PDA

View Full Version : 40BR Orinoco Biotope questions



awflip
12-29-2015, 02:39 PM
Hello all, I just bought a 40BR and I'm looking into setting up an Orinoco type low-tech (Walstad) tank. I want to remain as close to the biotope as possible, but I want it fairly heavily planted so it probably won't be a true slice of the biotope in my tank. I am planning on dirting the tank; is dirt an accurate substrate for this? Also, are these accurate plants?

Water Hyacinth
Echinodorus sp. (which ones are native to the orinoco region?)
Red Hygrophilia
crypt sp.
Red Tiger Lotus

I really like the idea of having plants grow above the water, too. I was also thinking about setting up a planter next to the tank with some dirt in it, and just use the same light as the tank. Are there any drawbacks to this?

My stocking ideas are a pair of German Blue Rams (any suggestions for other fish to replace these??) and a pair of Rubbernose Plecos. Are these suitable tank mates? My plecos are definitely territorial but not very aggressive, aside from chasing each other around and chasing off fish during feeding time (I use mini algae wafers to make sure they all get their own food!) Also, would there be any room for other fish in the tank?

I plan on taking it really slow with the GBRs, since I have never owned any cichlids, and wait at least 2 months to add them for the tank to stabilize and for myself to get comfortable with the tank. Plecos would probably go in after a few weeks (they're already in my 55g) Is this a good plan?

Are any snails native to this region? What about MTS?

Tropical
12-30-2015, 09:08 AM
Sounds like a cool aquascape idea!

I'm no expert on this biotype, but I would think that dirt could be used. Maybe sand would be better.

The idea with planter should work, depending on the plants. You'd have to have the light suspended over the tank though (10-12").

The Rams should work, you could also do Apisto Inirae or Dicrossus filamentosus instead.

There's definitely room for more fish! Cardinal and rummynose tetras are native as well, I'd do a larger school of both, say 10-12 of each.

Marbled hatchetfish which stay at the surface would look nice as well.

Plecos will work as well.

If your going to dirt the tank, I'd definitely wait at least 6-8 weeks after its cycled, and the plants grow in some.

Some interesting articles: www.fish.mongabay.com/data/ecosystems/Orinoco.htm

www.fishchannel.com/fish-magazines/aquarium-fish-international/april-2009/orinoco-fish.aspx

BobMajor
12-30-2015, 09:12 AM
Crypts are from asia.not sure about the tiger lotus but think they are Asian also.The water hyacinth will crowd out the floating leaves of the lotus.It is hard to find good soil to use in these set ups.Most soils have too much organic matter that floats and makes a mess.It is best to soak the soil in a 5 gal bucket and pour off the floating matter over a period of days so you end up with soil that stays on the bottom of the tank.Unfortunatly by doing this you also drain off many of the nutrients in the soil

Tropical
12-30-2015, 09:17 AM
Sword plants are from South America, they should work. Echinodorus tenellus is another one....

lamarr
12-30-2015, 02:04 PM
Water hyacinth is super tough without high intensity lights. It just melts and makes a mess.

awflip
12-31-2015, 05:19 PM
@Tropical: Thanks for the cichlid suggestions! I like the idea of some tetras, hatchetfish might work too. I was also thinking about transferring my pygmy corydoras into this tank, too..

I would definitely cap the dirt with either coal slag (black blasting sand) or some pool filter sand. Haven't decided yet. I like the way the coal slag looks in my tanks but I've never had anything to compare it to so I might go for the normal sand...

I put my tank into aqadvisor (http://aqadvisor.com/AqAdvisor.php?AquTankName=&AquListBoxTank=Choose&AquTankLength=36&AquTankDepth=18&AquTankHeight=16&AquListBoxFilter=Tetra+Whisper+EX70&AquTextFilterRate=70&AquListBoxFilter2=Choose&AquTextFilterRate2=N%2FA+&FormSubmit=Update&AquFilterString=ram&AquListBoxChooser=Blue+Ram+%28Mikrogeophagus+ramir ezi%29&AquTextBoxQuantity=&AquTextBoxRemoveQuantity=&AlreadySelected=201001021210%3A2%3A%3A%2C201003241 259%3A2%3A%3A&FilterMode=Display+all+species&AqTempUnit=F&AqVolUnit=gUS&AqLengthUnit=inch&AqSortType=cname&FilterQuantity=2&AqJuvMode=&AqSpeciesWindowSize=short&AqSearchMode=simple)and it says the temperature between the Rubbernose Plecos and Rams are imcompatible, but my plecos have been fine in water as warm as 78-79. Would a temperature of 78 work for both?

awflip
12-31-2015, 05:25 PM
@Bob - I will have to do some research to find out about the plants!

