1. River Grza, Upper wellspring, Serbia
David Milosevic (Paracin, Serbia)
Aquarium Volume: 400 l
Animals: Phoxinus phoxinus, Pseudorasbora parva
Plants: Porella baueri, Cinclidotus aquaticus, Pellia endiviifolia, Metzgeria conjugata, Hymenasplenium obscurum, Neckera webbiana
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on a biotope of Grza river in Central Serbia. It originates 20 kilometers from Paraćin city. It passes through limestone and sandstone rocks so it have large diversity of stone materials through it flow. Substrate is made of fine sand, reddish colored. While the larger rocks are predominantly yellowish-white. Because the river passes through a thick forest, a lot of branches and stumps are in the water. Average temperature of water is 9.5°C but in summer is 18°C. Ph is 7.6 but it can go to 8.1 depending on the season. TDS is 235 mainly because of the limestone. It have large diversity of plants near or in water, especially bryophytes (above 30 species).
2. Sundarbans Biotope: Matla Mudflats
Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay (Gurgaon, India)
Aquarium Volume: 200 l
Animals: Scatophagus argus, Tetraodon cutcutia, Periopthalmus novemradiatus, Red Fiddler crabs
Plants: Excoecaria, Cereops
Biotope description: Sundarbans is home to the worlds' largest mangroves delta - 2/3rd of it in Bangladesh and the remainder is in India. My biotope is based on the Indian side, the upper portion of the delta. The Sundarbans delta is entirely created by tides, depositing silt, relentlessly carrying silt from one side of the bank to the other. Further south, bordering the sea, one gets sandy beaches, but areas near Sajnekhali, Basirhat, Gosaba etc, it is all about mud flats. Mangroves with superb root structures. There are various kinds of vegetation. However no tree are more than 20 feet height (from ground level). Dominant vegetation include Excoecaria, Excoecaria Cereops, Cereops, Avicennia-Oryza, Pheonix etc. Tides: Everyday Sundarbans witnesses twice….high and low tides. During high tides the water levels can rise upwards of 15 feet from the point where low tide water level is. The mode pH is around 8.0 and the salinity is around 20 ppt. Description of my Biotope: Main tank: 72X36X36 three sides, the front glass height is 18 Sump: 36X24X24. This is more a hold out tank for simulating tide. It has few liquid filters in it. Water: Brackish (salinity 1.017-1.02), pH: 7.7 Decorations (all in the main tank): 100 kgs of mud (got them from Matla mud flat), some Mangrove seeds and few mangrove plants (all seeds and plants procured legally through agencies who promote mangrove cultivation). Tide simulation: Currently I am using one small liquid filter a pieace in each of the two tanks. I am using timer that ensures the following takes place every day -high tide (00:00-06:00 hours): About 150 litres flow from sump to main tank -low tide (06:00-12:00 hours): About 150 litres flow from main tank to sump -high tide (12:00-18:00 hours): About 150 litres flow from sump to main tank -low tide (18:00-00:00 hours): About 150 litres flow from main tank to sump.
3. Barito river basin, Borneo
Hamza Syed (Hyderabad, India)
Aquarium Volume: 70 l
Animals: Betta pallifina
Plants: Cryptocoryne cordata, Sphaerocaryum sp., Najas indica, Ceratophyllum demersum, Salvinia natans, Bacopa sp.
Biotope description: I had something close to a biotope in mind with this. Betta pallifina comes from varied water environments ranging from stagnant peat swamps to clear flowing waters. What I aimed for is moderately acidic setup with a bit of flow. These are large Bettas with a good appetite, so I felt the need for a good filtration system and ample of vegetation to maintain water quality. I have added lots of catappa, teak leaves in there to create acidic environment.
