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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We've had several recent threads about angelfish and tankmates and aquascaping. I came across the attached video while hunting online for photos, and thought I would share it. Not only is this about as good a setup as one could have for angelfish, it is very instructive on why this fish must be in a group, and illustrates how they behave when they are in a proper environment in terms of tank size, aquascaping, and numbers. You can see clear interaction between the fish, but it never amounts to any physical damage because of the numbers and environment. And the fish swim very little, as indeed they do in the wild, preferring to remain relatively close in their shoal, near the cover of branches and under floating or overhanging vegetation.

The tank is 200 gallons, so probably 8 feet, though I'm no judge of distance. Sand substrate, lots of chunks of wood and no submersed plants, but a good layer of floating plants (Amazon Frogbit). This is so typical of most watercourses in South America.

The fish are a group of 11 wild Pterophyllum scalare, the original species from which all aquarium varieties such as the Marble, Black Lace, Blushing, etc. have been derived. These fish in the video were caught in the Rio Cuyuni, a tributary of the Rio Essequibo; a portion of the R. Cuyuni forms the boundary between Guyana and Venezuela, and is pictured in the attached photo by Ivan Mikolji, an explorer and fish collector in Venezuela.

While this aquarium is an authentic habitat, it is not strictly a biotope. The corys are Corydorus duplicareus, and I believe I saw C. serratus once or twice, and these species are endemic [= only occur] in the Rio Poranga which is several hundred miles to the south in Amazonia.

Use the expand in the lower left corner to get full screen, and then enjoy.

 

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Hello Byron:

I was reading your thread and have one question to ask you about your statement “…..
This is so typical of most watercourses in South America ….. While this aquarium is an authentic habitat, it is not strictly a biotope”. What do you mean; I thought that the word biotope is a German word that means natural habitat. I recognize that in some places the notion of habitat is separated into meaning a species or population and the term biotope refers to a biological community that can contain both natural and artificial aspects this is especially true in Europe. I think that aquaria biotopes follow this general definition. Do you disagree in some way?
Although the term aquascaping refers to recreating a natural environment this re-creation can represent environment that may or may not exist and can also contain artificial elements.

If this understanding is incorrect then straighten me out with the correct definition. I know you are very knowledgeable so don’t feel threatened by the question and sic you dogs (helpers) on me this is a friendly query.
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Thanks Byron.
Interesting to watch... everyone has to have someone to pick on in the group! I wonder how big that tank is and if that is having an effect? The Corys tho are actually schooling and traveling together... not something mine want to do. Nice to see!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Byron.
Interesting to watch... everyone has to have someone to pick on in the group! I wonder how big that tank is and if that is having an effect? The Corys tho are actually schooling and traveling together... not something mine want to do. Nice to see!
It is 200g, the comments on Youtube under the video says this; I assume the length to be 8 feet.

I have watched a group of P. scalare behave identically in a huge tank at the Vancouver Aquarium, where they live with a shoal of black ghost knifefish. These large tanks are so instructive as to the fish's natural behaviours.

I think the corys in this video tank are behaving as they would in their habitat, at least from what I have seen of that. Open stretches of sand cause them to do this. In most of our tanks, we have lots of plants and chunks of wood, and a much smaller area to begin with. Also, species are different. I have four of the C. duplicareus, one being a fry that survived by being pulled into the canister filter so it escaped predation.:) They are together like this much more than my other species, except the panda, they are always together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello Byron:

I was reading your thread and have one question to ask you about your statement “…..
This is so typical of most watercourses in South America ….. While this aquarium is an authentic habitat, it is not strictly a biotope”. What do you mean; I thought that the word biotope is a German word that means natural habitat. I recognize that in some places the notion of habitat is separated into meaning a species or population and the term biotope refers to a biological community that can contain both natural and artificial aspects this is especially true in Europe. I think that aquaria biotopes follow this general definition. Do you disagree in some way?
Although the term aquascaping refers to recreating a natural environment this re-creation can represent environment that may or may not exist and can also contain artificial elements.

If this understanding is incorrect then straighten me out with the correct definition. I know you are very knowledgeable so don’t feel threatened by the question and sic you dogs (helpers) on me this is a friendly query.
pop
Many terms we use are subjective, but I tend to stay with what I was told many years ago.

A biotope tank is one that replicates a specific watercourse exactly, meaning that the aquascape is what you would see if you stuck your head under water. Not in a literal sense--although some aquarists do use photographs to exactly replicate a section of the stream or lakeshore--but more in the "copy" sense: the substrate would be the same (play sand to copy the Amazon streams, etc), only plant species (if any) found in that watercourse, chunks of dark wood and/or branches if these occur, dried leaves, stones, or whatever. And the fish in the tank would only be those species that occur in this watercourse.

