Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2014. Quality test

We are glad to present to you the results of the quality test of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2014

After evaluating the aquaria by the members of the jury we have got prize winners of the quality test and 5 persons who will go to the finals of the contest to St. Petersburg November 26-29.

List of finalists:

  • North America: Víctor Manuel Ortiz Cruz (San Lorenzo Cacaotepec, México)
  • South America: Ivan Frank (Zagreb, Croatia)
  • Africa: Svetlana Kirillova (St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Eurasia: Vyacheslav Veriga (Vladivostok, Russia)
  • Australia & OceaniaPetra Bašić (Zagreb, Croatia)

Congratulations to winners of the quality test and good luck at the finals in St. Petersburg!


Enjoy your watching!


North America

1. Profundulus oaxacae habitat

Víctor Manuel Ortiz Cruz (San Lorenzo Cacaotepec, México)
Aquarium Volume: 140 l
Aquarium Age: 2 months
Animals: Profundulus oaxacae, Poecilia sphenops
Plants: Eleocharis parvula, Bacopa monnieri, Chara sp., Ludwigia peploides, Sphagnum sp., Pteridophytes sp., Fissidens crispus, Azolla caroliniana, Heteranthera reniformis, unknown species
Biotope description: This aquarium was set up based on the recently discovered population of the killifish Profundulus oaxacae, a species about which very little is known and which is on the border of extinction due to the destruction and contamination of the watershed in which it was abundant until several decades ago (the river Atoyac in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico). The habitat in which the 2nd confirmed existing population of this species was found is a micro watershed. More specifically it is the source of a stream which finds its way through a ravine surrounded by oak trees that constantly shed their leaves in the stream, and forming different small pools. The first known population is located several kilometers away from the newly discovered and their habitat (which was recreated for the contest), so they have no communication and are different populations. The stream finds its way through whitish rocks and the border is littered with small wooden trunks and roots, both covered with mosses with a large quantity of ferns, followed in abundance by Eleocharis parvula (there are other species of the same genus but this is the species that is in direct contact with the water). In the pools a native water lily can be found, as well as Ludwigia peploides, Bacopa monnieri, the macro algae Chara sp. At the bottom of the stream a small rosette type plant is found which has not been identified up to now. The bottom of the stream is mostly sandy covered with organic matter due to the decomposition of the oak leaves. It is worthwhile mentioning that the area of the recently discovered population of the Oaxacan killifish, is seriously threatened due to the advancing limits of the urban population. For this reason, the local municipal authority, together with a collective of environmentalists and the expertise of an aquatic biologist, that discovered the population, tries to protect this area and the Profundulus oaxacae. Through the participation in this contest we try to generate interest and awareness about these efforts in order to obtain support of those interested.

Jury votes:: 540.00

User votes:: 6.25

2. Río Guarumo - Panama

Tom Austin (Oxfordshire, Great Britain)
Aquarium Volume: 130 l
Aquarium Age: 6 months
Animals: Xiphophorus hellerii, Cryptoheros nanoluteus
Plants: Echinodorus subalatus, Cabomba aquatica, Nymphoides sp., Ludwigia sp., Vallisneria americana, Najas guadelupensis
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Rio Guarumo - Panama, the biotope consists of slow flowing waters, lacking in vegetation, the fish inhabits the lower parts of the river which is usually covered with rocks and leaf litter.

Jury votes:: 420.00

User votes:: 5.35

3. Everglades National Park, Florida

Evgeniya Moiseeva (Moscow, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 60 l
Aquarium Age: 1 year
Animals: Jordanella floridae
Plants: Fissidens fontanus, Chara sp.
Biotope description: South Florida has a very flat level ground, so the rivers are calm here. Mangrove and cypress trees cover the shorelines of rivers, and also here therer are freshwater plants. The soil is poor, covered with light sand. System of mangrove swamps is an important habitat for many species of fish, creating a shelter for juvenile fish, crustaceans and molluscs.

Jury votes:: 387.00

User votes:: 5.31

4. Lake Xochimilco in Mexico City

Svetlana Kirillova (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 40 l
Aquarium Age: 1 month
Animals: Ambystoma mexicanum
Plants: Eichhornia crassipes
Biotope description: Lake Xochimilco in Mexico City is located in the south of the city and, in fact, is now a system of channels with a total length of about 170 km, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These channels were formed as a result of the creation of numerous man-made islands - chinampas, where 1000 years ago local people cultivated flowers and made gardens. Mexico City is located at an altitude of over 2,200 meters above sea level and the water in the canals is cold enough (20 degrees Celsius in the summer, 12 in the winter), and the channel walls often consist of roots. Aquatic plants are mainly floating, bottom of the channels is covered with a thick layer of silt. The traditional system of gardening involves the use of water, sludge and algae from the lake for irrigation and fertilizing plants. Now because of the use of chemical fertilizers and the existence of a metropolis the lake's ecosystem is seriously damaged, and this especially reflected in the number of amazing endemic amphibian, the axolotl. Axolotl is a larval form of Mexican salamander, known for its ability to neoteny. In Aztec times axolotl was an important part of their diet, but now in the wild they are about to extinct, as in the lake African tilapia and Asian carp were introduced as fish culture. Along with pollution of the environment it caused significant damage to native fauna. So, in 2004, according to estimates of local biologists the population of axolotl was 1000 per 1 sq km, in 2008 it was already 100, and in 2009 Nick Baker within a few days found only one axolotl. We can only be glad that these amphibians breed well in captivity, and they do not seem threatened by the danger like dodo and the Steller's sea cow.

Jury votes:: 335.00

User votes:: 5.25

5. Lagoon Ocotal, Blue lagoon

Bartosz Motyka (Bolton, Great Britain)
Aquarium Volume: 450 l
Aquarium Age: 1 year
Animals: Thorichthys meeki Rocio ocotal, Hyphessobrycon anisitsi (I think it is good replacement for Astyanax mexicanus, that is hard to find)
Plants: Nymphaea, Valisneria americana, Juncus repens
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Lagoon Ocotal biotope, Central America. Water is crystal clear with blue hues. Under water on the bottom we have sand, rocks, lime stones. The plants are Eleocharis sp., Nymphaea.

Jury votes:: 324.00

User votes:: 5.00

6. Everglade

Yuri Shamkalovich (Minsk, Belarus)
Aquarium Volume: 70 l
Aquarium Age: 1 year
Animals: Jordanella floridae, Lucania goodei, Heterandria formosa
Plants: Cabomba caroliniana, Sagittaria subulata, Hydrocotyle verticillata, Eleocharis acicularis, Bacopa monnieri, Lemna minor, Utricularia gibba, Nitella sp.
Biotope description: Aquarium was created based on a small stream in the Everglades swamps in southern Florida.

