Nicaragua. Canyon de Somoto near Guayabo Valley

8th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2016

ukraine Ukraine. Bogdan Oleynik

Aquarium Volume: 480 L
Fish and invertebrates: Parachromis loisellei
Plants list: None
Biotope description: Somoto Canyon is one of the oldest rock formations in Central America. It was formed in the process of shifting tectonic plates and earthquakes, which literally divided into two parts. The flow of rivers Komali and Tapakali began to destroy its walls and make it deeper over the years. These rivers join together to form the Coco River and the beginning of the canyon, where the ancient inhabitants of the surrounding communities were called Namankambre or La Estrehura. For several kilometers to its riverbed rocky surface gradually gives way to sand stone biotope with the trees, which were flooded there in water flow in the rainy season, thus creating a lot of hiding places for the majority of species that make up the whole family, thriving on the ruins of the recent natural disaster. In the aquarium, I wanted to show a small piece of this beautiful species as Parahromis, who find shelter for spawning in the outskirts of Somoto canyon, around Guayyabo Valley. The male grooming female, choose the gorge of chunks of collapsed stone rocks and unable to resist the force of nature trees. In the depths where light can break through only places among the rubble, they are looking for a safe place. They eat small fish, which is a sufficient in number, male and female gain weight, as they are waiting for weeks without food during care of their future offsprings. As time passes, they will face many challenges, and not just their lives will be in danger. But together, caring and protecting each other, they will be able to continue their family and to defend their place in the wild.

Photo Gallery

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

Fish are in perfect health and perfect condition. If overall design of biotope was better executed (placing stones in more natural way, using straighter branches) this aquarium would score in first three places on my score table. I want to have Central American cilchlids like those in my home.

Petra Bašić (Croatia)

Wow! What a visually impactful biotope aquarium this is. I am Central American cichlid lover myself and an ex-keeper of Parachromis loisellei, so this tank scores points for me on many levels. The fish size and health is superb, and having just one pair of large cichlids in an aquarium can be biotope correct too. I love the fish, the dark, natural background and décor and I’m sure some great photography would result from this biotope too. A definite favourite of mine.

Jeremy Gay (Great Britain)

I think not just me, but the Parachromis loisellei also liked this tank! Perfect combination between hardscapes, wood and stones. The layout offered to fishes shelter and protection just like they like. Very nice Natural feeling.

André Longarço (Brazil)