#635: 270L Biotope Aquascape: Area of Protection of Flora and Fauna Cienegas from River Lerma, Mexico. A protected natural area?
Amadeo Hernández Pérez, San Mateo Atenco Mexico State Mexico | E-mail: amadeohernandez at hotmail.com
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Awards and Judge Comments

We simply can't see well enough to assess the tank.

Karen Randall

I love the wet/dry design of this system. With such a detailed description, it's hard to tell which plants and animals are truly native to this particular body of water, but I applaud your effort nonetheless. Excellent biotope.

Phil Edwards

Neat little biotope representing these little protected areas in the Lerma River.

Bailin Shaw

Aquascape Details

Tank Size
150 x 40 x 45 cm (59 x 16 x 18 in)
Volume
270L (71 gallons)
Background
Black paint
Lighting
5 fluorescent lights 6500°K and 32 watts each, daily illumination for 9 hours a day with influence of sunlight for 2 hours.
Filtration
Fluval 205
Additional Information
The Cienegas de Lerma are freshwater bodies, separated from each other, located in the upper Lerma River basin, south-east of the Toluca Valley, in the municipalities of Almoloya del Rio, Lerma and Atarasquillo in the State of Mexico, Mexico. Locally they are known like Chignahuapan, Chimaliapan and Chiconahuapan, respectively. It is a priority "natural protected area" for the conservation of biological diversity, considered as one of the 150 most important sites for the conservation of aquatic birds of the continent, because in the winter season they constitute the priority habitat for the protection, reproduction and nesting of numerous groups of resident and migratory birds. Because they maintain populations of endemic aquatic species including birds (Geothlypis speciosa and Coturnicops noveboracensis goldmani), amphibians (Ambystoma lermaense), fish (Menidia riojai) and plants (Nymphaea gracilis, Sagittaria macrophylla and Lemna trisulca) in extinction danger (IUCN and NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010) were declared in 2002 as "Area of Protection of Flora and Fauna Cienegas de Lerma", later in 2004 they were declared RAMSAR site: international category that identifies it as one of the most important wetlands of the planet for its protection and conservation. Today, and as in the whole world, these ecosystems (along with their diversity) are in extreme danger of disappearing due to human activities, among which we can mention: 1) Unsustainable use of their natural resources, 2) Fragmentation due to the change of land use for the expansion of agriculture, urban and industrial growth and the construction of road infrastructure, 3) Desiccation by the exploitation of water from the subsoil and alteration of the hydrological dynamics, 4) Water contamination given to solid waste disposal and discharge of domestic and industrial wastewater, 5) Introduction of exotic species (Cyprinus carpio and Oreochromis sp.), 6) Poorly regulated authorization for hunting, and 7) Mismanagement of the area by the relevant authorities. Given the extreme situations that these wetlands face and the threats that put on risk their biodiversity, there is a need to recreate only a small part (marginal zone) of one of these wetlands (Chimaliapan) using mainly plants that we can find naturally at this place (Arenaria paludícola, Azolla mexicana, Berula erecta, Eichhornia crassipes, Eleocharis densa, Eleocharis sp., Epibolium sp., Hydromystria laevigata, Hydrocotyle ranunculoides, Lemna sp., Ludwigia peploides, Myriophyllum aquaticum; although Typha latifolia and Schoenoplectus californicus dominate the environment were not used because their height is up to 200 centimeters)., an amphibian emblematic of the area (Ambystoma sp., possibly A. lermaense), larvae of the genus Hyla and a particular crustacean (Cambarellus montezumae). This in order to make known to the world the problems facing one of the last natural lake systems in central Mexico and thus contribute a small conservation effort through biotope aquariums. Physicochemical characteristics of the water (Natural medium / Aquarium biotope): Amber water by the large amount of organic matter in decomposition (peat), in addition to little filtration of the sun´s rays in the water column due to the saturation of the surface by floating plants (mainly Azolla mexicana, Eichhornia cassipes and Lemna sp.) Dissolved oxygen: 6.5/4.8 mg/L, Percentage of oxygen saturation: 68.26/62.3, Ammoniacal nitrogen (N-NH3): 0.05/0.02 mg/L, Nitrite (NO2ˉ): 0.04/0.02 mg/L, Nitrate (NO3ˉ): 0.05/0.02 mg/L, pH: 6.4/6.8, Temperature: 15.6/16°C y SST: 16/8 mg/L.
Title
Area of Protection of Flora and Fauna Cienegas from River Lerma, Mexico. A protected natural area?
Plants
Arenaria paludícola, Azolla mexicana, Berula erecta, Eichhornia crassipes, Eleocharis densa, Eleocharis sp., Epibolium sp., Hydromystria laevigata, Hydrocotyle ranunculoides, Lemna sp., Ludwigia peploides, Myriophyllum aquaticum and Poa anua.
Fish/Animals
Ambystoma sp. (possibly A. lermaense), larvae of the genus Hyla and Cambarellus montezumae
Materials
It is mainly used plants that we can find naturally in this place