Jury votes:: 314.00

User votes:: 4.00

7. Rio Hondo

Cristian-Stefan Bontas (Bacau, Romania)
Aquarium Volume: 300 l
Aquarium Age: 9 months
Animals: Paratheraps melanurus
Plants: Myriophyllum mattogrossense, Limnobium laevigatum
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Rio Hondo biotope, Belize. A river with a length of 150 km, with basins in Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. The river is formed from the confluences of several upper tributaries, such as Blue Creek and Chan Chich (Rio Bravo) which have their sources in Guatemala's Petén Basin region, and Booth's River which originates in the western Belizean district of Orange Walk. These tributaries join to form the Hondo River near the settlements of Blue Creek Village, on the Belizean side, and La Unión on the Mexican side. The river continues its northeastern course with few other settlements along its length until reaching its outlet in Chetumal Bay. The city of Chetumal, capital of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and the region's main port, lies close to this outlet.

Jury votes:: 312.00

User votes:: 5.23

8. Swamps of Louisiana

Bartosz Strzała (Poznań, Poland)
Aquarium Volume: 56 l
Aquarium Age: 1 month
Animals: Heterandria formosa, Cambarellus puer, Pomacea sp.
Plants: Micranthemum umbrosum, Ceratophyllum demersum, Lemna minor
Biotope description: The aquarium is inspired by swamps of Louisiana. The bottom of the swamp is covered with fallen leaves and pieces of wood. This is why the water has a peculiar brown color. The surface of water is covered by Lemna minor. These marshlands are a local ecosystem where hundreds of different species of animals live: from alligators lurking just around the corner to the smallest fish of North America: Heterandria formosa. These marshes are inhabited also by one of the smallest species of crayfish in the family Cambaridae: Cambarellus puer. Someone even saw there a Bigfoot.

Jury votes:: 287.00

User votes:: 4.23

9. Rio Subin - shallow river in the center of Guatemala

Kirill Volkov (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 60 l
Aquarium Age: 6 months
Animals: Thorichthys meeki
Plants: Nymphaea rubra, Lilaeopsis mauritiana, Chamaedorea radicalis
Biotope description: Aquarium is set up according a notorious biotope of Rio Subin. It is a river with an average flow, passing among American fields and villages.

Jury votes:: 77.00

User votes:: 3.38

South America

1. Flooded forest in the bend of Rio Tapajos

Svetlana Kirillova (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 180 l
Aquarium Age: 1 month
Animals: Pterophyllum scalare, Mesonauta festivus, Hemigrammus ocellifer
Plants: Limnobium laevigatum
Biotope description: Tapajos River flows through Brazil and is a right tributary of the Amazon River. Like other rivers of the Amazon region, it takes water from rains and during the flood period (November to March) the water level in the river rises up to 7-8 meters, flooding forests on its banks. Surprisingly, the trees, staying under water for several months, do not die, in fact their diversity on the flooded areas of the forest are higher. During the flood the living space of fishes significantly expands, some species move into the flooded forest area for breeding. The water tn the river is soft (total hardness is 0,31-0,82 dH), slightly acidic (pH 6,4-6,65), clear, has a slightly dark or greenish stain, so Tapajos commonly referred to as clearwater river. On the aea of the flooded forest there are no proper aquatic plants, except accidentally brought floating plants, the earth covered with a layer of leaves, and fish glide among trees in search of food and places for spawning. Branches with green leaves were placed in the aquarium the day before taking photo.

Jury votes:: 484.00

User votes:: 5.17

2. Rio Tapajos Biotope

Abrar Ahmed Khan (Hyderabad, India)
Aquarium Volume: 300 l
Aquarium Age: 18 months
Animals: Geophagus sp. Tapajos, Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, Corydoras panda
Plants: Echinodorus tenellus
Biotope description: The aquarium is based on Rio Tapajos biotope, Brazil. Steady flowing clear waters, slightly acidic, the biotope is characterized by fine sandy and muddy substrates, and depending on location other features include scattered boulders, submerged tree roots, branches and leaf litter with minimal vegetation.

Jury votes:: 432.00

User votes:: 5.47

3. Rio Shanushi tributary near Yurimaguas, Peru

Ivan Frank (Zagreb, Croatia)
Aquarium Volume: 182 l
Aquarium Age: 11 months
Animals: Apistogramma baenschi, Nannostomus trifasciatus
Plants: Lemna minor, Pistia stratiotes
Biotope description: This is presentation of Apistogramma baenschi biotope near city of Yurimaguas, Peru. The water is a pond left after rain season, very clear with a deep leaf layer covering the bottom. Lots of dead leaves stained the water in a deep orange-brown color. Almost no aquatic plants are found in the area. The plants present are over-hanging grasses and such along the edges. There is some pressure on their habitat due to planting of Palm oil palm plantations so its a must to show this habitat to the world until its gone.

Jury votes:: 418.00

User votes:: 5.04

4. Rio Abacaxis, shore of the lake Lago Glemende

Pawel Nowotko (Edinburgh, Great Britain)
Aquarium Volume: 300 l
Aquarium Age: 20 months
Animals: Apistogramma sp. wilhelmi (Apistogramma sp. Abacaxis), Otocinclus affinis
Plants: Pistia stratiotes, Taxiphyllum barbieri
Biotope description: In Brazil. A lago is a small jungle lake and Lago Glemende is connected to the Rio Abacaxis by a small stream. Streams are often deep and can go hundreds of miles into the forest. In the wider parts the stream creates a hidden lakes, wooded and without perceptible current. The water there is very soft, muddy and has a dark brown color. There is not a lot of plants, mostly fallen leaves, decaying plants and wood. Streams are rather poor in fish. There are a few small tetras and dwarf cichlids.

Jury votes:: 405.00

User votes:: 4.79

5. Rio Shishita, Rain Forest

Claire Moreira (Lisbon, Portugal)
Aquarium Volume: 180 l
Aquarium Age: 13 months
Animals: Apistogramma bitaeniata sp. Shishita, Nannostomus marginatus
Plants: Limnobium laevigatum
Biotope description: This biotope aquarium was created to be the home of a couple of wild Apistogramma bitaeniata sp. Shishita. Starting from here, a careful investigation was made about Rio Shishita biotope, finding very useful information on the trip journal “Collecting in Pebas, Río Orosa and Río Shishita 2008” by Tom Christoffersen and Mike Wise. In this particular biotope that I wanted to recreate I found that it should have a low water flow with very acidic and soft dark water, clear sand bottom, a lot of driftwood and fallen tree leafs, providing lot of burrows for the fish to hide and breed. I chose the Limnobium laevigatum because it is a native plant and is used to dim the lights and create an overall ambiance on the layout while providing shelter for the dither fish. Also the Nannostomus marginatus were chosen as they are one of the few smaller species that live along with Apistogramma bitaeniata sp. Shishita and because of their small size and mouth, it makes them an ideal dither fish as they aren't an active fry predator.

Jury votes:: 400.00

User votes:: 4.54

6. São Gabriel da Cachoeira do Rio Negro

Philip Shaw (Antwerp, Belgium)
Aquarium Volume: 160 l
Aquarium Age: 4 years
Animals: Apistogramma mendezi, Nannostomus marilynae
Plants: Limnobium laevigatum
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Rio Aiuanã biotope, Brazil. Slowly flowing among the rainforest, this not wide and not deep river hasn't got any vegetation with the exception of some Сabomba species that are not often seen. The water is very dark and clear with many fallen leafs on the ground. In places where a tree has fallen into the shallow creek or igarapé a lot of fish can be found. Beneath the thick, muddy layer of dead litter you can find white sand with an orange glow.

Jury votes:: 397.00

User votes:: 4.04

7. Archipelago

Adrian Calin (Cluj Napoca, Romania)
Aquarium Volume: 240 l
Aquarium Age: 4 months
Animals: Uaru amphiacanthoides, Hemigrammus bleheri, Ancistrus sp.
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Rio Negro biotope, Brazil, Anavilhanas Archipelago, 100 km to the north of Manaus. Slowly flowing among the rainforest, this wide river has no aquatic vegetation due to the lack of light determined by the blackwater.

Jury votes:: 378.00

User votes:: 4.81

8. Rio Negro - Dark Forest

Dominik Woroch (Poznań, Poland)
Aquarium Volume: 160 l
Aquarium Age: 3 months
Animals: Paracheirodon innesi, Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, Apistogramma borelli, Ancistrus dolichopterus
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Rio Negro black water. Rio Negro is a river with a deep, slow-moving channel flowing through forested swamps. As vegetation decays, tannins leach into the water, making a transparent, acidic water that is darkly stained, resembling tea.

Jury votes:: 357.00

User votes:: 5.19

9. Rio Paracon - Amazon

Tom Austin (Oxfordshire, Great Britain)
Aquarium Volume: 300 l
Aquarium Age: 1 year
Animals: Symphysodon haraldi, Mesonauta insignis, Geophagus altifrons, Dicrossus filamentosus
Plants: Echinodorus bleheri
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Rio Paracon biotope, a slow flowing semi blackwater habitat. Aquatic vegetation is sparse so I have only added two Echinodorus bleheri, as with most Amazonian rivers there is an abundance of submerged tree roots where discus will converge in large numbers. Also the floor is covered in leaf litter as you can see in my photos I have tried to replicate this where the flow of the water allows.

Jury votes:: 357.00

User votes:: 5.06

10. At the bottom of the Amazon Basin

Kamil Habibullin (Moscow, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 200 l
Aquarium Age: 8 months
Animals: Pygocentrus nattereri, Ancistrus dolichopterus, Ancistrus hoplogenys
Biotope description: In the Amazon River and its tributaries there are over two thousand species of fishes, which diversity is staggering. The aquarium is set up for one of the most dangerous species of piranhas, which lives in large flocks in the river basin in South America.

Jury votes:: 351.00

User votes:: 5.40

11. Rio Nanay, Fallen Tree

Nuno Matos (Lisbon, Portugal)
Aquarium Volume: 180 l
Aquarium Age: 8 months
Animals: Pterophyllum scalare sp. Rio Nanay, Apistogramma allpahuayo, Nannostomus marginatus
Biotope description: The main intention of this layout was to give scale to the Scalare, while trying to create space for them and areas that could delimit territories, had to be something imposing and at the same time free space around for the fish to swim freely. I tried to create here a plausible situation that could recreate their natural habitat (Rio Nanay, drainage Peru), the idea was to imagine these wood pieces as a bit of tree that cracked and as fallen to the bottom of a riverbed, this creates a darker and more sinister scenario that works for me because of the size and gracefulness of this strain of Pterphyllum scalare sp. Rio Nanay. In the search of information I’ve found that it is very unlikely to find rocks and submersed water plants, only a clear sand river bed with large driftwood, some fallen tree leafs and dark waters. So I chose to use Horn Wood along with ADA Colorado sand. As for plants I chose to use Limnobium laevigatum as it’s an endemic plant found in almost all of this river system. Also there is a school of Nannostomus marginatus, as well as a fabulous trio of Apistogramma allpahuayo, found in some tributaries of this river in the Iquitos / Loreto area.

Jury votes:: 350.00

User votes:: 5.12

12. Wild river in the forest

Marek Michalak (Skierniewice, Poland)
Aquarium Volume: 160 l
Aquarium Age: 2 months
Animals: Apistogramma baenschi, Nannostomus marginatus Rio Negro
Plants: Pistia stratiotes
Biotope description: Aquarium has been created based on the habitat of South America. Slowly flowing river, branches and roots. Very poor in vegetation.

Jury votes:: 315.00

User votes:: 4.75

13. Rio Guapore

Tolga Eldurmaz (Istanbul, Turkey)
Aquarium Volume: 45 l
Aquarium Age: 5 months
Animals: Apistogramma trifasciata, Poecilia wingei
Plants: Echinodorus sp.
Biotope description: In my country where I struggle to find Apistogramma species, A. trifasciata is my favourite. I wanted to set up a true biotope aquarium for this special species. I tried to replicate Rio Guapore, which is a small tributary in the Amazone river system and home to A. trifasciata. The water parameters are how they should be and the biological system in the tank is well established. My only maintenance routine is to top off the water which is lost daily through evaporation. The trifasciatas feed on the invertebrates and microorganisms growing in the aquarium.

Jury votes:: 311.00

User votes:: 4.69

14. Rio Negro Biotope

Mikhail Yakunin (Zarechye, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 700 l
Aquarium Age: 1 year
Animals: Pterophyllum sp., Paracheirodon innesi
Plants: Moss sp.
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up after numerous reflctions associated with an unmatched beauty of the river Rio Negro. This river has a slightly amber water, charming sandy bottom, sometimes covered with driftwood that I tried to show.

Jury votes:: 302.00

User votes:: 4.62

15. Rio Negro, beauty of the dark

Danett Williams (Missouri, USA)
Aquarium Volume: 110 l
Aquarium Age: 1 month
Animals: Nannostomus trifasciatus, Paracheirodon axelrodi
Plants: Echinodorous horizontalis, Eichhornia crassipes, Salvinia oblongifolia
Biotope description: In order to support the green industry of cardinal tetra farming in the Amazon which protects its powerful waters, cardinal tetras were employed in an aquarium representing a microcosm of the Rio Negro. The waters of the largest blackwater river worldwide, are acidic and warm. On the shore of the Rio Negro, Echinodorus horizontalis may be found. However, due to heavy rains it is found fully submerged amongst leaf litter. The tannin stained waters constrain light for aquatic life, leaving little more than floaters amidst the top of the water in this particular area. Cardinal tetras and Three Lined Pencilfish swim amongst the leaf littered bottom wherein the sand is stained with humic acid from decomposing plant matter. The waters are full of fallen branches from the rainforest. Each branch was mindfully selected, shaven, carved, washed, and placed. Care was expended in collecting leaves and boiling them to extract their tannins. Realistically, much like portions of the blackwater Rio Negro, the water is slightly murky. However, a shaft of light is able to shine through.

