Sunrise at Stone Crossing, dry season, Wenlock River, Australia

_th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2020

Volume: 220lt
Dimensions: 110x60x38cm
List of fishes: Pseudomugil gertrudae, Iriatherina werneri
List of plants: no plants
Description of decorations: For the complete aquascape, mud and sand were collected from local river bottom. Pebbles and rocks were found at river banks. Different types of wood like Malaysian driftwood, red moorwood and branches, roots from local trees/plants where combined for the result. Also leaves from more than 10varieties of trees and plants (mostly from eucalyptus) where used.
Description of equipment: External filter Eheim 2213, Aquarium heater Jagger 200w, Lighting Led Floodlight 50 warm white and 2 Led tube cool white.
Water parameters: pH :6.8 – 7.2 , Conductivity : 60 – 70ppm, Temperature 28 – 29c.
Additional info: Weekly water change of 30%


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: The 300 kilometre long Wenlock River is a system of major ecological and cultural importance with high scenic values, and holds evidence of evolutionary connections with New Guinea.The river has among the highest freshwater fish diversity of any system in Australia, provides crucial habitat for species of major conservation significance and threatened species.The riparian rainforest along the Wenlock connects the rainforests of eastern Cape York with those (and mangrove communities) of western Cape York. This important corridor, along with the linked spring complexes, provides crucial habitat for species of major conservation importance, including species which also occur in New Guinea. The river contains the highest diversity of freshwater fish of all Australian rivers many of which are shared with the rivers of southern New Guinea. The river has many lagoons on the floodplains, and well developed terraces on the bank.
The vegetation on the river banks is usually dominated by a fringe of paperbark trees (Melaleuca sp.) which grows out over the river, shading any areas suitable for aquatic plant growth. Gallery forest extends up the terraces to the flood plain level and is usually present on the banks in small intermittent tributaries and inlets. The presence of the dense, shady gallery forest on river banks probably forces the paperbark trees to grow out over the water, whereas on lagoons there is no gallery forest so trees tend to be more erect. In the most upstream location, bottlebrushes (Callisternon sp.) trees grew in the river bed in rocky sections and the gallery forest was patchy, sometimes giving way to woodland.
Exact spot -12.394668, 142.180709
Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: The river itself had a gravel bottom in all sites and is generally shalow less than 2m_mudfleaf litter substrateCovers most of the river bottom. During the Dry season the small water holes which are present, are filled with leaf litter, snags and branches and fish which the river stream brought there.
Description of the parameters of the habitat: All parameters measure at 10:00 – 14:00 at dry season. pH 6.68 – 7.26, Conductivity 66-68ppm, oxygen 6.3 – 6.68 mg/l, Temperature 28.0 – 29.6C
List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Iriatherina werneri, Pseudomugil gertrudae Brachirus salinarum Porochilus rendahli Ophisternon bengalense Zenarchopterus novaeguineae, Scleropages jardinii, Hephaestus fuliginosus, Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum, Cherax quadricarinatus, Macrobrachium rosenbergii.
List of plants found in the nature biotope: no plants
Threats to the ecology:
Sources of information:

  10. N.B : According to the last link (No10) On page 144 there are given the exact coordinates (Letter “I”) of the samples sites where fish (Pseudomugil and iriantherina) where found. See also pages: 348,353,145 for map indication

Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2020