Southeast Asian Tank

  • #1
Red Tailed Black Shark is from Southeast Asia... I would like to have tank mates who live in similar soft water conditions... I did research a few more species known to live in the Southeast Asian Blackwater Pool... Flying fox... Barbs... Danios... Rasbora... Gourami... Angelfish... Could I do the following in a 55gallon...

1 Red Tailed Shark
1 Honey Gourami
1 Flying Fox
2 Angelfish
6 Zebra Danios
6 Rasbora
6 Cories

What kind of plants would you recommend?
  • #2
I'd use a different Gourami in that tank. Honey's are skittish, and the barbs and RTS are too aggressive for them. I think a Dwarf or Three Spot would be much better. Other than that, looks good.
  • #3
I thought angelfish were native to South America?? Cories too.
  • #4
Saltwater angels are Asian. Freshwater are S.American, Cories too.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Ohh thanks for confirming that angels and cories are south American... Does anyone have a Southeast Asian tank?

What kind of plants?
  • #6
Vals, WendtiI Crypt, Limnophila hippuroides(very hard to care for unless you have high tech system), Pogostemon stellata, and Rotalla are a few. These are also plants I will be planting my 125 Asian tank with once my 125 reef is done.
  • #7
Yes Freshwater Angelfish are a Cichlid that comes from the Columbia and Venezuela areas in South American. Most Cory can be found in several parts of South America, Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad , Brazil.

If you are looking for some soft water fish to keep I might suggest keeping Blue Gourami (Three Spot) or maybe a Pearl. They both come from Southeast Asia and are both nice fish. I keep one male and two female blues in with my angelfish with no problems.
  • #8
If you are looking for some soft water fish to keep I might suggest keeping Blue Gourami (Three Spot) or maybe a Pearl. They both come from Southeast Asia and are both nice fish. I keep one male and two female blues in with my angelfish with no problems.

Three Spots are aggressive little brats. I wouldn't keep more than one in a 55. Pearls would be better
  • #9
I forgot to add that mine are in a 125 gallon tank. They are full grown and look great in the tank with the full grown Angels.
  • #10
I forgot to add that mine are in a 125 gallon tank. They are full grown and look great in the tank with the full grown Angels.

I know that you've got a large tank I was just stating that its not something to do in a tank as 'small' at the OPs.
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Thanks for the ideas everyone... Pearl Gourami are cool and thanks sharkdude I will look up some of those plants and pick a few that I like...

Flying fox can co-exist with red tail sharks?

I seen a video on YouTube... 55gal southeast Asian tank...3 blue gourami, 3 flying fox, 3 red tail sharks, 3 clown loaches, tiger barbs, zebra danios and a pleco maybe bristle nose... Heavily planted with rocks and driftwood...

The clown loaches threw me off but the red tails were not fighting and it was feeding time... How is this possible?
  • #12
Yes its possible in that tank because its way overstocked so all the fish have lfs syndrome. In a properly stocked tank they will fight unless you get a huge group of them, then your pretty much not going to have anything else.

Only put one shark in, the fox are fine in multiples. And don't put clown loaches in since they get to 12"+ and are social fish.
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Thanks for clarifying that situation...
Wendy Lubianetsky
  • #14
Southeast Asian Aquatic Plants

Here are the Southeast Asian plants I know of.... for simplicity sake, I copied this from the following web site:

Vallisneria spiralisStraight Vallisneria

Tropical cosmopolitan
Characteristics: Green, straplike leaves, up to 1 metre long. Growth rate: Monthly approx.2 leaves.
Propagation: By runners, which are produced in abundance.
Requirements: Undemanding.
Special note: The correct name is probably Valisneria natans.

Rotala wallichiiSouth-East Asia

Characteristics: Whorls of small leaves growing closely above each other.
Sprout length: 40 cm. Growth rate:Monthly 10-20 cm.
Propagation: Top cuttings, side shoots.
Requirements: Demanding. Needs plenty of light, very soft and nutrient-rich water.
Special note: Colour varies between red and green.
The growth tips are usually deep red if brightly lit.