Jury votes:: 199.00

User votes:: 3.88

16. Rio Negro

Tatiana Yakunina (Zarechye, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 180 l
Aquarium Age: 6 months
Animals: Paracheirodon innesi, Pterophyllum sp., Gymnocorymbus ternetzi
Plants: Echinodorus tenellus, Echinodorus sp., Moss sp.
Biotope description: It is a fascinating stream of the coastal zone of the Rio Negro. Rays of the sun go through the water. This is the infinite power of nature and beauty. The river is striking in its depth and spirituality. Many places are full of driftwood, there are whirlpools in there. There is a great variety of plants and fishes in here. Undoubtedly, it is a priceless gift on the body of our planet.

Jury votes:: 180.00

User votes:: 4.50

17. Part of the flooded Amazon forest during the high water

Yuri Yancher (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine)
Aquarium Volume: 780 l
Aquarium Age: 1 month
Animals: Symphysodon aequifasciatus, Paracheirodon axelrodi
Biotope description: Discus fishes are preparing to spawn. On the rainy season Amazonian biotopes are undergoing significant change: there is a high water. Clear water become unclear during that period. By May rains cease, within a few months there are many fully or partly isolated reservoirs. The slopes of the coast often steep enough, so even in the dry season there is a depth of 1-1.5 meters. Discus fishes live in such reservoirs and spawn between the flooded trees and coastal thickets. Along with them there are usually a variety of small tetras, catfishes and others.

Jury votes:: 143.00

User votes:: 3.52

18. South America

Alexei Bondin (Moscow, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 400 l
Aquarium Age: 3 months
Animals: Paracheirodon axelrodi
Plants: Heteranthera zosterifolia, Alternanthera reinekii, Echinodorus tenellus
Biotope description: The aquarium was setup in attempt to recreate a biotope of South America.

Jury votes:: 105.00

User votes:: 3.33

19. Rio Chico

Natalia Berbich (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 60 l
Aquarium Age: 7 months
Animals: Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps, Corydoras sterbi, Poecilia reticulata
Plants: Alternanthera lilacina, Cabomba furcata, Vallisneria spiralis, Riccia fluitans
Biotope description: Fast flow, silted bottom.

Jury votes:: 45.00

User votes:: 2.48

20. Rio Churun ​​- the lost river

Valery Sabadyr (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine)
Aquarium Volume: 450 l
Aquarium Age: 6 months
Animals: Cichlasoma temporale, Metynnis hypsauchen, Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum, Phractocephalus hemioliopterus
Biotope description: Venezuela. The quiet river flowing through the high plateau suddenly "boils" and swoops down, taking tree roots and rocks. Indescribable beauty difficult to reach characterize one of the highest waterfalls in the world: Angel Falls.

Jury votes:: 35.00

User votes:: 2.69


1. Backwater in the rainforest in the lower Ogun River in Nigeria

Svetlana Kirillova (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 60 l
Aquarium Age: 1 month
Animals: Chromaphyosemion bitaeniatum, Pantodon buchholzi, Pelvicachromis pulcher
Plants: Anubias barteri var. nana, Bolbitis heudelotii, Nymphaea micrantha
Biotope description: Ogun River empties into the Gulf of Guinea to the south-west from Nigeria. In the area of tropical rain forests, as we move towards the mouth, it absorbs forest streams and channels, forms a secluded backwaters, home to many species of fish. Seasonal flooding during the summer rains softens the water of the river basin, and pH also shifts to the acid, being a signal for the fish to spawn. The water temperature in the ever-shaded waters of tropical forests is often low (22-25°C). In slowly flowing streams and backwaters there are aquatic plants, ready to settle for a relatively small amount of light, among the roots of trees near the shore dwarf cichlids and non-seasonal killifish hide, under the leaves of water lilies there are Pantodons.

Jury votes:: 548.00

User votes:: 6.30

2. Lake Tanganyika

Cevher Savranbaşi (Istanbul, Turkey)
Aquarium Volume: 400 l
Aquarium Age: 18 months
Animals: Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza
Biotope description: Natural rock and algae with tropheus tried to create a biotope.

Jury votes:: 466.00

User votes:: 5.52

3. Congo

Jakub Kijak (Zegrze, Poland)
Aquarium Volume: 200 l
Aquarium Age: 1 month
Animals: Phenacogrammus interruptus, Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi
Plants: Aquatic grass, Nymphaea lotus
Biotope description: The upper course of the Congo River, called the Lualaba, is a large, slow-flowing river. Large numbers of tributaries support a rich aquatic fauna. Over 150 fish species and 6 endemics are known from this region. Dominant families include Alestiidae, Cyprinidae, and Cichlidae. Lindi River is one of the smaller tributaries of Lualaba. The aquarium represents a calm bay just next to mouth of a Lindi River of Congo, near city of Kisangani in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Both species (P. interruptus and P. nichlosi) can be found among others exactly there. River current isn’t as fast as upstream, so small group of Phenacogrammus interruptus can rest here. Big leaves of Nymphaea lotus make shadow zones. Female of Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi is holding the brood. She can hide in mass of aquatic grass and make her fry safe. To imitate river dust I used dark river dust, so the bottom of the aquarium is mostly dark. My aquarium is high, so I decided not to fill it completely. It contains only about 100 liter of water. That gives better ratios of front glass.

Jury votes:: 437.00

User votes:: 5.08

4. Green dream of Tanganyika

Mert Kınalı (İzmir, Turkey)
Aquarium Volume: 500 l
Aquarium Age: 7 months
Animals: Tropheus sp. Black Ikola, Xenotilapia spilopterus Mabilibili, Neolamprologus leleupi, Leptosoma sp. Blue Tanzania, Neolamprologus brichardi (albino)
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Tanganyika biotope, Africa. At the beginning, I focused on my tropheus colony and because of this it is rocky. Then step by step I added different kinds of fish.

Jury votes:: 432.00

User votes:: 5.02

5. Congo rapids near Brazzaville

Marcus Beilman (West Bend, USA)
Aquarium Volume: 568 l
Aquarium Age: 2 years
Animals: Phenacogrammus interruptus, Steatocranus casuarius, Steatocranus tinanti
Biotope description: This biotope was set up to replicate the areas of fast flowing water in the Congo River near Brazzaville. Steatocranus find refuge from the 15000 lph flowing water in the boulders and cobbles that make up the aquarium's background and substrate.