I have a 55 long with Miracle Gro Organic Mix as substrate, which was halfheartedly mineralized in the cold of last February. It is pretty stable now, and there can be some mess when moving plants around but its really not too bad.

@lamar - Would 6500k / 1300 Lumen CFLS work?

awflip
12-31-2015, 05:30 PM
Heres a good link I found: Basic Delta Geomorphology (http://www.beg.utexas.edu/geoenvirn/orinoco/summary/main/basic.htm)

This thread pretty accurately describes what im going for: Attractive Orinoco Biotope (http://www.aquascapingworld.com/threads/newbie-with-some-plans-attractive-orinoco-biotope-feedback-wanted.9328/)

Tropical
12-31-2015, 06:07 PM
Large schools of tetras and cories look really nice!

I think black sand would look great, fish always get darker colors and are less shy on darker substrates.

Rams like it really warm, at least 79, 82 is better..... Apistos like it colder at around 72-74, tetras and cories are fine at those temps.

Aqadvisor is good for the numbers, but the other things are meh.... If the tank is heavily planted and has good filtration, you can stick it to 100%, but it ranks certain species pretty high....

Seriouslyfish.com has the best profiles, and info IMO.

Can't wait to see how it turns out!

BobMajor
12-31-2015, 06:28 PM
Interesting article.From personal experience I would stay away from larger corys when using soil substraights.unless you have a thick cover layer . They can really make a mess .The dwarfs should be ok. I know many people like to use various types of sand as a cover layer.My experiences using sand have all turned bad. Not enough air movement thru the substraight causing anaerobic bacteria pockets which promotes blue green algae.I only use gravel as a top layer. If you are having emersed plants in your set up an interesting fish for your tank would be some splash tetras (not easy to find )

awflip
01-02-2016, 05:16 PM
I think black sand would look great, fish always get darker colors and are less shy on darker substrates.

Rams like it really warm, at least 79, 82 is better..... Apistos like it colder at around 72-74, tetras and cories are fine at those temps.

Aqadvisor is good for the numbers, but the other things are meh.... If the tank is heavily planted and has good filtration, you can stick it to 100%, but it ranks certain species pretty high....

Seriouslyfish.com has the best profiles, and info IMO.


Hmmmmm I don't know if my plecos will stand that. After a bit of research I found that Rubbernose Plecos (L187B) tend to like cooler water, so I'll have to experiment to see if it'll work.

Thanks for the seriouslyfish tip, Aqadvisor was definitely a little off, I think because it can't/doesn't account for plant growth.


Interesting article.From personal experience I would stay away from larger corys when using soil substraights.unless you have a thick cover layer . They can really make a mess .The dwarfs should be ok. I know many people like to use various types of sand as a cover layer.My experiences using sand have all turned bad. Not enough air movement thru the substraight causing anaerobic bacteria pockets which promotes blue green algae.I only use gravel as a top layer. If you are having emersed plants in your set up an interesting fish for your tank would be some splash tetras (not easy to find )

Would Malaysian Trumpet Snails help with this? I have a 55g with dirt capped with coal slag right now, I have had little to no algae growth (although I have 2 small plecos, a SAE and snails).

I'll have to look out for some splash tetras, those look really cool!

awflip
01-05-2016, 08:54 PM
Here's a profile (http://www.dwarfcichlid.com/Microgeophagus_ramirezi.php) I found for the GBRs.

