Swampy channel in the Yangtze River basin, southern Hubei province, Eastern China

102th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

Russia. Daria Kondakova

Volume: 84 L
Dimensions: 70х35х40 cm
List of fishes: Chinemys reevesii
List of plants: Carex, Plantago, Lemna. These plants may not correspond with plants in nature, due to the lack of accurate data, but similar species are presented in the aquarium.
Description of decorations: DECOTOP Jaya stones were used as decorations, they look like fragments of a mountain. The soil is dark, imitation of silt with sand.
Description of equipment: TETRA Tetronic LED ProLine 780 lamp, AQUAEL ULTRA HEATER 50W heater, AQUAEL ASAP 500 filter.
Water parameters: Temperature 26 degrees C, pH 6.5, KH 3, GH 5, NO3 – 50 mg / L, NO2 – 0
Additional info:


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: The Yangtze River is 6300 km, and its basin area is 1 808 500 km². Its source is located in the eastern part of the Tibetan foothills at an altitude of ~ 5600 meters above sea level. The river flows through Qinghai province and then turns south and into a deep valley (here the main drop in altitude occurs: from 5 thousand to 1 thousand m. Here the river changes direction several times and forms deep gorges) and reaches Yunnan. Closer to the city of Yibin, which is located at the entrance of the river to the Sichuan basin, the river drops to a height of 305 m, and near the city of Chongqing, the height of the river relative to the sea is 192 m. The Yangtze merges with the large inflows of Minjiang and Jialing, which significantly increases its volume. On a 320 kilometer stretch from Chongqing to Yichang, the Yangtze drops its height to 40 m, flowing through deep gorges that are known for their beauty and navigation complexity. Making its way further through the Wushan Mountains, the river serves as a natural border between the provinces of Chongqing and Hubei. The world’s largest hydropower plant, Sansya, was built in this area. Before flowing into the East China Sea, the river changes direction several times, thereby forming many gorges, such as: “Jumping Tiger Gorge”, “Three Gorges”. The Yangtze regime is monsoon; in summer, the water level in the Sichuan basin rises by 20 m, and in the plains up to 10-15 m. Sea tides spread along the river 700 km from the mouth. The Yangtze flows through sandy and clay soils, so the water in most of the river is cloudy. The Yangtze makes many floods.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: The southern part of Hubei is flat, fenced by low mountains from almost all sides.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: The water is clear or cloudy yellow, the temperature of the biotope could not be found.

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Cynops orientalis, Chinemys reevesii, Cyprinidae, Amblycipitidae, Cobitidae.

List of plants found in the nature biotope: Dracaena sanderiana, Ricccia fluitans, Spirogyra porticalis, Carex, Plantago, Lemna.

Threats to the ecology: The Yangtze River is the place in which the Chinese alligator and the Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus) lived and may still have lived. Now they are listed in the Red Book, although they used to quietly inhabit our planet. Almost half of all Chinese waste is discharged into the Yangtze River every year. More than 600 km of the river are in critical condition, and 30% of its tributaries are heavily polluted. The Chinese alligator began to disappear due to the loss of its habitat. Most of the population lived in areas where agriculture is actively conducted, which is why conflicts sometimes occurred between the alligator and humans. Alligator skin was also highly valued on the black market, and its organs were widely used in Chinese medicine. Now there are only 130-200 of them. And they live in drainage grooves, in ponds near small farms, and in the Yangtze. Psephurus. Its meat and caviar were very much appreciated and it was taken out of the Yangtze by tens of tons in the twentieth century. In 1980, the paddlefish began to disappear sharply; to date, only a few individuals have been caught. The main reason for the extinction, according to scientists, was the construction of hydroelectric power stations, overfishing and water pollution. Psephurus fishing has been banned since 1983; it is not known for certain whether the Chinese paddlefish is alive.

Sources of information:


Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019