4. Thandwe creek – Rakhine, Myanmar
Christos Nikolakoulis (Thessaloniki, Greece)
Aquarium Volume: 390 l
Animals: Channa pulchra, Botia kubotai
Plants: Ceratophyllum demersum, Pistia stratiotes, Cryptocoryne albida, Vallisneria spiralis, Lemna minor, Vesicularia dubyana
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on a biotope of Thandwe creek of Rakhine in Myanmar. This is a slowly running medium size creek in the formerly Arakan State on Myanmars western coast bordered by Chin State (in the north) and in the east by the so called divisions Magway, Bago and Ayeyarwady, by the Bay of Bengal in the West and the Chittagong divison of Bangladesh in the northwest. From the north runs a very mountains region south across the State were it rains often, the valleys are filled with creeks, lakes and immense rice fields, coco and palm plantations. Very few fishes are known from this part of Myanmar. There is some aquatic vegetation in those creeks and lakes, mostly Nymphaea species, Ceratophyllum and Najas, Nitella and Salvinia, Riccia and other floating plants can be found. The snakeheads live not in deep habitats, the water is mostly clear, but after a heavy rain all is turbid. The ground is often leaf-litter and gravel, black and white stones in some areas.
5. Lake Matano of South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Simon Wong (Singapore, Singapore)
Aquarium Volume: 60 l
Animals: Caridina dennerli, Tylomelania gemmifera
Biotope description: One of the world's ten deepest lakes, Lake Matano on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia is also one of the most unique. Lake Matano (Indonesian: Danau Matano), also known as Matana, is a natural lake in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. With a depth of 590 m, it is the deepest lake in Indonesia (ranked by maximum depth), and the 10th deepest lake in the world. The surface elevation from mean sea level is only 382 m, which means that the deepest portion of the lake is below sea level (cryptohollow). It is one of the two major lakes (the other being Lake Towuti) in the Malili Lake system. Lake Matano is home to many species of endemic fish and other animals (e.g. Caridina shrimps, Parathelphusid crabs and Tylomelania snails) as well as many plants. The endemic fishes of Matano have been compared to the species swarms of the Rift Valley Lakes of Africa. While not as diverse, they are thought to have all arisen from a single ancestor species and diversified into numerous different species.
6. Small pond in the Leningrad region, Ozereshno village
Varvara Kozmenko (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 60 l
Animals: Lissotriton vulgaris, Asellus aquaticus, Haemopis sanguisuga, Aeschna grandis
Plants: Fontinalis antipyretica, Lemna minor, Caltha palustris, Alisma plantago
Biotope description: The basis for the setting up the aquarium was a pond in the Ozereshno village of Leningrad region. This small oval pool (5 meters long and 3 meters wide) has a maximum depth of 1.5 meters and freezes almost to the bottom in the winter. In the spring the pond comes to life: aquatic plants start to grow, rocks become covered with new moss, first insects appear. Around the pond there are oaks, birches, larches, apple trees. Under them there are lilies, buttercups and other meadow plants. On the banks there are marigold and alisma, in deep places - cattails, duckweed floats on the surface of the water. On the bottom of the pond there are silt, clay and sand, sometimes covered with moss and leaved of the trees growing near the pond. The aquarium shows a pond biotope in the middle of June, when all its inhabitants are there. Leeches crawl on the bottom, newts will soon begin to get out to the land, and the larvae of dragonflies have grown and are almost ready to transform into adult insects. The world of the small inhabitants of the pond is no less interesting: waterlouses, cyclops, daphnia. This aquarium was set up not only for participation in the contest, but also the members of biological club could see the newt courtship behavior. After a week and a half newts were released back into their natural water body (leeches and dragonfly larvae were released earlier). The aquarium still existed, and in August newt larvae appeared, which, as they grow, were also released into their natural habitat.
7. Small river in Jambi province, Sumatra
Yuri Shamkalovich (Minsk, Belarus)
Aquarium Volume: 70 l
Animals: Sphaerichthys osphromenoides, Parosphromenus sumatranus, Brevibora dorsiocellata, Boraras maculatus, Betta falx
Plants: Cryptocoryne cordata, Riccia fluitans
Biotope description: A small river in Jambi province, Sumatra. In thickets of Cryptocorynes Betta falx and Parosphromenus sumatranus hide. In open areas there are schools of small Rasbora. The water is soft and rich in products of the decay of fallen leaves.