Ram cichlids are found in the savanna areas of the central and lower Orinoco River in Venezuela as well as similar areas in Columbia. These savanna areas, or Llanos, are not at all the type of rain forest habitat that Apistogrammas are typically found in. This area is a vast dry plain that is used primarily for cattle ranching. Spread throughout the dry grasslands are a number of natural and man made ponds where the Rams are found. These pools are often very shallow and exposed to the direct sun in sweltering hot conditions. Consequently the waters may get very warm and collectors have discussed catching fish in water as warm as 88 degrees F and it is generally assumed that they inhabit waters much warmer at times. In their native habitats the waters are very soft with low pH. Most describe pH values between 5 and 6.5 but there accounts as low as 4.6 and as high as 7.3.

Is it really normal to find them in water that warm? That seems really high, definitely too high for the Plecos.

edit: Here, in a breeding article (http://www.dwarfcichlid.com/Breeding_Blue_Rams.php) from that same site:
To succeed you first must meet the water demands of the fish - very warm, 82º - 84º F, very soft and acid - pH 5.5 - 6.2.

Here's one I found for the Plecos (L187B) (http://www.planetcatfish.com/common/species.php?species_id=318).

Currently known from western piedmont tributaries of the upper río Meta and Guaviare basins, in departments of Meta and Casanare, Eastern Colombia, Orinoco drainage.

Temperature: 68-73.4 F

From Wikipedia,
The Orinoco is one of the longest rivers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River) in South America at 2,140 kilometres (1,330 mi). Its drainage basin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drainage_basin), sometimes called the Orinoquia, covers 880,000 square kilometres (340,000 sq mi), with 76.3 percent of it inVenezuela (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuela) and the remainder in Colombia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombia). The Orinoco and its tributaries are the major transportation system for eastern and interior Venezuela and the llanos (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Llanos,_Venezuela) of Colombia. The Orinoco is extremely diverse and hosts a wide variety of flora and fauna.

So "Orinoco" is a lot more general that I had thought. Still not sure if my pleco's would be okay with Ram's at 82, the plecos are from more river-type areas will fast flowing and cool-ish water, while the Rams are from hot pools. It might work, but I don't think I could give both of them their best habitat in the same tank.

Tropical
01-05-2016, 09:13 PM
This is where thriving and surviving begins....

I was going to say that earlier, I had read that the river is huge so all kinds of water flows and temps....

I personally think it could work at 78-80F, since these are not wild caught plecos (I assume?) so not that fragile.... But it would not be ideal. If you can I'd not do it, go with apistos if you want the plecos as they prefer colder temps....

awflip
01-05-2016, 09:24 PM
This is where thriving and surviving begins....

I was going to say that earlier, I had read that the river is huge so all kinds of water flows and temps....

I personally think it could work at 78-80F, since these are not wild caught plecos (I assume?) so not that fragile.... But it would not be ideal. If you can I'd not do it, go with apistos if you want the plecos as they prefer colder temps....

I agree, I would rather my fish thrive than just survive.

I don't know if they are wild caught or tank raised. They are pretty hardy, I had an ich outbreak soon after I put them in (I think I added them too quickly), but I killed the ich with Rid-Ich plus before it got to a second cycle. Raised the temp to ~80, so I know they could survive the temp but based on their origin I don't think they would thrive. Right now their water is 75.

They were ~1.5 inches each when I bought them in March 2015; I couldn't tell them apart for a few weeks, but soon one of them developed a wider head so I believe it is male. Now they are almost 2.5". My best guess for their age, if their growth rate has been constant, is maybe 2 years+ old. I will ask the owner of the store I bought it from (Optimum Aquarium) next time I go in!

Tropical
01-05-2016, 10:36 PM
If they are the common BN and you got them really small, I'd definitely say they are tank raised....

awflip
01-06-2016, 05:17 PM
Do you mean Bristlenose? I do not have Bristlenose, I have Bulldog. My fish looks exactly like this (http://www.aquariumdomain.com/images/fish_freshwater/BulldogPleco1.jpg).

I have tried to do some research on breeding my plecos, chaetostoma formosae (http://www.planetcatfish.com/common/species.php?species_id=318), but there are no known intentional reports of them breeding in the aquarium, so I assume they are wild caught.

Tropical
01-06-2016, 05:22 PM
Ah, sorry I thought you had Bristle nose plecos. It does look like they are wild.