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Adam's Rio Tapajos/Geo Biotope Tank

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Hi guys and girls,

Here is a journey for me into the world of biotopes. It is no way near finished however will continually update on a weekly basis until perfection is reached.

I went for the bigger wood, but there is not much information on the Rio Tapajos where the Geophagus Tapajos is kept, more so where the apistos and in the drainage systems themself. I have also opted for finer melaleuca too. Whole idea is to have a natural setting with some nice intriguing bits of driftwood with lots of curves and bends like shown, with the nice sand which would be what is seen in the Rio Tapajos, and no plants, some stones as stones are often found in the bottom of the Rio Tapajos of all sizes, shapes and also sharpness, indian almond leaves for more feature, slight tannin, good ph, kh, gh and good quality fish.

My set up will be upgraded in a few months time so yes, for now the tank size is okay for the accomodation of fish, but will be upgraded to a 5 x 2 x 2 by january next year at the latest.

For now though;

The system is as follows;


3 foot by 18 inches by 20 inches

Tank Stand

Standard Tank Stand stained


40kg of Frazer Island Sand (very white and bright sand) (will not use all but got enough to last for the upgrade tank too)


1 x Aqua One Aquis 1200 Canister Filter

• 1.5L Seachem Matrix

• Aqua One Ceramic Noodles

• Various size sponges

• Four finer woollen pads

• DAZS Anti Phosphate Pad (May not be used yet)

• DAZS Anti Ammonia Pad (May not be used yet)

• DAZS Anti Nitri Pad (May not be used yet)

• DAZS Black Sponge Pads x 3

• DAZS Fine Black Wool Pad

• API Bio Chem Zorb Sachet

1 x ANS iFlo Filtration Set 17mm Lillypipes


1 x Hagen GLO Twin T5 HO light unit.

2 x Hagen GLO Tubes or 2 x 10 000K Tubes


1 x Aqua One 300W Heater, To be Upgraded to a Hydor Inline heater within two months.


Various size driftwood pieces connected to make one big layout fro Aquariums Alive. FishChicks Melealuca.

Rocks from my Iwagumi leftovers



Indian Almond Leaves


6 x F1 Geophagus Tapajos Orange Heads

6 x Zebra Otocinclus

2 x Bristlenose commons

1 X Bristlenose Peppermint

Other Products, Medications, Water Change Products

1 x 2L Seachem Stability

1 x 2L Seachem Stress Guard

1 x 473mL API Melafix

1 x 100mL Aquasonic Ichonex

1 x 120mL Waterlife Protozin

1 x 120mL Waterlife Sterizin


1 x Hikari Discus gold

1 x Sera Vipan 75g Food

1 x Spectrum Multi Purpose Food

1 x Spectrum Medium Fish Food

1 x Spectrum Algae Wafers for the Otocinclus

Regular serves of Frozen Bloodworm

Regular serves of Frozen Brine Shrimp

Regular serves of Live Blackworm



With flash on showing the colour of the water and how rich in tannins it really is



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Forgot to write;

Hi guys and girls,

Time to update my Geophagus Tapajos biotope tank. I have done some wood scaping if you would call it as it feels silly to call placement of wood and sand aquascaping haha. The wood is now positioned in a prime stack in my opinion however am open to critics. I have allowed an open area in the centre of the tank at the front which is different to the last scape which filled in all areas at the front and looked far too cluttered and not as appealing on the eye.

The pictures of the new scape are below. I feel it is missing a piece in the back left corner and midground in the far left corner. I am hoping that piece of mangrove does change its colour as it has taken ten times longer to do so than any of the wood in my tank, otherwise might have to replace the wood with some nice Meleleuca from Fishchicks next time I am in there as I am not happy with the colour variation. Two of the pieces of wood are also growing this gross green algae in spots of the wood unsure why but it is all over the new piece of mangrove in there and over another piece closer to the surface. Possibly due to high lighting coming from twin t5ho lights?

A certain Geo decided to swallow one of my Apistos last night (RIP APISTO) and I managed to capture the bloody Geo on film and pics so will upload the youtube video soon of my tank and also greedy guts.

Anyways enjoy,


I wanted to show more pictures of the fish. I will have a CANON 550D DSLR camera within the next two weeks, so can FINALLY GET SOME DECENT PICS UP! The colours in the fish are not even showing in these pictures and it is a real shame as they are beautiful!!!! and have exceptional colour especially the dominant and subdominant fish in the tank. I guess these pictures will have to do in the mean time, but the fish look ten times better in real life than in these cruddy pictures.

More pics;




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I know it is not 100 percent there in my last scape and it is no way near biotope and that will all change!!!, and I am not happy with the scape and still needs some tweaks and will continue until it is right. I hope this update makes it 85 percent or more in the biotope books :) I have tried to hide the heater but to much fail! I will hide the air stone, and the heater tomorrow as now have sliced my hand to pieces on glass when I dropped my shrimp vase on the floor :( Will be adding more tannin to the water tomorrow as I just done a water change hence the pooey photos, and bad camera (cannot wait for christmas).

This more of an update showing a new scape and also new fish.