Jury votes:: 432.00

User votes:: 4.50

6. Banks of Malebo Pool or (Stanley Pool) Congo

Emmanuel Bultel (Calais, France)
Aquarium Volume: 260 l
Aquarium Age: 8 months
Animals: Phenacogrammus interruptus, Hemigrammopters caudalis, Aleste longipinis, Pantodon buchholzi, Gnathonemus petersi
Plants: Anubias barteri var. barteri, Anubias barteri var. Angustifolia, Anubias barteri var. nana, Bolbitis heudelotii, Crinum calamistratum
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up on the basis of banks of Malebo Pool (formerly Stanley Pool), Congo. The lake separates the two capitals of Congo: Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo). It is formed by the lower Congo River. The flora consists mainly of Anubias. And in these 400 sq km there is also a very important wildlife from the point of view of its diversity.

Jury votes:: 429.00

User votes:: 5.52

7. Malawi Biotope: The rubble zone

Alexander Görz (Forchtenberg, Germany)
Aquarium Volume: 1400 l
Aquarium Age: 2 years
Animals: Labidochromis hongi, Labidochromis caeruleus, Cynotilapia afra Gallireya Reef White Top, Melanochromis maingano, Labeotropheus trewavasae, Pseudotropheus zebra Red, Dimidochromis compressiceps, Sciaenochromis fryeri, Synodontis multipunctatus
Biotope description: The aquarium shows a cross-section of the rubble zone of Lake Malawi. In detail, it points to the location at which the gravel zone passes into the sand Zone. After I had seen numerous underwater photos of Lake Malawi, I have picked out the appropriate stone material. My choice fell on basalt rock. This is similar to the rocks of Lake Malawi and is therefore ideally suited. I have installed stones in different sizes from 60 kilograms to 50 grams. Right beginning I placed the stones almost to the water surface so there are many caves now. These stones fall off to the left into the sand zone. As substrate I used quartz sand of different grain. There are 125 kg total. The back wall is covered from the outside with a black film. Through this film a custom lighting gives a great depth. I have co-developed the light with a friend. It was made from programmable LEDs, we can adjust color and brightness of individual areas. This results in a very natural impression of the aquarium. Professionals like the light so much that we decided now to bring it to market. We have founded our start-up company. We have set the lighting so that all stones have an algae growth. The mbuna cichlids eat these algae very well. The volume of the aquarium is 1400 Liters. The aquarium is filtered by a Fluval FX5 and Eheim 2250. In addition, I use 3 flow pumps, each with a capacity of 8000 liters per hour. They are differently controlled by timers. I have also installed an automatic water change. With an automatic pouring machines I control the supply of fresh water. My biggest concern was to set up the aquarium as naturally as possible and thus to offer the fish a nice biotope.

Jury votes:: 422.00

User votes:: 4.73

8. Lake Malawi, Rocky Paradise

Nickolay Nikolov (Stara Zagora, Bulgaria)
Aquarium Volume: 400 l
Aquarium Age: 1 year
Animals: Tropheops sp. Chilumba, Pseudotropheus demasoni, Pseudotropheus socolofi albino, Metriaclima sp. zebra chilumba Maison Reef, Metriaclima sp. msobo Magunga, Aulonocara sp. fire fish, Labidochromis sp. Hongi
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa, or Lago Niassa in Mozambique) is an African Great Lake and the southernmost lake in the East African Rift system, located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The third largest and second deepest lake in Africa, it is also the ninth largest in the world. It is home to more species of fish than any other lake, including about 1000 species of cichlids. The Mozambique portion of the lake was officially declared a reserve by the Government of Mozambique on June 10, 2011, and in Malawi a portion of the lake is included in the Lake Malawi National Park. Lake Malawi is a meromictic lake; permanent stratification and the oxic-anoxic boundary are maintained by moderately small chemical and thermal gradients. The water in Lake Malawi or Nyasa is typically slightly alkaline with a pH ranging from 7.7 to 8.6, a carbonate hardness of 107 to 142 mg/l, and a conductivity of 210 to 285 µS/cm. Given its tropical latitude, the water of this lake is generally warm, having a surface temperature that ranges from 24 to 29 degrees Celsius (75 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit), with a deep water temperature of about 22°C (72°F), year round.

Jury votes:: 376.00

User votes:: 4.21

9. Underwater forest of Congo river - Yangambi population

Emil Visan (Bucuresti, Romania)
Aquarium Volume: 200 l
Aquarium Age: 9 months
Animals: Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi
Plants: Anubias barteri var. nana, Anubias coffeefolia, Bolbitis heudelotii
Biotope description: In this setup I tried to create a floodplain forest of the central flow of the Congo river inhabited by a colony of Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi. A population Yangambi as was found by Gosse in 1963. This fish is found in Africa. More precisely, in the east of the central basin of the Congo River (the Ankoro and Upemba Lakes). Type locality for fish is Ankoro (at the junction of the rivers Lualaba and Luvua of Katanga Province, in the south-east of the Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). Type of P. nicholsi location is outside the Congo Basin forest, but this species was also reported in the heart of central basin area of real rainforest. There are no data on the ecology of this species in the Ankoro, but Gosse (1963) has published this information about Yangambi populations. In this wooded area, P. nicholsi is found in small creeks, tributaries of the Congo River. These habitats are characterized by sandy substrate and detritus. Plants are few, but there are Anubias. On the clear areas of the water supply Bolbitis sp. can be found. Light is dimmed and filtered through the branches and roots. For this I used river sand 1-2 mm, African roots mopani and twigs of willow Torsa. At fixing them I used river stones and tried to make a submerged bank. I fixed on the roots and branches Anubias and Bolbitis, plants living in their natural habitat. For a background I used textil fabric of ocher colour. Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi is a West African cichlid from the Congo basin (Riehl. etal., 2004). It was originally described as Paratilapia ventralis (Pellegrin, 1928). It has also been known as Haplochromis ventralis, Hemihaplochromis ventralis or Pseudocrenilabrus ventralis. P. nicholsi, is spectacular especially colorful male, that reach length of 8.5 cm. The female is smaller with about 5 cm and has more diluted colors. Males have a variety of colors. In general, the half of the face is bright yellow, which begins to change to blue for the back half of the body. The lips are bright blue. Unpaired fins are represented by red and blue. Pelvic fins are black, edged with white. Pectoral fins are yellow. Behind the gill cover to the back of the fish, there are red spots on the edges of flakes growing in numbers as you go further back on the fish. These cichlids are quite aggressive for their small size. They need to be kept in small groups with more females than males. They spawn quite readily in an aquarium. They spawn on the substrate or rocks. Females keep the eggs in mouth. The eggs are taken from the mother immediately after fertilization. Incubation lasts 2-3 weeks depending on the temperature and the fry is quite small. I needs very small food. The fishes are usually good mothers in the first week. The aquarium should have many places where females can hide. Males are aggressive towards females who do not respond to their advances. They live well at 22-25°C and pH of 6-8.

