Setting Up a All-natural Amazon Themed Aquarium
Most of the freshwater aquarium fish we obtain in our pet retailers originate from the tropical river of the Amazon in South America. The Amazon has additional variety of fish and plant life of all the rivers in the globe put with each other.
The amazing selection and beauty of Amazonian fish and plants is what drew me to this style of aquarium. I have fallen in appreciate with building Amazon community tanks and re-developing the atmosphere and organic eco-systems of this river.
The diversity of the Amazon River and its many streams signifies there are infinite ways in which you could produce an Amazon theme, and the style and decor of your aquarium setup will depend on what sort of fish you want to hold.
Now I will focus on setting up an Amazon themed aquarium appropriate for Angelfish or Discus. These fish can grow really substantial so it is recommended to have an aquarium at least 150-200 litres or a lot more in volume. They are also rather peaceful fish, so are incredibly appropriate for the community tank, so extended as comply with a handful of very simple guidelines.
For my theme I want to re-create the flooded jungle of the Amazon. Just about every rainy season the Amazon River bursts its banks to flood the surrounding jungle. At this time the fish head into the jungle to discover a appropriate quiet location to breed. This is the type of aquarium I want to represent and will guide you via the method.
Collecting the Decor for an Amazon Aquarium
For an Amazon themed aquarium the decor (gravel, rocks, driftwood, plants) should really be as organic as doable.
For me this is a good excuse to get out into nature and discover some regional rivers and streams. If you are fortunate adequate to live nearby to a clean organic river or stream like I am then this is the best place to get what you want for your Amazon setup.
The river near me has beautiful brown/red gravel that is really fine practically like sand. I collect 2-three buckets worth of this gravel for my substrate. You can give it a rapid clean utilizing a hose in a half full bucket, stirring the hose finish via the gravel and pouring out the dirty water, but this is not vital and it can be effective to leave the dirt and other bits of leaves and stick in there as this will support with plant development.
TIP: Be certain to get the finest gravel you can this will enable plant growth as the roots can effortlessly spread by way of the gravel, otherwise the plants and their roots will have a challenging time.
Although you are down at the river be positive to gather some bigger rocks and lots of fascinating looking driftwood. You can commence planning your aquarium scape as you obtain bits of driftwood and rock. Be confident to gather much more driftwood than you need to have though, as fairly typically I will bring house a good piece of wood only to find it is far also significant and would not appear very good in the aquarium.
You can give the driftwood a fast scrub with a new scourer if you like to clean them up. This can be a good idea as some of the wood might have traces of algae on them and often you can not see it. It isn’t totally essential though and ought to be fine as extended as the river it came from is clean fresh water.
If you are not as fortunate as me and cannot obtain these issues in the wild, then you can discover them from your local pet shops or garden supplies shops. If you buy them be positive to clean them completely just before utilizing.
Soil for Increasing Plants
Most folks do not feel to do this, but to grow healthier aquatic plants, just like normal terrestrial plants, you want good soil.
So the nest factor you will want to gather is some very good clean soil. If you have some clean soil free of chemical substances in your garden you can use this, while this can be risky as your soil could be incredibly tough and have a higher PH level which will not be appropriate for your fish. It can be a great thought to test your soil out in a modest aquarium 1st to make sure it is appropriate for your intended fish and plants.
If you do not have any suitable soil on hand you can purchase some from your neighborhood garden supplies. I have heard of persons regularly making use of Orchid compost which is stated to be quite superior. Just be certain it is free of charge of chemical compounds and you must be suitable, but once again a tiny test run is always a great thought to be sure.
Your Aquarium, Heating and Filtration gear
I am assuming that you have your aquarium prepared in location and your heating and filtration equipment currently bought, but here are a couple of swift recommendations for your setup.
Filter: I suggest a tiny power filter (or two) placed in the rear corner(s) of the aquarium. Be certain to study how quite a few liters of water your filter is suitable for just before you buy it. You want to create a circular motion of water that flows appropriate about the aquarium, evenly dispersing the temperature and nutrients around the aquarium.
Heating: The excellent temperature will rely on your fish and plants, but for practically all Amazon fish, 27 degrees Celsius is excellent. The temperature may possibly fluctuate a tiny more than a cool evening or a hot day but a couple of degrees either way is fine.
TIP: Often have a second back-up heater in case a single fails, and if they do, ordinarily you will not have time to replace it just before your fish are all dead.
Lighting: This is a very vital factor if you are increasing plants. For an aquarium 200-250 litres you will will need four X fluorescent globes that reach the complete length of the aquarium. You can get special globes particularly for increasing aquarium plants from your nearby pet store and often from light/lamp shops where they will commonly be less costly than the pet stores. Hardware stores also often stock suitable globes.
TIP: Adjust your globes every single six months for the most effective out-put. The human eye cannot tell from hunting at it, but soon after 6 months the globes will commence to loose their potency and plant growth will slow down.
Provide your aquarium with 8-9 hours of light per day. You can setup an electric timer for this. If you have complications with algae in the future you can reduce the light by an hour.
These are the only 3 points you need to run your aquarium.
What about Oxygen for the fish to breathe?
You do NOT want an “air pump” that blows bubbles into your aquarium. To start out with, these bubbles do not truly add oxygen into the water, it is the agitation and movement of the water surface that is placing oxygen into the water.
The plants developing in an aquarium will present oxygen into the water, and to compliment this I place my power filters close to the water surface so that a slight ripple of water disturbance is made, but only slight, too much agitation to the surface and you will loose other precious compounds like Co2 (carbon dioxide) which is required for plants to grow.
Plants: It is a great concept to do some investigation on what varieties of aquarium plants are appropriate for the soft water of an Amazon aquarium. Excellent plants to select would be Sword Plants, Anubius and Vallesneria. There are many other appropriate plants also but be confident they are suited to soft water and a PH of about 5.five-6.
Water: The water you use is the most vital element so you have to have to get this correct. To commence with you can test your tap water for any chemicals applying a water test kit. You can get these from shops that specialise in household water filters. If your water does contain chemical substances then you will will need to treat it or find an alternative water source. A great alternative, and really the finest water you can use is un-treated rain-water. Some persons are fortunate and also have access to underground springs and bores which will give even much better water than rain-water, although this can at times be a bit difficult and is greatest combined with rain-water if doable. If you want to treat your water a Reverse Osmosis program is the very best for removing all the chemical compounds from your water.
You will also want a water PH test kit. The ideal PH for an Amazon aquarium is five.5 – six. Reptile Supplies will imply that the water is soft just like the situations in the Amazon river itself. You can lower your PH to suit if will need be. The very best way to do this is to add rain-water to the aquarium, catch it in a bucket if you have to when it rains. Rain-water is as soft as water can get and on its personal can even be also soft. An additional issue that assists soften the water is lots of driftwood, which we already have planned for the aquarium.