Achiguate River, Escuintla, somewhere in Guatemala

125th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

Guatemala. Alejandro Hernández

Volume: 275 L
Dimensions: 100х50х50 cm
List of fishes: Amphilophus trimaculatus, Poecilia mexicana
List of plants: Ceratophyllum demersum
Description of decorations: The aquarium is first formed with sandy substrate, and with relatively small rocks, likewise logs were added; which appear as in the biotope, since with the passage of this one the trunks are taking the natural form that the river gives them. Ceratophyllum demersum was also added since this plant is in place in some parts, in the center of the river since the river current becomes a bit slow at certain points.
Description of equipment: Internal filter Boyu 750l/h; heater Atman 100W.
Water parameters: Temperature 26 degrees C. PH 7.1, GH 9
Additional info: At the time of making partial water changes, the equipment is removed and 35% changes are made every 20 days. Likewise, the filtering equipment is changed every month to be able to have and take better care of the bacterial environment.


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: The Achiguate River is born in the Sierra Madre, on the southern slopes of the Fuego volcano in the departments of Sacatepéquez and Escuintla. It takes direction towards the south, crossing the coastal plain of the department of Escuintla to end at the Pacific Ocean. On the banks you can see many plants and grasses, as well as the abundant amount of mango trees and several other non-fruit trees; on the banks you can see some amphibians and small birds that take advantage of the fallen fruits to feed; It is worth mentioning that when some fruits fall into the river, they are also used by the fish.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: The river keeps in its depth many tree branches, which already have a unique shape since the river’s current gives them. There are also many leaves of the trees in the background as well as fruits that fall from them, as well as some plants such as Ceratophyllum demersum in the narrower and quieter parts; I also had the privilege of noticing Amatitlania nigrofasciata in two parts of the visited area, both almost on the banks of the river. It should be mentioned that the fish bank of this river is large and rich in species since it has a minimum of five.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: Temperature is 28 degrees C, PH 7.4, GH 10º dGH

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Amphilophus trimaculatus, Poecilia mexicana, Astatheros macracanthus, Cribroheros longimanus, Amatitlania nigrofasciata, Parachromis managuensis (invasive)

List of plants found in the nature biotope: Ceratophyllum demersum

Threats to the ecology: This river has certain sections in which it already becomes private, the place that was visited is not threatened. However, there are sections of the river where the water drops its depth level.

Sources of information: The information extracted for this work was found directly in the Achiguate River, from where the sand was extracted, some logs; fish and plants.

Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019