Stream flowing into the Valencia lake in the north of Venezuela

9th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2017

ukraine Ukraine. Konstantin Radoutskiy

Volume: 140 L
Dimensions: 90x40x40 cm
List of fishes: Moenkhausia pittieri, Corydoras aeneus
List of plants: There is no underwater vegetation in the water, but in a high water the stream floods the neighboring territories and under the water there are roots and trunks of plants. In this case, Dieffenbachia pops out of the water.
Description of decorations: Rough stones from the mountain stream, as well as small pebbles and large gravel. In this aquarium a mountain stream is recreated that flows into the lake. The bottom and banks of the creek consist of the rolled stones that were brought down from the mountains.
Description of equipment: Under the aquarium stones, there is an Aquael UniFilter 1000 l/h with a water discharge in the upper right corner, which creates a slight uniform flow, 2 LED lights 12 W, 6500 K, 250W heater. In the process of photo and video shooting, no equipment from the aquarium was removed and only regular lighting was used. In addition, above-water plants (Dieffenbachia) serve as a phytofilter, and their roots are an additional shelter and substrate for fish.
Water parameters: Temperature 25°C, pH – 7.8

Description of the area surrounding the biotope: The Valencia lake lies in a longitudinal depression among the ridges of the Caribbean Andes at an altitude of 416 m above sea level. The lake is surrounded by agricultural land. The area of the lake is about 350 km², the depth is up to 75 m. There is no discharge.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: The creek that flows into the Valencia lake passes through the rocks and carries a multitude of boulders that gradually roll out, getting a smooth appearance. During the rainy season, the water level in it is increased, flooding coastal plants, and in the drought period it is low.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: The water is transparent. The temperature is 25°C, pH is 7.8.

List of fishes: Moenkhausia pittieri, Corydoras aeneus, Ancistrus sp., Hoplias malabaricus, Crenicichla sp.

List of plants: There is no vegetation in the water, but in the high water the stream floods the neighboring territories and under the water there are roots and trunks of plants.

Threats to the ecology: Due to the lack of flow and intensive agricultural activities, the waters of the Valencia lake are becoming more and more polluted from year to year. Because of this, the area of the diamond tetra reduced and now it is found only in some streams and rivers flowing into the lake.

Sources of information: Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine – January 2010,

Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2017

I cannot determine whether this is a natural background, but it looks completely natural. I’m not a supporter of artificial decorations in this contest, but in this case the origin of the decorations does not matter, since it cannot be determined by eye. If the author was able to make such an integral composition of natural stones along the back wall, this is a plus. It’s surprising to see characin fishes in an aquarium with such a design, but I can imagine such a picture in this biotope. Beautiful, non-standard aquarium.

Yuriy Yancher (Ukraine)