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What size substrate for geo (mirabllis) ?

anewbie

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I'm looking to populate my 450 with some geo - likely mirabllis if i can obtain them - if not then seveni, neambi or (i think) altifrons)

I'm debating between using pool filter sand and caribsea 0.5mm-2.00mm substrate. I have different concerns here - first the tank will be planted so it will be marginally deep (2 1/2 to 3 1/4 inch deep) and i want to avoid long term anaerobic pockets from forming which are bad for the fishes and plants. Experience suggest larger substrate will reduce this issue (some claim the pool filter sand has a behavior that allows water to flow through it); but of course geo (like many dwarf cichild) like to sand shift and smaller particles are safer for their gills. However 'smaller' is always relative after all a rock is smaller than a boulder and a pebble is smaller than a rock so it is not clear how small is small enough and if the fish is 'smart enough' to avoid shifting particles too large.

I'm also a bit confused about water conditions; my intended target is around 70 tds; gh 1-2 and kh 2-3 but the descriptions i find give them a broad range from near blackwater to white water. If i end up with mirablis i believe the temp range will be around 82 - a little cool for discus but compatible with warmer water fishes.
 

MacZ

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3,050
Location
Germany
0.2-0.8mm sand would be the substrate of choice.

and i want to avoid long term anaerobic pockets from forming which are bad for the fishes and plants.
With Geophagus keep the substrate under 6cm thick. You may only have to use a chopstick once in a while at some places the fish won't chew through regularly.
Such pockets only appear in very thick substrate layers that are simply never moved.

You might find this interesting:

And especially this, showing the mode of feeding:
 

anewbie

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1,399
0.2-0.8mm sand would be the substrate of choice.


With Geophagus keep the substrate under 6cm thick. You may only have to use a chopstick once in a while at some places the fish won't chew through regularly.
Such pockets only appear in very thick substrate layers that are simply never moved.

You might find this interesting:

And especially this, showing the mode of feeding:
But 6cm (2.3 inch) is marginally ok for plants - i suppose i could use a finer substrate in the middle and something a little coarser outside the middle that is deeper - it might look a little odd and over time some of it will mix. The floor area is 8ft x 4ft (243cm x 121 cm) so not small. I figure the middle area of approx 100 cm x 50cm will be clear for the geo.
 

MacZ

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Germany
I have never seen a noteworthily planted Geophagus tank. More than once seen them uproot everything. But 6cm usually is ok, depending on what plants you are about to use.
 

anewbie

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1,399
I have never seen a noteworthily planted Geophagus tank. More than once seen them uproot everything. But 6cm usually is ok, depending on what plants you are about to use.
For this aquarium mostly robust echinodorus and and crypts. I have a few opacus and red flames that i can move into the aquairum and probably one of two the amazon. I might put in some italia or jungle val along the edge using the echinodorus to protect them from the geo.
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If I am able to get Mirablis they are not quite as large as seveni and if they are young it will take them a while to grow out. I do have some festums in my 120 which will be moved into this aquarium (i know they are not from the same location) as well as some sterbai cory - in my 120 they mostly stick in the plants so i hope with the larger geo they will do the same thing. I forgot which fish i had selected for dithers but i think Pyrrhulina spilot, serpae tetra and urostriatum. I might put in my L208 and a couple of the L204 but undecided if that is a good idea.
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This is what i have in my notes:
20 sterbai
14 urostriatum
7 festum
6 angels
8-12 geo mirabllis or neambi
30 Pyrrhulina spilot
possibly 30 serape
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But I decided to drop teh angels in this aquarium as they can't compete with the festum.
 

MacZ

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Germany
(i know they are not from the same location)
So what? ;) I'm going by habitat, not by location, so the combination is completely viable.

Like the combination. Would probably drop the tetras and Pyrrhulina. Otherwise great choices.
 

anewbie

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1,399
So what? ;) I'm going by habitat, not by location, so the combination is completely viable.

Like the combination. Would probably drop the tetras and Pyrrhulina. Otherwise great choices.
Why would you drop the Pyrrhulina spilot ? Just curious - i mostly posted the stocking to get feedback since i'm unsure if it is a good fit. I kind of want something in the upper regions - and i suppose the pyrrhulina are not the best choice for that - the serpae is just for movement. I would do rummy but i think the festum would hunt them down. They've been hunting a serpae now and and then so i would expect to suffer some losses over time.
 

MacZ

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Germany
The Mesonauta are the problem I see with the Pyrrhulina indeed. I know them as also quite surface oriented. Perfect bite hight if the Mesonauta are already quite big and the Pyrrhulina come in too young.
 

anewbie

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1,399
The Mesonauta are the problem I see with the Pyrrhulina indeed. I know them as also quite surface oriented. Perfect bite hight if the Mesonauta are already quite big and the Pyrrhulina come in too young.
The festum I've had for a year now - they were a around 2-3 inches when purchased - label wc mirificus from peru; so at this point i think they are adults but i've seen no actual breeding behavior. From size i would say 2 females and 4 males and 1 inbetween - probably a female. The two small females are quite assertive and seem to be the 'boss' of the aquarium and the males are kind of scared of them.

