Flooded areas of the forest, the tributary of Rio Negro river, near Barcelos, Brazil

_th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2020

Volume: 324L
Dimensions: 120×60×45 CM
List of fishes: Paracheirodon axelrodi, Hemigrammus bleheri, Dicrossus filamentosus, Nannostomus beckfordi, Nannostomus trifasciatus, Prionobrama filigera, Carnegiella strigata
List of plants: There are no plants, only some algae
Description of decorations: The materials I choose are collected from the river, the bank and the forest park. Some of them are purchased. Materials include: driftwood, branches, Rhododendron roots, four different kinds of small leaves, a small amount of gravel, light colored river sand closer to the bottom bed of the habitat, a small amount of peat soil and coconut soil mixed to simulate forest deciduous layer with leaves. These materials are from China
Description of equipment: External filter: EHEIM.classic600 ×2 (1000L/h), I added two external filters to control the water quality. In practice, this decision was correct, Heating device:EHEIM.thermocontrol 300W ×1, Prevent excessive temperature difference at night,Oxygen pump:EHEIM.air200, lighting:ZETLIGHT 6800F(Color temperature 4500-6500K,210W,wavelength 410nm-630nm)
Water parameters: temperature:26℃, PH:5.8-6,GH: 5, TDS: 9
Additional info: In my fish tank, I used a lot of driftwood, branches, leaves and some good soil, gravel, to simulate the forest environment. A large number of driftwood also provide a habitat for nitrifying bacteria. I used two external filters, physical filtration and nitrification bacteria cultivation. The water should be changed once every 4-5 days without touching the bottom bed. 1 / 3 of the water should be replaced slowly to avoid temperature difference. I use pure water to ensure the balance of water parameters. Because there are a lot of driftwood and dead leaves in the fish tank, they can well control the fluctuation of pH value. The heating device will not work in the daytime, in order to prevent the temperature difference at night. The oxygen pump works for 24h. Through changing water and lighting time to control the growth of algae, in the daily maintenance only change water and clean fish tank glass, I feel very relaxed. In the photos and videos, we can see that the fish are in excellent condition. They like the ecological environment that I simulate, so I’m very happy about it.


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: The Rio Negro River, which means “the black river,” is the largest tributary of the North Bank of the Amazon River. Its source is the Orinoco River and the Amazon River watershed, it and Orinoco River between the casikiare river. The total length of the Negro River is 2550-2252.6km, the drainage area is 620000 square kilometers, the annual average flow is 30000 cubic meters / second, the average annual runoff depth is 1600mm, and the suspended load concentration is 0.007 kg / m3. The largest tributary of the lower reaches of the Negro River is Rio Branco. The middle and lower tributaries include the mucajai River, ajarani River, anaua River and catrimani river. It flows into the Amazon River 17 kilometers below Manaus. It is about 2000 kilometers long. The river course twists and turns. There are many sandbanks in the lower reaches. The river is 30-50 km wide, like a long lake. Below taprukuala is navigable. Through the Negro River and the kasikyare River, the Amazon River and Orinoco River are connected with each other. The basin is hot, rainy and sparsely populated. Because the marshes along the coast are humus, the river is dark. One of the small tributaries is barcelos, located near Barcelona. It is located deep in the Amazon rainforest. It is covered with rain and needs to be rowed in by boat. A large amount of driftwood and fallen leaves (close to dense trees) are accumulated underwater, and some soil flows into the river at random.
Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: During the rainy season, the water level rises and flows into the surrounding forests, rising by 5-8 m and reaching a maximum of 10 m. some of the trees are underwater, and fish swim to some parts of their native river habitat, completely covered by the canopy of the rainforest. These waters are sheltered by rain forest trees, and the light under them is dark and clear. Here, fish produce a lot of aggregation. Abundant food sources were found there and began to breed. Forests are the main source of natural food for young and adult fish, and the underwater environment also provides a perfect habitat for them and forms shadows on the water surface to prevent overheating and even over drying in the dry season. The bottom bed is sandy, with a lot of driftwood and fallen leaves, soil at the root of the flooded forest, and a small amount of gravel. Many branches are inserted into the water from above, providing a good shelter for fish. There are no aquatic plants found in the environment I described, only some terrestrial plants submerged in the rainy season. And some floating plants: Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms
Description of the parameters of the habitat: The rainy season starts in September and ends in May, with water temperature of about 26.5-28 ℃. In the dry season, it starts around May and ends in August September. The water level decreases and the temperature rises, and the water temperature is about 28.5-30 ° C. Because of the low water level of tea leaves, the pH value of tea leaves is about 3.4, and the water level is about 3.4. The light is longer in summer and the two seasons are distinct
List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Crenuchus spilurus, Nanostomus eques, Poecilocharax weitzmani, Liosomadoras oncinus, Dicrossus filamentosus, Crenicichla notophthalmus, Mesonauta festivus, Acarichthys heckelii, Crenicichla marmorata, Heros notatus
List of plants found in the nature biotope: There are no aquatic plants found in the environment I described, only some terrestrial plants submerged by rainy season and some floating plants, including Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms
Threats to the ecology: Because this is an umbrella formed by dense forest, people can only reach it by boat, so it is not cut down and mined. But when the tropical rain in the Amazon is closer to where people live, their fate is unfortunate. The annual deforestation of human beings has affected this “lung of the earth”. Global warming, poor air quality, abnormal climate and frequent natural disasters. Nature is warning humans that if it continues, we may not have winter or summer in many years. Just like this year’s Amazon deluge fire, many animals and trees were burned down. If human beings continue to destroy the natural environment, we will be the next homeless. Please put down your logging tools and stop logging in the Amazon tropical rain. Rain is a kind of surface biological community composed of trees. It has rich species, complex structure and various functions. Occasionally, I saw a documentary on TV. In the film, people used to cut down the big trees for hundreds of years for their own selfish desire. So I decided to create a work, because most of them are under water If it is burned down, it will not be cut down, and the trees are densely intertwined, it is difficult for human beings to catch them again. Fish can also live freely. I hope it does not exist in my fish tank. I hope it is true. I call on people to protect nature and continue our earth arteries.
Sources of information:

  1. https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/prionobrama-filigera/
  2. https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/carnegiella-strigata/
  3. https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/nannostomus-trifasciatus/
  4. https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/paracheirodon-axelrodi/
  5. https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/nannostomus-beckfordi/
  6. https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/dicrossus-filamentosus/
  7. https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/hemigrammus-bleheri/
  8. https://www.iqiyi.com/v_19rrj59qgw.html?vfm=m_303_qqll
  9. https://rainforests.mongabay.com/0602.htm
  10. http://www.tfhmagazine.com/details/articles/fishing-with-the-piabeiros-of-brazils-rio-negro-full-article.htm
  11. https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%86%85%E6%A0%BC%E7%BD%97%E6%B2%B3/6303432?fr=aladdin
  12. http://www.reef2rainforest.com/2016/12/09/biotope-video-cichlid-heaven-in-the-lower-rio-negro/
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQNP25Xd7wI
  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pqQaPrX1cY
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rio_Negro
  16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRkGW6BaHv0
  17. https://weatherspark.com/y/28529/Average-Weather-in-Barcelos-Brazil-Year-Round

Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2020