Dimensions 122 × 61 × 79 cm
Title Igarapé Carajizinho near the connection of the Rio Caurés, Amazonas, Brazil
Lighting 2 x 36in Fluval planted 2.0
Filtration 2 x Hydor Professional 600
Animals Paracheirodon axelrodi, Hyphessobrycon rosaceus, Moenkhausia collettii , Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae Carnegiella strigata, Nannostomus eques, Nannostomus beckfordi, Hemigrammus hyanuary
Materials Substrate is a mixture of super fine sand and Tannin Aquatics Naturebase - Igapo substrate, followed by a layer of decomposed coconut coir and detritus, and lastly topped with a mix of leaf litter, small twigs, and a few seed Pods. Oak and bog wood was used to simulate trees.
Additional Information The Rio Negro and its extremely diverse mixture of fish species, and complex habitat has always been among my goals to recreate as a biotope aquarium. I have always been fascinated by the seasonal changes in aquatic environments, and how many of the common species we find in the aquarium trade behave while in the wild. As such I wanted to choose and create a biotope that would look and act like the real thing for these beloved fish species.
Closely located to the area where the Igarapé Carajizinho connects to the bend of the much larger Rio Caurés, which ultimately feeds to the great Rio Negro in the Amazonas state in north-western Brazil, close to Barcelos, Brazil. This biotope is based around a decomposing fallen tree, in an area of igapo with moderately raised water levels, with slight turbidity and tannic acid tint. The inundated forest floor surrounding this log, creates an integral seasonal habitat with an abundant source of refuge and available food within the leaf litter and botanicals for the many species of fish that move into these shallow botanical filled areas. The wood and thick layer of leaf litter produce important biofilms and optimal breeding grounds for microfauna that are a naturally occurring explosion of food for many of the small species of fish lurking between the coverage, while the foliage above water provides food in the form of unsuspecting insects that enter the water surface.
By recreating these naturally occurring sources of food, refuge, and water parameters; we can observe the native species behavior and health in the truest form and see the inhabitants sustainably flourish for a much longer period in their native habitat.
Inspiration and biotope example: