Peat swamp forest in Selangor, Malaysia

23th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

Poland. Bartłomiej Paśnik

Volume: 375 L
Dimensions: 150x50x50 cm
List of fishes: Sphaerichthys osphromenoides, Trigonostigma heteromorpha, Trichopodus leerii, Trichopsis vittata
List of plants: Salvinia, Scirpus sp.
Description of decorations: The substrate is sand, covered with roots, deadwood and peats. Plants are a decoration used to creation the shore of a swamp. The aquarium operates for two years. Algae and detritus are intentional. DOC is removed by water changes. Fish is healthy and often they reproduce.
Description of equipment: Filtration: Aquael Unimax 700 1700l/h, Lighting: Daylight simulation based on LED modules 150W. DIY, rain simulator.
Water parameters: Temperature is 26°C, pH 5,5, GH – 0 KH – 0-1.
Additional info: water change once a week 10%.


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Malaysia’s climate is categorised as equatorial, being hot and humid throughout the year. The average rainfall is 250 centimetres (98 in) a year[1] and the average temperature is 27 °C (80.6 °F) Selangor Peat Swamp Forest is located on the flat coastal plains of northwest Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia. With a combined total of 81,304 hectares, Is one of the largest remainingpeat swamp forest in the region, however, over 30 years of intensive timber harvesting has left the once pristine forest, degraded and vulnerable to further environmental threat. Peat swamp forests are tropical moist forests where waterlogged soil prevents dead leaves and wood from fully decomposing. Over time, this creates a thick layer of acidic peat. Peat swamp forests are typically surrounded by lowland rain forests on better-drained soils, and by brackish or salt-water mangrove forests near the coast.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: The water itself is typically stained brown with humic acids and other chemicals released by decaying organic material, dissolved mineral content is generally negligible and pH as low as 3.0 or 4.0. Substrates are usually littered with fallen leaves, branches and submerged tree roots though in some places aquatic plants from genera such as Cryptocoryne or Barcalaya can be found.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: Temperature 25-30°C, pH 3-6,5 depending on the season.

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Boraras maculatus, Brevibora cheeya, Cyclocheilichthys apogon, Osteochilus spilurus, Parachela maculicauda, P. oxygastroides, Rasbora einthovenii, R. trilineata, Desmopuntius johorensis, Trigonopoma gracile, T. pauciperforatum, Lepidocephalichthys furcatus, Pangio alcoides, P. semicincta, Kryptopterus macrocephalus, Ompok leiacanthus, Wallago leerii, Hemibagrus nemurus, Pseudomystus leiacanthus, Clarias batrachus, C. meladerma, Parakysis verrucosa, Aplocheilus panchax, Hemirhamphodon pogonognathus, Monopterus albus, Nandus nebulosus, Pristolepis grooti, Betta imbellis, B. waseri, Luciocephalus pulcher, Parosphromenus paludicola, Trichopodus leerii, T. trichopterus, Trichopsis vittata, Channa bankanensis, C. lucius, C. striata.

List of plants found in the nature biotope: Cryptocoryne, Blyxa, Barclaya, Eleocharis, Nymphaea, Pistia, Utricularia, Lymnophila, Salvinia.

Threats to the ecology: Unfortunately vast tracts of primary forest have been altered or lost entirely due to logging, agriculture and other human activities throughout Southeast Asia, with fish habitats in affected regions also heavily-modified in many cases and species diversity declining.

Sources of information:
Book: “Malaysia’s Conservation and Sustainable Use Peat Swamp Forests”,_Malaysia.JPG

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