Back to your comment - if they arrive small i can grow them out in the 4ftx4ft (121cmx121cm) aquarium where i am putting the a. pucallpaensis and then move them after a year - so that won't be an issue - it is more of a question if as adults they will be large enough that the festum will leave them alone. The 4x4 is suppose to end up with

6ish a. pucallpaensis
10 Rhadinocentrus ornatus
5 Pterophyllum leopoldi
5 Biotodoma wavrini
4 Hemiloricaria sp. (whiptails)
2 Lasiancistrus sp. (similar to whiptails)
14 ember (maybe; not sure they fit)
 

MacZ

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it is more of a question if as adults they will be large enough that the festum will leave them alone.
Males grow up to 10cm, those are pretty safe then. Females though... especially small ones could be in danger.
Their overall shape makes them easy to swallow, though.
 

anewbie

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1,399
Males grow up to 10cm, those are pretty safe then. Females though... especially small ones could be in danger.
Their overall shape makes them easy to swallow, though.
Yea that is my concern - their shape; as i noted the festum are willing to go after the serpae and they don't exactly swallow them hole; they catch them and then rip them to shreds.

Do you have an opinion on the 2nd aquarium stocking (4x4) ?
 

MacZ

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3,050
Location
Germany
6ish a. pucallpaensis
10 Rhadinocentrus ornatus
5 Pterophyllum leopoldi
5 Biotodoma wavrini
4 Hemiloricaria sp. (whiptails)
2 Lasiancistrus sp. (similar to whiptails)
14 ember (maybe; not sure they fit)
I see a possibility of the female R. ornatus and all H. amandae falling prey to the P. leopoldi. Otherwise the combination is intrigueing.
 

anewbie

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I see a possibility of the female R. ornatus and all H. amandae falling prey to the P. leopoldi. Otherwise the combination is intrigueing.
Guess i could replace them with one of the pencil fishes; was going to say cardinals but that might be a problem for the pucallpaensis
 

MacZ

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Aren't pencils even more at risk of getting eaten?

And what would be the problem with cardinals and Apistogrammoides?
 

anewbie

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1,399
Aren't pencils even more at risk of getting eaten?

And what would be the problem with cardinals and Apistogrammoides?
Not sure the - not sure if there is a problem the leo are not that large; I've forgotten which dither is native to that region.
 

MacZ

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P. leopoldi are known from the northern/left tributaries of the Amazon proper upstream from Manaus and from the Essequibo. So blackwater territory for the most part.
 

anewbie

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1,399
P. leopoldi are known from the northern/left tributaries of the Amazon proper upstream from Manaus and from the Essequibo. So blackwater territory for the most part.
Is that an issue with them eating pencil fish or similar? Also I won't keep them in blackwater - it will be closer to clear water as a. p. require that - really confusing about a p. since they are not a balckwater fish but found in same habitat as p. leo.
 

MacZ

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Germany
Is that an issue with them eating pencil fish or similar?
Maybe not with N. eques or N. beckfordi. But otherwise - slurp and gone.

Also I won't keep them in blackwater -
I mentioned it being blackwater mostly so you can better narrow down your options.
it will be closer to clear water as a. p. require that - really confusing about a p. since they are not a balckwater fish but found in same habitat as p. leo.
You are confusing range and habitat, is that possible? They live in the same range (a river basin for example) but that doesn't mean they share a habitat.
 

anewbie

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1,399
Maybe not with N. eques or N. beckfordi. But otherwise - slurp and gone.


I mentioned it being blackwater mostly so you can better narrow down your options.

You are confusing range and habitat, is that possible? They live in the same range (a river basin for example) but that doesn't mean they share a habitat.
True; but it is hard to find the exact habitat and co-enhabitants. I did a search with @Mazan a while ago - they had a list of fishes from the same general area - well a link to a list - but finding exactly what co-exist is very difficult - well difficult for myself. I know the other fishes i selected are very tolerant of clear/white water conditions but not sure if they will bully the smaller a. p.

Seriously fish indicate a ppm of 0 to 108 for the p. l. so i hope 60-80 is a good middle ground. Also in scapeing the front 2 feet middle will be open the later 2 feet quite a bit of drift wood and the the plan is 1 foot in both sides with plants leaving the middle 2 feet square open for the Biotodoma wavrini; my hope is that while the p. l. prefer denser plants they will hang higher than the a.p.

Tom's article on a. p. is here:
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The one he found were in very hard water; but he kept them in softer but not blackwtaer condition.
 

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