Biotope Aquarium Design Contest
Let us present to you the final results of JBL Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2014, which was held November 26-29 in St. Petersburg, at ZooSphere 2013 exhibition.
5th Place – South America. Llullapichis River, province Huanuco, Peru
Ivan Frank (Zagreb, Croatia)
Biotope description: Llullapichis (Yuyapichis) River is a 52 km long white water river starting in Cerro Sirra and ending in Pachitea River in Huanuco, Peru close to the western slopes of the Andes. Because of blackwater creeks, rifts and palm swamps its water is almost always murky. Its current vary from very fast to slow. River bottom consists of sand, rounded stones, roots, branches and leaf litter with different plants. Corydoras like sand the most and such is shown in the aquarium. Other species living here are Ancistrus sp., Carnegiella marthae, different Nannostomus, Otocinclus and Apistogramma sp., etc. On southern bank of the river there is a famous research station Panguana. Like almost all rivers of Ucayali system this one is in danger of pollution because of gold extraction and logging.
Fish list: Corydoras panda, Prionobrama filigera, Rineloricaria sp.
Plants list: Echinodorus quadricostatus “magdalenensis”, Echinodorus parviflorus Tropica, Limnobium laevigatum, Myriophyllum mattogrossense, Pistia stratiotes
4th Place – Eurasia. Tamnang River, Si Phang Nga national park, Province Phang Nga, Southern Thailand
Vyacheslav Veriga (Vladivostok, Russia)
Biotope description: Tamnang River starts on the western slopes of the mountain range, flows through ancient rainforests and empties into the Andaman Sea. Typical decorations here are partly smooth stones, lots of live roots and driftwood. There are no aquatic plants here, except for the fern Microsorum pteropus, which often grows above the water because of the high humidity. Along with shallow rifts there are deep parts in the river where big barbel Neolissochilus lives. The river is home to smaller fishes: various carps, e.g., Puntius lateristriga, Puntius aurotaeniatus, and representatives of Devario species. They are good swimmers and do not avoid areas with a rapid current. Such place is shown in the aquarium.
Fish list: Devario cf. aequipinnatus, Puntius lateristriga
Plants list: Microsorum pteropus
3rd Place – North America. Subbasin of Valle Nacional River, Oaxaca, Mexico
Víctor Manuel Ortiz Cruz (San Lorenzo Cacaotepec, Mexico)
Biotope description: Valle Nacional River feeds the Papaloapan River (the second largest in Mexico). The shown biotope is a bank stream on Atlantic slope. On its bottom there are grayish and slightly reddish oval rocks and sand sometimes covered with organic matter and leaves from trees and plants growing on banks. Submerged roots and branches provide food and shelter for the fry of Thorichthys ellioti, which often cohabit with Cichlasoma salvini and Poecilia sphenops. Near the banks there are more wood and leaves on the bottom, while rocks are predominant near the middle with no organic matter in the current. There is almost no aquatic plants here, only small patches of Eleocharis sp., Fontinalis and Fissidens mosses and riverine grass in some parts of the river.
Fish list: Cichlasoma salvini, Thorichthys ellioti
Plants list: Eleocharis parvula, Fissidens fontanus, Fontinalis sp. “Willow”
2nd Place – Africa. Slow flowing forest duct of the Nun River basin, in the north of Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Svetlana Kirillova (Saint Pertersburg, Russia)
Biotope description: Nun River is the longest (160 km) continuation of the Niger River. The Nun River begins near the village of Aboh, where the Niger River splits in two, forming Nun and Forcados, flows through the rain forests, swamps and mangroves, and empties into the Gulf of Guinea. Flooding from monsoon rains lasts from June to September, then the water level drops, and in February, with the arrival of the flood waters from the Niger River, rises again. Forest rivers and streams of the Nun River basin are home to many species of fish and other aquatic organisms. Although oil production causes serious damage to the local nature, yet in clean rivers significant biodiversity can be found. Mainly semi-aquatic plants grow in places where sun can reach the earth surface through the trees.
Fish list: Gnathonemus petersii, Hymenochirus boettgeri, Pantodon buchholzi, Pelvicachromis pulcher, Chromaphyosemion bitaeniatum
Plants list: Anubias barteri angustifolia afzelii, Bolbitis heudelotii, Ceratopteris thalictroides, Crinum calamistratum
1st Place – Australia & Oceania. Burster Creek, Jardine River wetlands, Cape York, Queensland, Australia
Petra Bašić (Zagreb, Croatia)
Biotope description: Cape York peninsula is the largest unspoiled wild area in northern Australia and one of the last remaining ones on Earth. It has many swamplands with an extraordinary biodiversity of flora and fauna. The Jardine Complex with Jardine River is the largest wetland on the peninsula. Pseudomugil gertrudae and Iriatherina werneri are found in small creeks, swampy marshes and rainforest streams with a lot of plants, woody debris, leaf litter, and sandy or muddy bottom. Melanotaenia trifasciata occurs almost in every slow-moving water and clear river here. Dense vegetation protects these rainbowfishes from predators like Scleropages jardinii. This aquarium presents such place, small refuge for rainbowfish in wetlands around river Jardine.
Fish list: Iriatherina werneri, Melanotaenia trifasciata, Pseudomugil gertrudae
Plants list: Blyxa aubertii, Hygrophila corymbosa angustifolia, Limnophila aromatica, Nymphaea stellata, Riccardia chamedryfolia, Salvinia natans, Vallisneria nana