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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
in preparation for my new tank i am trying to work out all the details. i am moving my two severums into a new 75 gallon and want to go for the most realistic natural severum/sa tank possible. i am going to go with a large driftwood setup with some flat rocks. my guys havnt been bad at all about destroying plants, but i will cross that bridge when i get to it. i love real plants so i will try to add some.

my main reason for posting is to find out what would be the most realistic natural substrate for this setup? i have always just used a natural looking neutral gravel which i like. i am thinking about sand, and i like the way sand looks but what is the most realistic natural substrate for this setup?

anyone with sevs have any suggestions as to what you like, dislike, what you use etc?

thank you ahead of time.
 

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Sand with dead leaves for cover would be the most realistic SA recreation.

Of course that means changing out leaves on a weekly-monthly basis and finding new leaves from a clean source - which is why most people don't do it.

Sand looks the best and most natural in just about any tank, in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
great, thanks for the advice. which kind of sand? regular pool filter or play sand? what do you use?

also, i definetely want to work with leaves. how does that whole process work? do you grab them fresh off trees, once they have fallen, do you boil them? which kind of leaves are best?

i LOVE this idea, thank you very much.
 

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G'day HONDO

A couple of things I recommend.

First find a good species profile and find out what type of severum you have and find out where your severum is from. Here's a good one, http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/species ... efasciatus

With this site you can find out actuall collecting sites of most species. Just go to the More Information section and click on Occurrences.

The Río Ucayali appears to be a good place to find Severums, so try googling it and see what you come up with. Looks to me like it's a typical white water amazonian river.

Then read these articles.
http://planetcatfish.com/shanesworld/sh ... cle_id=177
http://planetcatfish.com/shanesworld/sh ... cle_id=288

Looks like you have a couple of options, http://travelingluck.com/South%20Americ ... ayali.html

You could do a sand bank with drift wood setup. Muddy riverbank with driftwood and leaves, maybe throw in a couple of plants or branches hanging into the tank. Or a deep water channel.
One thing about the Rio Ucayali, I don't think there are any rocks in it.

That's a good start I reckon. :thumb:
 

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Most people collect their leaves from local lakes and rivers - I'm not entirely sure on how it's done to make sure they're parasite free ect.

But if you do a search for blackwater fish tank and other related stuff you find from there you should be able to figure out the process.

I personally use sand made for aquariums from Eco Complete ect. that you find at the LFS vs. pool filter sand - but if you don't care about color pool filter sand works just as well.

If you're going for a natural look pool filter sand is actually best as it's brown in color, I tend to go with black or white to show off my fishes colors - based around what type of fish and what kind of lighting I'm using.
 

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Most people collect their leaves from local lakes and rivers - I'm not entirely sure on how it's done to make sure they're parasite free ect.

But if you do a search for blackwater fish tank and other related stuff you find from there you should be able to figure out the process.

I personally use sand made for aquariums from Eco Complete ect. that you find at the LFS vs. pool filter sand - but if you don't care about color pool filter sand works just as well.

If you're going for a natural look pool filter sand is actually best as it's brown in color, I tend to go with black or white to show off my fishes colors - based around what type of fish and what kind of lighting I'm using.
 

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For the leaves you can collect them from your back yard or the edge of the woods. Oak leaves are best. Look for nice dry ones that are brown and dead. Collecting varying sizes looks the best. I boil them for 10 minutes or so. This kills anyhting that they might be harboring and also speeds up the sinking process. If you boil them for 15+ minutes most should sink rather quickly. You should turn the vent fan of your stove on though because they produce a very strong smell, similar to that of tea. Here in NC the leaves from the yard are perfect, I would expect it to be the same in VA. Obviously, the fall is the best time to collect some, when they are freshly fallen. Right now it might be hard to find nice ones that are not rotting and don't have any sort of miscoloration or fungus/mold growing on them. Personally, I would never collect any from water, especially this time of year! because they have been there for months and should not be introduced to your tank half decayed. I kept leaves in two of my tanks all fall-winter and replaced them every 2-3 weeks. If you leave them longer than that they start trapping a tremendous amount of waste underneath them. I think they look best with sand substrate. You can just move them to the side to do gravel vac, etc, and the fish seem to enjoy them. Good luck :thumb:

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
wow, thats awesome. you are right, come september/october the leaves will start falling. i live in an area with some massive oak trees so i could find a nice variety of sizes and like you said i can store them for the year when none fall. it will be good timing. im slowly purchasing the equipment for my 75. today i started by buying a heater and an ac 110. i will wait a bit, save some coin and buy the tank, lid, lights, stand setup, then wait another little bit and try to find a good deal on a canister. by the time i buy everything, get it set up and cycled, some nice oak leaves should be all over the place. thank you all very much. one day when its all done and i learn how to put pics online i will share the tank!
 
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