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A South American on the landing

naughtymoose

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Joined
8 Oct 2014
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205
Location
Basildon, Essex
Hi folks

I'm starting another tank...

On the landing...

...It's going to be a sort of South American biotope.

Hence the name!

It's a second-hand Hagen Tropiquarium 88. About 80cm long, and comes in at about 110L.

I've painted the back and RHS in matt black and prepared the cabinet to accept the JBL e701 that I got for subscribing to PFK. I've had to cut a deep slot in the hood to accept the pipework.
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The base substrate is from my box of B&Q Aquatic Compost that I've used in Hobgoblin's Cave, covered with the same windbreak netting.
16546812103_d3864ddd9f_c.jpg


Then I made a mistake. I emptied the bag of B&Q playsand straight onto the fabric, and then started to fill up with water. Doh!
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I've sorted this problem by rinsing the sand in -situ.
 

naughtymoose

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8 Oct 2014
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Basildon, Essex
I'm hoping eventually to keep Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi (Black Neon Tetra), Otocinclus vittatus, a Corydora species, and maybe something else.

Plants will be South American species. I've already got some floaters (thanks Darrel) and have a few ideas, but suggestions are welcome. I've followed Troi's guide: http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/the-soil-substrate-or-dirted-planted-tank-a-how-to-guide.18943/

I'm going EL Natural with this tank, so no CO2. Lighting is two 18w T8 tubes, making it approx 0.3w per litre/0.9w per US Gal.

The sand is about 50mm deep. Is that a bit deep? Would it be worth removing 20mm depth? I really didn't have my thinking head on when I emptied the bag of sand straight in. It takes up a fair volume.

The JBL e701 comes with a piddly little spray bar; I could extend it, but I'm thinking of having the bar spray from right to left, with the filter intake at the rear right, and it will fit across the tank perfectly.

Any and all suggestions/advice welcomed!
 

Tim Harrison

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Sounds good, looking forward to seeing this develop.
Don't worry about the depth of the sand I'm sure it'll be fine...but you may want to remove some at the front and/or slope it toward the back depending on whether you plan to use small shallower rooting plants in the foreground; and to give a better sense of perspective of course.
 

naughtymoose

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Basildon, Essex
I'm having a bit of a struggle deciding what sort of wood to put in the tank. What authentic wood is available? I was thinking of using vine wood, but apparently it rots after a while. Bogwood is mostly African. Sumatran driftwood is from, well... Sumatra!

If I use Sumatran, I could put leaf litter down on the sand, but would it then be authentic if I used plants, or would it be better with just wood?

Would the leaching tannins from the leaves inhibit plant growth?

Help please!
 

Edvet

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Lelystad, Netherlands
In Holland we use roots from trees in old peatswamps often. Tanins stain the water, but a lot of water (virtualy all) in South america is stained, hence there are little/no submerged plants
.
010.jpg

Most SA biotope like tanks are stained water. loots of roots/wood and floating plants.
006.jpg

Most submerged plants are in clear water, these are few and far apart. Only is some places more abundant like the Bonito area :
Bonito-Brazilië.jpg
.
Most of the times yoo will find only one or two species of plants which thrive there:
001.jpg

Go find the videos from "the fish guys expeditions" Ivan Mikolji and George Fear, fun and insightfull.
 

Tim Harrison

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Hi, personally I'd use whatever wood I liked the look of aesthetically...bog wood is the obvious choice tho' I guess. Use some leaf litter as well if you want to.
Humic substances like tannins are generally beneficial to both plant and fish health...but too much and it'll effectively shade your plants out. They are mildly antiseptic and help prevent algae, fungal and bacterial problems.
They are also a source of carbon which is always welcome in a low-energy tank.
 

naughtymoose

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Basildon, Essex
My missus has decided that I won't be having a tank of tea-stained water :( It makes sense really, it would need a lot of wood to look really good, and that would be expensive (not good as I can't work at the moment).

So it looks like I'll just have to settle for a generic sort of set-up.

Of course, this frees up many options for planting; I'll just have to use easy plants.

I shall report back when I have a better plan. Thanks to you both!
 

Tim Harrison

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Well, don't rule it out completely, eventually the tannins leach out and with water changes it really shouldn't be too much of a problem for too long. But I hear what you're saying, and either way I'm sure it'll look great.
 

naughtymoose

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OK. I have a new plan!

I intend to use the tank to make a paludarium.

I'll be using some basket thingies from the pound shop (they have suckers) and will also wire a hanging bracket on to them.

Hardscape will comprise a cork background above the water line and probably some rock from the garden centre.

The filtration can remain, although I'll turn the flow right down. I may use my little Interpet PF1 as a mini pump to lift water from the main reservoir up a tube to make a cascade waterfall effect. As the tank is on the landing, right outside the bedroom door, I will have to have this on a timer for occasional operation during the day- I have to get up in the night enough as it is, without listening to waterfalls in my sleep!

As the tank has a quite solid lid, I think the humidity will be quite good. There is a vent available; is it likely that I'll need a fan do you think?

Any suggestions or thoughts anyone?
 
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