North Eastern Taiwan Mountain Stream

79th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2017

United_Kingdom United Kingdom. James Sheen

Volume: 20 L
Dimensions: 25cm x 25cm x 30 cm
List of fishes: Stiphodon atropurpureus, Melanoides tuberculate and Caridina multidentata
List of plants: Taxiphyllum alternans
Description of decorations:  I used a sand and small natural gravel mixed to recreate the substrate found in the biotope.  The sand is an own brand from Maidenhead Aquatics and the gravel from Aqua One.  Small smooth round cobble stones added to achieve the stones that have been shaped by the flow of the stream.  Smaller smooth stones were included to add to the randomness of nature.  The filter was aimed to go down the scape towards the bottom left hand corner to recreate the environment of movement of the moss and the particles. For example the Dried Loquat Leaves collected behind the larger stones in the areas that the flow wasn’t as great.
Description of equipment:  I used the Dennerle corner filter, Dennerle Nano Style LED S 3W Vivid light – 6500K, with shimmering effect.
Water parameters: Temperature is 23°C, pH is 7.8

Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Co-ordinates 25.0556484, 121.9122744. The Shi-Ding River in the Gongliao District, New Taipei City in Taiwan. A coastal mountain region with a subtropical climate. The stretch of water is a short, fast flowing coastal stream.  The water is tree lined with Eriobotrya japonica, Ficus microcarpa, Cyathea lepifera and various Bamboo.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: Sandy with a fine gravel, basalt rocks with some leaf litter in the calmer waters.

Description of the parameters of the habitat:
Water is clear. The average temperature is between 15-20°C/59-68°F. pH 7.0

List of fishes:  Acrossocheilus paradoxus, Onychostoma barbatulum, Rhinogobius spp., Zacco platypus etc., Shrimps are of the Neocaridina and Caridina species.

List of plants: Only Taxiphyllum alternans and various forms of algae.

Threats to the ecology: One of the biggest threats to the ecology are invasive species, such as plecs and tilapia competing for the same food as the gobies and other fish, local pesticide/weed killer pollution, and possibly poaching.  

Sources of information:

Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2017

The tank is too small; the composition looks artificial, with similar-sized clumps of moss attached to each larger stone. Also the substrate looks artificial – only two different fractions, one larger and one smaller, of totally different colour.

Piotr Kierzkowski (Poland)

Well, there are stones, and there is moss here… It is too artificial, undone, unfinished. Not a biotope.

Yuriy Yancher (Ukraine)