8 full spectrum fluorescent lamp (included wtih the hood), it doesn't specify the amount of k
Plants and Location in tank
Amazon Sword Back
Pygmy Chain Sword Middle/Front
Amazon Frogbit Surface
Roseafolia Mixed in with Amazon Sword but more to the front
Java Moss (maybe, invasive species:roll:) Covering some driftwood and rocks
Fish and Quantity
Green Fire Tetra x10
Neon Tetra x10
Cockatoo Cichlid x6
Shrimp and Quantity
Dead Branches (Maybe)
I've looking for shrimp from the region but apparently they're not that common in the trade due to restriction on the export of them. What species can replace them or which ones are used instead? I'm looking for a good waste (uneaten food and dead plant matter) eater and maybe algae, though that might be covered with the Otocinclus.
Is there a type of moss that is from the Amazon's that could be used in biotopes and is found easily online?
As for substrate, no to sure on which type to use. I've seen many different suggestions on what to use, mix and don't mix, etc... Any insight as which type and quantity is ideal would be greatly appreciated.
I'd like to get it set up with the substrate and let it cycle for a few days and then order the plants, cycle for bit and let them settle in and then get the fish.
Is it ok to have two species of tetras, I couldn't decide on neon or green fire since both look great. I've read that they do ok together... I'm open to opinions and suggestions, feel free to tell me if I should add/remove something or change the quantities.
Still need to see if I can find an online store(s) that ship over to Puerto Rico and if the shipping charges are reasonable.
Thanks in advance!
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:cheers:
The Amazon is my favourite area, and I have two geographic (as opposed to biotope) Amazon tanks. The terms we use are rather subjective, but technically speaking a biotope is the closest replica to a specific watercourse, with only fish species, plant species (if any) and hardscaping material that would naturally occur in that specific watercourse.
Next is what I term a geographic tank; in this, the fish, plants and hardscape are what one would find in a wider general area. A "habitat" tank can be along this line, such as a flooded forest habitat with only Amazonian or South American fish and plants. Or a stream lagoon with the same. My 70g flooded Amazon tank is pictured below as an example. The plants and fish are all SA, the sand [Quikrete Play Sand] replicates the sand in many SA streams, and there are chunks of wood, some representing standing tree trunks as one would find there. The moss is Java Moss so that I suppose is not strictly speaking authentic, but to me moss looks like moss wherever it comes from.
I like the play sand as it is authentic, plants grow well, and it is inert. Depth can vary; the substrate i this tank pictured is actually shallower than I would like; that in my 115g Amazon Riverscape is about 3 inches overall.
You may need to replace the tube in the light fixture. I use 6500K "daylight" types, made by GE, Phillips, Sylvania; With single-tube tanks i always use Life-Glo as it is more intense than the others mentioned. This provides moderate light which will suite the plants you mention, most of which are in this tank pictured.
There are a couple issues with the intended fish that I will mention to end. The Green Fire Tetra is Aphyocharax rathbuni, and it is in our profiles: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/c...thbuni-198434/
As it mentions therein, this fish is inclined to be a bit nippy, and mixing it with sedate fish like the cichlids is probably not a good idea. The neons are OK from this aspect, but given the warmth the cichlids will need (if you go with some species), cardinal tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) would be a better choice, or the False/Green Neon (Paracheirodon simulans) if you can find it; both are in our profiles in the characid species section. There are many other suitable species too, among the tetra, pencilfish and hatchetfish in characids. The 10 hatchetfish is fine, assuming this is one of the species in Carnegiella as these are smaller and less active than the larger Gasteropelecus and similar. All these are in the profiles.
The cichlid (Apistogramma cacatuoides) is also in our profiles: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/c...uoides-189393/
Yoou have to be careful with numbers with dwarf cichlids; a 38g is not much space, so I would not have more than one male, and a harem of 2-3 females.
Thanks for the feedback!
AWESOME TANK! That's what my goal is, let's see if I can pull it off.
Ordered the Eheim 2211 filter and it should arrive between today and tomorrow.
I'll check if my local home depot has the quickrete play sand, How much would I need for this tank to get 2" front to about 4" to the back? Was also thinking on a gravel type of subtrate, the person that is helping me out suggested it since sand can sometimes have pockets of amonia trapped that are released when cleaning...
What quantities of each plant would be good for my tank? I found a site, AquariumPlants.com, that ships out of US via UPS and building up a cart to see pricing and shipping charges. So far, they have 4 of the plants, Amazon Sword (Echinodorus bleheri), Pygmy Chain Sword (Echinodorus tenellus), Alternanthera reineckii and Java Moss which they have listed as Vesicularia Dubyana. The Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) seems to be available in Ebay, but going to see if I can find a more reliable source. Is fertlizer required, if so then would pellets be a good idea? And what about CO2 injection?
Read a forum post where they said that green fire tetras were somewhat a bit more docil since most are breed in capitivity, but they could be wrong. I'll take your advise and revise the list... Checked out the Green Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon simulans) and I like how they look and would be a good replacement. I'll go for Cardinal Tetras if I can't find these. The hatcet fish that I plan on getting is Marbled Hatchetfish (Carnegiella strigata), so the quantity is ok for these? As for the Apistogramma cacatuoides, I'll change the quantity as suggested and have a very happy male haha. Would this cause interbreeding problems in the future?
Thanks so much for your help! Can't wait to have this all set up! :)
Alternanthera reineckii needs good light, much more than any of the other named plants. You can try it, but it may last a short while then fall apart. With higher light come more nutrients, and CO2 might limit this [more below].
[quote]Read a forum post where they said that green fire tetras were somewhat a bit more docil since most are breed in capitivity, but they could be wrong. I'll take your advise and revise the list.../QUOTE]
When I advise on a fish species' behaviour, I always give the normal behaviour. There can always be exceptions, but these are the minority not the majority. And while it is one thing for me with 7 tanks running to move a fish that becomes a problem, it is not so easy to deal with this when one has one or two tanks. And a bad apple can spoil the barrel, as they say; one nasty group of fish can wreak havoc on all others in the tank. And this genus is prone to do this.
Love the biotope / habitat idea. What are your water hardness and PH out of the tap ? That would be a good place to start insofar as the biotope / habitat you choose.
The KH has no effect on fish, but it does "buffer" pH, preventing fluctuations, so depending what the pH is, it will not shift much. Don't have the pH number, it should be below 7 for Amazonian fish, and here again the rainwater will lower it.
Seems to be medium hard. I'll let Byron speak as to how that impacts your Amazon theme; however, it might be a challenge
Yeah, I understand that bit... the same applies to dogs. I have two huskies, one has all the standard traits and the other has none.
I have to call the local aquarium shop and see what is their quote on the plants, I'll go with the cheapest option.
We get plenty of rain here, it's been raining practically everyday during the summer...
How much should he ratio be between tap and rain water?
I also intend to get the API Freshwater test kit, that should give me more precise numbers. Checked the qaulity report again and it doesn't mention pH levels :-?
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