Backwater of Urunga creek

The 6th place in the qualifying stage of the Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2015

russian_federation Russia. Alexey Shabalin

Volume: 45 L
List of fishes: Iriatherina werneri, Pseudomugil gertrudae
List of plants: Vallisneria nana, Utricularia uliginosa, Marsilea crenata, Vesicularia sp.
Biotope description: Arnhem Land is the north-eastern region of Australia’s Northern Territory, where the rainforests grow in valleys of rivers. In the aquarium there is a marginal area of a shaded backwater of Urunga creek in East Arnhem County. There, among the flooded roots of trees and plants, timid flocks of Iriatherina werneri and Pseudomugil gertrudae find refuge.At a muddy shore there are amphibious plants: Marsilea and Utricularia who feel good both in water, and on dry land. Where the flow is stronger among the rounded stones, there are Australian relative of the popular Vallisneria spiralis: Vallisneria nana.

The backwater of Urunga Creek biotope is brave, and daring, and illustrates perfectly that it is, and should be portrayed as, a shallow water biotope.

Jeremy Gay (Great Britain)

This is a very good, natural looking layout, both underwater and above water. However, it looks to be made only for the purpose of taking the picture – the volume of the water is too small for the fishes to live in for a longer time, not mentioning putting the filtration inlet and outlet. Maybe there is a filtration – but it’s not visible, and the designer doesn’t mention anything about it.

Piotr Kierzkowski (Poland)

I liked the minimalist atmosphere of this layout. The macro view was very well chosen. It was a pity not to be able to analyze the external part of layout.

André Longarço (Brazil)

Despite the fact that I had to evaluate only underwater part of the total score in all categories gave me this job in second place. Subject brook no doubt interesting in any category. Since at the same distance interval (eg, 100 meters) stream, river or lake shoreline, stream in a variety of biotope areas (landscape pictures) will be richer, which makes it possible to experiment with drawing. Wish author – pay more attention to design underwater. You can use a short, but long aquarium.

Alexey Malyshev (Russia)

An extremely detailed and authentic piece of work. Even down to the placement of fallen leaves, the arrangement is artful without looking artificial. It appears as of those rare scenes one finds in nature that is beautifully balanced and yet must have come about by natural processes! The slight coating of algae on the stones, the tiny plants peeking out from the rockwork, the dead leaves strewn above and below the waterline, and the blurred shoreline boundary are all thoughtfully done. Having the ferns and sticks extending into the water from above is brilliant. All the fish are schooling protectively as they would in nature. The overall impression is of stumbling upon a magical little forest stream and finding to your delight that there are tiny fish and plants living in their own self-contained little world there.

Michael Salter (Canada)