Unnamed blackwater stream in South Kalimantan Forest, Indonesia

Volume of aquarium: 45 L

Dimensions of aquarium: 90cm x 20cm x 25.5cm

List of fishes: Boraras brigittae, Boraras Merah

List of plants: Oenanthe javanica, Nephrolepis exaltata

Description of Decorations and Substrate: In this aquarium I used Spiderwood for the larger pieces of wood and Bird’s Nest wood to simulate the finer branchers and twigs. I also used Cattapa Leaves and alder cones. I boiled the botanicals to be able to achieve the blackwater look with the health benefits for the fish. I also collected some river rock from my local landscape store and tested them to make sure they are safe for the aquarium. Sand was added as well to simulate the bottom of the stream. Fluval Stratum for plant health.

Description of Equipment: 2x Hiro Aquatic COB LED Light, AquaClear Power HOB Filter with slow flow, AquaTop 25W Heater

Water Parameters: Aquarium is Blackwater. Temperature stays around 22 C-24 C. pH is 6.4

Additional Info: Weekly Water change 20%.

Aquarium video:

Description of the Area Surrounding the Biotope: South Kalimantan has a tropical climate which also attributes to its high average temperatures and rainfall throughout the year. “South Kalimantan is in the southeastern part of the island of Borneo, has a low-lying area in the west and east coast, and a plateau formed by the Meratus Mountains in the middle. South Kalimantan consists of two main geographic features, namely the lowlands and the highlands. Lowland areas are mostly in the form of peatlands to swamps, which are rich in biodiversity sources of freshwater animals. Some highland areas are still natural tropical forests and protected by the government.”

Description of the Underwater Landscape of the Biotope: Inhabits black water streams and pools associated with ancient forest peat swamps. The water is stained brown due to the release of tannins and other chemicals released by decomposing organic matter and the substrate scattered with fallen leaves, twigs and branches. Such environments characteristically contain very soft (negligible hardness), acidic (pH as low as 4.0) water and are often dimly-lit due to dense marginal vegetation and the forest canopy above.

Description of the Habitat Parameters: Temperature can range from 20 C – 28 C. Due to the tannins in the water pH can be as low as 4.0.

List of Fishes and Invertebrates Occurring in the Nature Biotope: Boraras Merah

List of Plants Found in the Nature Biotope: Since the water is dark there is no plants are in the water unless a flood season happens which will cause some plants to be submersed. There is however dense marginal vegetation growing here.

Threats to the Ecology of the Biotope: Across Southeast Asia there is a lot of rubber and palm oil plantations. These plantations can pollute water and harm other animals. Also, building and human development also puts these biotopes at risk.

Sources of Information:
• “Boraras Brigittae (Chili Rasbora).” Boraras Brigittae – Mosquito Rasbora (Rasbora Urophthalma Brigittae) – Seriously Fish, https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/boraras-brigittae.

• Pedraz, Marcelo, and Marcelo PedrazMarcelo is a biologist. “Chili Rasbora (Boraras Brigittae) Guide: Care, Diet, Lifespan and More.” Aquarium Hunter, 8 Nov. 2021, https://aquariumhunter.com/chili-rasbora.

• “Southwest Borneo Freshwater Swamp Forests.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Oct. 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Borneo_freshwater_swamp_forests#:~:text=Location%20and%20description%20The%20freshwater%20swamp%20forests%20of,soil%2C%20and%20taller%20trees%20than%20then%20peat%20swamps.

• “Mosquito Rasbora (Boraras Brigittae).” Mosquito Rasbora (Boraras Brigittae) – The Free Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium Encyclopedia Anyone Can Edit – The Aquarium Wiki, http://www.theaquariumwiki.com/wiki/Boraras_brigittae.

• |, Alison Page, and Alison Page. “Chili Rasbora (Boraras Brigittae) Species Profile and Care Guide.” Tankarium, 22 Aug. 2021, https://www.tankarium.com/chili-rasbora/.

• “Seriously Fish.” Boraras Merah (Rasbora Merah) – Seriously Fish, https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/boraras-merah/.

• “Boraras Merah Summary Page.” FishBase, https://www.fishbase.de/summary/Boraras-merah.html.

• “Boraras – Marvels in Miniature.” Practical Fishkeeping, 17 Apr. 2019, https://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/features/boraras-marvels-in-miniature/.

• Hellwag, Mark. “The Genus Boraras: Miniature Jewels: Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine.” Home | TFH Magazine, Mar. 2014, https://www.tfhmagazine.com/articles/freshwater/the-genus-boraras-miniature-jewels-full-article.