Hygrophila angustifoliaGiant Hygrophila

Assumed South-East Asia
Characteristics: The lanceolate leaves grow in opposite pairs, in the aquarium very close above each other, almost rosette-like. Emersed leaves slightly hairy.
Sprout length: 30 - 40 cm.
Growth rate: 2 - 3 leaves per month.
Propagation: Top cuttings, side shoots.
Requirements: Bright light and nutrient-rich water.

Cryptocoryne lucensSrI Lanka

Characteristics: Narrow, firm and leathery leaves. Height: 10 - 20 cm. Growth rate: Monthly 1 leaf. Propagation: Runners. Requirements: Thrives, like many Cryptocorynes, in clean, fresh water filtered with long standing, dirty filters.

H 170 Hygrophila difformis Former: Synnema triflorum S 70

Water Wisteria
South-East Asia
Characteristics: Highly pinnate, light green leaves. Sprout length: 50 cm.
Growth rate: Weekly 10 cm.
Propagation: Top cuttings, side shoots.
Requirements: Bright light, rich nutrition.
Special note: Don't plant too closely, allow the light to penetrate down to the bottom leaves.

Microsorium pteropus Java Fern

South-East Asia
Characteristics: Dark green, irregular fronds up to 25 cm. Growth rate: Monthly 1 leaf.
Propagation: M 40 grows daughter plants from the rhizome and on the leaves.
Requirements: Undemanding.
Aquarium use: Attach the rhizome to bogwood or rocks using a Nylon thread until roots have taken hold.

Barclaya longifoliaOrchid Lily

Tropical East-Asia
Characteristics: The plant grows from a tuberous rhizome, producing a rosette of lanceolate leaves with undulating margins and varying colours from green over bronze-red to a dark ruby. Height: 20 - 35 cm. Growth rate: Monthly approx. 2 leaves.
Propagation: By seeds. Requirements: Demanding aquarium plant. Needs soft, nutrient-rich water.
Special note: Reacts immediately to high Redox- respectively Oxygen values with holes in the leaves.

Rotala rotundifoliaSmall Rotala

South-East Asia
Characteristics: Leaves grow in opposite pairs.
Growth tips yellow to red.
Sprout length: 50 cm. Growth rate: Weekly 5 cm.
Propagation: Side shoots, top cuttings.
Requirements: Undemanding.
Special note: The more light the more intensive the colour.
Cryptocoryne wendtiI
Brown Wendtii

Characteristics: Leaves mostly chocolate-brown to olive-brown; firm and rigid. Height: 10 - 15 cm. Growth rate: Monthly 1 - 2 leaves. Propagation: Runners. Requirements: Undemanding.

Cryptocoryne wendtiiLong stemmed Wendtii

Characteristics: Colour of leaves light-green with brown flames. Leaves acute with wavy margins. Height: 15 - 25 cm. Growth rate: Monthly 1 - 2 leaves. Propagation: Runners.

There are even plans on this website on how to lay out your plants. If you have any questions on any specific plant let me know and I should be able to help you.
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Wow save the research right? Lol thank u so much Wendy...

Well I guess I'm going Southeast Asia/ South American tank but I suppose watet parameters are similar so what would be the ideal pH and temperature for the following stocking idea?

1 Red Tail Shark
2 Angelfish
3 Flying Fox
5 Cories
5 Zebra Danio
  • #16
This is a 55? You still have loads of room!
  • #17
Personally I wouldn’t attempt to adjust your pH. A stable pH is much safer than one being adjusted because it can cause pH crash and kill your fish. As for the ideal pH for your fish choices, I would think anything in the range of 6.5 to 7.5.
  • #18
Yeah, playing with your pH is more trouble than its worth.

What about male Odessa Barbs? Those are gorgeous!
  • Thread Starter
  • #19

Geographic description: Generally, Southeast Asia refers to a cluster of countries south of China to Indonesia and from India to the Philippines. Specifically, this biotope zeroes in around Malaysia and Thailand, where the major rivers are the Pahang and Mekong, respectively.

The places where a river’s flow stills to a slow, sometimes almost stagnant, pace are what we call backwater or still water areas. These areas of slow-moving water can be caused by several things, such as an obstruction, an opposing current, the tide, etc. Sometimes these areas can be very shallow, though this is not necessarily so.

