#659: 58L Biotope Aquascape River Riv at town Brayiliv, Ukraine

Valeriy Shylenko Vinnytsia, Ukraine


General Impression/Faithful Reproduction of Biotope:
The general impression of this biotope is that an attempt was made to include as many different types of plants and animals as possible in a relatively small space. If a glass box the size of this aquarium were dropped into the habitat it would most likely not encompass everything that is in here. This biotope has a lack of scale. Almost all of the plants represented grow in large aggregations but in this tank they are presented as specimen pieces. But keeping all of the species accurate to the locality is admirable with the exception of one naturalized invasive species that should have been omitted.

Accuracy of Plants and Animals for Biotope:
Ceratophyllum demersum - yes
Nuphar lutea - yes
Lemna minor - yes
Potamogeton lucens - yes
P. nodosus - yes but typically growing in still water
Stuckenia pectinata - yes
Elodea canadensis - naturalized invasive
Myriophyllum spicatum - yes
Spirogyra sp. - yes

Pungitius pungitius - yes
Cobitis taenia - yes
Physa fontinalis - yes
Lymnaea staglanis - yes
Planorbarius corneus - yes

Accuracy of Hardscape:
The materials used are on point though the problem of scale is seen here. Fallen wood stems and leaves tend to pile up in flowing waters so a better distribution would have been more of a jumble of material that so evenly distributed.

Overall the condition of this aquarium is presented well. The water is clear and viewing panes clean. The animals appear to be in good health. Plant growth other than the Spirogyro is not very robust.
— Ted Judy
It looks like you've done a great job collecting natural materials from your local river. Now you need to take a closer look at how those materials flow in relation to each other in the space. Remember that the flow of the water usually gives a directionality to the branches and other material on the bottom as well as to the plants themselves! My guess is that it might be easier to work in a longer less boxy aquarium if that is possible and consider a dark background or something that looks like the riverbank rather than your blue artificial-looking background. Look at some other entries in this contest over the years for ideas on how to make the backgrounds "disappear" in river scapes!
— Karen Randall

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 49 × 40 × 30 cm
Title River Riv at town Brayiliv, Ukraine
Volume 58L
Background blue paper outside the tank
Lighting 1 Led spotlight lamp (6500 K) 10 Wt, daytime period - 12 hours (11:00-23:00)
Filtration internal filter SunSun HJ- 611B, filtration material - sintepon
Plants Ceratophyllum demersum, Nuphar lutea, Lemna minor, Potamogeton lucens, Potamogeton nodosus, Stuckenia pectinata, Elodea canadensis, Myriophyllum spicatum L., Spirogyra sp.
Animals Pungitius pungitius (14), Cobitis taenia (4), Physa fontinalis, Lymnaea stagnalis, Planorbarius corneus
Materials oak and willow roots driftwood, silt and sand, small branches
Additional Information this entry represents one of local rivers in Ukrainian region Vinnytsia.
Local biotopes can be fun if you live in a civilized country, where nature is protected and people are a true part of it. But in my state, where poachers and local population destroy any ecosystem for money and fun, and laws cannot prevent nature destruction (they just don't work), such rivers as Riv near town Braїliv are the only remains of past richness of our nature.
For last 2 years I've been doing researches of regional biotopes and settle aquariums with our flora and fauna to show people the beauty, richness and uniqueness of nature. I do my best to awaken love in their hearts and conscience in minds. Those, who realize the beauty and vulnerability of our environment, will never harm nature anymore.

Some facts about my source of inspiration.
The river Riv is, perhaps, the only relatively unharmed piece of nature in my locality
It is shallow and narrow with slow current, rapids and sharp turns. Flora and fauna are rich, representing many species already extinct from most other rivers. River bottom consists of mixture of sand, silt and in some place granite stones. Willow, maple, oak and other trees, growing on banks, provide river with fallen leaves and driftwood.
In this river I still find spined loaches and water soldiers. But their populations are reduced, being replaced by invader species (pumpkinseeds, Chinese sleepers etc). Elodea and vallisneria plants are already considered local...

Water chemical parameters during this summer:
pH: 7.6-7.8
kH: 9-11
gH: 13-15
Water in aquarium has almost the same parameters to keep its inhabitants as comfortable as possible

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