Habitat means the aquascape recreates a certain type of environment which might be a stylized stream, lake, pond etc. This one could be geographic or not. For example, my 90g is what I term a River Habitat tank. The aquascaping materials are what you would see in small rivers and streams in India and Central America: fine gravel, various sized bits of smooth river rock, some chunks of wood, and very few plants except along the back. In this tank I have my Botia kubotai loaches as this is exactly what their habitat is like, and given the stream nature of the tank and the loaches' activity, the upper fish are all somewhat active swimming fish that suit this habitat: Congo Tetra, Emperor Tetra, Black Ruby Barb.

The aquascape in the video is a typical South American habitat such as one would find in so many streams. No plants except for floating or overhanging vegetation, lots of wood, sand, dry leaves. But this isn't a biotope because the fish species would never be found together in the wild. My 70g which I call a Flooded Amazon Forest is a habitat, as it replicates an area of the forest that is flooded, so there are plants everywhere, and the water movement being very still in such a habitat, the fish species are those that prefer this. But one would never find all these species together in the same place, so it can't be termed a biotope.

If a habitat is geographic, then all fish and plants would occur in the same geographic area, such as my 115g Amazon riverscape. This is by contrast to the mentioned 90g river habitat where I have fish from three continents so this is not geographic, but simply habitat because all the fish share the same type of environment.

Byron.
 

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Hello Byron;
Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge with me. You used the term in the first sentence or two exactly are you thinking about equal or identical as being EXACTLY.

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Hello Byron;
Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge with me. You used the term in the first sentence or two exactly are you thinking about equal or identical as being EXACTLY.

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Not sure I follow this hair splitting. Let me answer by illustration.

If I were doing a biotope tank of the Rio Nanay in Peru, I would have play sand substrate littered with dry oak leaves, lots of branches and chunks of dark wood, no plants in the substrate, but a thick layer of floating plants. Fish would be a group of Nannostomus mortenthaleri. [I would have to research for other species native to this river that might work here.] This is the closest to "exact" that one would want to get, keeping in mind the issues with using mud for the substrate, etc, or importing specific leaves and wood from the river itself.

If I were doing a geographic tank for this same fish, I could add substrate-rooted plants, leave out the leaves perhaps, and include other fish like a group of corys, a shoal of hatchetfish, cardinal tetra.
 

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Hey Byron:
Thanks for your illustration and from this I get the idea that exactly means similar not equal or identical. There are oak tress and leaves in this South American river that flows in a tropical rain forest? I am not hair splitting because equal means something different than identical. We all know where the devil resides: in the details and small print.

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Hey Byron:
Thanks for your illustration and from this I get the idea that exactly means similar not equal or identical. There are oak tress and leaves in this South American river that flows in a tropical rain forest? I am not hair splitting because equal means something different than identical. We all know where the devil resides: in the details and small print.

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Leaf Litter Byron described Would be EQUAL to leaf litter from native tree's, perhap's not entriely auhtentic, but fishes would not notice this small deviation and would appreciate the effort immensley.:cool:
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes. The "exactness" when it comes to biotope means providing the type of elements that make up the habitat hardscape and water parameters.
 

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Hello 1077 & Bryon;
This is the most reasonable comment I have read leaf litter. I guess we all are in agreement and have reached consensus that a biotope is similar to the actual existing environment (ecology) and not necessarily identical or equal. Would this notion of ours also apply to aquatic inhabitants not being identical or equal but similar?

Thanks for getting my ducks in a row.
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello 1077 & Bryon;
This is the most reasonable comment I have read leaf litter. I guess we all are in agreement and have reached consensus that a biotope is similar to the actual existing environment (ecology) and not necessarily identical or equal. Would this notion of ours also apply to aquatic inhabitants not being identical or equal but similar?

Thanks for getting my ducks in a row.
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You don't seem to be understanding what I am saying. In a biotope, the fish species, plant species, and structural elements will be those fouond in the habitat. Otherwise, it is not a biotope.

We can replace leaves with oak leaves [not sure what tree species grow there, but I suspect not the temperate-climate oak] because leaves are leaves. And we can use Malaysian Driftwood for wood because wood is wood and I can't tell the difference from a chunk of wood under the water what type it might be, generally speaking. And sand is sand...etc. But the species of fish and plants we do know, and they will only be those found in that habitat.
 

