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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody, I'm Stefano from Italy.

I just wanna show you my recent tank of which I try to reproduce a west African biotope... could it be a small tributary river near Nyong in Cameroon...
Places where you can find plants like some species of Anubias, Crinum, Bolbitis and others... and fishes like Pelvicachromis Taeniatus, some characins like Neolebias Ansorgii and snails like Neritina Natalensis...

Here a selection of some pictures of Antibodi. Thanks for the interest. :)

In the beginning:



After a day...



After some weeks... other images...





A frontal shot...



at the end the most recent picture of Antibodi...



Here you can find my article "Antibodi: viaggio tra acquario e natura", in italian language... thanks again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Ajax.. thanks for comment...

The background is a self-made product... I love to searching natural materials and to use them for creating something inside the tank....
This time I have tried with a background that reproduces an african river side...
I have pasted natural materials like leaves of poplar, stones, several sands, pieces of screw root and dry grass with polyurethane foam.





I could add other moss on the background in the future, thanks :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys...

Bert... these are the fishes that live in Aquarium: a couple of Pelvicachromis Taeniatus.



And 2 snails... Neritina Natalensis

Calavera... we have nearly ended the translation of all the article…

oblongshrimp... I usually use these organic and natural materials for building the background or other in my tanks... it is nearly like in nature... sometimes I control the chemical parameters and they are always in the norm.
This is not the first my natural background, I have made various tests in the years with many organic materials like leaves, woods, dry grass, stones...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Hello guys... thanks a lot for your positive comments... you're too much kind with me.
First of all... excused for my not perfect English :D

To Skelley and other friends ;) small explanation :rolleyes:

The foam that I have used is expanded polyurethane, before I have mixed it with sands (color grey and amber), and I have put that material on one slab of plexiglass.
Subsequently I have added the natural materials and I have put a second layer to the background.
Added the roots... the plants are growing in the wall itself.
I have left to pass of the time and have put one impermeable varnish.

I have not used the silicone in order glue the background to the back glass but I have embedded it... it has been easy.

For the substrate I have used 2 kind of fine sands... and i have put it over leaves and broken roots... it's so natural... under the sands i have used a very little bit of fertilizing material... for the Crinun plants...

I promise one translation of the article soon

Thanks again... :)

under a picture of one Neritina Natalensis on the roots...

 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
First of all I have poured and modeled with the still wet polyurethane, and I have carefullied lay down it on the plexiglass. In position on the background, still fresh, I have still poured sand over. Erik I have not used layers of clear epoxy mixed with sand, just foam and natural materials but at the end I have given one hand of impermeable varnish.

The background is solid and rigid but I succeed to fix the plants and to make them to grow on the wall...
I hope that you have understood (my english is a little bit poor... :rolleyes: )
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
This is the product used... PLASTIVEL: plasticizing protecting



I don't know if it is sold also in the U.S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
The female is preparing the zone for the deposition of eggs. Nice work heeheh

p.s. Jassar I have seen your art, wonderful works... :clap2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
We know that Anubias are also epiphyte plants like Bolbitis, Microsorum and others..., so I blocked them to the back wall using plastic hooks, that I stuck by pressing in the polyurethane.
Roots are aerial, but they are slowly attaching to the background.
I also arranged to fix a couple to the wooden roots by tying them with a nylon string.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Update...

We have completed the translation of the article :)
The next week the webmaster will insert it in our site and I will give the link to you! I hope that the article can be useful to you ;)

Following one recent picture of Antibodi: a panorama.

 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I'm back... ;)

My Taeniatus are in love :wub: but they have not still made nothing...
I can wait for the eggs.... Maybe I will try to modify the ph... I guess it could be one of the causes.
In the feeding I have included alive food, some Microworms, Earthworms and Mosquito Larvae... I think it's a great supplemental nutrient source... not only flakes or granular.
Anyway I think they are one difficult species of Pelvicachromis Taeniatus... not a common one...

What do you think about it? Any other suggestion...?

