Amazon biotope Lnumber/Aphisto tank

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Mowze, 14 Jan 2010.

  1. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    Joined:
    11 Oct 2009
    Messages:
    63
    After months and months of planning I finally have my new aquarium up and running!

    Equipment:

    140x50x35cm (around 200L until I sort out the overflows) Custom made open top aquarium by seashell aquariums with 2x 1" side drilled bulkheads.
    100x40x40cm (180L approx) Ehiem Scuba aquarium (as a sump/refugium)

    Total system volume approx 380-400L

    Fluval 405 external filter with matured ceramic biorings, ehiem biological media (Coco puffs!), Fine filter floss, peat and the biological/mechanical sponges which come with the filter

    2x 300w RENA smartheat heaters

    Arcadia 3 series over tank light (over the 180L sump/freshwater planted refugium)

    DIY stand using 50x50mm wood and 8mm MDF topped with 10mm polystyrene and a butyl pond liner (to protect MDF from spillages)

    Lighting is 2x ceiling lights incorporating 4x 1.2w GU10 white LEDs and 2x 35w GU10 halogens affixed to the bookshelf installed above the aquarium.

    Aquascaped using dark rounded slate pebbles and boulders, Senegal sand and vine wood

    Water parameters currently stand at:
    NH3 0ppm
    NO2 0ppm
    NO3 10ppm
    PO4 0ppm
    Ph 7
    GH 40d
    KH 30d

    (tested almost daily)

    Current stocking is:
    200L:
    2x L066 (Male + Female)
    3x Apistogramma viejita (Male + Female breeding pair + another female)
    Leporacanthicus galaxias (Adult 10inch female)
    20x Cardinal tetra
    7x Unknown species of gobies (not biotope specific but they were a spur of the moment purchase and suit the style of aquarium very well!)

    A few Cryptocoryne crispatula var. balansae not really biotope specific but as a big planted aquarium guy I could never set up a tank devoid of flora, I opted for this plant because apart from being my 3rd favorite plant! It really suits this type of environment, low light, low nutrient (Liquid, substrate AND CO2) as well as tolerating high flow and a wide range of parameters… It also looks really really cool!

    180L:
    Currently empty and completely undecided as to how to aquascape or stock! I will probably re-build the ebb flow planters I once had in this exact aquarium for growing Hemianthus callitrichoides, Pogostemon helferi, Utricularia graminifolia, Eleocharis acicular is for use in other aquariums as well as reducing nitrates and phosphates within the system and use the rest of the aquarium as a fry refugium.

    I like to keep records of all my aquariums at home, college and work that I have set up over the years in the hopes that one day I might get around to putting a bit of a portfolio together and using it to somewhat further my career. Anyway without further addo some pictures for your enjoyment!

    Firstly the DIY stand, I’m sure some of you will cringe at the thought of something so flimsy holding so much weight in an upstairs room but unfortunately I am not a carpenter and chose to do food tech (Home economics) instead of resistant materials (Shop class/woodwork)!! However I was present when this room was being constructed and know for a fact that it was constructed using VERY oversized joists the largest of which runs directly underneath. Its also pretty ugly for something that is located in my bedroom (at the end of my bed to be exact) but considering the usual state of the rest of my room which is constantly covered in aquatics equipment, buckets, empty aquariums, sand and gravel, fishing rods, clothes, tools, guns and various other junk I decided do save my budget and just create something functional which does what it needs to do and makes the most of what little available space was available rather than being a pretty piece of furniture! At some point along the line I may use some plain white contiboard to match the rest of the room across the front and left side with a little window and door to access the sump and equipment but in my eyes this isn’t exactly necessary right now!

