Learning about Biotope configurations ...
Hello - am new to the aquarium world and am fascinated by the biotope concept (in my mind, that means plants and fish that exist together in nature and are now living in a re-created looking habitat ... in an aquarium in my house). I think this sounds awesome.
Where do I find more information about the different biotope possibilities (and if they are endless, then, perhaps, the most prominent ones) and see photos and outlines of what goes together and how in the aquarium?
The wonderful e-book on this site mentions two "beginner biotopes" (Root/South America and Asian Lowland Still Water). Also, I have found: http://fish.mongabay.com/biotope.htm which seems to be headed in the direction I am looking for but hasn't been updated in a while (2004) and I would like to see more photos of tank setups.
Any good resources out there I am missing?
Appreciate any research tips from those who have swam before me.
I dont have a direct link but here is what I would do. Go through a site like liveaquaria.com or even petco.com and look at the fish you personally like. Then take that fish and punch its name in google and find pictures of it in the wild under google images. Folks here can help ID the fish and plants around it and also the site has a great feature of fish profiles that will guide you to the area the fish is local to.
For example, South American Cichlids like the German Blue Ram or Appisogramma's can be found in sand beds, driftwood and amazon ferns all around them... you will find loads out there!
FW: 1 45gal, 1 40gal, 3 10gal, 3 30gal all community tanks of different species
Sw: 1 55gal, 1 30gal show, 1 29gal show, 1 20gal and 2 10's
I agree with Sandz! Another thing you could do is take a look in the journal section of this site. Quite a few people here do biotopes, and provide start to finish journals on them. :) The titles will most likely mention 'biotope'.
130g: 7 Angelfish, 1 Bolivian, 17 Neon Tetras, 14 Serpae Tetras, 9 Kuhli Loaches, 1 Otocinslus, ? Ghost Shrimp
I've noticed that people HATE it when you point out how stupid they are, so now I try to do it politely.
Thanks both for your suggestions - I will have to do some leg work then. Smile. I will be sure to create a journal once I get going. If anyone else has any good resources (books maybe?) let me know ...
Depends on what you're after. I recently posted 45 minutes of underwater footage of venezuela.
IMO it all starts by taking a good look at your tapwater (and by vowing never to touch clown vomit gravel! ). What are the readings after letting it sit for 24 hours?
Perhaps before you get your hopes up for a certain biotope it may also be worth looking at what species you can find in your local area?
I agree with talldutchie your pH will have the final say, e.g if its 8.0 its africans for you, or if its 6.5 bring on South America.
My therapist says I need a bigger tank . . . . .
Welcome to fishkeeping, although biotopies are beautiful i find that they are better suited to a more advance aquarist. For a beginner, trying to get to grips with water parameters, cycling, tank maintenance, equipment maintenance and such can be a steep learning curve. With biotopies you would also need to manage and take care of your plants as well.
Maybe to start with you could choose which biotope you would like to have, and just buy the fish first with some basic decor (plastic decor and plants). Once you feel established enough, you could rescape the tank to a full biotope buy adding the plants, etc.
Either way, good luck and google is your friend.
Hardness actually worries me more. If water is reasonably soft you can nudge it down with some peat quite easily.
Originally Posted by ScottishFish
I am sorry but I disagree with this. Cycling needs to be done anyway.
Originally Posted by CrazedMichael
Plants buffer nitrates (and other things) giving more room for slight errors. They also provide cover which reduces stress and improves health. Planting isn't difficult at all if you spent a small amount of time on research.
Not all biotopes feature plants. There's quite a few that have branches, algae and leaf litter and that's it.
For a newbie a strict biotope can be a challenge if only because sourcing plants is a challenge. If you're a little less strict (i.e. only south-american species versus only from that one river) it does not need to be difficult at all
I personally think its a matter of determining which biotope you like and trying to get as close to it as possible.
A perfect biotope I think is for someone more advanced, but if someone has the budget (for lights, substrate, bit pricier fish etc) and time to put into one I think anyone can get it close.
I personally just want a natural looking tank, not necessarily all from one area though
55g: DG, 5 GBR, 4 Oto, 6 Sterbai, 4 Platies, RCS
10g: RCS, 10 Boraras Brigittae; 10g: UNDER CONSTRUCTION; 10g: UNDER CONSTRUCTION
MY 55G SET UP
, MY DUAL 10g SHRIMP BUILD
55: Amazon Sword, C. Red Wendtii, J Fern, Wisteria, Hygrophila Angustifolia, Moneywort, A. Nana, Subwassertang, Microswords, Sag Chilensis, Gold Lloydiella, Phoenix Moss
10: Crystal Vals, Dwarf Sag, A. Coffeefolia, Phoenix Moss
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