Forest stream of the Mamore river, near the mouth of the Rio Guapore, Bolivia

62th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

Poland. Mateusz Trela

Volume: 270 L
Dimensions: 120x45x50 cm
List of fishes: Mikrogeophagus altispinosus, Hyphessobrycon bentosi, Loricaria sp.
List of plants: Salvinia minima, Echinodorus tenellus, Bacopa monnieri, Hydrocotyle leucocephala, Lemna sp.
Description of decorations: The aquarium presents a biotope of a small, forest stream slowly meandering among trees.
The sandy bottom covered with foliage, detritus and small twigs is used by the benthosome – micro cichlids Mikrogeophagus altispinosus, which at the same time use the bottom elements to create specific “nests” during spawning. Wood as an indispensable and integral part of the environment gives shelter and one of the food sources for Loricaria – it is also a good element to break the composition of the tank. Floating vegetation creates a sense of security for fish in the open, in the upper part of the tank – Hyphessobrycon benthos
Description of equipment: External filter HW-302, additional mechanical filter HW-603b. AquaT 200W heater. Lighting: DIY power led 60W lamp with 6500K, 4500k and full spectrum LEDs +2×21 W floodlights.
Water parameters: Temperature, conductivity and pH varies depending of imitated season: temperature about 22-28 C, pH 6,6-6,8, conductivity about 150-200 µS/cm.
Additional info: I change water every about 3 months in 30% water volume. Weekly i have to pour in evaporated water (from reverse osmosis system). Additionaly, the aquarium is supported with aquaponical filter.


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Rio Mamore – one of the most diverse rivers in Bolivia, together with Beni are part of Madeira – one of the largest tributaries of the Amazon. The environment of the Mamore river is clearly divided: on the white rivers, on the rivers of transparent rivers “clear waters” – on the banks of crystalline clear waters of the Rio Itenez river and on intermediate zones – where the mixed waters supply small, meandering streams in the surrounding forests.
There are also plant zones – savannas and lagoons, which depending on the water level, could be flooded seasonally. The high diversity of animal and plant species makes the Mamore River very interesting for underwater observation. In the Mamore area, several species of fish were found, including: Aphyocharax spp., Gymnocorymbus ternetzi, Gymnocorymbus thayeri, Hemigrammus spp. Hyphessobrycon spp., Moenkhausia spp., Corydoras spp., Mikrogeophagus altispinosus, Apistogramma linkei, Apistogramma erthura, Loricaria spp. Loricariichthys sp. and many, many more.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: The biotope of the small forest stream is characterized by a sandy bottom with a significant amount of leaves fallen from nearby, hanging trees. Tree roots complement the composition together with the current local vegetation. The water color remains poorly brewed tea, cotaining small amounts of tannins. You can also notice the rays of the sun piercing through the crown of trees, which I tried to imitate.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: Water is slighty brown, like a poorly brewed tea. The average water parameters depend on the season and varies between: temperature – 21 to 28 C, pH 6,6-7,2, conductivity 110-220 µS/cm.

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Aphyocharax spp., Gymnocorymbus ternetzi, Gymnocorymbus thayeri, Hemigrammus spp. Hyphessobrycon spp., Moenkhausia spp., Corydoras spp., Mikrogeophagus altispinosus, Apistogramma linkei, Apistogramma erthura, Loricaria spp. Loricariichthys sp.

List of plants found in the nature biotope: Floating: Salvinia minima, Eichhomia crassipes, Pistia stratioides, Limnobium laevigarum, Lemnaceae, Eichhomia azurea. Others: Ceratopteris pteridioides, Azolla filiculoides, Hydrocotyle ranunculoides, Phyllanthus jluitans, Limnocharis flava, Alternanthera aquatica, Bacopa monnieri, Echinodorus grandiflorus, Gymnocoronis spilanthoides, Echinodorus paniculatus, Ludwigia inclinata.

Threats to the ecology: An important ecological aspect is the significant economic use of the Mamore River as the largest in Bolivia. Pollution with plastics such as plastic bottles, plastic bags and others contributes to the death of many aquatic creatures. One of the thoughts guiding the assumption of this biotope aquarium was to show others what wealth of flora and fauna the seemingly dirty and turbid river of Mamore and its tributaries offers. That should give you food for thought, not just about yourself.

Sources of information:
[1] Peces del Rio Mamore, Laurent Lauzanne, Gérard Loubens
[2] Diversidad Biológica en la llanura de inundación del Rio Mamore-Importancia ecológica de la dinámica fluvia, Mare Pouilly, Stephan G. Beek, Mônica Momes, Carla Ibanez
[3] Catálogo de los peces de la cuenca Iténez (Bolivia y Brasil), Michel Jégu, Luiz J. de Queiroz, Jimena Camacho Terrazas, Gislene Torrente-Vilara, Fernando M. Carvajal-Vallejos, Marc Pouilly, Takayuki Yunoki, Jansen A.S. Zuanon
[4] A preliminary survey of the fish fauna in the vicinity of Santa Ana del Yacuma in Bolivia (río Mamoré drainage), Pascal István Hablützel
Internet pages:

Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019