Rio Ucayali Biotope Project

The April FOTM Contest Poll is open!
FishForums.net Fish of the Month
🏆 Click to vote! 🏆

Okay, progress shot!! I've been spending the evening getting substrate and hardscape in. This is all wood that I've collected myself from various sources. As far as I can tell, it's all hardwood. I've also got a few pieces of petrified wood in there (not very accurate for the biotope but shhh. don't tell anyone). The substrate is Covia aquaquartz pool filter sand. So far, highly recommend if you want a fine white sand. We'll see how it continues to perform, but it was super clean. Only took a couple minutes of rinsing in a bucket for the water to completely clear up. It's also pretty cheap at $30 for a 50 pound bag.

I did start to fill the tank, but quickly realized my error in not weighing down the wood first. Don't know why I subconsciously assumed it would behave for me lol. I'll have to go out and grab some rocks and zip ties tomorrow...

Sadly, the sponge filter is, in fact, kind of ugly :/ Tried my best to obscure it a little with the wood, but it's still fairly visible. Oh well. Someday I might switch to a HOB, but honestly, I might just deal with the ugly for this tank since a lot of its inhabitants (particularly the hatchets) like minimal flow and surface disturbance.

The leaf litter I'll get later. Might go foraging around for some. We don't have a lot of oaks around here, or hardwoods in general, but I'll see what I can find. I have to scrap my initial rhododendron idea since those leaves are apparently toxic.

IMG_7272.JPG
 
Last edited:
I love the hardscape and can't wait to see this evolve over time. My new 90L came the other day it looks so much bigger than I thought. Probably cause I'm used to nano tanks 😁
 
I love the hardscape and can't wait to see this evolve over time. My new 90L came the other day it looks so much bigger than I thought. Probably cause I'm used to nano tanks 😁
Thank you! Yeah, this one's approximately 95L. It's so weird looking at this tank that I currently consider somewhat large while also knowing that ~30gal/100L and below is still considered "nano" in many circles...
Will you make a journal for your 90L?
 
Last edited:
Thank you! Yeah, this one's approximately 95L. It's so weird looking at this tank that I currently consider somewhat large while also knowing that ~30gal/100L and below is still considered "nano" in many circles...
Will you make a journal for your 90L?
Still at a crossroads of what to put in it. But first, a stand will be needed. Also, there is a possibility of this tank not being set up for a couple more months until my sawbwa fry are rehomed. So it's a waiting game at the moment.
 
Most exciting update yet: the tank is filled!!!

IMG_7283.JPG


I despise the blue zipties, but it was genuinely the least obnoxious color I had immediate access to. If the wood isn't waterlogged by the time I'm ready to put fish in, I'll switch the blue ties out for black ones. I'll need to switch them out before fish anyway since the cut off tails are too sharp for comfort with little fish.

The rocks I used as weights were collected from the little creek right outside my apartment. I gave them a light scrub to remove surface goo, but I'm actually hoping they provide some nice BB to help jumpstart the cycle. That's also the reason for the blue gravel in the corner. It's from my 5.5gal that's already cycled. I'd add filter media from that tank, but it uses disposable filter cartridges (disclaimer: I did not choose this filter). This cartridge had apparently been running for a while even before I got the tank, so it probably has a fair bit of bacteria and I didn't want to remove basically the entire cycle by replacing it. So, I did put a new cartridge in the housing, but rinsed the old filter in tank water and just put it back in the tank. I'll leave it there for at least a few days to seed the new cartridge, then I'll take the old one out and put it in the new tank to help the cycle further.
(Edit: oh, I also dosed with some Stability. I think it's expired, but I figured it couldn't hurt to add anyway)

The frogbit has finally been released from its bowl prison lol. I'm hoping it has some nice bacteria on it as well. The seller gave me quite a lot of it, which is great, but it was also chock full of duckweed which I absolutely do not want in this tank, so I had to pick through each plant and rinse off all the duckweed. Also gave me a chance to prune unhealthy leaves and remove small snails.
 
