My 20 gal amazonian biotope project

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Koglin

Koglin

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Now time for an update:

I've decided on an Oxbow Lake Amazon Biotope with some added tannins (not going to go full blackwater though). After having read through suggestions, for stocking I was thinking:

x10 Pygmaeus Corydoras (bottom/mid)
x6 Carnegiella Strigata (top level) (marbled hatchetfish)
x2 Dicrossus Maculatus (mid/bottom) - still unsure of this one, I can get a pair from my main LFS and they have them available, but it is hard to find more detailed care instruction for them. If not them, I would like to find a different centerpiece or just increase one of the school sizes since 2 of these accounts for around 5 inches.

Going off the care guides available online I've searched through (as well as advisement from my LFS guy) this would put my stocking inches somewhere between 20-23.

Since it is softer water for these guys, I was looking at keeping water parameter ranges around: Ph: 6.5-7.0, <20ppm Na at all times, around 4°dkh Gh & 2-3°dkh Kh, with a temp. range of 77-80° fahrenheit. To help maintain this, over the weekend I got a 4 stage RO/DI system that does 50gpd (works awesome so far, driftwood will have to come next check). May add peat moss to the filtration, depends on how hard of a time I have managing the water softly with the ground litters I'm looking at (also listed below).

For plants:

I read a lot into the suggestions here, and in other oxbow lake sources I could find. Some plants I omitted due to care needs or natural origins, and this list will change - but at the moment these are what I was looking at:

Foreground (very little off, dotted along the main sandy/leaf litter swim zone):
Echinodorus tenellus

Midground (very little of):
Echinodorus xingu

Background:
(Some) vallisneria along the back wall
Myriophyllum
Anacharis elodea
Cabomba furcata
*Hydrocotyle leucocephala (still reading more into, if chosen it will be a background and floating plant, will replace either myriophyllum or anacharis elodea)

Floating:
Phyllanthus Fluitans
Salvinia minima
Amazon frogbit (with the stems tied off to suction cups, would have to try and keep focused on 1 side of the tank)
* Hydrocotyle leucocephala - if chosen will prob. replace amazon frogbit

At the moment, I'm still reading into multiple types of echinodorus(i), so those will change as I learn more (theres a lot of them I like).

Driftwood I am leaning towards getting some nice long pieces, and coupling it with the current giant hunk of mopani thats in my 10 gallon (I call it Mt. Tanksuvias).

Ground litter thoughts (not all native):

Leaves (will buy a bunch, and gradually change them out as they break down):

Guava
Catappa
Mangrove
Jackfruit
Magnolia

Other ground litter:

Couple tiny pieces of driftwood to simulate roots winding through the substrate (if I can find anything suitable)

Acorn tops (? Have seen this a couple times, there are types of oak trees in south america so I'm interested)

Still all evolving, if anyone has any suggestions on this post please advise! Especially regarding centerpiece fish that would do well in softer water (also needs to be friendly enough for a community). Really digging the dicrossus maculatus though - just need to find more info. on them before I decide anything.

OH - and the tank. It's still cycling, today's readings were: 77° F, Ph 7.1, Am.: .25ppm, Ni.: .25ppm, Na.: 5ppm, Kh: 3°dkh, Gh 8°dkh.

Another big thing I get to sort out, is adjusting my RO/DI water (fun fun), have a friend coming over in a couple days that has been in the hobby for a long time that says he has a few ideas I could try so we'll see how that goes.

That's all for now though, and since this is a slow-moving project: Happy Halloween if I'm not back with another post before then! ^.^

Also thanks to @Lajos_Detari for the article links. They were a big help for understanding more about creating biotopes and led to a lot of other information about oxbow lakes specifically.

Thanks to @Retired Viking as well for suggesting a pen. I found a few cool ones I wanted, and my girlfriend caught me looking at them and told me to back off it since my bday is coming up soon so we'll see what happens.
 

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Retired Viking

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You are welcome. another thing I am researching and just bought a bottle of is "Fritz dark water almond leaf extract" I have not tried it yet but it claims to provide a natural source of tannins. I picked that up with a packet of Indian Almond leaves advertised as (Betta Catappa Leaf) at Petco.
 

Lajos_Detari

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You are welcome!

I like Dicrossus Maculatus. They are interesting and their tails are unique. It will be a good choice as they don't grow big.
Or you can also consider Dicrossus filamentosu but more rare.

I guess if you can get 3-4 of them will be even more interesting.
When you select the fish, choose 1 that is bigger with more colour and oval/spade tail (male) and 2 smaller with less colour and round tail(female) for higher chances of male and females.

" While the male Dicrossus filamentosus develop a clearly lyretail (forked) caudal fin, the males of D. maculatus grow an oval to slightly lanced (spaded) tail-fin, bluish with a dense pattern of vertical bands. The female’s is round and transparent, without any design."










 
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Koglin

Koglin

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You are welcome!

I like Dicrossus Maculatus. They are interesting and their tails are unique. It will be a good choice as they don't grow big.
Or you can also consider Dicrossus filamentosu but more rare.

I guess if you can get 3-4 of them will be even more interesting.
When you select the fish, choose 1 that is bigger with more colour and oval/spade tail (male) and 2 smaller with less colour and round tail(female) for higher chances of male and females.

" While the male Dicrossus filamentosus develop a clearly lyretail (forked) caudal fin, the males of D. maculatus grow an oval to slightly lanced (spaded) tail-fin, bluish with a dense pattern of vertical bands. The female’s is round and transparent, without any design."










Oh man I'm loving it! Thanks so much for the info. link's about them, when I was looking I kept finding bland care sheets that had somewhat contradicting info.

After a bit of looking around, it turns out the filamentosus are cheaper near me. I read they're better in groups of 5 or more, or as a pair.. really like them as another option to the mac's.

Helps a lot, thanks again xD
 
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Fishmanic

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Be sure you enter that 20 gallon biotooe in the January tank of the month contest which will feature tanks sized at 17 to 30 US gallons.
 

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