Jury votes:: 358.00

User votes:: 4.81

10. West Africa

Marius Binder (Cluj Napoca, Romania)
Aquarium Volume: 130 l
Aquarium Age: 5 months
Animals: Hemichromis lifalili Blue
Plants: Anubias nana Petit, Anubias heterophylla, Anubias congensis, Anubias gracillis, Anubias barteri nana, Nymphaea lotus zenkeri
Biotope description: In this setup I tried to copy the Togo river in the zones full of anubias, lotus, stones and roots.

Jury votes:: 357.00

User votes:: 4.85

11. The coastal zone of the African river

Evgeniy Lukyanchikov (Novosibirsk, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 250 l
Aquarium Age: 1 month
Animals: Pelvicachromis pulcher
Plants: Anubias barteri var. Nana Bonsai, Anubias afzelii, Anubias barteri var. barteri, Anubias barteri var. angustifolia, Anubias barteri var. glabra
Biotope description: Aquarium resembles a real shore of an African river with many species of Anubias.

Jury votes:: 343.00

User votes:: 5.17

12. Lake Tanganyika shallowness

Fatih Bolat (Ankara, Turkey)
Aquarium Volume: 450 l
Aquarium Age: 1 year
Animals: Tropheus nkonde bright yellow, Altolamprologus compressiceps, Julidochromis marlieri, Neolamprologus pulcher, Neolamprologus leleupi
Biotope description: The shallowness of the lake Tanganyika biotope aquarium, Africa.

Jury votes:: 316.00

User votes:: 4.23

13. Guardians of Darkness (Lake Malawi)

Sabyasachi Patra (Kolkata, India)
Aquarium Volume: 283 l
Aquarium Age: 8 months
Animals: Labidochromis caeruleus, Maylandia lombardoi, Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos, Pseudotropheus socolofi Albino
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up considering the rocky central western coastal region of Nkhata Bay in Lake Malawi. Rocks used here are river rocks and sand is used as substrate. Black sticker is used for background.

Jury votes:: 275.00

User votes:: 3.92

14. Lake Tanganyika community

Gökay Yağar (Malatya, Turkey)
Aquarium Volume: 350 l
Aquarium Age: 6 months
Animals: Tropheus sp. Kiriza Gold, Tropheus sp. Caramba Red Bishop (Tropheus sp. Red Phoenix)
Biotope description: 350 l Lake Tanganyika Community, I tried to make a visual design and stylish. It seems a rocky part of Lake Tanganyika.

Jury votes:: 259.00

User votes:: 3.98

15. Lake Malawi, at the bottom

Sergey Revutsky (Kharkiv, Ukraine)
Aquarium Volume: 337 l
Aquarium Age: 11 months
Animals: Labidochromis caeruleus Yellow, Melanochromis auratus, Pseudotropheus demasoni, Pseudotropheus zebra, Iodotropheus sprengerae, Pseudotropheus spec. acei
Biotope description: Malawi biotope is a piece of one of the largest lakes in the world, African lake, located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. It is also known as Lake Nyasa and Lago Niassa in Mozambique. It is the third largest lake in Africa and the ninth in the world. In tropical waters of the lake there are more fish species than in any other lake in the world. Scottish explorer and missionary David Livingstone visited Lake Malawi that's why it is sometimes historically referred to by English-speaking people as Livingston's Lake.

Jury votes:: 232.00

User votes:: 4.31

16. Backwater of Congo river

Elizaveta Fursenko (Moscow, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 20 l
Aquarium Age: 1 year
Animals: Neolebias ansorgii
Plants: Anubuas barteri, Bolbitis heudelotii, Pistia stratiotes
Biotope description: It is a small backwater of the river near the shore, decorated with floating plants.

Jury votes:: 99.00

User votes:: 2.81

17. Stony-sandy biotope of Lake Malawi

Ivan Viktorov (Moscow, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 830 l
Aquarium Age: 21 months
Animals: Pseudotropheus demasoni, Pseudotropheus socolofi, Labidochromis caeruleus Yellow, Melanochromis auratus, Pseudotropheus interruptus, Labeotropheus trewavasae Chilumba, Metriaclima lombardoi, Metriaclima greshakei, Metriaclima sp. Zebra Chilumba Katale, Metriaclima sp. Elongatus Chewere, Metriaclima esthrare, Pseudotropheus williamsi North, Labeotropheus fuelleborni Chidunga Rocks, Cynotilapia aurifrons Luwino Reef, Metriaclima sp. Zebra Chilumba Luwino Reef

Jury votes:: 92.00

User votes:: 3.52

18. African biotope

Alexei Bondin (Moscow, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 60 l
Aquarium Age: 5 years
Plants: Anubias sp.
Biotope description: The aquarium was setup in attempt to recreate an african biotope.

Jury votes:: 85.00

User votes:: 3.60


1. A mountain stream in southern Primorye

Vyacheslav Veriga (Vladivostok, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 100 l
Aquarium Age: 1 month
Animals: Phoxinus czekanowskii, Pungitius sinensis, Barbatula toni
Plants: Fontinalis sp.
Biotope description: In the biotope aquarium there is a small tributary of the river Maihe (now Artyomovka). The river starts in the south-western slopes of the Przewalski Mountains (the southern part of the mountain range of the Sikhote-Alin) at an altitude of 460 m, flows in a southern direction and empties into the Gulf of Peter the Great Bay of Japan Sea. The water level in the river and its tributaries is highly dependent on the season, which is very typical for the mountain rivers of the South Ussuri region. When it rains a little, river becomes much shallower, small streams completely go under stones in places. This time the fish waits in deep pits. During the summer typhoon the water level could rise by 3-5 meters and then roaring stream carries uprooted huge trees. The biotope you see is a typical mountain taiga stream, characteristic inhabitants of which are small fishes that love fast and clean, oxygenated water: common minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus) and Lagovsky minnow (P. lagowskii), Amur stickleback (Pungitius sinensis), Siberian stone loach (Barbatula toni) etc. However, there are also large predators such as sharp-snouted lenok (Brachymystax lenok) and resident form of masu salmon (Oncorhynchus masou). Aquatic vegetation is represented only by moss Fontinalis. Partially rounded stones, among which red lava is not uncommon, large driftwood and fallen trees are typical scenery of the stream.

