Biotope be­hav­iour at its best!

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Tankcommunity - Peter Hughes, email

I was read­ing through the June is­sue of PFK when I chanced upon the biotope build that Nathan Hill put to­gether for the hum­ble Neon tetra.

Be­ing some­one who dab­bles (or maybe I should say who is in­fected by the biotope bug), this ar­ti­cle re­ally caught my in­ter­est. It’s not just the process of how he set up his biotope tank for Neons, but also the ex­pe­ri­ence he had in or­der to achieve his re­sults.

I could un­der­stand how Nathan felt and what he ex­pe­ri­enced in his ar­ti­cle, be­cause that is what I also ex­pe­ri­enced when I set up my in­ter­pre­ta­tion of a Lake Inle biotope. It took a month or more for the in­ver­te­brate pop­u­la­tion of this tank to start pop­u­lat­ing like crazy! And now I find it so nat­u­ral and en­joy­able to watch.

The set-up is a 50 x 50 x 50cm rim­less cube tank, hold­ing 125 l, with LED light­ing and a can­is­ter fil­ter that I set to a very low out­put from its spray bar. Nathan Hill, in his Tailpiece ar­ti­cle, spoke of some­thing that rang true and I per­son­ally saw this in my Lake Inle biotope. He said: “You can take the fish out of the Ama­zon, but you can’t take the Ama­zon out of the fish”. This is cer­tainly true in my ex­pe­ri­ences with this kind of set-up (al­though in my case, for ‘Ama­zon’, let’s just read ‘wild’).

I cur­rently have a small group of Asian rummy noses, Sawbwa re­splen­dens, and Emer­ald dwarf ras­b­o­ras, Ce­lestichthys ery­thromi­cron, and upon in­tro­duc­tion to the tank they were skit­tish at first and I kept them in dark­ness for some time to let them get used to their new en­vi­ron­ment, so they weren’t stressed out.

It was on the sec­ond day that I no­ticed the hunt­ing be­hav­iour that Nathan spoke of in the Neon tetras that were in his biotope tank. It’s fas­ci­nat­ing to watch and I am glad that I set up a biotope tank and got to wit­ness the be­hav­iour that might not be seen oth­er­wise in a nor­mal planted set-up.

Thank you for read­ing this. I hope to keep on biotop­ing as it is some­thing that I now re­ally en­joy do­ing. Andy Ba­suki, In­done­sia

I’m drop­ping you a line just to say how much I loved Nathan Hill’s biotope for Neons in PFK June.

I found his de­scrip­tion of the stink­ing mess it all turned into as it was ma­tur­ing as de­light­ful as the nat­u­ral be­hav­iour he wit­nessed as a re­sult of all his ef­forts.

While I can see that the aquar­ium would not ap­peal to ev­ery­one (it cer­tainly wouldn’t win favour with my good lady), I thought it was a re­mark­able achieve­ment and I loved it.

Asian rummy nose, Sawbwa re­splen­dens.

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