8. Red stream in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand
Jakub Kijak (Zegrze, Poland)
Aquarium Volume: 175 l
Animals: Rasbora paviana
Biotope description: There are five main rivers and streams in Khao Yai Park area. Prachinburi River and Nakhon Nayok River. Situated in the south, these rivers are vital for agriculture in adjacent lands and generate significant economic and social benefits for the region. They meet in Chachoengsao province forming the Bang Pakong river. Lam Takong stream and Lam Prapleung Stream. These 2 streams in the north of the park nourish agricultural areas of the Khorat Plateau. They run into the Mae Nam Moon River, the most important waterway in the lower Isaan region. This in turn continues east, eventually feeding into the Mae Kong River. Muak Lek Stream runs year round out of the north west of the park, supporting agricultural areas and livestock in north-east Thailand. It joins the Mae Nam Pa Sak River in Muak Lek District, Saraburi province. There are also many others, smaller streams and tributaries there. I tried to recreate one of them. My inspiration was photography taken by F. Vollmar ("All about aquarium", Peter W. Scott, page 72). The tank represents little, shalow and rocky stream in Khao Yay National Park in Thailand. Red bootom is coloured by iron. Water also contains Fe, but its level is not dangerous for fish. To imitate red, iron substrate I used laterite (Duplarit) which also slightly improved Fe level in water (in my tank - 0,05 ppm), as it take place in nature. I also used a little of wood covered by reddish brown climbers, tropical leaves, red stones and river sand of course. All of this is covered by laterite dust. I resigned from plants as they are not presents on this photo. I choose Rasbora paviana because it definetly can be found in this Park. In 1980s german expedition found species identified as Rasbora paviei but it is the same fish. It also great fit to decorations.
9. Sumatra swamp
Elena Mazurek (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 140 l
Animals: Trichogaster leeri, Pangio semicincta
Plants: Microsorum pteropus, Cryptocoryne sp., Hygrophila corymbosa, Vesicularia sp., Nymphaea sp.
Biotope description: Pearl gourami is one of the most popular and beautiful fish at the aquarium, but information on their habitats are scarce, and it is not surprising. One of the places where they can be found is the swamps of Sumatra, which are difficult to study and occupy a large area of the island. Continuous peat swamps connected by slowly flowing rivers and streams, where the water is usually painted in a dark brown color due to the large amount of dissolved humic acids. The bottom is covered with driftwood, branches and fallen leaves, the water is acidic, pH can drop to 4,0-3,0, sometimes there is rich aquatic vegetation there. In the aquarium the wetland part of the stream is shown with lots of driftwood, dense vegetation and slow flow, these are the places preferred by pearl gourami. Pangio semicincta can be neighbors in such a biotope.
10. Lava River in a canyon of the Leningrad region, Russia
Oleg Valersky (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 60 l
Animals: Squalius cephalus, Physa fontinalis, Heptagenia sp., Aquarius pallidum, Hydropsychidae g. sp., Gyrinus sp.
