#51: 208L Biotope/Natural Aquaria Amazon rainforest

Eva Talmadge Gainesville, United States

Awards and Comments

Third Place
This aquascape does as you know need a little more time. As it grows in you may find that the sword plants will outgrow the tank. "Red Flame" is a horticultural variety and won't be found growing on an Amazon stream bank; E. osiris is a marsh plant from southern Brazil and H. (actually M.) micranthemoides is from the West Indies and North America.
— Roger Miller
Do not devide tank into half! Rearrange driftwood
or look for different pieces and let E. quadricostatus/Lilaeopsis grow in.
— Detlef Hupfeld
An attractive planted tank but the layout of the plants looks more like a lovely garden than a biotope. The large leaves of the swords create a unique look when several swords are planted this closely. The dark brown color of the driftwood looks very nice against the green background.

From personal experience I'd found that swords quickly outgrow a tank of this size. In my tanks I've had to frequently remove older and larger swords and replace them with younger ones. It looks like in some of the pictures this is happening to this tank.

Regarding the mentioned nutrient deficiency I've found that swordplants greatly benefit from substrate fertilizing.

And as a replacement for the neons I've always found that Cardinal Tetras are much more hardy and not at all susceptible to neon tetra disease
— Chuck Gadd

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 122 × 33 × 41 cm
Title Amazon rainforest
Volume 208L
Background Back painted black
Lighting 110 watts All-Glass PC, 10 hour photoperiod, 40 watts All-Glass aquarium striplight, 11 hour photoperiod.
Filtration One Aqua-Clear 300, with a CO2 hose stuck into the intake.
Plants 1. Myriophyllum aquaticum (parrot's feather), 2. Echinodorus bleheri(amazon sword), 3. Echinodorus quadricostatus, 4. Echinodorus "red flame", 5. Echinodorus osiris, 6. Hemianthus micranthemoides (pearlweed), 7. Lilaeopsis brasiliensis.
Animals One pair of Microgeophagus ramirezi (blue rams), one male Apistogramma cacatuoides, one Farowella acus (twig catfish), several otocinclus sp.
Materials Driftwood, collected around Florida, probably some kind of swamp pine.
Additional Information D.I.Y. CO2 (two bottles and a sump, one bottle changed every week), substrate a mix of Fluorite, peat, and plain aquarium gravel. I dose the tank with a D.I.Y. potassium solution as well as Seachem's Flourish and Iron. Many of my plants are show deficiency symptoms, and I am still working out the correct fertilization regimen.

stream tank. Ph 6.8, GH 10, KH 3, temp 79 F, water changes 20% weekly. This is a relatively young tank, and I know the foreground needs time to fill in. You may also notice I have very few fish in this tank - I had a school of neons, but they had issues with neon tetra disease. I am open to any fish-stocking suggestions!

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