My L46 tanks

Pretty much explains itself really. If you have questions about tank set-ups, tank furniture, (caves etc) chuck them in here!

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TwoTankAmin
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Re: My L46 tanks

Post by TwoTankAmin » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:25 pm

Here is the thing. That vid and most of the other videos and pictures one may see of the Xingu are from shallower and slower running areas. i had the good fortune to listen to Hans-Georg Evers speak on the Loricariidae of the Xingu and he talked at length about zebras. Perhaps the most impressive part of his talk was the following (this is from a post i made on another site:
One of the things that really impressed me was when he talked about the collection of zebras. He has actualy gone out with the locals who invited him to try his hand. here is my best recollection of how he described the experience.

Firstly, he explained that zebras live pretty deep, from 5 to 15 meters down (for the Americans here that is 16.4 to 49 feet deep). He also said that the current was unbelievable. Hans has had lots of scuba diving experience, but the locals do not have this gear. They use a compressor in the boat attached to long air lines. the divers use rocks as weights to get down to where the fish are. Because they are so deep it is virtually pitch black down there. So one sees almost nothing and everything is done by feel. The way they collect is the feel for "cavelike" spots and either reach in or overturn rocks and feel for the fish and catch them by hand. Hans said he could barely stay in place holding on with both hands for dear life and wished he had a third arm. But the divers are collecting by feel using one hand while using the other to hold on.

Because only the males cave, males are mostly what they catch this way which explains why females are much harder to get. Hans said even as an experienced diver he had never been down in such a strong current. He said he was so scared he needed to change his pants (I toned that down from how he phrased it). He noted the collecting process was extremely dangerous and that deaths among the divers were common. His guides were pointing to spots and telling him that here this one's son died last year or over there that a diver had drowned a few years before.

Despite the high prices paid for these fish once they reach their final destination, the divers received very little money for their effort. So the next time you buy a wild caught zebra pleco, bear in mind somebody may actually have died trying to make that possible.
So what the floor of the Xingu may actually look like where the zebras live will look somewhat different from what we see in the vid linked above. While we like to add some neat looking fish to our zebra tanks, most of those fish would not be seen in zebra habitats as the current would never permit them to live there.

I would assume there are many more larger rocks in the deeper faster areas as big water moving hard and fast can move and deposit much larger rocks. I would also think that the sand layout would be different as it would be harder for it collect all over and might be somewhat limited to places that are more sheltered. I would expect there is more exposed bedrock as well. However, not having been down there and not having seen pictures taken with artificial lights, I can not say for sure.
What makes the common person uncommon is common sense.

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arbeZ
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Re: My L46 tanks

Post by arbeZ » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:55 am

Wow TTA,
I was shocked to read that level of detail. It may put us to think in a different way about 46 tank setup.
Thanks for sharing it.

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har_eh
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Re: My L46 tanks

Post by har_eh » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:04 pm

A very interesting quote, I wonder if more of these reviews can be found somewhere. Been looking a long time for similar descriptions/reviews, preferably a bit longer with pictures though. :loldude:
TwoTankAmin wrote:
So what the floor of the Xingu may actually look like where the zebras live will look somewhat different from what we see in the vid linked above. While we like to add some neat looking fish to our zebra tanks, most of those fish would not be seen in zebra habitats as the current would never permit them to live there.

I would assume there are many more larger rocks in the deeper faster areas as big water moving hard and fast can move and deposit much larger rocks. I would also think that the sand layout would be different as it would be harder for it collect all over and might be somewhat limited to places that are more sheltered. I would expect there is more exposed bedrock as well. However, not having been down there and not having seen pictures taken with artificial lights, I can not say for sure.
Video footage from the deeper parts will be appreciated by many people but I'm afraid it's non-existent. I do think the deeper parts won't be much different then the shallower parts. Of course nothing is certain until we can see some actual footage or read a detailed review. So until then I'll keep on scaping the way I think the zebra's will feel as comfortable as possible. :angelnot:

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arbeZ
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Re: My L46 tanks

Post by arbeZ » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:45 pm

They are quite adaptable but as keepers we should try to mimic biotope as much as possible.

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TwoTankAmin
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Re: My L46 tanks

Post by TwoTankAmin » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:25 pm

How one scapes for plecos vs how they live in the wild are rarely related. The only part of the wild I do in my tanks is the amount of cover. I want as much as possible which makes it a nightmare to clean or to find fish. And lets not forget if we wanted to replicate the wild faithfully we would have a completely black tank and likely water splashing all over due to the current.

I have always believed that just because plecos are designed to live in big current, doesn't mean they must have it or even prefer it. Yes they need flow, but I felt they can function fine in less flow in tanks than is found in the wild. I know breeders who have them in tanks using only sponge filters.

So whatever scape works for you, as long as it has tons of cover, should be just fine. :wink:
What makes the common person uncommon is common sense.

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