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January '07

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701_Primitive_Fish_Tank_2.jpg (37kb)

701_Primitive_Fish_Tank_1.jpg (37kb)

January '07 - Gustavo Pollastrini's 825 L Primitive Fish Tank. (Brazil)

This month we feature a certainly unusual setup...a long, wide and very roomy tank hosting a collection of equally large and quite exotic fish!

Owner:Gustavo Pollastrini, 35, from Rio de Janeiro (Brasil), 12 years of fishkeeping.
Website:Tethys World
Setup:April 2005.
Dimensions:200x75x55 cm.
Volume: 825 L (nominal).
Filtration:2x canister Fluval 304, 1x canister Azoo 1500 L/h, total circulation 8000 L/h.
Lighting:80 W fluorescent, 10 hours per day.
Decoration:A few pieces of driftwood and rocks, lots of swimming space.
Others:Digital timer.
Įgua:Temp 27-30°C, pH 7. I haven't measured other parameters in a long time.
Maintenance:50% weekly water changes.
Fauna:At the time of these photos: 1 silver arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum), 1 clown knifefish (Chitala chitala), 3 gars (Lepisosteus spp.), 2 bichirs (Polypterus spp.), 2 clown loaches (Chromobotia macracanthus). The population varies since I have other tanks and a lake.
Flora:Java fern and Java moss.

This tank was an upgrade from a 500 liter one I had for about 4 years, I used the same filters (just added the Azoo canister) and the same decoration so I wouldn't lose the biology; the main reason for the upgrade was the Lepisosteus that needed a wider tank, due to their difficulty in "maneuvering".

Primitive fish have the characteristic of growing quickly up to a certain plateau, then transition to a slower growth rate. Even so, some of the animals I keep will eventually outgrow this tank. In this case, as I've already done with my pirarucu (Arapaima gigas), they go to a pond I have in a country house near Rio. They're wonderful animals and I'm crazy about them, they're intelligent and full of personality, each one with its own characteristic. My fish eat cichlid pellets, shrimp, chicken heart and fish filet, once a day.

Keeping such large fish has two main challenges: the compatibility among the animals (I recently had to remove the clown knife in these photos because he was fighting a lot with the arowana) and the huge tank volume. For those who live in an apartment like me, a tank larger than 500 liters can be a problem, that's why I used canisters and not a sump in this tank, so I wouldn't increase the weight even more (although I think a sump is the ideal filtration for large fish...I have one in ALL my other tanks).

The arowana will soon be relocated, it's reaching 80 cm and is 3 years old, the tank will soon be too small for it. In its place I intend to add 2 South American lungfish (Lepidosiren paradoxa) which are currently growing alone in a smaller tank and apparently formed a couple, one is albino and the other is leucistic (an extremely rare specimen of primitive fish). Besides the cited primitives so far, I have a Protopterus annectens (African lungfish) and some other more "modern" fish like the loaches in this tank.

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

701_Primitive_Fish_Tank_3.jpg (37kb)
75 cm width - much more comfortable for the longer fish   

701_Primitive_Fish_Tank_4.jpg (27kb)
   Sampling of the interesting and exotic species of primitive predators

Photos taken by Gustavo Pollastrini and displayed here with his permission.

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