Small stream Mako’s Morichal in Southern Venezuela

59th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2018

russia USA. Cory Hopkins

Volume: 125 L
Dimensions: 90x45x30 cm
List of fishes: Poecilocharax weitzmani
List of plants: Algae
Description of decorations: Expanding foam cut to shape for the walls with sand that resembles what’s found in and near the Southern basin of the Orinoco river. The leaf bed is made up of a mix of Savu pods, Concha pods, Mariposa pods, Lampada pods, Helix pods, small Guava leaves, and a mix of crushed leaves to simulate the finer leaf particles.
Description of equipment: Sunsun canister filter, Aqueon heater, Beamswork EVO Quad LED light.
Water parameters: Temp: 76F, ph: 6.3, kh: 4, gh: 10.


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Burried deep in a Southern Venezuelan rain forest hides this gorgeous oasis no more than a mile long. Bubbling up from the ground starts this Orinoco tributary dubbed “Mako’s Morichal” by Ivan Mikolji and crew while visiting the area.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: This small morichal no more than a mile long, drains directly into the Southern basin of the Orinoco River. Starting from a natural spring straight from the ground, this short tributary to the Orinoco is home to many species of fish and wildlife. Starting off from the ground the water is sterile, with very little mineral content and a very low ph of around 5.0 where very few fish can survive. As the tributary runs closer and closer to the Orinoco, more fish species can be found including Cardinal Tetras, electric eels, Altum Angelfish, Peacock bass, Silver Dollars, etc.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: Transparent water. Mineral content fluctuates from almost nothing to around TDS: 250, along with ph fluctuations from 5.0 to 6.6 as it gets closer to the Orinoco. Temperatures at around 80F.

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Poecilocharax wetzmani.

List of plants found in the nature biotope: N/A

Sources of information: Ivan Mikolji verbally told me.

Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2018

Interesting design, but I do not like the color difference between the soil near the roots and the central part of the tank. And I cannot see the fishes. That’s a shame.

Jeroen Vanhooren