Small pond shore, Northern outskirts of Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil

5th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2016

poland Poland. Kamil Hazy

Aquarium Volume: 345 L
Fish and invertebrates: Apistogramma trifasciata, Apistogramma borelli, Corydoras sterbai, Corydoras hastatus, Nannostomus eques, Nannostomus beckfordi
Plants list: Echinodorus tenellus, Echinodorus angustifolius, Hydrocotyle leucocephala, Eichhornia crassipes, Pistia strratiotes (cosmopolitan), Lemna minor (cosmopolitan), Salvinia molesta, Myriophyllum aquaticum (cosmopolitan / invasive – native to South America), Bacopa monnieri, Ludwigia grandiflora, Cabomba aquatica
Biotope description: Pantanal, clear water biotope, during a rainy season. Plants with small leaves, growing densely, along with pieces of driftwood and roots of nearby tree provides good shelter for small fishes like Apistogramma sp. Nannostomus sp. Corydoras sp. Water is full of small crustaceans and insect larvae, giving an excellent food source and encourages fish to spawn. Quite low water level near the banks (only about 30cm) of the pond keeps the large predators away. Detritus, algae and protozoa that occurs in leave litter, on the wood and plants are a good source of food for fry. Underwater live is showing its beauty everywhere. In the shallow water other fish occurs like: Otocinclus sp., Hyphessobrycon sp., Aphyocharax sp., Moenkhausia sp., Pyrrhulina sp., and many others. In the places where sunlight reaches the water undisturbed by trees, and uncovered by leaves, aquatic vegetation occurs in its greatness. Uncountable number of plant species shows the beauty and colours of nature. Pantanal is the marvelous, but unfortunately slowly dying, place on Earth. It's one of two greatest wetlands on the planet. Once extremely rich on terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna, today is struggling of people guilt. Cattle farms, soya plantations, trees burning or cutting… Many of rare and endemic species are trying to survive in the small wild areas that stays untouched by human. The beauty of this areas is in danger, so people must see and try to preserve them for future. It is worth to do so!

Photo Gallery

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

I like the idea to present shallow biotope. This way you present whole water column, from top layers to bottom, just like it is in nature. I would only change E. Tennelus carpet, make it more wild and blend it better with backround plants.

Petra Bašić (Croatia)

What I like the most is the size of this tank, allowing the fishes to feel really comfortable. In my opinion this is exactly how a biotope aquarium should look like – large volume, not too many species of fishes and not too many specimens. Also the plant work is very good, even though it may be closer to an aquascape than to a natural biotope.

Piotr Kierzkowski (Poland)

This aquarium reminded me the best classic aquaria of 70’s 80’s. Today, this style is almost lost. You can see how much love the author put in it. The aquarium is very harmonious, artistic, but it is absolutely “wild”, and perfectly shows the given biotope. Despite the abundance of decorative elements, the aquarium is spacious. Its foreground is moderately covered with small plants. Free space is an important element in such layouts, which many of the entries lack. I do not like very much when the fallen leaves or roots of floating plants replace design. But in this aquarium each element is absolutely in its place. By total points this biotope aquarium is the second in my ranking. But when it comes to biotope, then this aquarium could serve as an illustration of this type of aquarium. At home, I’d like to see exactly such an aquarium, such proportions and such content. I sincerely wish that this aquarium wins.

Yuriy Yancher (Ukraine)