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South American Biotope

Ashton

Member
Joined
7 Sep 2008
Messages
46
I'm trying to create a South American Biotope with my 2 ft tank, keeping planting to a minimal 2 plants and having plenty of bogwood and slates. I'd like to add some branches to the tank and can't get hold of any Beech branches at the moment, (I only know what a Beech looks like when it's in leaf) But I have a dead Kilmarnock Willow in my garden and was wondering if I could use some of the branches from this? They are a great shape for what I want to do, but don't want to put them in if they will harm the fish.

Also when putting any branches in a tank, do I need to remove the bark?
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,186
Location
Chicago, USA
Hi,
Beech is a native of North America and Europe so this seems inconsistent with your goal of South American biotope. The same could be said of Willow. You should be careful with branches that haven't been dried properly or you could get decay. It's also not clear if there are any toxins in the branches that may leech. You might want to boil the dead wood first to make sure you get rid of any nasties hiding in it. There are plenty of suitable wood for sale that at least look closer to the native wood in the biotope you have in mind and might be less troublesome.

Cheers,
 

Verminator

Member
Joined
29 Mar 2009
Messages
62
Location
Coventry, West Midlands, UK
What rocks are native to South American river systems that are typically available in the UK? I don't mean to hijack the thread its just i too am interested in a South American biotope set-up for my Jack Dempsey cichlids. I have similar aspirations for my 3ft tank. Rocks with wood and minimal planting, perhaps 1 or two types of plant. I'm running a CO2-less system with x2 30W T8 bulbs.

Peoples input into such a system would be appreciative. For the two of us :D
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
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Messages
9,186
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Amazon rocks? Gosh, the Amazon river basin drains over 40% of the South American continent so all kinds of rocks are present, but mostly shale, clay and possibly granite which do not dissolve. This is why the Amazon waters are low in dissolved minerals and are soft.

It would never occur to me to have a tank with "minimal" planting. I mean, why on earth would you want a minimally planted tank? It seems like that would defeat the purpose of a planted tank. The idea is to have lots of plants. :idea:

Cheers,
 

Verminator

Member
Joined
29 Mar 2009
Messages
62
Location
Coventry, West Midlands, UK
Yes i suppose you have a point about the plants, but for a South American biotope i hope to ahieve a decent hardscape for my Dempseys whilst having a couple of Echi's growing here and there. Perhaps two or three varieties :) Planted still, just minimal. I'm saving my plants for my 2ft iwagumi ;)
 

ceg4048

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Oh yeah, I see...it could get ugly in there with those bad boys. :wideyed:

Cheers,
 

Ed Seeley

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Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
3,261
Location
Nottingham
Verminator said:
Yes i suppose you have a point about the plants, but for a South American biotope i hope to ahieve a decent hardscape for my Dempseys whilst having a couple of Echi's growing here and there. Perhaps two or three varieties :) Planted still, just minimal. I'm saving my plants for my 2ft iwagumi ;)

I hate to be the bearer of potentially bad news but Jack Dempseys are not South American! They are found naturally in waters from Mexico to Honduras (so North and Central America). Maybe this might be a better set of species and conditions to emulate?
 

Verminator

Member
Joined
29 Mar 2009
Messages
62
Location
Coventry, West Midlands, UK
Mexico, its neither North nor South in my eyes, but you have me there :) I was aiming for the Honduras set-up ideally :p Either way, i think i have my set-up. Sand, rocks (unknown) with DW (possibly manzanitan instead?) with Vallis and one or two Echi's. I think this will suffice for myself. My Electric Blue Jack Dempseys are relatively well behaved. Aside from the male being a little boistrous at times hes generally not much of a digger (yet!)

Seriously struggling to find what rocks to use though. Very much undecided. Granite doesnt appeal to me tbf.
 

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