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Byron,,

I think anyone with IQ greater than 50 can grasp your meaning.
Much of what some have posted in this thread,is best done in the restroom while seated.
 
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Hello 1077:
I assume you are aware that you have completely failed in your effort to make offensive remarks. Your statements indicated to me that you have reached your limit in participating in a civil conversation. I want you to know that I understand the factors that underlie your antagonist’s behavior and have a great amount of compassion towards your situation. Feel free to express move negativity because I understand your needs and I am not offended by this behavior but feel pity for your situation.

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Hello Byron:
Actually I do understand what you are saying and I think you are confused about what a bio tope consist. This present discussion is the result of me asking you just what do you mean by the word you used “exactly” and I think you mean similar not exactly because as you have noted above that leaves are leaves. If this is the case then …………..

South American Biotope
“the fish species, plant species, and structural elements will be those found in the habitat” Since this is the case then the leaf matter can be pine needles because pine needles are the leaves of pine trees and we all know that leaf matter is leaf matter as you stated yet we know that the presents of pine needle as leaf matter in a south American biotope is false just as the leaf matter from temperate-climate oak trees is false.

The trouble here is the use of the word exactly and the notions that are carried with the word. We are not talking about identical or equal but a factual representation of the ecology. As you stated we know the fish species, plant species don’t you think we know the type of plants that create leaf litter? You are very wrong with the assumption that wood is wood and sand is sand and leaf matter is leaf matter in your understanding of a bio-tope.

Do you actually think about what you post or do you just shoot from the hip quick draw style saying the first thought that comes to you.

You are welcome to respond but if you choose to remain silent I will understand.
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Hello 1077:
I assume you are aware that you have completely failed in your effort to make offensive remarks. Your statements indicated to me that you have reached your limit in participating in a civil conversation. I want you to know that I understand the factors that underlie your antagonist’s behavior and have a great amount of compassion towards your situation. Feel free to express move negativity because I understand your needs and I am not offended by this behavior but feel pity for your situation.

pop
Pop,,
I am wholly capable of offending even the most seasoned bar room brawler's if and when I desire and have done so on numerous occasion's, and have scar's to prove it.:roll:
Very liittle of your contribution to this particular thread warrant's the effort.:lol:
 

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Hello 1077;
I see you have improved your language skills that is good!
You maybe a barroom brawler but you have failed to offend me and you certainly put forth the effort.
Life must be difficult for a bully when the only success is degrading themselves to the lowest most banal behavior possible. I guess you have reached the level of humiliation you are seeking. I still have a lot of pity for your situation and would like you to feel better about yourself. You have permission of an adult to have a glass of milk and some cookies it always helps children feel better after having a hissy-fit.

As to value of your opinion I can not express I am not willing to degrade myself to the level you seek.

Have a nice day!!
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Hello 1077;
I see you have improved your language skills that is good!
You maybe a barroom brawler but you have failed to offend me and you certainly put forth the effort.
Life must be difficult for a bully when the only success is degrading themselves to the lowest most banal behavior possible. I guess you have reached the level of humiliation you are seeking. I still have a lot of pity for your situation and would like you to feel better about yourself. You have permission of an adult to have a glass of milk and some cookies it always helps children feel better after having a hissy-fit.

As to value of your opinion I can not express I am not willing to degrade myself to the level you seek.

Have a nice day!!
pop
Would be happy to!
I love milk and cookie's almost as much as a good old fashioned alley or Bar room brawl.
Again,, Your trifling observation's as to my character are duly noted, and I hold them in the same esteem as I do those pestering gnat's that I routinely dispatch with a flick of the hand while fishing .
Actually,,I find their tenacity much more troublesome than the complete body of work you have submitted .
 

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Hello 1077:
I am so glad you like cookies and a glass of milk, do you feel better now I hope so.
As noted before I can not allow myself to sink to your level of degradation which makes your opinion quite useless to me. I have to admit your language usage is very impressive keep it up and at some time in the future we may be able to communicate in a way which each of us might find satisfactory. As to your behavior and angry aggressiveness only you can change this and my view of your character is the one you have created through your postings. In virtual reality of the internet one is defined by the way and the words one uses if you don’t care for the way others view your behavior then change the way you address folks.
Have a nice day and maybe some more milk and cookies to feel better.
With care, pop
 

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Who could be grumpy when there are milk and cookies to be had?!! ^.^


Thanks for posting such a neat video, Byron! I really enjoyed it. . . I've not kept Angelfish yet, but they're beautiful and fascinating animals, to be sure. . . can't help but swoon for cichlids. One day, I'll have them - and an 8 foot tank to go along with them! *dreams*
 
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