Backwater on the King Edward River, Kimberley, Northwest Australia

9th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2017

Israel Israel. Leonid Angelevych

Volume: 300 L
Dimensions: 120x50x50 cm
List of fishes: Melanotaenia australis
List of plants: Eriocaulon cinereum, Eleocharis sp., Nymphoides spongiosa
Description of decorations: Stones and sand are yellowish red in accordance with the nature biotope. In the aquarium there is an above water part, made of sandstone boulders. Here you can see photos of the recreated biotope during different parts of the day: at night and in daylight.
Description of equipment: Atman AT-3338 external filter 1200 l/h, LED lights (7500K, 150W, 12000Lm) + 2 х Т5, 54W, CO2-system, lighting controller.
Water parameters: Water temperature is 26°C, pH is 5.3, GH is 10.

Description of the area surrounding the biotope: The King Edward River is a river in Kimberley County in northwestern Australia. The Department of Water Resources of the Government of Western Australia calls it a “wild” river. The upper reaches of the river are below the hill of Punjurr. It flows north approximately 120 kilometers from the source, and then turns to the east, and again turns north by 100 kilometers. It flows into the bay of Napier-Broome, downstream from the city of Calamburu. The length of the river is 221 km, the drainage area is 8,400 km2. The river has several tributaries: Carson River, Drum Creek, Noolawayoo Creek, Coondillah Creek and Hair Creek. The river was named in 1901 by the geodesist Frederick Brockman during an expedition to this area in honor of the King Edward VII, the ruling monarch at the time. Coordinates of the place submitted for the contest are 14°53’40.7″S 126°12’14.4″ E.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: The river flows through an open wooded area with low hills and small rocks. On the bottom there is sand with sandy yellowish red boulders. In the water there are many small stones and a few fallen leaves and bark. In the water and in the shallows, the water is slightly reddish, on the current it is greenish blue. In the river there are small areas with a rapid current, waterfalls and large quiet backwaters. On the banks of the river there are Pandanus aquatic, Melaleuca sp. and various herbaceous plants, including sedges. Therefore, at the bottom there are dead leaves of Pandanus and the bark of the tea tree (Melaleuca).

Description of the parameters of the habitat: The water is transparent, visibility is about 2 meters. Average water temperature is 25,7°C. pH is less than 5.0. The total hardness is about 10 ppm. Carbonate hardness is about 18 ppm. It should be noted that KH is slightly higher than GH.

List of fishes: Fishes: Mogurnda oligolepis, Melanotaenia australis, Glossogobius giuris, Lerioptherapon unicolor, Neosilurus hyrtlii, Hephaestus jenkensi; invertebrates: Macrobrachium bullatum, Caridina sp. (probably WA4), reptiles: Emydura australis, Varanus mertensi, Crocodylus johnstonii; amphibians: Litoria rubella, Litoria nasuta.

List of plants: Vallisneria nana, Eleocharis sp., Eriocaulon setaceum, Eriocaulon sp. (probably lividum), Eriocaulon sp. (probably depressum), Eriocaulon cinereum, Aonogeton euryspermus, Pogostemon stellatus, Nymphaea violacea, Nymphoides spongiosa, Nymphoides sp., Myriophyllum trachycarpum.

Threats to the ecology: The King Edward River is a “wild” river. The place is little habitable. The Kimberley region, where the river flows, is sparsely populated: on an area of 423,517 km2, which exceeds, for example, the territory of England three times, there are only about 38,000 people, with exactly one third of them being aborigines. The river can be reached only in the “dry” season and only by 4WD car. In this regard, flora and fauna are poorly explored.

Sources of information: The site research is described in the blog; Description of the rivers of Western Australia. Government of Western Australia. Department of Water Resources (pages 16-19); video on YouTube channel.