Jury votes:: 504.00

User votes:: 5.85

2. Stream near Lake Biwa

Tamara Davidova (Yalta, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 90 l
Aquarium Age: 2 months
Animals: Macrobrachium nipponense
Plants: Vallisneria americana var. biwaensis
Biotope description: Most aquarists unfairly pay little attention to the arthropod inhabitants of the aquarium, but to watch them is no less interesting than fish. The aquarium was set up based on biotopes of small streams near Lake Biwa, Japan. Small, slow-moving streams near the lake have a lot of bamboo and cane along the banks. There are higher aquatic plants here: groups of Vallisneria americana var. Biwaensis, except in Japan, is found only in Haiti and in some waters of Venezuela. This kind of Macrobrachium is often the only notable representative of aquatic animals, but is found here in abundance, eating lower aquatic vegetation and rotting remains of leaves.

Jury votes:: 337.00

User votes:: 4.71

3. North Bengal Himalayan hill stream biotope

Sujoy Banerjee (New Delhi, India)
Aquarium Volume: 284 l
Aquarium Age: 2 years
Animals: Acanthocobitis botia, Aborichthys elongatus, Balitora brucei, Schistura savona, Schsitura sp., Schistura devdevi, Garra sp., Psilorhynchus balitora, Psilorhynchus sucatio, Schsitura sp.
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on small hill stream biotope Of the North Bengal Himalayas tributary falling into the large, torrential, glacier-fed river Tista in Darjeeling Himalaya of Northern West Bengal. Fast flowing hill streams among the Dooars region (Duars are the floodplains and foothills of the eastern Himalayas in North-East India around Northern West Bengal) of North Bengal the streams are not very wide and not deep. The substrate is sandy and filled with biofilm algae rich coated large, medium and small round river pebbles. There are no aquatic vegetation found in this river. Driftwood is found on the side and middle of streams in between the rocks which flow down from the nearby forest into the rivers. The water is fast flowing, cold, clear and turbulent at places.

Jury votes:: 294.00

User votes:: 4.29

4. Chao Phraya river, flooded forests

Pawel Nowotko (Edinburgh, Great Britain)
Aquarium Volume: 64 l
Aquarium Age: 6 months
Animals: Betta splendens
Plants: Cryptocoryne wendtii brown, Cryptocoryne parva
Biotope description: In Thailand there are clean water and black water. Because of periodic flooding of forests the water is poorly oxygenated and soft. There are a little of plants because the sun cannot reach through the dense forests. There are fallen leaves and rotting wood everywhere. Here you can find a variety of small fish, for instance Pangio and Betta.

Jury votes:: 269.00

User votes:: 5.38

5. Magic Dream

George Pantazopoulos (Athens, Greece)
Aquarium Volume: 120 l
Aquarium Age: 3 months
Animals: Betta mahachaiensis
Plants: Cyrtomium fortuneii, Cyperus alternifolius, Equisetum sp., Acorus sp., Fissidens sp., Vesicularia dubyana, Vesicularia montagnei
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Samut Sakhon, Thailand.

Jury votes:: 269.00

User votes:: 5.42

6. Inle Lake, Burma

Yuri Shamkalovich (Minsk, Belarus)
Aquarium Volume: 60 l
Aquarium Age: 1 year
Animals: Microrasbora rubescens, Petruichthys brevis, Sawbwa resplendens
Plants: Nelumbo nucifera, Ipomoea aquatica, Ceratophyllum submersum, Utricularia gibba, Lemna minor
Biotope description: Inle Lake, Burma.

Jury votes:: 243.00

User votes:: 3.74

7. Narmada - India

Elizaveta Fursenko (Moscow, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 35 l
Aquarium Age: 7 months
Animals: Chanda ranga
Plants: Hygrophila corymbosa, Hygrophila pinnatifida, Nymphaea stellate, Salvinia cucullata
Biotope description: It is a coast of the Narmada River in India, dense thickets of aquatic plants, among which glass perches are hidden.

Jury votes:: 170.00

User votes:: 3.33

8. Sreng River

Oliver Hardt (Vienna, Austria)
Aquarium Volume: 280 l
Aquarium Age: 3 months
Animals: Garra cambodgiensis
Plants: Hygrophila corymbosa angustifolia, Vallisneria gigantea, Vesicularia ferriei
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Sreng River biotope, Cambodia. Fast flowing river in changing landscapes from the hills to the rainforest, the Sreng has a rich aquatic vegetation. There are Hygrophila, Vallisneria and many Mosses in it, some species are emersed.

Jury votes:: 145.00

User votes:: 3.17

9. Eurasia

Alexei Bondin (Moscow, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 200 l
Aquarium Age: 10 years
Plants: Cryptocoryne sp.
Biotope description: The aquarium was setup in attempt to recreate a biotope of Eurasia.

Jury votes:: 134.00

User votes:: 4.17

10. Demonic Eurasia

Alexander Mikhailovsky (Vladivostok, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 180 l
Aquarium Age: 3 years
Animals: Puntius titteya, Barbus tetrazona, Barbus semifasciolatus schuberti, Barbus conchonius, Danio rerio, Crossocheilus siamensis, Ancistrus dolichopterus, Ancistrus dolichopterus var. gold, Bagridae sp., Botia macracanthus, Botia superciliaris, Hyphessobrycon minor
Plants: Cryptocoryne wendtii brown, Anubias nana, Anubias barteri var. barteri, Anubias barteri var. angustifolia, Ludwigia repens Rubin, Vallisneria gigantea, Vallisneria spiralis

Jury votes:: 128.00

User votes:: 4.08

11. Indus River - a large river in South Asia

Sergey Antonov (Penza, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 150 l
Aquarium Age: 1 month
Animals: Pintius denisoni, Trichogaster Leerii
Plants: Hygrophila polysperma
Biotope description: Indus River is a large river in South Asia, flows mostly on the north-western India. Indus River is the cradle of India, begins in the Himalayas and is the largest river in South Asia. At the mouth the Indus forms a large delta. This is one of the largest deltas in the world. An area of it is ​​about 41 000 square kilometers. In the delta of the Indus there was a rich ecosystem, developed fisheries, this area was the perfect habitat for many species, including the endangered Indus dolphin.

Jury votes:: 123.00

User votes:: 3.65

12. Eurasia

Denis Gavrilov (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 450 l
Aquarium Age: 8 months
Animals: Puntius denisonii, Hypessobrycon ornatus
Plants: Anubias barteri var. Сoffeefolia, Staurogyne repens, Eleocharis parvula, Echinodorus Rose, Echinodorus Ozelot Green, Echinodorus Ozelot, Echinodorus Apart, Lobelia cardinalis Small form, Сryptocoryne undulatus Red, Microsorum pteropus Windelov, Aponogeton longiplumulosus, Crinum natans Crispus, Taxiphyllum barbieri, Anubias hastifolia, Anubias barteri var. Nana, Pista stratiotes

Jury votes:: 105.00

User votes:: 3.66

13. Colosus

Rudolf Kuchar (Kravare, Czech republic)
Aquarium Volume: 225 l
Aquarium Age: 6 months
Animals: Poecilia sphenops, Otocinclus affinis, Crossocheilus siamensis
Plants: Staurogyne repens, Sagittaria subulata, Eleocharis parvula, Vallisneria torta, Anubias barteri var.nana, Cryptocoryne petchii, Java moss, Riccia fluitans, Limnophila sessiliflora
Biotope description: Two main roots covered by mosses with clusters of plants in the front. Combination of green plants with black fishes make a nice feeling of nature.

