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Biotope or not?

Discussion in 'Biotope Layouts' started by Ian, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. Ian

    Ian Aspiring Aquascaper

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    An apology if this is in the wrong place this is my first post!


    I have been reading this forum for a while; I find it all very interesting, I love some of beautiful creations shown on these pages. My interest is on the rise as I am planning a new aquarium this year. I am looking for something special this time, however I have an aversion to fighting against nature. So my intentions are to work with what I have naturally, as I have done for the past twenty years or so. My problem is the local water:

    • PH 8.+ and above
    • GH 12-20
    • KH 10-15
    I would dearly love a chunk of Amazonian rainforest but it’s simply not practical for me.

    As a consequence I have kept mainly Marines. Though I currently keep Cichlids from lake Tanganyika, as you can imagine the natural habitat for these fellows is pretty desolate, inhospitable to plants and even if conditions were right for the plants, then the fish would probably eat them.

    What’s my aim? The new tank will be a decent size decent depth and height, at the moment I’m dreaming 4ft x 2 x 2 to fit into an available space though it could possibly go bigger if I’m very lucky. I would like to stick to what I know when it comes to the inhabitants and I was thinking species tank of Tanganyikan

    Shell Dwellers, -Neolamprologus. This also dictates the gravel I use, as these little fellows dig and dig deep! So it will be coral sand. I can hear you saying (shouting) “NO!” But Shellies live in little communes near the bottom (lower layer) of the tank, so I have a lot of space still left to be filled. I was hoping to be quite creative with the rock work to enable pockets this is where the planting can come in, or can it? I recently added some Java moss just as a test, its doing fine, but then it would). Plants from the rivers that flow into the lake include Crinums, half C. natans and the other half C, calamistratum also Bolbitis, which could possibly be tied to the hardscaping? The Tanganyikan Biotope could be right on the edge, between the lake and the river?

    What would I need? My current tank has been running for about ten years now and things have moved a long way forward in that time. I am a bit behind the aquarium technology of today, I currently have no intentions of attempting to soften the water, but there are many other things I could now be using, which would make my life easier, and help create the magical tank of my dreams. Such as LED Lighting.

    So is the Biotope a good idea? Or should I forget the idea as technology has moved on and I really ought to be having a go at aquascaping

    Your thoughts and ideas please.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
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  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Ian

    You have found it already its all here.

    Do a bit of research first then with the help of ASW members you can plan what is most suitable for you and how to go about it.

    Over 10 years experience that is a massive start when learning about all the new technologies that are around today.

    At a very rough guess I would say you have mastered the art of aquariums with out modern technology it a great way to learn about aquariums, you cannot teach experience.

    Keith:):)
     
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  3. Ian

    Ian Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Keith,


    Firstly thank you very much for the reply.


    My word! I should have attached my Ichthyology CV, as I’ve just realised it’s over 41 years within the hobby, plus various spells in the trade, a lot has changed. Unfortunately technology has “seriously” moved on recently. Which is partially why I have been sat here lurking (learning), there is “SO” much new to take onboard. I don’t plan to start until late 2014, which will hopefully give me plenty of time to digest all the information available from this forum.


    I have also noticed some members of this forum, who are proficient in the Art of AS, happen to live local to me; they even use the same Local Independent Fish Hobby Store. So I can be sure AS is a real possibility even with the water issues that I have noted above.


    But switching codes is going to take some real consideration, the Aquarium alone is a substantial outlay, (it’s in line with some home renovations and we all know how these can drag on!) Along with all new filters, I’ve never used a sump system at home, as for this new fandangled LED Lighting. I can see it is going to be a gradual process, but I have time to run a few trials on plants, to get an understanding of just what is required.


    So if you happen to see me going through old threads please don’t worry, I’m just trying to absorb all there is before doing anything rash(y)

    Regards Ian
     
  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Ian

    After all your practical experience you still want to do all your research first before you start.

    I just wish all new comers would read your topic and understand regardless of age and experience the best method is take it slowly and all the research first and not the "Must have it NOW" like some do, not all thank goodness.

    I have never worked in the trade but I have been interested in aquariums/fish for about 70 years and had aquariums for about 45+years now.

    Keith:):)
     
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  5. Ian

    Ian Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ha Ha Kieth, Time spent here = time getting it "RIGHT".
    No point investing hard cash, to get it all wrong (y)


    I'm still not 100% convinced its for me though still lots to read....