Most exciting update yet: the tank is filled!!!

View attachment 334112

I despise the blue zipties, but it was genuinely the least obnoxious color I had immediate access to. If the wood isn't waterlogged by the time I'm ready to put fish in, I'll switch the blue ties out for black ones. I'll need to switch them out before fish anyway since the cut off tails are too sharp for comfort with little fish.

The rocks I used as weights were collected from the little creek right outside my apartment. I gave them a light scrub to remove surface goo, but I'm actually hoping they provide some nice BB to help jumpstart the cycle. That's also the reason for the blue gravel in the corner. It's from my 5.5gal that's already cycled. I'd add filter media from that tank, but it uses disposable filter cartridges (disclaimer: I did not choose this filter). This cartridge had apparently been running for a while even before I got the tank, so it probably has a fair bit of bacteria and I didn't want to remove basically the entire cycle by replacing it. So, I did put a new cartridge in the housing, but rinsed the old filter in tank water and just put it back in the tank. I'll leave it there for at least a few days to seed the new cartridge, then I'll take the old one out and put it in the new tank to help the cycle further.
(Edit: oh, I also dosed with some Stability. I think it's expired, but I figured it couldn't hurt to add anyway)

The frogbit has finally been released from its bowl prison lol. I'm hoping it has some nice bacteria on it as well. The seller gave me quite a lot of it, which is great, but it was also chock full of duckweed which I absolutely do not want in this tank, so I had to pick through each plant and rinse off all the duckweed. Also gave me a chance to prune unhealthy leaves and remove small snails.
With the rocks, it may have been a safer bet to boil them as well, just to make sure there's no bad bacteria. I understand that you want to leave them be, but it may have been a better idea to be safe.

Perhaps if you wanted to add a little more structure to the back little open area you could buy one of those spider woods or something that looks like that from the woods and use that to the back. Hopefully it won't take up the whole space but it'll certainly give the fish more cover.
 
With the rocks, it may have been a safer bet to boil them as well, just to make sure there's no bad bacteria. I understand that you want to leave them be, but it may have been a better idea to be safe.

Perhaps if you wanted to add a little more structure to the back little open area you could buy one of those spider woods or something that looks like that from the woods and use that to the back. Hopefully it won't take up the whole space but it'll certainly give the fish more cover.
Yes, possibly. Do you think it would be worth it to take them out and boil them? I mean, at this point, they've been in the tank for a number of days, so if any bacteria on them was going to get into the water column, it already has. I could boil them and do a partial water change though, if you think that'd still help at this point. The other thing is that it'll be a few weeks before any fish are going in this tank, so there's some time for things to settle out or die off.

And yes, I do want something for that back corner there at some point. I probably will get a piece of spiderwood or something, unless I can find a particularly interesting piece of wood myself
 
Things seem to be chugging along in this tank! I just added 7 Pistia plants, so I'm hopeful that they'll do well. They lost a bit of root material on the drive home—2.5 hours on bumpy country highways will do that to a plant, it seems—but they seem okay now. This time around, I tried to keep their water warm with a little heating pad to try to mitigate potential temperature shock. We'll see how they do in the coming days. I'll definitely be on the lookout for any melting.

The frogbit seems to have recovered nicely though! Lots of new little leaves and the roots are regrowing. I just went through and removed the last of the melted roots. There are a decent number littering the bottom, but I might just leave them to decay. The ammonia/ammonium from them can't hurt at this stage with no fish in the tank. In fact, the plants will probably just eat it right back up. The melted roots seem to decay pretty quickly, so it shouldn't be a long-term issue.

Edit: I just realized there's zero context for the frogbit's recovery in this journal thread oops. Basically, it got a bit yellow and sad when first put into the tank and practically all the roots melted off. It was a mess. I think it was mostly just damage and shock from transport. But yes, recovering well now.