Plants: Fontinalis antipyretica, Cardamine amara
Biotope description: Lava River has a length of its bed only 31 km and starts in the peat swamps to the south of the village Nazia. Due to this it has a brownish color of the water. In the upper and lower reaches Lava flows in a shallow valley. On a middle reach the river cuts in the limestone deep (30 m) and picturesque canyon. In the spring waters destroy calcareous layers, and boulders fall into the Lava. Therefore, the bottom of the river is covered with plates, stones, lime pebbles and sand. Limestone, forming the walls of the canyon, is rich in fossils of Ordovician period. It is the remains of many echinoderms, trilobites, bryozoans, brachiopods and cephalopods. Their age is 485-443 mln. years! Most fossils can be found right in the mainstream of the river, among the pebbles. During this part of the river the flow is relatively rapid, there are even small thresholds here. In the Lava there can be organisms requiring a high concentration of oxygen: Heptageniidae, Plecoptera, Hydropsychidae and others. The surface of the water is abundantly populated with water striders, whirligig beetles. And they both feed on insects fallen in water - in the canyon there is a lot of this kind of food. Here there are such fishes as chub, pike, belica and gudgeon. Actually there are few water plants in this part of the Lava River because of the rapid current. On the rocks there is a water moss Fontinalis antipyretica. Among the pebbles on the shore there is often Cardamine amara, it is not only very beautiful but also edible plant of Cruciferous. In the lower reaches the bottom of the river gradually becomes muddy. Naturally, aquatic organisms and vegetation changes here. A few kilometers to the north the Lava flows into Lake Ladoga. Lava is a river with a pronounced seasonality. In the spring, during the snowmelt, the river swells and rages, the flow is very fast and strong. In April and May the Lava is popular among canoeists. In summer, the water level gradually drops and by the end of summer the Lava looks more like a wide and rapid stream. Chub attracts fishing lovers to the river. The Lava River Canyon is not only geological sightseeing, but also one of the popular tourist destinations of the Leningrad region. Fossils in the background rocks: Asaphus spp., Megistaspidella sp., Endoceras sp.
11. Heart of Borneo swamp
Dominik Woroch (Poznan, Poland)
Aquarium Volume: 31 l
Animals: Sundadanio axelrodi
Plants: Cryptocoryne wendtii, Ceratopteris thalictroides, Scindapsus sp.
Biotope description: Borneo, the world's third largest island, accounts for just 1% of the world's land yet holds approximately 6% of global biodiversity in its rich, tropical forests. The Heart of Borneo refers to the main part of the island where forests remain intact. The region provides habitat to 10 endemic species of primate, more than 350 birds, 150 reptiles and amphibians and 10,000 plants. From 2007 to 2010 a total of 123 new species have been recorded in the region. The aquarium I made shows swamp located in the Heart of Borneo.
12. Mekong Basin of Laos
Vasilis Athanasopoulos-Feredinos (Thessaloniki, Greece)
Aquarium Volume: 125 l
Animals: Tetraodon suvattii
Plants: Microsorum pteropus
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on a biotope of Mekong basin in southeast Laos. Mekong River is the longest river in Southeast Asia, the 7th longest in Asia, and the 12th longest in the world. It has a length of about 4,350 km. Rising in southeastern Qinghai province, China, it flows through the eastern part of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Yunnan province, after which it forms part of the border between Myanmar and Laos, as well as between Laos and Thailand. The river then flows through Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam before draining into the South China Sea south of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Vientiane (Viangchan), the capital of Laos, and Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, both stand on its banks. About three-fourths of the drainage area of the Mekong lies within the four countries the river traverses on its lower course: Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The river basin may be divided into six major sections on the basis of landforms, vegetation, and soils: the northern highlands, Khorat Plateau, eastern highlands, southern lowlands, southern highlands, and delta. Most of the vegetation in the lower basin is of the tropical broad-leaved variety, although the occurrence of individual species varies with latitude and topography. For much of its length the Mekong flows through bedrock channels, i.e. channels that are confined or constrained by bedrock or old alluvium in the bed and riverbanks. Geomorphologic features normally associated with the alluvial stretches of mature rivers, such as meanders, oxbow lakes, cut-offs, and extensive floodplains are restricted to a short stretch of the mainstream around Vientiane and downstream of Kratie where the river develops alluvial channels that are free of control exerted by the underlying bedrock. The commercially valuable fish species in the Mekong are generally divided between "black fish", which inhabit low oxygen, slow moving, shallow waters, and "white fish", which inhabit well oxygenated, fast moving, deeper waters. Other aquatic animals such as freshwater crabs, shrimps, snakes, turtles, and frogs. The Mekong has no fewer than 20,000 species of plants, 1,200 bird species, 800 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 430 mammal species. Over 1300 new species have been catalogued since 1997.
