silver-trophy-3Seim River coast, Tetkino site, Chervona Sloboda, Russia

2nd place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2016

russian_federation Russia. Evgeniya Moiseeva

Aquarium Volume: 4800 L
Fish and invertebrates: Esox lucius, Rhodeus sericeus, Leucaspius delineatus, Perca fluviatilis
Plants list: Núphar lútea, Ceratophyllum sp., Elodea sp., Vallisneria sp., Sagittaria sp., Nymphea pygmaea
Biotope description: Seim is a river, the left largest tributary of the Desna River. The floodplain of the river in some places is badly waterlogged, has oxbow lakes, creeks, streams, floodplain meanders, islands and rapids. Coast is framed with reeds and dense thickets of shrub willow, narrow, discontinuous tape of floodplain forests. Here, on the banks of the river, including snags overgrown with reeds and aquatic vegetation, inhabited by ordinary pike (Esox lucius). It stands quietly in the bushes, showing no visible activity, and around there is a school of small fish such as bitterling (Rhodeus sericeus) and Leucaspius delineatus. It may even seem that the pike is not interested in such an accumulation of fish. But when one of the fishes get out from the school, the pike immediately attacks it. Most scientists say pike plays a positive role in waters, because nature has assigned to it a function of the biological land reclamation. Pike eats mainly small low-value fish species, freeing up food resources and space for more valuable species. It is estimated that for its life pike eats an average of 70 kg of feed, while zander eats only 25, and bass eats 6 kg. Here, perch (Perca fluviatilis) lives among the snags and thickets. Small perch hides and feeds near the shore in the reeds. Large perch prefers depth and spaciousness. In spite of the thorns, perch occasionally becames prey for other fish, such as pike. Bitterling always chooses the sandy or rocky bottom and avoid slime and sludge. It feeds exclusively on aquatic plants, algae, why, probably has more bitter taste, from which it gets its name.

Photo Gallery

Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2016

Impressive size, but visual impression would be greater if less smaller fish was used. This way it seems they are here just for predator food. Sustainability is also a question, pike and perch will eat baitfish, and pike will also eat perch and smaller pike.

Petra Bašić (Croatia)

Who can fail to be impressed by this goliath biotope simulating Russian waters? It is refreshing to see native coldwater species to Russia and the fact that a specific biotope has been represented, where it would be so tempting to steer away from an accurate, biotope specific path. The selection of fish and sheer size of this aquarium does so much for it in terms of points, however I feel there are too many fish in there, I don’t like to combine predator and prey, and all the Esox I have ever watched in captivity always seem very nervous and washed out. Nevertheless, a great educational piece.

Jeremy Gay (Great Britain)

A proper biotope aquarium should be so large ! 🙂 The layout is not 100% natural looking, and also the pikes probably threaten other, smaller species of fishes. But still, this tank seems best in the “Cool trophy” category – because of its size, allowing to recreate real composition of species, and proportion of specimens (few predators, lots of small herbivores / omnivores).

Piotr Kierzkowski (Poland)

This aquarium impressed me a lot!!! The huge proportions are very good for the natural environment simulation. Even though I do not like to see predators in action, this natural relationship between prey and predator was very well represented. I liked so much of the slope sensation that for me looks like a river. Very good job.

André Longarço (Brazil)

It is a very realistic aquarium. As they say, there is nothing to complain about. But an unpleasant moment is that these beautiful fishes as bitterling and belica in such large numbers are put into the aquarium as food. Perches, sooner or later will start hunting for them, even if they are well fed. Pike is unlikely to be interested in this small fishes, but they can eat perch.

Alexey Malyshev (Russia)

At first, I thought, “this is not a viable biotope aquarium, it has too many predators”. Then I read the description and I understood that a biotope aquarium is not only a viable system, it is also a realistic system. In the wild smaller fish get eaten by the bigger fish, it is what it is and this aquarium is probably the best representation of the habitat trophic levels in the whole contest. The video was also shot very nicely, great job!

Ivan Mikolji (Venezuela)

The author managed to put a whole river into the aquarium. Small fishes are in this biotope, as I understand it, as the food, but they add required atmosphere to the aquarium. It is a very beautiful biotope aquarium. Hopefully, the pike and perches in the aquarium also have aesthetic feelings. Contrary to their appetite.

Yuriy Yancher (Ukraine)