Some recent photos... :rolleyes:

A picture modified with P.S. :rolleyes:



The male & some plants in Antibodi



Taeniatus female between coreographic bubbles of co2



Thanks for the visit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
First of all I thank you Ed for your suggestions... :)

I have bought these fishes as Dehane, but I'm not really sure that they are...
you wrote an hybrid between "Lobe" & "kienke"... it could be right, I have the book "Chiclids from west Africa" by Staeck, do you know it? In this book there are so many different pictures about Taeniatus, but nobody is truly equal to my fishes. :rolleyes:

About the rest: I've already used pure RO water for water changes and in feeding I've include some frozen bloodworm.

P.s. ph 4.8 :rolleyes: is very very low...
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Hi super Ed ;)

Yeah it is! I don't think they'll actually need it this low, I'd just add very little minerals back in your RO water to make the water ultra soft, then possibly add some peat in your filter to lower the pH. You should be able to get it to 5 - 5.5 like that.
I think that one of the better way in order to lower the ph is to use the natural elementals like "pignette d'Ontano" (in english wich is the name??? :rolleyes: )

Anyway here is a photo: (But wich amount?)



Ed... what about this?

Got Linke and Staeck. In fact got it open on the Dehane page as I type!!!
The colouration on pelvicachromis can be so variable that if they were sold to you as 'Dehane' then that's almost certainly what they are! Tail spotting especially seems to be a very changeable quality. I know people have bred highly spotted P.pulcher forms by careful selection.

The morph in Linke and Staeck called 'Nange' is the presumed natural hybrid between 'Lobe' and 'Kienke' forms where they overlap in the wild.
It's a very well made book!
And thanks for info about hybridation of species. ;)

Are they wild, F1 or tank bred fish? If you know! I'd just keep up what you're doing mate, sounds like you're on the right track and know your stuff.
If you can get more pictures of the Pelvics please post them, especially of the unpaired fins and any face markings.
Sure i'll put them into the community as soon as possible...
I think they are F1, the trader has said to me therefore... i'm not 100% sure...

The other thing that may be worth trying is some competition. If you can't get more of the ones you have now, then you could add a few ordinary Kribs to spur them on - it seems that a bit of competition for territory gets them going. Be prepared to fish the others out though when the pair get too aggresive!
This is a very important step... i'm waiting for a group of Neolebias Ansorgii from 4 months... They are rare here, and I was thinking about some species of Killi, what do you think about it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I use peat as I know it works well for me and is nice and natural too! If adding cones works for you, use it! I have no idea what species the cones are, maybe a cypress? If you haven't used them before be wary.
I have already used them before...
Here you'll find some informations about this tree...

Ok I will try it !

It's not really hybridisation of species. Species are defined as reproductively isolated populations, these populations aren't isolated completely so really they are just different forms. In the wild they probably vary slightly as you travel down the river, it's just that we only have a few collections from different areas of the river and they look like distinct forms. In the wild they will just be variations of the same thing differing from spot to spot. I really shouldn't have used the word 'hybrid' in the first place, sorry! It is important IMO though that the different forms are kept separate in our tanks to preserve some of that wonderful variation.
Perfect... ;) Really clear...

Never kept Neolebias, they're very rare in the UK too. Killis would be a good choice for a biotope. I think Aphyosemion bivitattum are sympatric with taeniatus in at least one location. They want the same water conditions and should do well, I've kept them with Pelvicachromis subocellatus 'Matadi' and they did fine, just never managed to save any eggs. Never mind getting some more next week and these I will breed!
I will wait for just some days... then I will make one chosen.
I hope that "Bivittatum" are easy to find... not like Neolebias... :rolleyes:

Thanks again Ed... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Thanks for advice... :)

I have collected a full bag of alder cones...



Now which is the better method in order to use them in Aquarius?
Directly in water, like i have made sometimes in the past... or there's a better method to use them for you?

 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
I know some people boil peat and create an extract which they add to their tanks to get the benefits, but I just prefer to put peat in my filter. Maybe you could do that with the cones? Boil them in just enough water to cover them and keep boiling for a few hours to get a nice dark liquid that you could add to the tank. Personally that sounds like too much hard work for me though!
It's an interesting thing... but I was thinking: to keep boiling cones for some hours would get lose benefits effects or not?
 
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