Rio Negro – Dark Forest

The 26th place in the qualifying stage of the Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2014

poland Poland. Dominik Woroch

Volume: 160 L
List of fishes: Paracheirodon innesi, Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, Apistogramma borelli, Ancistrus dolichopterus
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Rio Negro black water. Rio Negro is a river with a deep, slow-moving channel flowing through forested swamps. As vegetation decays, tannins leach into the water, making a transparent, acidic water that is darkly stained, resembling tea.

Wow, what a great representation of the Rio Negro. It really looks like the real thing! This aquarium makes me want to setup one just like it at home. Superb.

Ivan Mikolji (Venezuela)

Although the name is far too general, the description does suggest a more specific biotope of marginal flooded swamplands. It is a really striking and bold design, with the starkness of the empty branches and the deep reddish tint of the water, just as one would expect to find in such a swamp. Yet it is also subtle: the inhabitants are all biotope-correct, and match perfectly with the surroundings. It is well balanced, and the criss-crossing branches projecting above the surface give it a wild appearance, as do the scattered leaves and debris on the bottom – some decayed to the point of transparency. Minor points would be the fact that alder cones (especially those still clinging to the branches) are very temperate-looking, and would not occur in this habitat, and some of the branches look sharply “clipped”, which interrupts the natural continuity of the biotope. It also looks slightly stylized. However, it has been very well-photographed, shows a great deal of attention and effort, and is indeed a work of art.

Michael Salter (Canada)