13. Java ferns and Oryzias javanicus
Emil Visan (Bucuresti, Romania)
Aquarium Volume: 45 l
Animals: Oryzias javanicus
Plants: Microsorum pteropus
Biotope description: The Aquarium represents one shore of a deciduous forest, of the river Mekong in Cambodia. "Mekong River", derived from "Mae Nam Khong" = mother of water. The Mekong is a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia. It is the world's 12th longest river and the 7th longest in Asia. Its estimated length is 4,350 km, and it drains an area of 795,000 km2, discharging 457 km3 of water annually. As the Mekong enters Cambodia, over 95% of the flows have already joined the river. From here on downstream the terrain is flat and water levels rather than flow volumes determine the movement of water across the landscape. More than half of Cambodia remains covered with mixed evergreen and deciduous broadleaf forest, but forest cover has decreased from 73% in 1973 to 63% in 1993. The Mekong basin is one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world. Only the Amazon boasts a higher level of biodiversity. Biota estimates for the Greater Mekong Subregion include 20,000 plant species, 430 mammals, 1,200 birds, 800 reptiles and amphibians, and an estimated 850 freshwater fish species (excluding euryhaline species mainly found in salt or brackish water, as well as introduced species). The most species richness orders among the freshwater fish in the river basin are cypriniforms (377 species) and catfish (92 species).
14. Kelani River, Sri Lanka
Alexei Sadomov (Orenburg, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 25 l
Animals: Puntius titteya
Plants: Spirogyra sp.
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Kelani River biotope (Sri Lanka), it is a small backwater with almost no flow. Tree branches in the water and rocks are covered with hair algae. Small barbs feed peacefully in such secluded place.
15. Marginal zone of slow flowing river in South India
Vyacheslav Smirnov (Krasnogorsk, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 230 l
Animals: Barbus ticto, Barbus nigrofasciatus
Plants: Rotala rotundifolia, Rotala indica, Cryptocoryne wendtii, Васора monnieri
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on a biotope with barbs in South India. The marginal area of the slow flowing river is densely covered with Rotala. The bottom consists of coarse sand with a high content of clay.
16. White Cloud Mountain, Kwangtung, China
George Pantazopoulos (Gerakas, Greece)
Aquarium Volume: 80 l
Animals: Tanichthys albonubes
Plants: Adiantum sp., Vesicularia montagnei, Vesicularia dubyana, Ficus benjamina, Soleirolia soleirolii
Biotope description: Type locality is "White Cloud Mountain, Kwangtung, China", referring to White Cloud Mountain (also known as Mount Baiyun or Baiyunshan) a few miles north of the city of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China and this species is probably restricted to the Pearl River Delta region. Between 1980 and 2001 it was not recorded anywhere at all leading to fears of its extinction but a handful of relict populations have been discovered close to the type locality and at isolated spots in coastal Guangdong province (in the prefecture-level city of Shanwei) and Quang Ninh province, northeastern Vietnam. Little published information exists but one of the populations rediscovered close to the type locality in Guangdong inhabits a sluggish, spring-fed mountain stream with clear, shallow water and dense growths of aquatic vegetation. They were observed swimming in schools in calmer zones and backwaters close to patches of dense, trailing marginal vegetation. Found in clean, sluggish coastal stream amongst hydrophytes. Can survive in water temperature as low as 5°C. Feed on zooplankton and detritus. Stomach analyses of wild specimens have revealed it to be a micropredator feeding on small insects, worms, crustaceans and other zooplankton.