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    Here is the aquarium installed pre-filling:

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    Its location:

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    The Sump:

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    Filling the main aquarium:

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    After it had been running for a month and lighting was finally installed:

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    Stock:

    L066 Hypancistrus sp. King tigers drip acclimatising:

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    My pride and joy Apistogramma viejita pair in their planted previous aquarium:

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    With fry in the soft water system at work whilst I was building this aquarium! Male and female both guarding and showing VERY vibrant breeding colours, especially in the case of the female! Unfortunately despite numerous spawns in various aquariums I have yet to raise the eggs or fry past 10 days.

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    Leporacanthicus galaxias:

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    Photos from feeding time!

    Male L066 Feeding on prawn “kebab”:

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    Female L066:

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    Male + Female L066 feeding on live bloodworm:

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    Male L066 + Male Apistogramma viejita eating live bloodworm together:

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    Apistogramma viejita male + female posing together:

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    Gobies I introduced, not sure what species these actually are… Anyone got any idea?!

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  2. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Joined:
    30 Oct 2007
    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    What a nice and unusual tank! I really like it! Have you thought about emergant plants like in a pond? It's almost like an indoor pond actually! These new fangled ripariums would be a a great addition.

    don't let that take away from it, it's really nice!!
     
  3. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    Joined:
    17 Apr 2008
    Messages:
    1,913
    Location:
    The BIG End, South Wales
    Nice setup :thumbup: Welcome to ukaps too :D
     
  4. aquaticmaniac

    aquaticmaniac Member

    Joined:
    18 Oct 2008
    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    London
    Love your set up :D Those look kinda like sulawesi blue neon gobies (Sicyopterus sp.) to me. Could be wrong; might be a Stiphodon sp. Either way I'm jealous!

    Sulawesi blues
     
  5. casualwire

    casualwire Newly Registered

    Joined:
    27 Sep 2009
    Messages:
    15
    I really like this set up.How much weight has all rock added to the tank?
    MAH @ Bold Heath has some Gobies in like that next time am in i will get the name off them for you
     
  6. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    30 Jun 2007
    Messages:
    7,092
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Very nice. Love the decor and lighting. They work together very well.

    Welcome to UKAPS!
     
  7. TBRO

    TBRO Member

    Joined:
    8 Feb 2009
    Messages:
    947
    Fantastic hardscape, I bet your fish a really happy in there. Some Amazon swords growing out the top might be interesting? Keep us posted, T
     
  8. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    Joined:
    11 Oct 2009
    Messages:
    63
    I try not to think about that but considering the the size of some of those slabs somewhere between 150-200kg as a rough guess (Im not very good with weights!)

    Not sure if the lighting is quite sutiable but I have built some hang on planters from ikea spice racks and filled with JBL Manado substrate. The planters are drilled at one end with a grille and have a small 300lph pump to maintain a constant water flow, in theory the substrate will also act as a second (third actually!) biological filter and along with its high cation exchange capacity fix nutrients from the water effectively reducing all nitrogenous compounds, phosphates and other organinc and inorganic waste. If it works out I may add a t5 strip light and reflector along the back corner to provide light for the plants. I also intend to have a lot of hanging house plants growing from the shelving down to the water surface and floating hydrocotyle and Limnobium for cover.
     
  9. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    Joined:
    11 Oct 2009
    Messages:
    63
    Introduced 2 pairs of young Steatocranus tinanti a week ago which means this is most certainally not a biotope aquarium anymore but I love them so much and they suit the environment perfectly! Also hoping to get 5 or 6 more L066 at the end of the week after discovering I had actually got 2 males :( These fish are extremely difficult to obtain and very expensive since the import ban.
     
  10. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

    Joined:
    7 Apr 2008
    Messages:
    8,380
    Location:
    nr Bath
    Hi all,
    Nice tank, fantastic looking cichlids but I think they are a red coloured domestic form of A. macmasteri , rather than the true A. vietija (which is what these are always sold as). The reason I think this is that I had some correspondence with Mike Wise, who wrote a very similarly marked fish.
    .
    cheers Darrel
     
  11. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    Joined:
    11 Oct 2009
    Messages:
    63
    A few new photos now I have a half decent camera!

