Flooded forest area of the Rio Negro during the rainy season

The 14th place in the qualifying stage of the Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2013

russian_federation Russia. Eugenia Moiseyeva

Volume: 30 L
List of fishes: Paracheirodon simulans
List of plants: Cabomba furcata, Cabomba aquatica, Echinodorus tenellus, Ludwigia palustris
Biotope description: The black water of Rio Negro during the rainy season floods the jungle for a few months, joining the river bed with oxbow lakes, swamps, creeks. A light sand here is not visible, it is silty and abundantly covered with foliage. Here, among the roots of trees, Cabomba, brought over here, is intertwined with semi-aquatic Ludwigia, providing excellent shelter for fishes. Water is literally full of microorganisms, an excellent food for young fishes.

Very well done, almost authentic, and the name of fishes were correct to that biotope, but some of the fishes shown where wrong, like Paracheirodon innesi which live in the Peruvian Amanzon. In addition it cannot be called ‘Rio Negro’, as this will never happen in that gigantic river, could have been called ‘Jufaris’ or ‘Upper Aracá affluent’. The 4th place is the best it should have been as the research was not satisfying.

Heiko Bleher (Italy)

In short – one of the best biotope tanks I have ever seen. Especially the bottom is great – lots of leaves, twigs, and some plants in not a very good condition – exactly as it looks in the wild. It’s only a pity that this aquarium is only 30 liters – it would look even better when having at least 300 liters or more. And the fish would also feel better having more space.

Piotr Kierzkowski (Poland)

It is a small, beautiful and very cozy aquarium. Twilight, roots of trees, darker front and a lighter orange back make the impression like if you are standing at the roots of the submerged tree, and very close in front of you there is an open space where rays of sun are making their way through the thickets of Cabombas and lighting the substrate covered with leaves. Neon tetras are swimming busily, and among the leaves there are… Wait, unfortunately, there is no one among the leaves. Maybe it was necessary to put a couple of Apistogrammas in the aquarium? The volume of 30 liters, of course, is too small, but a couple of medium-sized fishes could be selected for lower part of the aquarium which would look better. Cardinal tetras are too big for 30 liters, but so far they have not grown to their maximum size, a small flock may live here well. Otherwise, there is nothing to complain about, except for a lot of leaves. As it can be seen on the extra picture, at the bottom there is a whole microcosm, and there is no one to eat it. If we had a higher quality photo, the impression of the aquarium would have been much stronger. In my opinion, one of the best entries of the biotope contest.

Elena Mazurek (Russia)