Intensive vegetation areas of Kırkgöz springs, Antalya, Turkey

37th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

Turkey. Mert Yılmaz

Volume: 585 L
Dimensions of your aquarium: 150x60x65 cm
List of fishes and invertebrates in your aquarium (in Latin): Aphanius mentoides, Palaeomonetes sp, Gammarus sp, Physa sp, Planorbis sp, Theodoxus altenai
List of plants in your aquarium (in Latin): Ceratophyllum demersum, Myriophyllum sp, Nymphaea alba, Vallisneria sp, Egeria densa, Lemna minor.
Description of decorations and substrate: I’m using smooth rocks, gravels and sand gathered from creek.
Description of equipment: JBL CristalPRofi, 2x 20W 1x 30W 6500 k projector led
Water parameters: pH =7.30, Temperature  = 16 °C, Salinity = %3, Hardness = 430, Conductivity = 690.
Additional info: 30% water change every week. I using a computer fan to keep the water cold.


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Kırkgöz springs takes its name from 40 water springs coming from under the Taurus Mountains. These water resources are also the main source of the Düden waterfalls. The water sources combine to create a pond and disappear in the Bıyıklı  Düden. The average depth of Kırkgöz springs is 3 meters. Kırkgöz springs, which play an important role in the formation of Antalya travertines, are karstic sources from Mesozoic limestones. Antalya, which offers beautiful landscapes, is a natural protected area of Kırkgöz region where endemic fish species and various birds live. The zone has rich variety of flora and fauna with wide plateaus, little hills, and the rising mountains at its north, from place to place steeps and depressions. At low altitude Turkish pine and scrubs have dominance. At Kirkgoz springs there are rich flora variety. When we check the taxonomies with the aspect of family, majority of the taxonomy is formed by plants which are flowerness and with flowers with the number of 50. With most endemic taxonomy, Kirkgoz area has most of endangered species. Some of these plants are being used for medical purposes, for spices and some of them are being used as fruit and vegetables. Kırkgöz springs attract attention with water lily and birds. 147 bird species belonging to 39 families were found in and around the area. Since the Kırkgöz region is on the route of bird migration, the number of species of birds in the habitat increases in spring and early autumn. As some migratory birds remain in the region, the number of species in summer is higher than in winter.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: Kırkgöz spring and the water sources that nourish it are has a sandy and in places it has rocks and pebbles. At some points the rocks proliferate. The rock type of Kırkgöz springs is variable and has both smooth and angular rocks. It has crystal clearness. In the Kırkgöz springs there is a very intensive Nymphaea alba water lily plants covering the surface. There are long reeds, mostly in marshes and shallow areas. Usually stagnant, does not have much flow. Aphanius mentoides is very important fish specie for Kırkgöz spring. Aphanius mentoides is a species of mento group of Aphanius toothcarps. It is an endemic species spreading to Kırkgöz spring and Düden basin. One of the characteristics of this species that distinguish it from other types of mento are that they have too much blue spots. These spots combine at some points of the body to form stripes but individuals without stripes were also found. Spots are spread around the eyes and cheeks, to the tail. Female mentoides are  have a colorless, creamy body. During the breeding season from the beginning of May to August, A.mentoides fish start breeding in Kırkgöz Springs. Males are take action from the moment they enter their breeding season, they get own a region and start to protect it. They laying their eggs on plants and algae, which have been prepared by the male before cleaned in the shallow areas of Kırkgöz Springs, in the areas usually close to the water surface. The male usually lays few females in the same place. Males constantly chasing females to attract them to their area and become very aggressive throughout the process. Ultimately, the convinced females enter and breeding in the males part of the plants and moss. A.mentoides fish has a rich diet originating from Kırkgöz spring. They constantly control algae and plant bottoms, pebbles, and feed on crustaceans, aquatic snails, insects falling into water, planktons and fish larvae. Her natural predator is heron birds. Due to its rich diet and because of different specie, A. mentoides fish in Kırkgöz spring can reach larger size than other mento species. The Aphanius mento group is listed on the IUCN Red List for pollution and invasive species. The purpose of making this biotope is to introduce this rare toothcarp and its habitat to humans without extinction.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: pH = 06.88-7.58. In an annual study conducted in 2002, it was observed that October had the lowest pH value (06.88), while March had the highest pH value (7.78). Temperature = 14.6-17° C. In an annual study conducted in 2002, it was observed that January had the lowest temperature (14.6), while April had the highest temperature (17). Salinity = 3-4%. Conductivity = 695,5. Hardness = 436

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope (in Latin): Aphanius mentoides, Gambusia affinis, Pseudophoxinus antalyae, Oxynoemacheilus angorae,Cobitis taenia, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Theodoxus altenai, Palaeomonetes sp, Physa sp, Planorbis sp, Potamon sp.

List of plants found in the nature biotope (in Latin):
Vallisneria sp, Ceratophyllum demersum, Myriophyllum spicatum, Egeria densa, Nasturtium officinale, Nymphaea alba, Reeds, Ranunculus sp, Potamogeton sp, Lemna minor

Threats to the ecology: Kırkgöz springs are an important karstic resource that supply the water needs of Antalya. However, environmental pollution in this water source, which is a wonder of nature, has turned the lake field into a swamp. Kırkgöz, which is located in Döşemealtı district of Antalya, turns into a complete poison area due to environmental pollution. It was dumped due to the waste of daily visitors. With its natural beauties, this region has served tourism and the public for many years, but in recent years a serious pollution has emerged due to the garbage dumped unconsciously on the water’s edge and the river. The water lily plant covering the surface of the lake is invisible due to picnic waste. In Kırkgöz, barbecue ashes, alcohol bottles, plastic and glass waste as well as all kinds of waste is possible to come across. In addition to all these pollution threats, invasive fish species are also living in Kırkgöz springs. Gambusia affinis, which is not an indigenous species of the region, causes a decrease in the generation of Aphanius fish in Kırkgöz spring as in every other region. Gambusia prey on newborn Aphanius mentoides, preventing the continuation of generation. The rainbow trout, which arrives later in the region, hunts adult mentoides.

Sources of information on the biotope:;_antalya_kirkgoz_expedisyonu_resimler_veamp;_video_eklendi_k678199_sn3.asp

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