I now have 20 lemon tetras, 8 corydoras melinis breeding colony, 6 geophagus tapajos, 6 otocinclus, 1 L202 pleco, 2 common bristlenose breeding pair with about 20 babies swimming around, 1 peppermint.

The lemons still need to colour up unfortunately but will look stunning when complete. I have tried to give the geos a bit more open space, while giving the corydoras a better play area for the new additions. I have tried to make it more realistic and tried my best to give it a "aquascape" feel to it and imrpoving from my last scape of, yep this will go there, that will go there chuck it in and itll be good... I have removed 3 pieces of timber from there. I also went collecting and found some melaleuca twiggy finer bits like you see there, so there will be more added in the not so distant future to fill the gaps and create a more realistic feel.

Hope you guys enjoy;

New scape


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Hey mate,

Nah didnt survive. Got them to fry though so it is promising. First time there is always a really high percent of being unsuccessful so heck there was no way they would even survive past the egg stage but they did so it is really good sign of things to come :)

really digging this new scape layout I have going now :)

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Dam Adam,

you have out done your self yet again and wow what a great scape and great looking fish. It is always refreshing to see so much work done for the fishes happiness and also health.

As for the colouring on the common fry this can occur dew to natural throwing of a albino or due to someone crossing one of the parents before.

Well done



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Bit of an update;



Have since added different melaleuca into the tank and swapped changed things around and added two rocks to make it more visually appealing...Will be adding more melaleuca (fine twingly bits I found very soon). Will get new pictures up tomorrow once the tank clears from a treatment of Geo Liquid overnight.


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not much been happening. I have just sourced a tonne of new melaleuca and some really fine bits and pieces will take pics of later and then put in tank and show but bit of an update of the progress of the tank to date. It has come a long way from a few months ago in my opinion. Really pleased with it.


Still waiting for the lemon tetras to colour up. Praying it is soon :)

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Pics of some of the spare wood;

These pieces are just on 2 to 3 foot long


Main centrepiece about 45cms wide by 20 deep and 45 or so high


Fine twiggy bits with lots of detail and very fine


Close up


Stoked with the collection to present. Hopefully will double in the next few weeks.

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So my efforts today consisted of dumping about 20 odd litres of sand into the tank to replenish what was lost from water changes and just to try and make it look nicer overall layout. I have been to the landscaping place and have a tonne of various sized riverstones to add a better depth to the scape once the water actually clears up to a point where you can see the fish. I also have to add more twiggy finer pieces to the scape too to replenish what was lost and taken out for the 3 footer scape that was done today.

This tank will ultimately be transformed into a apistogramma tank for bitaeniata blue trio. So I will either transfer the geos into there or sell the geo colony which consists of 2 breeding pairs and also two spare geos. They are f1 geophagus tapajos so if anyone has a offer please pm and I will take it into consideration as these fish have produced fry and have photograpic proof of the fry and wrigglers! Both pairs are great parents too.

Anyways lets get to the detail of the scape; this scape is ultimately more natural than the last one I believe and is ultimately going to be more appealing and natural to the eye once it has cleared up. With the use of a solid main piece hardscape and branching off to finer twiggy pieces it will look quite effective I believe but am up for suggestions.

I need to replace the twiggy pieces that were taken and the finer detailed pieces that look AMAZING that was snatched up by my 3 foot planted tank. For instance, the pieces in the photos of all the stacks of wood I had earlier will give you an example of the hairy finer detail pieces I am speaking of. These pieces will look great to finish it off and give more depth and a more natural appearance than the bulky pieces you mostly see. By tying more of the finer brances off as well as the hairy pieces to the back and also to the front and going down to the centre of the tank also it will give more meaning to the wood main piece and branch off of it. I have melaleuca floating at the top waiting to sink but I also recon it looks quite effective where it is there as it gives a riverbank impression. This is not a finished scape and still need to get back in and fine tune it with the finer detailed pieces and also one or two thicker pieces to tie it all together PROPERLY as it is not done so as of yet due to cloud bloom so please do not judge too carefully yet as it will look far better soon enough.


After ravaging took place for pieces for my 3 footer and it is slightly altered;






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Update: Trying to just sink some melaleuca so there is a lot floating at the top. Does not look too crash hot at the moment but once the melaleuca has soaked in and sunk then the scaping can begin. Might turn this into an all apisto tank within the next month with the lemons and corydoras and maybe some pencilfish. The geos may be going to a new home or moving into a 6 foot biotope tank.


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No longer with most of the fish that was in it. Fish list is now 1 x pair of apistogramma trifasciatus, 1 x breeding colony of 8 corydoras melini, 1 x breeding colony of 7 corydoras atropersonatus and some lemons for now before I purchase some dwarf pencilfish.

Bit of an update (still sinking wood) Have over 6 pieces to sink. Melaleuca that is looking awesome. The pieces are dumped in (NO AQUASCAPING) as I am wanting the pieces to sink before I start playin around with making it look pretty. There are currently three pieces in there plus one half piece hanging out.

Will update once I get the wood in and looking pretty but this is the before shot. Will include a thick layer of mulm and peat and other goodness, and keep its nice tannin look with lots of indian almond leaves that can stay to break down into the layer of peat. Hydor inline heater will be replacing the ugly aquaone one to make it more professional.



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