South American Paludarium Build

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NoodleCats

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Putting this thread together to kick off the new build. Since my corydoras eques are no longer kept species only, and are getting a tank upgrade, I've decided on opening a new thread for that journey since the 20g journey has come to an end.

A local messaged me saying his brother was throwing out a tank and asked if I wanted it. Was thinking of replacing my scratched 20 eventually anyways, but with something smaller like a 29 or a 35, or even a 40 tops.

However, who am I to turn away good fortune at a good upgrade, even though it's a 55 gallon?

It is lacking the centerbrace, but that's okay as I don't plan to fill it to the top, making it a paludarium with some emersed plants growing up top.

I am still in the process of setup as of this intro post, but happy to formally introduce the newest project.

The 20g setup on the left, which is the tank being upgraded.
20220221_163217.jpg

Wooden stand. Thinking of doing some art on the doors.
20220221_182247.jpg

Moved my fry setups to under the stand, going to put my live food cultures and early nurseries up on the top shelf.
20220221_182305.jpg

I used silicone to hold the upper branches in place and they have dried and are secure today. Still need to clean the glass a bit though.
20220222_073025.jpg

If it doesn't bow, the red line is my planned water level goal.
20220222_07fvh3025.jpg


Stock as of right now being moved to this tank:
8 corydoras eques
10 ember tetras
6 lemon tetras

I am deciding on the final stock option for this tank though, maybe a pair of apistos or another shoal of tetras. But would like to stock fairly light otherwise.

Branches are maple, downed from a tornado last summer. Waste not want not.

Plant list as of start up:
Brazilian pennywort (emersed and submersed)
Stargrass
Guppy grass
Flame sword
Oriental sword
Helenthium quadricostatus
Dwarf Sagittaria
Bacopa caroliniana
Pogostemon g a y I
Eleocharis montevidensis (giant hairgrass)
Red root floaters
American frogbit


Plan to scape it representing an Amazon river riverbank with overhanging branches and emergent vegetation, scattering the submersed plants in a more natural manner. Some leaves will be scattered about, but tannins kept light.
 
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NoodleCats

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Well, it is setup, fish moved over. Now it needs to clear up and fill in more.
20220222_181336.jpg

Hopefully the pennywort grows more emersed that I can extend over the branches up top.
Might also make a rain bar feature for this tank.

Unfortunately did lose an ember tetra during transfer, unsure what happened. Went belly up in the holding container.

Otherwise, things went smoothly, just a very long amount of time to get it all put together.

I did decide on the final stock option....

Ornate tetras!!

Placed an order for 10 of them, hopefully no problems with them being shipped.
 
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fishorama

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Well, you have been busy! So far so good...It looks like some other wood tangled in there too, I like it.

I like the look of ornate tetras. I'm always hesitant with any tetra that reminds me of serpae...even tiny embers. LOL, I know they're not the same, maybe someday I'll get over my bias against red deep bodied tetras...& skirts too. I did love my lemons, I see yours all faced the same way. Mine often did until food hit the tank then it was every tetra for itself.

I'm sorry you lost an ember but you still have a nice group
 

NoodleCats

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Well, you have been busy! So far so good...It looks like some other wood tangled in there too, I like it.

I like the look of ornate tetras. I'm always hesitant with any tetra that reminds me of serpae...even tiny embers. LOL, I know they're not the same, maybe someday I'll get over my bias against red deep bodied tetras...& skirts too. I did love my lemons, I see yours all faced the same way. Mine often did until food hit the tank then it was every tetra for itself.

I'm sorry you lost an ember but you still have a nice group
Lol speaking of serpae, I did mention I took in my coworkers last fish when she closed down her tank... besides the pleco there were some very old tetras too. They're in my anubias 55, but 2 of them are serpae!
They were very shredded when I got them, probably because there were only the 3 together, but they've been very well behaved actually. Surprised me because I've seen the condition of their fins and I know of stories of them.

But ive got them with skirts and emperors, so I think they either feel happy with the large group of tetras in that tank, or aren't willing to pick fights with the larger tetras lol. That tank has a group of 29 tetras altogether, consisting of skirts, black neons, emperors, and then my coworkers 2 serpae and 1 bleeding heart. They're old so won't add more, but they've been healing their fins and behaving well.

Now.... I've had horrible experience with neon tetras. Meanest fish I ever owned. Those serpae are nicer. They'd rip each others face off. Attacked my cories. Bit the fans off my bamboo shrimp. I rehomed them, no way I was keeping those psychos.

But its made me very wary of that whole genus of tetras because of my experience with them. So I've been happier sticking to the hyphessobrycon group particularly. Which, ironically, also counts serpae (hyphessobrycon eques).