Substrate: Most would describe it as muddy, which is only partially true. This region is rich in iron and laterite, often givingthesubstratea reddish hue. Mud and sediment are present as well. In slow areas,organic matter tends to settle to the bottom as well, including peat, leaf litter, broken twigs, etc.

Plants/algae/hardscape elements: Blyxa japonica ** Temple Plant (Hygrophila corymbosa) Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis) Downoi or Little Star Plant (Pogostemon helferi) ** Cyperus helferI ** Java Fern (Microsorium pteropus) Java Moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri) Crinkled Aponogeton (Aponogeton crispus)** Onion Plant (Crinum thaianum) Twisted Val (Vallisneria tortifolia)

As mentioned above, leaf litter is common, and many hobbyists use Indian Almond Leaves for the unique hue their leached tannins give the water. Additionally, the tannins help mimic a fish's natural environment, encouraging more natural behavior and thereby better displays of color. Other hardscape elements may include pieces of wood (Malaysian driftwood is great for this biotope), and small stones. Wood and leaves are organic, meaning they do decay in water, so make sure to occasionally take out old wood and leaf litter and refresh it with new.

If you love plants of the Cryptocoryne genus, you can easily incorporate these into your aquarium. Strictlyspeaking, theseare usually found in faster flowing water, but the species listed below all can thrive in the temperature and hardness typical of this biotope, so you can "cheat" a little. Cryptocoryne balansae, also C. beckettii, C. ciliata, C. cordata, C. parva, C. siamensis, C. undulata, C. walkeri, C. wendtii, and C. willisii

Indigenous fishes, invertebrates, other aquarium-applicable "life": Another characteristic of slow or stagnant waters is a low level of oxygen within the water. Fittingly, many of the native fishes to this biotope are labyrinthine in nature, such as Gouramis (Colisa spp) and Bettas (Betta spp), or bottom dwellers, such as Clown Loaches (Botia macracantha). Other native fishes include: Paradise Fish (Macropodus opercularis) Tiger Barbs (Barbus tetrazona) Glass Catfish (Kryptopterus bicirrhus) Red-Tailed Black Shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor, formerly known as Labeo bicolor) Zebra Danio (Brachydanio rerio) Harlequin Rasbora (Rasbora heteromorpha)

Several others fit here, so be sure to research any purchase carefully to make sure that it is compatible with other potential tank mates and that it can survive in the environment you're providing. Loaches and barbs are a good starting point, each having several species from which to choose.

Freshwater Clams (Corbicual sp.) Japanese Trapdoor Snails (Viviparus malleattus) Bamboo shrimp (Atyopsis spp)

Water chemistry parameters: In an aquarium setting, these parameters may vary a little depending on the species kept (e.g., Paradise Fish prefer slightly cooler water, Bettas prefer slightly warmer), but parametersof noteinclude: Temperature: mid 70’s to about 80*F pH: 6-7 Hardness: should be moderate, not too high

Special Notes: Although slow/still water is mentioned several times, turnover should still be about 6x per hour for filtration concerns. This actually does not make for very turbulent water, especially in planted tanks. Take special care with fancy Bettas, whose longer finnage does not do well in strong currents. For these, an air powered sponge filter is recommended. Otherwise, internal filters or canister filters can be fitted with a spray bar to help diffuse the water flow in the tank while keeping the water nice and clean.

There are alternatives to the use of Indian Almond Leaves. Some hobbyists use Oak leaves, for example. Another option is a Tetra product called Blackwater Extract, or Attison’s Betta Spa.

Labrynthine fishes, especially Bettas, are notorious jumpers, so make sure to use a tank cover or keep the water level an inch or two below the brI'm to prevent escape from the tank.

To achieve an “authentic” look without putting actual mud in your tank, there are a number of other substratesavailable. EcoComplete and Fluorite both come in black and red varieties,and can beused alone or mixed with fine silica or play sand and are great for planting. Red or onyx sand can be used mixed into or layered atop the substrate. You can even mix fine gravel with laterite or plant substrate, and then layer plain dark gravel on top to support plant growth and look nice.

References: Betta Care and Betta species (including wild-type) Betta finnage types and colors Map of SE Asia Biotope description t=131898 Aquatic Plant Central's Plant Finder tool:
  • #20
Looks like someone has been hitting the books and getting the homework done! Very good job of research.

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