Gentle stream of Rio da Prata river, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

_ place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

Volume: 32 L
Dimensions: 40x40x20 cm
List of fishes: Hyphessobrycon eques (Steindachner, 1882)
List of plants: Green algae
Description of decorations: By chance, I was amazed by the picture of a native landscape taken by Tai Strietman. The place is Recanto Ecológico, a gentle stream of Rio da Prata river in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The Rio da Prata River is the third clean river in the world. In addition to hiking through the rainforest, you can snorkel in the lower reaches of the river and enjoy as many as 55 species of fish. When a group of bright and colorful Brycon hilarii swims with you in this crystal-clear small country, the surreal dream will make you feel lost. I think if there is a paradise for fish, it must be here.

I was deeply touched and decide to make a biotope aquarium to imitated it. All the elements used in my aquarium, including branches, fallen leaves, small gravel etc., were derived from natural collection. I chose white fine sand as the substrates that is consistent with the habitat. I placed a whole piece of roots at the golden point as the main character of the entire aquarium, with a lot of thin roots placed around it, and finer branches and roots in the back. A floating platform was built on the surface with branches and fallen leaves in front of the aquarium.

The sunlight slanted into the aquarium from the gap between the platform and the main root. Under this sunlight slanted area, I decorated the vegetation with green algae. Beside it, I place some small leaves on top of the white fine sand. There is a large amount of shelter in the main root area, which can be used for fish to play and hide to protect themselves. As time goes by, the leaves and roots will slowly rot and disappear after a few months, which is a microcosm of the ecological cycle of nature.
Description of equipment: Kessil Tuna Sun A160WE 40w LED, Spectrum 6,000K to 9,000K
HAGEN FLUVAL AquaClear 30 power filter 5w (568L/h)
Water parameters: Aquarium water looks clear. The aquarium is kept at room temperature at about 24-26°C at this time of year. The parameters of the water are 7.5 pH and 8.0 GH. These pH and GH values are reached thanks to the use of the same substrate of the aquatic system.
Additional info: twice a week for water change

INFORMATION ABOUT BIOTOPE

Description of the area surrounding the biotope: The Recanto Ecológico Rio da Prata is located in Mato Grosso do Sul, on the border with Bonito. The region is one of the most important eco-tourism areas in Brazil with its crystal-clear waters and beautiful natural landscapes such as waterfalls, caves and forests. The Rio da Prata River is the third clean river in the world. In addition to hiking through the rainforest, you can snorkel in the lower reaches of the river and enjoy as many as 55 species of fish. The Pteroglossus viridis and Ara macao that are unique to the tropical America can be seen here.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: The Rio da Prata has an undercurrent of about 100 meters underground, and there are a lot of limestone on the surface of the riverbed. The river water is naturally filtered by limestone, and impurities are deposited in the riverbed, and the river water is so clear and transparent. The substrate of the river is fine white sand with a small amount of stones distributed, which makes the river clear and transparent. As the Rio da Prata river passes through the rainforest, the roots of the terrestrial plants will also sink to the bottom of the water. The branches and fallen leaves along the shore will fall to the bottom of the water, gather in the slow-flowing area, covered with thick algae, and provide fish with good shelter and more food sources. There are a large number of Heteranthera zosterifolia distributed in parts of the Rio da Prata River, which gives the inhabited fish a space to escape and reproduce, and also provides a large number of food sources.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: The annual average temperature in Mato Grosso do Sul is 26 °C. The highest temperature is in December, February and March, and the summer water temperature is about 25-26 °C. The dry season usually lasts from May to September, and the rest is the rainy season, which lasts for 8 months, with an average annual rainfall of about 1,300 to 1,500 mm. May is the wettest time each year, the relative humidity reaches 65%, the driest time is September, and the relative humidity is 45.7%. Due to the large amount of limestone on the surface of the Rio da Prata riverbed, the water quality of the river is alkaline, PH=7.4. During the rainy season, rising rivers will flood some of the plants and soil on the shore, providing more food sources for underwater life.

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Hyphessobrycon eques (Steindachner, 1882), Brycon hilarii, Astyanax lacustris, Characidium aff.zebra, Cichlasoma dimerus, Crenicichla lepidota, Leporinus striatus, Moenkhausia bonita, Phenacogaster tegatus

List of plants found in the nature biotope: There are a large number of Heteranthera zosterifolia and unknown species of green algae distribution in the river, which gives the inhabited fish a space to escape and reproduce, and also provides a large number of food sources.

Threats to the ecology: With the continuous expansion of human activities, a large number of rainforests have been felled, and the habitat of living things has been severely damaged, seriously affecting the ecological balance of the earth. Rio da Prata’s excellent management of tourism activities has become the flag of Brazil. Not only the number of tourists is restricted, but also the application of sunscreen and mosquito repellent water before launching, which provides an effective guarantee for the ecological stability and species diversity of the Rio da Prata River.

Sources of information:

1. Recanto Ecológico, gentle stream of Rio da Prata river, Brazil, Nan Li

https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MzU2OTg2NjgyMw==&mid=2247484853&idx=1&sn=58d62c6e12aec5d2c92e1bb743db6dd5&chksm=fcf96a9dcb8ee38bac91796756e068937a89bb4da5ef14b378da9ff3c0bd16e8afdb252840c8&token=1399032439&lang=zh_CN#rd

2. Video of Recanto Ecologico Rio da Prata, Tai Strietman
https://v.qq.com/x/page/o0887ockupo.html
https://v.qq.com/x/page/c0888qkjf7a.html

3. https://www.riodaprata.eco.br

4. https://championtraveler.com/dates/best-time-to-visit-bonito-mato-grosso-do-sul-br/

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