Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
August '06

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608_Guyana_Biotope_Tank_1.jpg (42kb)

August '06 - Rens van de Kerkhof's 430 L Guyana Biotope Aquarium. (Netherlands)

Here's another elegant aquarium from a Dutch hobbyist, meant to recreate an ambience that could be found somewhere in the hot, rich Guyana river basins. Some beginners may find the lack of variety and strong colors a little frustrating in these types of setups, but seasoned hobbyists certainly learn to appreciate the amount of research, preparation and dedication put into such biotopes!

Owner:Rens van de Kerkhof, from Venray, The Netherlands.
Setup:January 2006.
Dimensions:130x60x55 cm.
Volume: 430 L (nominal), 350 L (effective).
Filtration:2x Eheim Liberty (200 and 100).
Lighting:2x36 W Philips TLD daylight.
Heating:100 W.
Substrate:0.5 - 1.0 mm gravel; 2 cm clay/peat balls for my plants.
Water:pH 6.8, KH 3, GH 7, NO3 0, PO4 0.1 mg/L.
Maintenance:Once a week: Cleaning the front window, plants (the leaves with my fingers and a sponge), driftwood with a brush, renew the sugar/yeast solution (see comments), replace 20 liters (50% RO water). About once every 3 weeks: replant the C. thallictroides, clean the filters.
Fauna:4x Apistogramma steindachneri (2 male, 2 female, see comments), 15x Corydoras melanistius, 25x Nannostomus beckfordi.
Flora:Nymphaea glandulifera, Ceratopteris thalictroides, Echinodorus bleheri

I'm a fellow club member of Arjan Haak (January '06). There were a lot of positive reactions over your site from the club members when his tank was featured. We had our monthly "meeting" and some voices were saying that other members should try to get their tank on the site, so I did. It could be a start of more information sharing with other hobbyists in the world.
I've tried to simulate a Guyana biotope in this setup. My wish was to have 1 apisto male and 3 females. Unfortunately one female turned out to be a young male. My tank is probably too small for 2 males and the younger one is already the boss. For now it is not going too bad. If the two work out fine and there is a balance, I may decide to put in 1 or 2 extra females to get the ratio better.
I use a sugar/yeast solution to add CO2 in the tank, which helps to get the pH below 7. I put 300 ml water with 30 grams sugar and a small teaspoon yeast in a PVC vessel. Every week it should be renewed, since after 10 days the CO2 productivity reduces.

August '06 Update:
In my previous comments I wrote about the two apisto males. Unfortunately the oldest male died. The young male (see photos below) was getting stronger and stronger and became the boss in the tank. The other male had a rough time, problems with feeding, constantly chased by the other male. When I wanted to seperate them it was to late, my mistake (lessons for the future).
Since then I've had several eggs and fry, but only once the young fish were freely swimming and eating with their mom, and even so just for 2 days. Hopefully the mom will learn and I can see the young fish grow. The other female now has her first breeding colors showing. Her behaviour is also changing, she is not so humble anymore, and wants the attention of the male.

Thank you for showing my tank on your site!

If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.

608_Guyana_Biotope_Tank_2.jpg (34kb)
   Apistogramma steindachneri (male)

608_Guyana_Biotope_Tank_3.jpg (24kb)
Apistogramma steindachneri (couple)   

608_Guyana_Biotope_Tank_4.jpg (36kb)
   Nannostomus beckfordi

608_Guyana_Biotope_Tank_5.jpg (18kb)
Corydoras melanistius   

Photos taken by Rens van de Kerkhof and displayed here with his permission.

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