Unnamed creek bank in Sebangau tropical peat swamp forest Indonesia

_th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2020

Volume: 196 L
Dimensions: 120x45x35 cm
List of fishes: Hemirhamphodon Tengah, Betta Hendra, Triginapoma Gracile
List of plants: Emersed part: Ficus Sagittata, Nephrolepis sp
Description of decorations: The substrate in aquarium is peat only , alot of branches, roots and twigs where used to resamble the wood tangle at the creek banks. There are dried fern branches and leafs at the bottom of aquarium.
Description of equipment: Filter : External Hw 302 with HW 603 prefilter, Lighting : Led 80w +20w flood light (6k), Heating : 50w Hanza heater
Water parameters: Temp 25-26C, Ph 5-5,8 (depending on water change shedule), Kh 0-1, Gh 0-1
Additional info: Top ups + 50% water changes every few weeks to stimulate fish, Ferns eat all the exces nutriens in the water what so ever


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Sebangau is a protected peat-swamp forest in Central Kalimantan and is the largest lowland forest remaining on Borneo. With over 100 difrent tree spicies recorded here , hundreds of rare and endamic animals, many peat swamps crossed by a network of small blackwater streams, one can trully admire this old world nature here. The biotope is surrounded by a rainforest jungles, trees , ferns , and other dense vegetation.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: Underwater landscape have a classic blackwater look similar to other tanin heavy biotopes in this part of the world. Due to the surrounding rainforest jungle the whole bottom of the stream is covered with peat, leaves , branches etc. Little light penetrate the dense tree crowns and reaches the water which have brownish-red colour due to all the tanins leaking from the botanicals.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: The parameters are the same as in similar habbitats in the region. Water is coulred brown/red becouse its rich in tannins due to bottom of the stream being made of peat and leaves. The ph varies from 3,5 up to 6 depending on the season. Gh and KH stays at 0-1, temperature stays at about 26C (+/- 2C depending on seasons).

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Sampling Studies shown over 50 spicies of fish , of which 16 are listed on IUCN red list and 10 are classified as endemic to the region. Betta – Hendra, Foershi, Anabdtoides, Various Desmopuntius , Channa and Rasbora genus fishes, Sphaerichthys acrostoma and osphromenoides, Alot of difrent Siluformes spicies, Hemirhamphodon chrysopunctatus and tengah, Trigonapoma Gracile.

List of plants found in the nature biotope: Due to extreme condition for aquatic plants ( low light, tanin, low ph, little fertile substrate) almost none are present Submerged terrestial plants during higher water levels

Threats to the ecology: Peat swamp in Indonesia where designated as production or agricultural forests by previous national governments ,20 years ago canals were dug into the peat by loggers to float out felled timber before the area gained protected status. Hundreds of the canals still remain inside Sebangau’s forest to this day. The canals are now draining the peat-swamp and causing the peat to dry out: increasing the risk of forest fires. It has become the biggest long-term problem for protecting this globally-important habitat.

There are people working now to fix it, lets hope the Sebangau tropical peat swamp forest will prevail with all its amazing and often endemic fauna and flora.

Sources of information:

  1. Biodiversity of the Sebangau tropical peat swamp forest, Indonesian Borneo (PDF)
  2. Vegetation analyses of Sebangau peat swamp forest, Central Kalimantan (PDF)
  3. http://www.borneonaturefoundation.org/en/news/rewetting-the-peat-to-protect-sebangau-forest/
  4. https://seriouslyfish.com/

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