The 38th place in the qualifying stage of the Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2014
Romania. Cristian-Stefan Bontas
Volume: 300 L
List of fishes: Paratheraps melanurus
List of plants: Myriophyllum mattogrossense, Limnobium laevigatum
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Rio Hondo biotope, Belize. A river with a length of 150 km, with basins in Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. The river is formed from the confluences of several upper tributaries, such as Blue Creek and Chan Chich (Rio Bravo) which have their sources in Guatemala’s Petén Basin region, and Booth’s River which originates in the western Belizean district of Orange Walk. These tributaries join to form the Hondo River near the settlements of Blue Creek Village, on the Belizean side, and La Unión on the Mexican side. The river continues its northeastern course with few other settlements along its length until reaching its outlet in Chetumal Bay. The city of Chetumal, capital of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and the region’s main port, lies close to this outlet.
The Rio Hondo was my 4th Place (together with Río Guarumo), as it was perfectly done with correct décor and fishes, and contrary to some arguments that the cichlids were too large, is not true, 4 cichlids for 300 litres is perfectly alright, each one has more than 70 litres (max needed is 50 per cichlid that size).
Stunning, very colourful cichlid specimens which aren’t given the biotope treatment often enough. Judging by their colours and condition this replication of their natural habitat is suiting them very well.
I think that if you want to reproduce a Paratheraps melanurus’ habitat you need a huge aquarium. In my opinion, the fishes are very well, but they look like so tight in this 300 liters tank.