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    Some full tank shots

    I now have a few house plants on the shelf above, Variegated English ivy and devils ivy hanging down and also a low growing creeper in a planter on the windowsill to the right. My plan eventually is to attach planters to the wall behind the tank and on the floor to the left combined with the plants growing from the shelf should give a much more natural 3D effect almost like my own terrarium/pond in my bedroom!

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    Another shot to the left of my aquarium to emphasise its location and the fact that the rest of my life outside of my aquariums is totally disorganised and in disarray!

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    Another shot of an Aphisto female, I am totally fixated by this formation of 5 rocks, notably the front 3 rocks and have probably taken more photos of this than anything else in the tank! It also makes a great backdrop to take photos of fish against!

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    Some very greedy cardinals!

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    One of the 5 Steatocranus tinanti I introduced last week, they still spend a lot of time hiding in the rocks but like the L066 they are starting to get a little more confident with my presence especially at feeding time. The Leporacanthicus galaxias is still yet to leave her cave whilst the lights are on but is more than happy to explore once the tank and room are completely dark.

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    Lastly the smaller of the two L066, very fat, greedy and much more confident than the larger L066.
     
  12. gratts

    gratts Member

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2008
    Messages:
    267
    Gobies look like Stiphodon elegans or something similar.
    Nice tank, nice fish :)
     
  13. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    Joined:
    11 Oct 2009
    Messages:
    63
    A few more pics and videos:

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    /\ Aphisto spitting his food at a blockhead, kinda funny! /\



    /\ Feeding time! /\
     
  14. Amoeba

    Amoeba Member

    Joined:
    24 Mar 2008
    Messages:
    41
    :D
    Are you going to stick to the high kh/gh ?
     
  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Joined:
    19 Jul 2007
    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Great pics :) I really like the dimensions of the tank. Has a widescreen feel to it :) Love the videos too. Fish look really lively!
     
  16. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    Joined:
    11 Oct 2009
    Messages:
    63
    High KH/GH?! I use RO water with TMC discus minerals and peat, pH is 7, KH is 40d GH is 50d thats pretty low considering our tap water round here has a pH of 8.2 KH of 180d and GH of 200d...
     
  17. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Joined:
    10 Mar 2008
    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley

    he he, I suspect you are posting ppm vlaues and Amoeba read them as deg. values.
    40ppm KH = 2.2degKH.
    That is pretty low :thumbup:

    Nice tank by the way. Your apisto's in particular are stunning.
     
  18. fish fodder

    fish fodder Member

    Joined:
    22 Jun 2008
    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Harrogate
    Very, very nice. That looks like a huge Leporacanthicus!
     
  19. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    Joined:
    11 Oct 2009
    Messages:
    63
    Shes my baby! I really would like to have a go at breeding them but finding a sexed male around the same size or even slightly smaller is proving to be a bit of a nightmare! It would also require a huge re-scape of the tank as these guys need VERY big caves, the one she currently lives in is 4inch PVC pipe which she never leaves during daylight hours and I would have difficulty finding room amongst the rocks for a further 2-3 4inch caves (I would use slate caves if I was actually trying to breed them) as well as still allowing space for the 6-8 slate/pvc caves I need for the blockheads and L066.

    Also recent good news is that L066 may be allowed for export from Brazil again! Meaning I should finally be able to get a few females in the tank as they are proving difficult to source! Again the friction may between a breeding group of L066 and the 5 Blockheads would probably prove to be too much especially with the added strain of a pair of LARGE Leporacanthicus!

    Either way a re-scape to add more caves will be coming very soon!
     
  20. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Joined:
    19 Nov 2009
    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Mowze, what an inspiration your tank is.. I really like it..

    If you put planters around the tank, either at the back, or inside, you can setup a riparium/paludarium easily and it would look like you have a piece of the jungle on your house..

    Truly an inspiration.. :)
     

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