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Old 12-04-2006, 04:26 PM   #1
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How Seriously do you take your Biotope?

I am very interested in biotopes and i think that with a very realistic one you can pretty much have a chunk of nature in your house.
Most people say that 'it's a slice of nature in your living room' but if you have fish and plants from all over the world it isn't 100% true. Don't get me wrong in some sense's it is true but when you get down to the nitty gritty it isn't really. (I have yoyo's and black neons with an anubias! )
However if you have a tank full of fish and plants that would co-exist and live together as they would in nature then you are allowed to say that you 'have a slice of nature in your living room.' (I suppose you could go further by saying 'An aquarium in your house is hardly natural' but that's defeating the whole point, i think Confused myself here!

Anyway for those of you with biotopes how seriously do you try to 're-create' the natural habitat?
I stumbled accross a website which has the ideal sized tank, heater, and filter but also the ideal water requirements and heating regulation.
And here it is... http://www.freshwateraquariumplants....pe/amazon.html

I was looking at my stock list and noticed that all the fish are from South America so i am considering an Amazon biotope.
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:29 PM   #2
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I would like a small biotope of the amazon...with neon's, and rams! (maybe some natural otto's or corries as well)
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:43 PM   #3
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Currently, not real serious. I'm more into learning how to grow plants, and be algae free. But eventually, would like to set up a complete natural biotope or 2.
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewolfblue
Currently, not real serious. I'm more into learning how to grow plants, and be algae free. But eventually, would like to set up a complete natural biotope or 2.
LOL I would LOVE to learn how to grow plants and be algea free
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:52 PM   #5
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Well, with some fish (e.g. cichlids, and pufferfish) recreating the natural habitat is more of a necessity than with 'general community' fish, because it helps them settle more easily, encourages spawning, and reduces stress. They're living in a, albeit tiny, recreation of their natural environment so they'll be more at ease. That said I've seen a whole variety of malawi cichlid setups: everyone has their own 'take' on the environment. I use lava rock, someone on cichlid-forum.com has the exact same fish and uses some boulders he got from a local supplier, but the general point is the same: rocky environment, lots of hiding places -> greater number of territories for fish to claim -> encourages spawning and happier fish.

Take many tetras, inc. neons, for example: these fish originate in blackwater (there are three types of freshwater: whitewater, clearwater, and blackwater), which you can recreate by filtering through peat or allowing tannins to leach from wood decor into the water, which is soft and slightly acidic. However, many people keep them successfully in conditions totally different to this.

So, on the one hand with some fish it's recommended, and with others it's a 'bonus' if that makes sense. I don't think people could keep malawi cichlids successfully in soft acidic water, is what I'm saying. But tetra can survive in harder/more alkaline water, which isn't blackwater, so it's less essential.

Then there's the question of 'authenticity and aesthetics': the same people who work on recreating biotopes to as precise a level as they can are usually going to end up with a great looking tank as a result, even if they werent focusing on one environment. Not necessarily because a recreation will always looks right, but because they're obviously spending time making sure the tank is set up as best as it can be. I.e. you can be as meticulous about aquascaping/conditions without theming the tank and it'd look as good as tanks which recreate specific environments. The key is in the time spent making it work well and look good
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:55 PM   #6
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Yeah i think i am the same at the moment LWB.
This will be my first high light tank and i have spent quite a bit of money on it so i'm not so sure i should be trying something to technical and restrictive with my experience as a fish keeper.

I would like to try a variety of plants but then again i am into the 'nature like' tank.
Maybe it is a little early for me to try a biotope, hopefully in later life if i have better financial backing then i may try one.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:26 PM   #7
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And I'm starting to get the hang of much higher lighting as well, without the algae. The trick is, crank the CO2, let it flow, lol. Just don't let it get to the point of affecting the fish, and you are fine. Keep nutrients up as well. And PWC's. My 75G is starting to fill in again, and I've turned on the 4th bank of lights once again, a full 520W. Just would like more plants, lol. Gonna start doing some research and find some interesting plants. And when the time is right, I want to do a full biotope with my 75G.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:26 PM   #8
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i just started my aquarium recently so my experience is limited but i am doing a south american biotope.

my main focus is on a colombian river environment (orinoco river basin) but it IS hard to remain totally true to that environment. i have size limitations (20G) and of course there is a lot in the orinoco basin that isn't available to me.

definitely everything in my aquarium is from south america though. not only do i want my fish to be in as natural an environment as possible, but my husband is colombian so it's partly for sentimental reasons that i try to keep an authentic biotope.

for my next tank though i think i might just do a community tank of pretty fish!
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:40 PM   #9
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I don't take the biotope very seriously at all. I has a river setup, but it got annoying with maintenence, so down it came. I haven't got a tank yet that is for display. Eventually, maybe, but I'm more into the business end of breeding. Fish first, then some biotope, if I want.
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Old 12-04-2006, 11:03 PM   #10
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Im thinking of starting a Manchester ship canal biotope.A child's toy car and a couple of coke cans will form my decoration -not that I'll be able to see it in the murky water.

Im thinking of stocking with a few minnows and sticklebacks.Luckily I wont have to worry about water changes due to the nature of that particular biotope.
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