Help setting up a perfect Zebra pleco home (L46)

Discussion in 'General Fish Discussions' started by Reafer, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Reafer

    Reafer

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    I went into my LFS yesterday to get fishfood...... lol how many stories on the forum start like that .

    I have been wanting a group of L46 for about 14 years and finally in a position to do something about it . My LFS has added 5 to his import order , I have booked 2 but may take all 5 depending on finances . They will only be here in about a month so I got a bit of time to prepare for there arrival .
    I want to try recreate an ideal habitat for them . I was wanting to go pure biotype of the xingu river but honestly its just to plain for my liking . Due to there high temps and high flow requirements it also limits my livestock to a degree so i have decided to just do a tank of L46 and maybe shrimp if I can find some that will co exist .

    I have a 4ft tank already that will be used and I have a cycled fluval FX6 already that will be used .
    What I am thinking is paludarium...a fast flow river biotope with a riverbank jungle above the water .
    I will use the ADA xingu river sand as I want to match the river portion of the paludarium as closely to the xingu river as possible . I need a lot of oxygen in the water so was thinking of creating some sort of "rapids" and waterfall to help with the oxygen levels in the high temps and some sort of natural plant filter portion to help with keeping the water crystal clean

    What i need help with is some inspiration and help with plant selection . I have been wanting this tank for years... it must be done right
     
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  3. Toy

    Toy

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    A new day and necris like this.
  4. pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    Setting up a biotope aquarium is very challanging, to put it simply it sucks.

    Most aquarium fish comes from very bland areas in regards to plants. We are adding plants to the aquarium, mostly, for our viewing pleasure. You can always try to add plants from the same region they come from, which is not easy at all.

    If you have the space you can try something like this:



    Sent from my SM-A305F using Tapatalk
     
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  5. louwla83

    louwla83

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  6. A new day

    A new day

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    Wow the zebra pleco are stunning! Can’t wait to see them in your tank.

    Perhaps you can find some additional inspiration in Rachel O’Leary’s hillstream nature aquarium?

     
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  7. Dolphin

    Dolphin

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    @Reafer as far as possible try to use tissue cultured plants. Why, to reduce the risk of introducing nasties.
     
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  8. A new day

    A new day

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    Have you seen @f-fish ’s one?
    https://www.tropicalaquarium.co.za/threads/fs-e-im-mersed-tanks.31249/page-6
     
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  9. OP
    Reafer

    Reafer

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    @Toy thanks for the link . I have seen the xingu cories but not sure if I want the food competition for the L46.with a high flow setup i would have to add a lot of food to make sure the L46 get.

    @pierreschoonraad yea after a lot of research I have given up on the biotope idea as it would be really boring and I want it to be pleasing for me as well. I will keep the river part as close as I can to the natural river structure they would like

    @louwla83 thanks for the link

    @A new day thanks for the links @f-fish that tank is amazing

    @Dolphin yea I have decided to use all tissue culter plants


    I have decided to keep it a L46 tank as far as fish go. What do people think of using shrimp as a cleanup crew as L46 is not an algea eater . Would the water be to hot and flow to strong?

    As for hard scaping goes I am needing a very oxygen rich water so on the one side of the tank I am going to put a waterfall falling over rocks to help with oxygen levels . Across the back of the tank I am going to do an undercut emmersed riverbank , I want the riverbank to be undercut to not loose any bottom space for the L46 . Still brainstorming so nothing is set in stone
     
    T. Guppy and A new day like this.
  10. A new day

    A new day

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    What temp are you looking at?
     
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  11. OP
    Reafer

    Reafer

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    Apparently they do best at 28-29
     
  12. A new day

    A new day

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    Sho yes that’s probably too hot for the shrimp species I know of. Wanted to suggest amano shrimp but 26C would be the max for them. Too hot for nerite snails too. Ottos would max out at 28C.
     
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  13. OP
    Reafer

    Reafer

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    Yea the temps and high flow make this tank really a tough build. I even gave discus a thought for a minute but the flow would kill them . No idea what i can do for the cleanup crew .
     
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  14. pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    You can always look at gobies, Sewellia lineolata and then I realized that your working with high temps where all the fast flowing river species prefer colder water. You have me stumped on this one but then again shrimp might be an option. They should be fine in the dead spots, where most of the uneaten food will end up.

    Sent from my SM-A305F using Tapatalk
     
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  15. OP
    Reafer

    Reafer

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    If I designed the tank flow properly I may be able to get away with cherry shrimp if I keep my temp at 28. Anyone have any experience at keeping cherries at that temp?
     
  16. pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    Cherries are very forgiving, in general all neo's. I have neo's in my gourami aquarium, at 27/28 and they breed like rabbits in there.

    Sent from my SM-A305F using Tapatalk
     
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  17. OP
    Reafer

    Reafer

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    I have been lurking on the zebrapleco forums and cherry shrimp seem to be ok with l46. I think I am going to keep it at that , 5 x L46 and a pack of cherry shrimp for cleanup
     
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  18. Adam K

    Adam K

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    Not sure what equipment you may be using but I use a Maxspect gyre for unbelievable variations of current. Also near the surface it pushes a lot of bubbles into the stream for oxygenation which may help with your flow. Great for my Tanganyikan gobbies etc.

    Cheers
    Adam
     
  19. A new day

    A new day

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    I especially like how he describes which plants he used for the transition zone
     
  20. A new day

    A new day

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    I see nerite snails can do up to 29C so they’re also in play (and won’t breed in freshwater).
     
  21. OP
    Reafer

    Reafer

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    @Adam K why did you show me that :lol: now I have to have one....

    @A new day shot for the link , lots of food for thought and thanks for the tip on nerite snails

    To throw another spanner in the works apparently L46 is more active under low light lol. So now its low light , high flow and high temps o_Oo_O

    I am still stuck on the waterfall idea ... but I was thinking making 3 floating islands.... for plants and my viewing pleasure . I will get this tank to look good lol got the brain working overtime
     
    T. Guppy, necris and A new day like this.

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