#728: 43.6L Biotope Aquascape Wet Season in the Forested Banks of "Igarape do Daracua"

Alex Wenchel Alexandria, United States


Excellent biotope presentation in a small aquarium. The impression of depth is incredible and the aquarium looks much bigger. Although an aquarium without plants may seem easy to put together in this case you can see how much attention is needed to the details.
— Petra Bašić
This is quite nice. I just wish you had not put the straight vertical sticks along the back. They do not look natural!
— Karen Randall
The idea of a flooded forest is a popular design technique of recent years. Nevertheless this aquarium looks quite individual. I would have placed soil on the bottom not sand. Sand is not the ground you expect to see in a submerged forest. In my opinion this aquarium didn't have enough time to look more natural.
— Yuriy Yancher
This biotope drew my attention right away. It looks almost identical to the places I swim in down in the Amazon. I would have just chosen a slightly bigger aquarium to balance the amount of organic matter and water ratio.
— Ivan Mikolji

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 61 × 36 × 20 cm
Title Wet Season in the Forested Banks of "Igarape do Daracua"
Volume 43.6L
Background The wall behind the tank is covered in a brown vinyl.
Lighting The tank is lit with eight small spotlights to provide directional lighting.
Filtration UNS Delta 90 canister filter with in-line heater
Plants No living plants are in this setup.
Animals 12 cardinal tetras, Paracheirodon axelrodi
Materials Hardscape is made up of dead bald cypress saplings and a small dead sugar gum tree cut dug up from my backyard and cut into pieces to simulate several small trees. The leaf litter is primarily willow oak leaves with a few other simple leafed plants mixed in for variety. This is closest approximation to the leaf size and shape found in this flooded forest and lasts several months before needing to be replaced.
Additional Information I visited this site several years ago and was struck by how accurate the phrase "flooded forest" can be. While the deep portions of "Igarape do Daracua" were a tangled mix of decaying leaves and branches, in the extreme shallows, cardinal tetras calmly swam through the small flooded trees and saplings that are only submerged during the wettest part of the rainy season. I found that a traditional LED lightbar failed to capture the directional shadows you see in this forest, and instead opted for 8 small spotlights. This created a backlit effect on the tree trunks, but also allowed me to mimic the dark patches of the flooded forest where dense foliage has absorbed all the available light. Because this area of the stream has extremely low flow, the fish do not swim directionally, and because no large predators can make it into these shallows, they do not swim in tight schools but instead in chaotic masses of hundreds of individuals.

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