My driftwood also finally has the Fuzz. I did add a few tiny ramshorn snails that I picked off of the frogbit, so we'll see if they eat it, or if it just goes away on its own. I might eventually regret adding the snails, but ramshorns are my favorite of the "pest snails", so they're not unwelcome. I'll just keep an eye on the population.
 
Last edited:
Yes, possibly. Do you think it would be worth it to take them out and boil them? I mean, at this point, they've been in the tank for a number of days, so if any bacteria on them was going to get into the water column, it already has. I could boil them and do a partial water change though, if you think that'd still help at this point. The other thing is that it'll be a few weeks before any fish are going in this tank, so there's some time for things to settle out or die off.

And yes, I do want something for that back corner there at some point. I probably will get a piece of spiderwood or something, unless I can find a particularly interesting piece of wood myself
I wouldn't boil rocks. If porous, or have pockets of water in them, they can explode.
 
Famous last words
Yeahhhh... After sleeping on it, I think I'm going to remove the ones I put in the tank lol. They're too tiny to do much of anything about the driftwood fuzz, which will eventually go away on its own, and they'll just get out of control. I've seen diy snail trap devices that seem to work pretty well, but still. And even when I eventually get the apisto, it won't hunt and kill the snails like a puffer would, so... Goodbye, ramshorns.

They are cuties though. I put two of the large ones in my 5gal. They're fun. They have some quite pretty white stripes on their shells. Some of the smaller ones have little leopard spots. I do like them, but maybe not an infestation of them...
 
Yeahhhh... After sleeping on it, I think I'm going to remove the ones I put in the tank lol. They're too tiny to do much of anything about the driftwood fuzz, which will eventually go away on its own, and they'll just get out of control. I've seen diy snail trap devices that seem to work pretty well, but still. And even when I eventually get the apisto, it won't hunt and kill the snails like a puffer would, so... Goodbye, ramshorns.

They are cuties though. I put two of the large ones in my 5gal. They're fun. They have some quite pretty white stripes on their shells. Some of the smaller ones have little leopard spots. I do like them, but maybe not an infestation of them...
Someone at our local aquarium club meeting was selling Ramshorns at auction. I think they said there were at least 20 in the bag. The guy running the auction mumbled, "aren't these the ones I'm always trying to get out of my tank?" LOL- someone paid a few bucks for them, though. I have so much algae right now I was kind of wishing I had gotten some. I have some nerites and a few bladder snails which I guess will do the same, but don't look as cool.
 
I think I'm going to pick up some liquid fertilizer for the floaters. They're growing really fast, but I'm still seeing a bit of leaf melting. I know it's not water flow or anything physical. I removed the glass lid a while ago, so they're open to the air. So, my best guess is lack of nutrients, things like iron and phosphate especially. I'll probably grab some seachem flourish since I hear decently positive things about it. I hear better things about Aquarium Co-op's easy green, but it's pricier, especially including shipping.
 
I use Seachem Flourish and have to remove handfuls of red root floater at every water change or I wouldn't be able to see the water surface..
 
Still waiting on the ferts to get to me, but in the meantime, it's been interesting to watch this tank progress without any real input (just stuck a sponge filter and a heater in there and got it running).

I have some rhabdocoel flatworms now! They seemingly popped up overnight. I have no idea where they came from. Maybe the plants? But I've also heard of people getting them in very bare tanks with no plants at all, so who knows. I first noticed them yesterday and initially had a hard time identifying them because they were all swimming in the water column and not crawling on the glass. This morning, I've noticed more on the glass. Most of them are sooooooo tiny, and there are a lot of them, although I did see a big one that was half a centimeter long!! I'm glad they're harmless, so I can enjoy watching them swim and crawl around.

In other news, I did have to remove a few more snails. Apparently, less than 24 hours was enough time for one of the little buggers to lay eggs I guess?? I never saw the eggs, but I did see 3-4 very small snails a couple days ago. So I've been doing snail checks a few times a day and removing any that I see.
 

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Members online

Back
Top