But I definitely understand that instinctive wariness after experiences with one bad egg. Most say neons and cardinals and green neons are calm, docile tetras. My batch of neons were psychopaths and I stand by that lol no clue if I'd have better experiences with cardinals or green neons because I don't intend to ever find out haha


The lemons are fantastic. Very mellow. Mine don't have a ton of colour, they've ended up Grey bodied with little pattern to their fins, but honestly I'm okay with that because theyre lovely the way they are and I love their personalities. They have to be one of the most docile tetras I've had, that actually still *have* personality (sorry black neons! They're friendly too but mine are pretty lazy, like to just sit in one spot all day)

Embers are pretty sweet, though the usual squabbles can happen. Never damage on each other though.

Skirts are another one that gets a pretty fierce rep. They're okay once you get them to settle down and figure out pecking order and you give them space. I found mine were a lot more nippy in 20 gallons compared to when they were moved to a 55. In the 55 they calmed right down. I have to wonder if the worst is brought out of them when put into smaller tanks, aren't given good enough numbers, and have more males than females... they do get pretty large for a tetra and it seems commonly accepted that a 20g is fine for them, but honestly seeing the behaviour change with a larger setup, I think that standard should be looked at more closely to see if it improves across the board, so to speak.
Theyre not the most active of tetras but I do find once they sort out their hierarchy, they pick a favourite spot in the tank and just chill there peacefully. I do find the fish also tend to defend a little 8-10" space for themselves from other skirts once they settle. I'd imagine this behaviour isn't doable in the smaller tanks because their "territory" is much smaller than they'd prefer.

Would be cool to see how they behave in the wild, if it is a similar setup.
 

fishorama

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My skirt experience is very limited, we "adopted" just 1 ancient 1 many years ago. Poor thing, he had no idea what to do. He was used to his 2 angel females, a blue gourami & some other random biggish fish from my husband's coworker, maybe a kisser. He knew we took good care of our tanks. I often hate this scenario but it happens sometimes. We usually have understocked tanks & "can" make room but I may be better at saying no thanks...well sometimes...I've loved some "gift fish" over time.

To me skirts tetras are just not pretty enough (ok, call me shallow) & too big to fit in many tanks. My neighbor friend has 3 "glow" skirts in a small tank for his 2 YO. I didn't want his guppies...or danios...but last I heard so far so good...I'm afraid to ask...I gave them a fish book & called it good...
 

NoodleCats

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My skirt experience is very limited, we "adopted" just 1 ancient 1 many years ago. Poor thing, he had no idea what to do. He was used to his 2 angel females, a blue gourami & some other random biggish fish from my husband's coworker, maybe a kisser. He knew we took good care of our tanks. I often hate this scenario but it happens sometimes. We usually have understocked tanks & "can" make room but I may be better at saying no thanks...well sometimes...I've loved some "gift fish" over time.

To me skirts tetras are just not pretty enough (ok, call me shallow) & too big to fit in many tanks. My neighbor friend has 3 "glow" skirts in a small tank for his 2 YO. I didn't want his guppies...or danios...but last I heard so far so good...I'm afraid to ask...I gave them a fish book & called it good...
I've had skirts for so long, one of fish my husband picked out at first lol they're a subtle fish, appearance wise. They do have a very beautiful sparkle to them in the right light. But they don't necessarily catch people's eye.

I know a lot of people say emperors need over 40, ideally even a 50, yet it's the same size as skirt tetras where everyone says a 20 or (worse like the glofish standards) smaller.


I'm hoping that my new tetras are shipped out tomorrow. Gonna be eagerly waiting for that shipping notice in my email. I've heard good things about ornates, though I was considering veilfins too... ornates were a lot cheaper. And I think their shape and colour is more what'd go well with the scape and other fish.

I do know the powerhead i ordered is supposed to arrive tomorrow. Need to keep some good movement in the tank.
 

dudley

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Maybe I missed it but what filter are you planning on using? I see you also mentioned maybe doing a rain bar so assume you will be using a canister filter.
 

NoodleCats

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Maybe I missed it but what filter are you planning on using? I see you also mentioned maybe doing a rain bar so assume you will be using a canister filter.
Diy planter sump! It's the same filter that was running on the 20g prior.

Quick vid of it lol will get a better on later when the rain system is put in.
 
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NoodleCats

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D dudley

Rain installed!
 
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NoodleCats

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Short video of the full tank in action.

Cropped view
20220223_182741.jpg

Full view.
20220223_182full741 (1).jpg

And my tetras should be arriving tomorrow so long as there's no delay from FedEx

Hoping maybe to do some pothos or some other south american plant above the water line besides emersed pennywort.
 
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