Lake Yenişehir. Mossy shallow coast of Hatay, Turkey

19th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2016

turkey Turkey. Tolga Eldurmaz

Aquarium Volume: 157 L
Fish and invertebrates: Aphanius mento, Theodoxus fluviatilis, Palaemonetes antennarius
Plants list: Fontinalis antipyretica, Nymphaea sp.
Biotope description: Lake Yenisehir is a freshwater lake that locates in Reyhanli, Hatay, Turkey. Though the lake in Turkey – Syrian border had quite clear water in past, today it has lost its clearness because of water pollution. The pollution highly damages creatures in the lake. Aphanius mento is a killifish species living in this lake. In past, it could be seen with its blue glittering dots on its body under the sunlight in the clear water of the lake, but now it can only be seen in the coastal areas of the lake. Decreasing population is mainly caused by water pollution and Gambusia affinis that is released for fighting against mosquitos. New-hatched mentos are hunted by high population of affinis in coastal areas. Besides Lake Yenisehir, Aphanius mento is faced with extinction because of the same reasons in other lakes located in the shores of the Mediterranean and West Syria. In 2014, Aphanius mento was recorded in IUCN Red List. In the coastal areas of Lake Yenisehir, wood pieces are frequently seen, as they are drifted from forests near the lake. While rocky area and these wood pieces covered by algea provide herbal dietary for mento fries, long nymphaeas and fontinalis sp. create a sheltered place for them. Apart from Gambusia affinis, Palaemon sp. and Theodoxus sp. also live in mento’s habitat. Young mentos living in small groups hunt affinis fries and insect larvaes. In the lake, the temperature is sometimes under 10 C in winters, and in summers it rises  at 24-25 C. The water of the lake increased by melting snow and spring rains is alkali with 7,5-8 pH.

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Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2016

This biotope aquarium drew my attention because it had many elements of the old school aquaria with a very strong fusion of modern biotoping. The amount of periphyton living on the rocks and other decorations amazed me. It looks like nature in an aquarium which is exactly what we are aiming for.

Ivan Mikolji (Venezuela)

It is a peculiar aquarium. It is difficult to judge how realistic the specific biotope is, but it is very similar to what I saw in such lakes. It is really like the fragment of a living lake. Water lily in the center seems unnecessary to me. And perhaps the blue background is too deep. I liked this aquarium, and the choice of fish. An important environmental problem was mentioned.

Yuriy Yancher (Ukraine)