Jury votes:: 68.00

User votes:: 4.44

Australia & Oceania

1. Waterhole near Douglas Creek

Petra Bašić (Zagreb, Croatia)
Aquarium Volume: 140 l
Aquarium Age: 3 months
Animals: Chlamydogobius eremius
Biotope description: This south Australian gobies are remarkably well adapted to life in the desert. They inhabit slow-flowing streams, springs, and waterholes in the southern and western Lake Eyre drainage system in South Australia. Flow rate is very slow and water is alkaline and saline. Temperatures vary from 5-43°C and there is little oxygen dissolved. Bottom is rocky and sandy, without plants, just some grasses near edge of pool, where gobies usually dwell.

Jury votes:: 528.00

User votes:: 4.75

2. Tributary of the river Mamberamo

Natalia Zakharova (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 200 l
Aquarium Age: 4 months
Animals: Melanotaenia praecox
Plants: Nymphaea sp., Vallisneria nana, Microsorum pteropus
Biotope description: Dwarf rainbowfish (Melanotaenia praecox) is quite common in aquaria. But the area where dwarf rainbowfish can be found in nature is very small: a small part of the river Mamberamo flowing through one of the provinces of Papua New Guinea. In 1998, they were also collected in small streams and swampy waters of the river Tiroiva. These specimens differ from the representatives from Mamberamo by having horizontal red stripes between the rows of scales. Dwarf rainbowfish can be found not only in the fast streams of the main river, but also in the surrounding wetlands with slow current, where there are many aquatic plants, driftwood and submerged roots of coastal plants, and this entry presents such a habitat.

Jury votes:: 495.00

User votes:: 5.32

3. New Guinea

Jakub Kijak (Zegrze, Poland)
Aquarium Volume: 112 l
Aquarium Age: 1 month
Animals: Melanotaenia praecox
Plants: Phragmites australis, Vallisneria nana
Biotope description: This fish is endemic to the Mamberamo river system in New Guinea. Tends to inhabit swiftly flowing tributaries off the main river. The fish congregate around areas of aquatic vegetation, or submerged roots and logs. I tried to imitate one of the small fast flowing tributaries. The current causes little plant vegetation in mainstream. On the bank, over water level Phragmites australis founds better conditions for growing. To recreate swiftly flowing stream I used dark pebbles. I also used white sand and very few Vallisneria nana according to that biotope.

Jury votes:: 460.00

User votes:: 4.79

4. Rainforest creek of Warey River, Batanta Island, New Guinea

Dimitris Ioannou (Megara, Greece)
Aquarium Volume: 240 l
Aquarium Age: 7 years
Animals: Melanotaenia synergos
Plants: Microsorum pteropus, Microsorum sp., Nymphaea sp., Cryptocoryne ciliata, Cyperus helferi
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on a rainforest stream of Warey River on Batanta Island, New Guinea. Batanta is one of Raja Ampat Islands, and lies 36 km from Sorong near the western end of New Guinea. The island is long (61 km), slender (averaging less than 10 km in width) and mountainous with a maximum elevation of about 1,050 m. It is separated from Salawati by the Sagewin Strait, which averages only 5 km in width, but has impressive depths to 521 m. The southern Salawati-facing slopes are steep and drained by numerous small, steep gradient creeks, but no rainbowfishes occur there. The opposite side of the island is also steep, but is dissected by a few gradual valleys. M. synergos have been collected from the Wei Bin (type locality) and Warey River, at the respective eastern and western ends of the island. Warey River consists of narrow clear rivers with gradual gradients flowing initially through second growth forest, but entering primary, nearly closed canopy forest after about 1 km upstream from the sea. The substrate of the river consist from sand and limestone cobble-gravel. Temperature and pH values of 25.5°C and 7.8 respectively were recorded at the type locality. In this case I represent a rainforest creek into the river where are mainly found Melanotaenias synergos around submerged logs and aquatic plants. This species was first collected in 1992 by Heiko Bleher while exploring the freshwaters of Batanta Island.

Jury votes:: 456.00

User votes:: 5.68

5. Coastal zone of Musa river in the Safia valley, Papua - New Guinea

Yuri Shamkalovich (Minsk, Belarus)
Aquarium Volume: 40 l
Aquarium Age: 1 month
Animals: Tateurndina occellicauda
Plants: Blyxa novoguineensis, Microsorum pteropus, Ammania multiflora
Biotope description: It is a small river in Safia valley in the eastern part of island with slow current and clear water. It is a bottom. Temperature is 24-28°C; pH is about 7.0; hardness 90-180 ppm.

Jury votes:: 370.00

User votes:: 4.21

6. River mouth in Lake Sentani

Arseny Kukushkin (Moscow, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 170 l
Aquarium Age: 2 years
Animals: Glossolepis incisus
Plants: Ceratophyllum sp., Vallisneria americana, Microsorum pteropus, Spirogyra sp.
Biotope description: Lake Sentani is in Papua New Guinea. Rivers that flow into the lake, bring nutrients that stimulate plant growth in estuaries. Also in the area of estuaries there are piles of driftwood. These conditions, as well as the broad food base, attract lake fishes, for example, Glossolepis incisus.

Jury votes:: 266.00

User votes:: 4.31


No comment

Nice aquariums!

All recreations are very good, but that of "Profundulus oaxacae" is closer to reality by containing the elements of the habitat also seeking the preservation of an endangered endemic species. Many greetings and success!

Some tanks are really beautiful! Good luck to all.

Butterfly_Greece's picture

Nice aquariums!


Verry nice biotope

Good luck to everyone!

Belles réalisations, biotope au point pour certain.

Nice aquariums

It's beautiful, difficult to choose

good luck for all

Sympa mais dificile à juger

good luck!!

Good luck for all!! Greetings from Greece!

Καλή τύχη!

Nice aquariums!
Good luck to all


Really great biotops inspired from nature. Congrads to all. Superb work.

Hey Admin,

I really appreciate your effort of sharing information with us. Your article never fails to add useful information to my knowledge. Thanks for sharing with us.
UI Development Services

Great Post! Thanks for sharing with us.
Belated Birthday Meme

It's time to throw away all of those cookie-cutter date questions (What's your sign, what are your hobbies, what's your favorite color etc.



It's time to throw away all of those cookie-cutter date questions (What's your sign, what are your hobbies, what's your favorite color etc.



evegreen's picture

very nice to see such an information that you have shared with us..
thanks alot