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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Too hyped about having this set up tonight and so just wanted to post up a quick pic. Don't have time for too many photos or descriptions yet, so this is more of a quick teaser. My first endeavor into creating a biotope, so all advice, questions, comments, criticisms are welcomed and encouraged.

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Specs:
Aquarium - ADA 75P 90x45x45 (40gallon) on custom cabinet
Lighting - Finnex Planted+ 20" - raised 6" above tank (will be tweaked) hung on diy 1/2" EMT conduit light stand
Filtration - AC70 HOB, 2 sponge filters
Substrate - Silica sand
Ferts - Expected EI Ferts, possibly CO2 in future
Hardscape - Manzanita stumps/twigs - Cichlid caves on order and to be added later.

Flora:
Java Fern
Fissidens Fontanus
Juncus Repens
Christmas Moss
Lileaopsis Brasiliensis
Echinodorus Tenellus
Phyllanthus Fluitans
Lemna Minor
Lindernia Rotundifolia
Ludwigia Repens Rubin
Cryptocoryne Beckettii

Fauna:
Apistogramma cacatuoides (Triple Reds) x (2 Males/3 females/4 juveniles) (reason for tank)
Nannostomus (Red) x 6 (dithers)
Iriatherina werneri x 2 (dithers)

*note: I am aware that some of the fauna and flora keeps this from being a true SA biotope, which in the future I may edit out.
**thanks to the following people for helping with advice and supplies: Mykiss, KillifishKerry, April's Aquarium

Thanks for taking the time to look.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So last weekend, after I finalized the arrangements with my tour guide, I packed up my 75P and made my way down to Lima. It was about late afternoon when I arrived and man was it humid. Lugging the 75P awkwardly on my back didn't help. Anyways I made it out the airport where my guide greeted me with his pickup truck and dropped me off for the night at my hotel. The next morning, bright and early we made the 8 hour trip to the ríos Ucayali. Everything was so lush and so natural. I found the spot in the river which sort of spoke to me. I took my 75P, dipped it into the river and scooped this out for my flight home:

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When I got home I plugged in all the CO2, filters, heaters and yada yada and then I saw this guy come swimming out, seemingly to say hi.

20140410_203704.jpg
 

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I love your little back story on this one. I had a very bad experience in Lima last year where I got thrown from a taxi in the middle of the night and robbed of all my belongings, passport included, and left in a very dark back alley with only the clothes on my back. But I digress. This is cool. And the pic of your apisto is great.

I am wondering if you can share more info about your light stand and where you found the parts for it. I searched Home Depot and Lowe's but couldn't find the electrical conduit. Cheers.

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Discussion Starter #4
I believe it was the Home Depot in Richmond, Bridgeport by the Ikea was where I got the EMT. But I should think all the HD's should have EMT.

Mine is 1/2" EMT. They come in 10' lengths, and I got a fellow there to cut it down to length for me and so it would fit in my car. Rounding out the stand is a 90degree elbow and couplings - all in the same section at HD. Oh and I also got some rubber plugs from the fasteners aisle just to clean up the open ends. I believe total cost was in the range of $18 for these. To me, it's not as polished, but much preferable than paying over $100 for some of those other systems out there.

The hanging wires are not from HD though, those are from Little Tomato Concepts.
 
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