17. Forest stream in the south-western part of Sri Lanka
Maxim Chernyshov (Rostov-on-Don, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 160 l
Animals: Pethia nigrofasciata, Puntius titteya , Mystus vittatus
Plants: Cryptocoryne beckettii
Biotope description: In the aquarium there is a forest stream of south-western "wet zone" of Sri Lanka. There are river systems here such as Kelani and Nilwala, as well as many rivers in between. Water may be relatively cool, clear to slightly stained, soft, pH is typically low. Macrophytes are rare in such streams, but dense thickets of coastal vegetation can occur, sometimes overhanging the entire width of the flow. Bottom, mostly sandy, is covered with a layer of fallen leaves and branches. In the south-western part of Sri Lanka there are following fish species: Rasboroides vaterifloris, Puntius bimaculatus, P. kelumi, Pethia nigrofasciata, Puntius titteya, Dawkinsia singhala, Schistura notostigma, Mystus vittatus, Aplocheilus werneri, Channa orientalis, Malpulutta kretseri, and Mastacembelus armatus. Plants: Aponogeton rigidifolius, Cryptocoryne alba, Cryptocoryne beckettii, Cryptocoryne bogneri, Cryptocoryne thwaitesii, Cryptocoryne walkeri, Cryptocoryne waseri, Lagenandra praetermissa, Lagenandra ovata.
18. Eastern Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp
Tijn Sullot (Roermond, Netherlands)
Aquarium Volume: 45 l
Animals: Parosphromenus nagyi
Plants: Nepenthes reinwardtiana
Biotope description: This aquarium was set up based on eastern Peninsular Malaysia peat swamps where the Parosphromenus nagyi live. Sadly a great deal of its original habitat has been lost via deforestation and other human alterations and it’s considered in danger of extinction. In the majority of cases it now survives only in remnants of heavily-modified peat swamp habitats such as irrigation ditches and roadside canals... In unaltered habitats they live between decaying leaves and mazes of branches and plant roots in dark stained water. These areas are called peat swamps. Peat swamps are waterlogged forests growing on a layer of dead leaves and plant material up to 20 metres thick. The peat swamps comprise an ancient and unique ecosystem characterized by waterlogging, with low nutrients and very low oxygen levels in acidic water regimes. The water is stained dark brown by the tannins that are released from the fallen leaves and peat, that is the reason why these areas are also called "blackwater swamps". These Peat swamps are Malaysia’s largest wetland type accounting for about 75 percent of the country’s total wetlands. But only less then 20 percent off these peat swamps lay in Peninsular Malaysia. The forest floors are seasonally flooded but during the dry season only very small puddles remain waterlogged. Most fish are then able to bury themselves in the bottom of their dried up habitat. There, they can live in moist cavities until water once again fill these area's during a rainy period. Due to poor nutrient levels, aquatic insect life is scarce and the fish diversity is usually lower compared to freshwater swamp forests. But there is a high level of endemicism and many peat swamp species own a rare kind of beauty that are probably the result from their isolation and adaptation to these demanding habitats. Despite this amazing ecology the peat swamps are disappearing at a rapid rate. Peat swamps are drained and cleared to make room for development, or to convert into oil palm, rubber or other plantation crops. In the last 20 years, the proportion of forested peat swamp in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and Borneo dropped from 77 percent to 36 percent. Of those that remain, less than 10 percent are found in legally protected areas. Sadly the other part does not receive any formal protection!
19. Mi Oya river, Sri Lanka
Dmitry Rumyantsev (Ivanovo, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 60 l
Animals: Barbus titteya
Plants: Cryptocoryne wendtii Мі Oya, Cryptocoryne beckettii, Cryptocoryne cordata, Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up to present the biotope of the Mi Oya river in Sri Lanka. The bottom of the slow flowing river is covered with thickets of Cryptocoryne that serve as shelter for the cherry barbs.
20. Asian Colours
Alexander Mikhailovsky (Vladivostok, Russia)
Aquarium Volume: 180 l
Animals: Puntius titteya, Barbus tetrazona, Barbus semifasciolatus Schuberti, Barbus conchonius, Danio rerio, Crossocheilus siamensis, Ancistrus dolichopterus, Ancistrus dolichopterus var. gold, Bagridae, Botia macracantha, Botia superciliaris, Hyphessobrycon minor
Plants: Cryptocoryne wendtii brown, Anubias nana, Anubias barteri var. barteri, Anubias barteri var. angustifolia, Ludwigia repens Rubin
Biotope description: The aquarium was created based on South Asian water bodies.