Tunico River in the summer, Izabal, Guatemala

104th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

Guatemala. Adolfo Hernandez

Volume: 192 L
Dimensions: 120x40x40 cm
List of fishes: Poecilia mexicana, Thorichthys aureus, Rocio spnossissima, Astyanax aeneus, Criptoheros spilurus
List of plants: Mango leaf
Description of decorations: The aquarium has a sandy bottom and almost muddy silt obtained from the habitat in addition to light-colored sand, rocks of different colors shapes and textures because during the winter the current carries from the mountains some rocks and roots that it finds in its path and leaves of mango, since the sample area was in a mango cultivation farm near the Tunico river where pools are formed when the river leaves its channel. The elements were placed as similar to the biotope designed in the aquarium.
Description of equipment: 1 Heater 300 watts atman, 1 power head ATF103 Atman, 4 led lights 18watts 6000K
Water parameters: Temperature aquarium 28°C, ammonia 0ppm, nitrites 0ppm, nitrate 5ppm, ph 7.9, sun light for 2 hours
Additional info: water change 50% every 10 days, they eat Daphnia pulex, pellets, and shrimp. Deworming every 6 months.


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: The Tunico river basin is located in the department of Izabal born from the Sierra Santa Cruz. The river grows out of its channel in the Izabal lake during the winter and during the summer the river falls creating poses. The river is abundant, with very strong currents coming out of its channel creating pools that in the summer house life and lagging fish with a lot of vegetation of leaves, roots and some rocks. The bottom becomes muddy and with relatively low oxygen levels. In the river different landscapes are observed, from isolated giant rocks to very capricious designs created by the currents of the winter and the sand scattered by some species. In isolated pools, fish feed on surface insects and fry of some species. Many of the pools are formed on land used for agriculture and livestock where a lot of plant material accumulates.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: The water is slightly cloudy, almost stagnant, almost whitish or beige because of the amount of sediment and mud that accumulates, the general pH is high despite finding a lot of decaying plant matter. In the winter the current draws roots and rocks from the mountains, these are dragged to the izabal lake and some are left in pools within some animal and agricultural farms.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: The water is slightly cloudy, almost stagnant, almost whitish or beige because of the amount of sediment and mud that accumulates, the general pH is high despite finding a lot of decaying plant matter. The average of the pools is a ph 8.3 and a summer temperature of 26 ° C to 30 ° C, an ammonia of 0ppm. The parameters were measured with tests for tetra aquarium brand.

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Agonostomus monticola
Astyanax aeneus
Centropomus ensiferus
Cryptoheros spilurus
Centropomus undecimalis
Eugerres plumieri
Gobiomorus dormitor
Hexanematichthys guatemalensis
Hexanematichthys seemanni
Megalops atlanticus
Mugil cephalus
Oligoplites palometa
Oreochromis niloticus niloticus
Parachromis motaguensis
Poecilia gillii
Poecilia mexicana
Pomadasys crocro
Rhamdia guatemalensis
Rocio spinossissima
Thorichthys aureus
Vieja maculicauda

List of plants found in the nature biotope:

Threats to the ecology: In the aquarium, the biotope of one of the most emblematic and rare fish, Rocio spinossissima, is a fish that is threatened by pollution, destruction of its habitat and deforestation, in addition to the use of waters for cutives. The specimens of Rocio spinossissima were returned to their habitat after taking pictures.

Sources of information:
http://climapesca.org/2017/05/11/lago-de-izabal/ , 10/07/2019,

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