African biotope

Discussion in 'Plant Help' started by beeky, 4 Sep 2007.

  1. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    I've had the slightly mad idea of doing an african biotope of around the Nigeria region, hopefully stocking with Upside down cats and killifish. the question is 'plants'?

    Most of the species available are from south america or asia and I can't believe that although vallis is found in the rift lakes, it doesn't seem to found anywhere else in Africa.

    Any suggestions? BTW, Anubias aren't allowed as I already known about them!!

    Cheers,
    Graham
     
  2. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
  3. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Fantastic!

    Thanks for that, just the type of thing I was looking for!
     
  4. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    There's also Mongabay for biotope information, http://fish.mongabay.com/biotope.htm

    I've also got two books on West African cichlids with a lot of biotope data. According to Linke and Staeck (1994) for the Niger Delta it gives info on a habitat where kribs (Pelvicachromis pulcher) are found. Between Benin city and Kwale there is a clear water course with crystal clear, very soft and heavily acidic water flowing over a laterite rich gravel. Large clumps of plants, with gravel clears in bewteen comprise Vallisneria (species not specified) various Nymphaea (including Green tiger lotus and N.daubenyana). Unfortunately Synodontis nigriventris was not listed as a sympatric species in this habitat. They are in fact native to Zaire and the DRC (Congo) not the Niger!

    A Congo Biotope might actually be easier to reproduce anyway! The killis in that waterway are better for a community too!
     
  5. Graeme Edwards

    Graeme Edwards Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    Wirral/Chester Cheshire.
    Fantastic thread guys.

    Dave, could you post both links on the main web page in the links section.

    The biotope could be a great way of bringing a new spin on the planted tank.

    Cheers fellas.
     
  6. rfriday9

    rfriday9 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    17
    I had big problems trying to get the right plants from the right region for an African set up I attempted a year or so ago. I wanted to create an African pool for killifish that I hoped to semi drain once a year to simulate natural conditions. I found that I didn’t know enough about the indigenous plants, specifically what plants would grow again when I refilled with water. I think the project was a little ambitious for me and I’m sure I was too impatient.

    Good luck with the set up, can’t wait to see some pictures.
     
  7. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    I was looking through some past years of the AGA competition and was disappointed in the quality of the biotope entries. With various people saying the UK should have more entries, I figured this was probably an area that I could make more inroads into (having only just started taking planted tanks seriously). I'm not so sure now though!!

    Good to hear that Vallis was found, nothing else I've read mentions it which I thought was strange.

    I was led to believe that S. nigriventris was found throughout Africa so I guessed that Nigeria would be a good bet. I didn't pick Nigeria for any particular reason, I'm always open for 'easier' areas!!

    As for the timing of this project, well that's a bit up in the air. We're hoping to move house fairly soon so my mind started wondering and I thought well, if I have to strip the tank down what shall I do with it? The new house might have room for a bigger tank as well!
     
  8. rfriday9

    rfriday9 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    17
    I agree the biotype entries for the AGA were lacking plants. Most biotypes tend symbolise the African lakes because they are easy to maintain and contain no or few plants (Nice though).

    I think the easiest planted biotype would be something South American or Japanese because of the amount of plants that are available from these regions. I have yet to find a catchall reference book that makes specific reference to plants and actual location. I hope someone with enough knowledge goes out with a GIS gadget and plots exactly where plants were found and their condition in the location along with water parameter and mineral conditions of the surrounding lands. Sort of like a google earth for plants and fish.

    Mind you it might take t fun out of creating and researching your own biotype?
     
  9. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I actually think an african bitope has amazing potential to produce an amazing planted tank. Sure the range of plants may be restricted, but with what there is you could use large numbers of them which is a great garden designer's (among others!) trick to improve the look of a garden. Large swathes of a single species can look amazing!

    I have an idea for an african biotope based on a stretch of the Cross River near Calabar. Linke and Staeck describe it as clear fast flowing water with a substrate of many rounded stones with large groups of Crinum natans found in areas. I can just imagine a decent sized tank with sand substrate, large rounded stones gathered around a big swathe of 10+ Crinum natans as the feature slightly to the left of centre. Small anubias could then be present in another group too. If I had the tank I'd have set this up already after imagining it as I think it could look great. It's also the natural habitat of Pelvicachromis sacrimontis, a close relative of the krib.
     
  10. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    The problem with Crinum though is they grow huge. Unless you've got a tank 3' deep I don't think it would do them justice.

    Does anyone here grow them?

    We need tropica to do a 'mini' version!!

    I'm leaning towards Cameroon as an area now as after a bit of research I've discovered that S. nigriventris, P. taeniatus (a krib type) and lots of different killis inhabit the waters. No clear cut decision on plants but I'm assuming it would be much the same as those from Nigeria. I've heard reports that Eleocharis can be found in Africa but nothing conclusive on specific areas or species.
     
  11. rfriday9

    rfriday9 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    17
    This is sounding great beeky. You can find some nice fan shrimps from that part of the world too.
     

Share This Page

Facebook Page
Twitter Page
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice