Biotope Aquarium 101: An authentic Western Ghats biotope for the endangered Zebra Loach

Jeroen Vanhooren Biotope, Conservation, Uncategorised 3 Comments

Koyna River is one of the five Indian rivers which find their source at the Pachaganga Temple in Mahabaleshwar within the Sahyadri mountain range (also known as the Western Ghats); they’re also home to one of India’s few evergreen forests. This range forms a barrier to the Deccan Plateau for the monsoon winds and as the clouds are forced to rise when they meet the mountains, this leads to large amounts of rain fall, particularly during the rainy season (June till September) and give rise to the formation of rainforests. The area is known as one of the most biodiverse places …

Biotope 101: An authentic upper Rio Araçá biotope for Rummynose and Cardinal tetras

Jeroen Vanhooren Biotope, Uncategorised Leave a Comment

The Rio Araçá is an affluent of the Demini River, which is a tributary of the Rio Negro. The Araçá is a 390 km long blackwater river originating high up on the Serra Tapirapeco Mountain in the forests of the Guianas and flows through the Serra do Araçá, a state conservation unit near to the border between Amazonas and Roraima states.  The river is also situated in the wider area of the Yanomami Indigenous Territory, within which the indigenous Yanomami and Ye’kuana (The Canoe People) reside. In the centre of the Serra do Araca can be found the Cachoeira do El Dorado …

Recreating the Atabapo | Biotope Seminar & Workshop in Malta

Chris Englezou Biotope, Community 5 Comments

Last week I flew over to the beautiful Mediterranean island of Malta as an invited guest to speak at the “Journey into an Aquarium” seminar which took place at the National Aquarium Malta.  This event was organised by Andy Bugeja of Aqualine Malta, the Maltese distribution agent for Naturekind Advanced Fish Food and featured some other great speakers also including Chris Ingham (Author of the book Discus World), Tristan Camilleri (Director of the Malta Aquaculture Directorate) and Raymond Caruana (The Killifish Conservation Project).   I had the pleasure of being able to speak in great detail with the aquariums curator Daniel …

ram cichlid biotope

Biotope Aquarium 101: An authentic Rio Meta biotope for Ram Cichlids & more!

Jeroen Vanhooren Biotope Leave a Comment

The Rio Meta is a whitewater western side tributary of the Rio Orinoco which traverses through eastern Colombia. It’s source originates in the Cordillera Oriental (also known as the Eastern Ranges), the most sizeable branch of the Colombian Andes. It travels right across the region of Orinoquia and Los Llanos Orientales (the Eastern Plains) where it forms the Meta River Plain and moves into southern Venezuela at Antioquia, where it begins to form the border between the two countries. It forms it confluence with the Orinoco River at at Puerto Carreño. The waters eventually culminate at the Orinoco delta releasing vital nutrient-rich sediment into the Atlantic ocean …

Biotope Aquarium 101: An Australian billabong biotope for Rainbowfish, BlueEyes & Gudgeon

Jeroen Vanhooren Biotope 4 Comments

This biotope aquarium simulates the transitional zone between the edge and the deeper parts of a permanent billabong near Nimrod creek in the Wenlock river basin. A billabong is more commonly known as an oxbow lake and is formed when the path of a creek or river changes, leaving the former branch behind.  These billabongs can have different characteristics, from permanent to temporarily, freshwater to saline, shallow to deep. Nimrod Creek is a tributary of the Wenlock River with a length of almost 70 km and is one of the largest tributaries of Wenlock River. Wenlock River is situated in …

The birth of the wild aquarium | a tool for conservation

Chris Englezou Biotope, Conservation, Uncategorised 1 Comment

Almost five years ago, artist and river explorer Ivan Mikolji uploaded a video to the infamous video sharing site Youtube which would change the direction of the aquarium hobby forever, sparking a new wave of interest in nature and natural aquarium fishkeeping.   To an outsider, a non-fish-keeper, the “Wild Aquarium” series may initially come across as the work of an outlandish artist or an eccentric and lateral interpretation of a fish tank that they may deem unnecessary or just confusing. But the truth of the matter is that behind the creativity, the artistry and the millions of internet views… is …

Biotope Aquarium 101: An authentic Guyana biotope for the Golden Dwarf Cichlid

Jeroen Vanhooren Biotope Leave a Comment

The origin of the Demerara River is comprised in majority by the confluencing of the Kuruduni, Kuruabaru and the Mauri Rivers and lays in the rainforests of the Makari Mountains in the “Upper Demerara-Berbice” region of eastern Guyana. It acts as the dividing line for the regions of “Essequibo islands-West Demerara” to the west and “Demerara-Mahaica” to the east and its flow moves northward eventually spilling into the Atlantic Ocean at Georgetown, the country’s capital.  The last stretch of the Demerara lies in the flat alluvial coastal plain and is host to a great deal of economic activities and trading …

Lecture and Biotope Workshop for the British Cichlid Association

Chris Englezou Biotope, Community, Events Leave a Comment

This past weekend I had the distinct privilege to be invited to speak at the British Cichlid Association summer convention at the Brittania Hotel in Wigan. I was also asked to do one of my biotope aquarium workshops which teach fish keepers how to recreate a natural aquatic habitat in their aquarium using only biotope-correct species and decor. The event had a humble attendance including some of the most reputable fish keepers in the country, some of whom it was an honour to have listen to my thoughts and experiences. My talk was entitled “Pterophyllum altum and the other angelfishes” …

Rio Nanay biotope workshop at Maidenhead Aquatics in Melksham

Chris Englezou Biotope, Community, Events 4 Comments

This weekend I was invited once again over to Melksham by Maidenhead Aquatics to demonstrate another authentic biotope aquarium set-up. On my last visit here I showed how to recreate the Rio Atabapo during the high water season and this time after consulting with the Maidenhead team about what options we could work with, I gave my suggestions and once the fish list was confirmed, I decided on a biotope aquarium based on a lake along the Rio Nanay in the dry season.  The team at Melksham went right out of their way to try and ensure we had some interesting …

Biotope Aquarium 101: An authentic Indragiri River basin biotope for Clown Loach

Jeroen Vanhooren Biotope 2 Comments

Creating a home for the beloved Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus) is no easy feat, information on their natural habitat is scarce (even on the vast internet) but it is a challenge and I dread to think of the amount of Clown Loach lives that would have been saved but for an article such as this one… The Indragiri River is located in the Indonesian province of Riau and is formed from at the confluence of the Ombilin River and the Sinamar River; at it’s delta it empties into the Strait of Malacca which is a narrow channel located between the …