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 …

Exploring aquatic biotopes in the Western Ghats | Mountain Streams to Mangrove Swamps

Chris Englezou Biotope 2 Comments

It is the middle of the dry season in the Western Ghats; I am here in the mountains of southern India at 3000ft above sea level on the border of two states, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and I am surrounded by dense jungle. The temperature during the day is not yet scorching but reaches somewhere in the region of 34°C, the canopy keeps me mostly shaded but at night the temperature drops by more than 20°C and it can be a shock to the system. My surroundings are dry but are quite reminiscent of my time in the Amazon except …

Corydoras Catfish | Pigment-patterns, behaviour, crypsis and habitats

Dr David Sands Biotope, Fish History, Uncategorised 5 Comments

In what feels like a lifetime ago, my hobby and science curiosity began by the sight of a little catfish rolling its eye. Soon to be known as a Corydoras, this catfish caught my interest as it was making its whiskered way around inside a friend’s aquarium. As a boy, most of my friends were keen anglers but my interest was only for colours and scale patterns of native fishes. Perhaps this partly has more to do with the fact I am, self-confessed, ‘The World’s Worst Angler’ and why I became a ‘fishkeeper’. In time, I learned there were very …

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 …

The natural habitat of Apistogramma hongsloi | A stream biotope along the Orinoco

Ivan Mikolji Biotope 1 Comment

I have been underwater in the same spot for more than an hour, over 500 images taken in the 3 square meters in front of me.  I am in Mikolji-land or what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “The Flow.” I start to hear a faint noise which breaks the underwater silence, I look around and notice it’s raining. I turn around and lie flat on my back on the river bed, looking up. I take an image of “underwater rain” or the pattern that rain creates when it strikes the water. The trees above make a super cool effect. I capture this …

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” …