    Yes, I have read your signature too(y) Agreed(y)

    Regards Ian
     
  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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  7. Ian

    Ian Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Will do Keith,

    Although reading the site I do come across some terminology/abbreviations that to the uninitiated could do with a Forum Key Page.
    HC ?
    EI
    DW = Dead Wood
    There probably is I just haven't found it yet...
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  8. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Ian,:)
    HC Cuba -- Baby tears,, Small ground cover plant
    EI--A dosing method for ferts
    DW-- Drift wood,, you nearly got that one:D

    I don't think there is a forum key page :(

    Looking forward to seeing your work in the near future :)
     
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  9. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Ian

    When I first started looking at Aquarium Forums LFS had me tricked for a while.

    Keith:):)
     
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  10. Ian

    Ian Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
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  11. moss_maniac

    moss_maniac Aspiring Aquascaper

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    me too, Keith!:whistle:

    Yes Roy, a key page would be great!(y)

    Welcome Ian, a lot of dangerous pages here.... :sneaky:
    Maybe also interesting for you: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=198400
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
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  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Ian that looks like a strong volcanic movement to cause all those rocks to be in that position.

    Keith:):)
     
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  13. Ian

    Ian Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Keith, sometime I'll tell you all about another hobby of mine, however this isn't the place, but in my "Other" hobby this art of creating foam scenery is known as making "Frocks" ie the art of creating Foam Rocks.

    Evelyn, Ich habe auch mal in Deutschlad gewohnt, that's where I bought my first fish tanks, I can remember buying fish for a few Mark (DM) with my pocket money. At that point the German Aquarium hobby was miles ahead of the rest of the world.

    Wow another day of research goes by, my son has even got in on the action, bringing me a JBL brochure back from the “LFS” we are going to set up his tank with a DIY Co2 system just to see its effectiveness, as a consequence he has been out and bought himself more plants…Eventually he is going to have my existing aquarium.

    Meanwhile I was reading the literature JBL http://www.jbl.de/en/aquatics-freshwater-products/detail/2365/jbl-proflora-ph-control
    as-well as searching round one or two forums (as you do!) Though I also saw these BNC http://www.aquarist-classifieds.co.uk/shopping/20754-Bnc-1-HIGHEST.html and obviously it raises a few questions, as they are half the price, is the CO2 requirement worth investing in the known German technology or would the cheaper version meet the requirement adequately? I guess it’s one to figure out perhaps some of you with experience of both could advise.

    Once I was looking around I was searching for CO2 items and prices etc, but you know what it’s like, I accidentally got dragged into this site, with some quite interesting aquariums. I already had the new purchace aquarium in mind from LFS, which has been agreed with the Household Head of Finance,:ROFLMAO: it is to match in with a future furniture purchase, which is all Oak, however some of these High Gloss Aquariums look really nice too. :rolleyes:

    Now all of a sudden I find myself in an even worse quandary if I go AS then the High Gloss would be best, but if I go Biotope then the Oak seems to fit the need in a different way…

    Good job I got into this planning phase early.....


    Kind Regards Ian
     
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  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Ian
    There is so much high tech stuff on the market today that should supply FREE headache with then.

    Unless you are going into the hobby that requires all these "whiz bangs" good old common sense and experience is sufficient.

    You only have to read through ASW and other Aquarium Forums the number who just do not understand High Tech BUT they just had to have it from "Day 1"

    The older experienced generation grew up with out High Tech and we learnt the hard way by our many mistakes, no WWW around to help with any research work.

    Keith:):)
     
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  15. moss_maniac

    moss_maniac Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
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  16. Ian

    Ian Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Keith,
    Now you are talking my language, mistakes too many to count, perhaps that alone is worth another thread,(especially some of the funny ones) hence all this research.


    I must admit I thought there would have been an avalanche of people telling me AS was the way to go…. Forget Biotope but it never happened.

    Evelyn,
    Sieht mal wieder super aus, great site, so much to take in, I haven’t spoken German for many years but apparently I have a “Bayerish” accent?


    Kind Regards Ian
     
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  17. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Ian, There is already a thread "Newbie Mistakes" by John N In General Aquascaping and planted tank discussion Page 2 near the bottom of the page :D Ho Boy i have made some mistakes over the years too :eek:
     
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  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Ian & Roy

    You would both have heard this old saying in one way or another.

    "He who never makes a mistake never makes any thing".

    That is how I learnt about many things about life.

    Keith:):)
     
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  19. Ian

    Ian Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Roy,


    I'll wait a while, let me progress through this purchase and set up and them I'll post in that thread. Well I wouldn't want to look too much like a numpty straight away now, would I :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
     
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  20. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]
    Numpty

    Scottish usage:
    Someone who (sometimes unwittingly) by speech or action demonstrates a lack of knowledge or misconception of a particular subject or situation to the amusement of others.

    Ian

    I had to look that one up.

    Keith:):)
     

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