Flooded shallow margin of Indawgyi Lake, Kachin State, Myanmar
_st place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2022
Volume of aquarium: 38 liters
Dimensions of aquarium: 46x36x23 cm
List of fishes: Indostomus paradoxus
List of plants: Salvinia cucculata, Pistia stratiotes, Spirogyra, Eleocharis sp.
Description of Decorations and Substrate: Collected driftwoods, roots and branches. I added reeds which can be found alongshore. White sand covered with decomposed leaves and reed scraps to imitate the dark colored basin of the lake.
Description of Equipment: hang on back filter SUNSUN HBL-301 300 l/h, LED lamps 2×10 W, 6500 K
Water Parameters: Temperature: 24°C
Additional Info: I used the algae collected from the local lake to make this setup. Because of the algae I supplemented the original lighting with a plus lamp and as it can be seen it works fine.
Description of the Area Surrounding the Biotope: Coordinates: 25°08’34” N, 96°20’02” E.
The Indawgyi Lake is located in Mo-Thyin Township, Myitkyina District, Kachin State in North Myanmar that is 23,8 km long, and the maximum width is around 10 km. Indawgyi Lake is a quite deep lake which in some places reaches the 22 m depth. During the rainy season the lake can expand 5-10 m laterally and the low-lying areas near the lake are flooded. The most significant rivers flowing into the lake are the Nam Yin Hka, Nam San Da, and Na Mun Chuang, and the largest river flowing out is Indaw Chuang. The bedrock in this area is dominated by granite and gneiss, which is covered with several meters of alluvial soil. The lake’s substrate is mostly silt covered with leaf litter and rotten parts of the vegetation. The lake is covered with dense vegetation and has a rich flora and fauna. More than 20 aquatic macrophytes were recorded in Indawgyi Lake for example Ceratophyllum demersum, Najas indica, Utricularia aurea, Vallisneria spiralis and Nymphoides indica. The dominant plants are the free-floating species like Salvinia cucullata, Eichhornia crassipes or Pistia stratiotes. The Indawgyi Lake is also rich in fish species, which provide the most important source of food for the locals who use traditional fishing methods. The presence of phytoplankton, cyanobacteria and various algae species is also significant which provide food and hiding place for different fish species.
Description of the Underwater Landscape of the Biotope: The bed of the lake has got different depths, the bottom is typically clayey with rich submerges macrophytes. There is also abundant riparian vegetation along the coast, especially in the floodplain areas, and in addition numerous species of green algae can be found in the lake. The leaves and branches of trees and bushes along the lake fall into the water and provide a great hiding place for smaller fish.
Description of the Habitat Parameters: Water is transparent. The temperature is between 21°C and 31°C, but it depends on the season and the depth of the water. The pH varies from 6.8 to 7.2. Water hardness is also varied since many rivers flow into the lake: total hardness as CaCO3 (mg/l) is between 60 and 130.
List of Fishes and Invertebrates Occurring in the Nature Biotope: Parasphaerichthys ocellatus, Parasphaerichthys lineatus, Laubuka laubuca, Dario hysginon
List of Plants Found in the Nature Biotope: Ceratophyllum demersum (cosmopolitan) , Hydrilla verticillata, Najas indica, Najas minor, Utricularis gibba, Utricularia aurea, Ottelia alismoides, Trapa natans, Eichornia crassipes (invasive, native to South America), Pistia stratiotes (cosmopolitan), Lemna minor (cosmopolitan), Salvinia cucullata
Threats to the Ecology of the Biotope: Due to the expansion of humans, countless natural habitat are in danger today. I think one of the best ways to prevent from happening is to raise awareness, that’s why I chose Indawgyi Lake. It has rich culture, flora and fauna that is worth to know and protect. This lake is one of the largest lakes in Asia, and it contains three Critically Endangered (CR) and two Endangered (EN) bird species, like Gyps bengalensis and Gyps tenuirostris. Indawgyi Lake contains one endemic turtle Nilssonia formosa and at least three endemic fish species: Barbus sewelli, Barbus myitkyinae and Indostomus paradoxus. The biggest problem is that the migrants (whoes settled down in the 1990s) do commercial fishing which is endanger the livelihood of indigenous people, the species of fish native to the lake and the survival of water birds. They often use illegal methods, for example fishing during the closed (breeding) season and electric fishing. This threat has been largely addressed through a public awareness campaign and the introduction of community managed fishing free zones. In 2012, the annual fish auction was canceled by the regional government because it had been abused by reselling fishing rights to many fishermen who fished intensively and often tried to settle illegally. The other big problem is gold mining in the area, which does not take place directly along the lake, but along the rivers that flow into the lake. Due to hydraulic mines, mercury and sediment rate rise in the lake which delivered by the rivers that flow into the lake. This leads to a deterioration of water quality that could endanger the whole ecosystem of Indawgyi Lake. Eco tourism can be a solution that would provide livelihoods for the locals, and can protect the wildlife around the lake.
Sources of Information:
1. Marit Mjelde, Andreas Ballot, Thida Swe (2018): Conservation of biodiversity and improved management of protected areas in Myanmar – Aquatic macrophytes and phytoplankton in Indawgyi Lake, Niva Projekt, ISBN 978-82-577-6988-8 (PDF)
2. Khin Win (2019): Analysis of Water from Indawgyi Lake in Mohnyin Township, Yadanabon University Research Journal, 2019, Vol-10, No.1 (PDF)
3. B. Prashad, Dev Dev Mukerji (1929): The Fish of the Indawgyi Lake and the Streams of the Myitkyina District (Upper Burma), Records os the Indian Museum, Vol. 31. (PDF)