#667: 106L Biotope Aquascape Igarapé do Daracua, shallow blackwater habitat in the Middle Rio Negro, near Barcelos, Brazil

Protim Sarkar Kolkata, India


This is clearly a well-constructed and carefully researched display and the aquascaper should be commended for their effort.

One criticism is that the display looks almost 'too fresh'. Perhaps more time should have been allowed for algae and detritus to develop on the wood and submerged leaves as in its current state it appears to have been very recently put together and thus provides a somewhat 'unnatural' feel.

Aside from this the display is a great way to showcase the marvellous ability of the Cardinal tetras to appear and disappear among the shadows and shafts of light and this creates a visual appeal and authenticity.

The display would have scored higher on overall condition had it been allowed to mature for a while longer before being photographed but it remains a solid effort.
— Tai Strietman

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 76 × 45 × 30 cm
Title Igarapé do Daracua, shallow blackwater habitat in the Middle Rio Negro, near Barcelos, Brazil
Volume 106L
Background The rear part of the aquarium which I have used is white vinyl. Backdrop and front consists of fallen green leaves of Bactris major just like in nature.
Lighting Spotlight 3 Watt placed at an angle 25º (1 piece, Warm Yellow Colour)
Filtration SOBO Hanging Aquarium Filter Pump 280L/H set to minimum flow with 250 grams of ceramic media and mechanical filtering blanket
Plants N/A
Animals 18 Paracheirodon axelrodi (Cardinal Tetra)
Materials My 106-litre aquarium contains 10 kg of extremely fine beige river basin sand that was gathered from a nearby river. In my tank, I’ve utilised a lot of botanicals. I put a lot of dried magnolia leaves on the sand bed. Jacaranda, Gouri fruit, Sterculia, Swietenia mahagoni, and Tucanorum fruits are some additional botanicals, fruits, and pods that I have used. The centre of attraction is the driftwood collected from my locality making the environment more welcoming for the fish which are constantly swimming through the roots in the dappled light.

All of this organic material releases a lot of tannin, naturally turning the water black, and also lowers the pH, maintaining it at around 4.0.
Additional Information In this 106L aquarium, the small part of the water forms the Igarapé do Daracua, shallow blackwater habitat in the Middle Rio Negro, near Barcelos, Brazil. I have introduced my Cardinal Tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi) which is a popular freshwater fish that is native to the Rio Negro basin and found in abundant in shoals in the Igarapé do Daracua.

The biotope project was designed to recreate the underwater landscape of the Igarapé do Daracua. For the floor, I have used extremely fine river basin sand and its roots and trunks exposed, this flooded forest tree, dying and fallen decaying leaves is what causes the large amount of organic debris to be present in their waters, turning them black and enhancing the Cardinal Tetras colours and iridescence. The fallen Bactris major palm leaf creating a backdrop just like in nature.

Since Cardinal Tetras are photophobic, dappled sunlight filtering from the leaves in the aquarium just like in Nature.

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