Backwater of a stream in the Manimala River basin in Kottayam district, Kerala, India

68th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2017 and Bleher Trophy: 1st place

russian_federation Russia. Angelina Sporsheva

Volume: 220 L
Dimensions: 100x40x55 cm
List of fishes: Sahyadria denisonii, Mastacembelus armatus
List of plants: Limnophila indica
Description of decorations: Light river sand, rounded stones of different size and color, mangrove driftwood.
Description of equipment: Ehaim 2217 external filter, T8 lamps 2 x 30W.
Water parameters: рН 6,5, КН 3, GH 6.

Description of the area surrounding the biotope: This aquarium was set up by the example of the Manimala River, which starts in the Western Ghats, the Muthavara hills, 760 m, and is a tributary of the Pamba River that flows in Kerala, India. Manimala is 91.73 km long and crosses 3 districts: Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha. The climate of Kerala is a tropical, oceanic, strongly dependent on seasonal monsoons. In the rainy season, the river is flooded, its current becomes more turbulent, the water is turbid from silt and soils washed off the coast. Along the banks of the river there are tropical wet forests, agricultural places.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: Numerous streams flowing into the river are often quite transparent. In calm water, aquatic plants grow. On the bottom there are sand, stones of round shape, driftwood, because the stream flows through the forest. Small vegetative debris are carried by the current to the shores. In open areas, there are flocks of barbs, sometimes hiding in thickets of plants. Mastacembelus hide between stones and burrow into the sand.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: pH 7-8, KH 4-6, GH-6-8. The water is clear, slightly yellowish, saturated with oxygen.

List of fishes: Aplocheilus lineatus, Dawkinsia filamentosa, Channa gachua, Anabas testeudineus, Pristolepis malabaricus, Sahyadria denisonii, Mastacembelus armatus.

List of plants: Limnophila indica, Ceratopteris thalictroides, different species of Rotala, Hygrophila, Nymphaea, many invasive species: Eichhórnia crássipes, Cabomba furcata, Elodea.

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Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2017

The aquarium is too small for full size Sahyadria denisonii. Those are fish that benefit from higher flow and they need more space. This could be just temporary tank, but not a representation of a biotope.

Petra Bašić (Croatia)