North Bengal Himalayan hill stream biotope
The 41st place in the qualifying stage of the Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2014
India. Sujoy Banerjee
Volume: 284 L
List of fishes: Acanthocobitis botia, Aborichthys elongatus, Balitora brucei, Schistura savona, Schsitura sp., Schistura devdevi, Garra sp., Psilorhynchus balitora, Psilorhynchus sucatio, Schsitura sp.
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on small hill stream biotope Of the North Bengal Himalayas tributary falling into the large, torrential, glacier-fed river Tista in Darjeeling Himalaya of Northern West Bengal. Fast flowing hill streams among the Dooars region (Duars are the floodplains and foothills of the eastern Himalayas in North-East India around Northern West Bengal) of North Bengal the streams are not very wide and not deep. The substrate is sandy and filled with biofilm algae rich coated large, medium and small round river pebbles. There are no aquatic vegetation found in this river. Driftwood is found on the side and middle of streams in between the rocks which flow down from the nearby forest into the rivers. The water is fast flowing, cold, clear and turbulent at places.
This place is well chosen by all judges as it seems, and Sujoy, my dear Indian friend has done it correctly, as we have been together in this habitat, he saw the correct biotope and did it exactly the same, also the fishes are from this location. In addition he did the water flow of this hill stream as we saw it in nature.
Not a pretty biotope representation but nevertheless its one which should serve its purpose for the residents and could feasibly represent a natural habitat.
Number of fish presented in this aquarium is impressive. However, in the pictures I saw only two species: Psilorhynchus and Balitora. The rest is apparently hidden. The presented biotope can be found anywhere in the world. I did not like the driftwood with visible cut, laid on top of the stones. In nature it will be carried away with strong flow. The stones are all of the same size and shape. The sand is not washed by the flow. In technical terms the aquarium is not finished.
The bare out of the substrate round rocks are typical of a fast flowing mountain river. The yellow tinge in the water makes the aquarium stand out.