Biotopes of Brunei | Life in the Blackwaters of the Badas Peat Swamp

Zaheer Afie Biotope, Biotopes of Borneo Leave a Comment

On 30th March, 2017, for the 1st time I went to a Peat Swamp in Brunei. At around 9.15 AM , members of the Brunei Biotope group met at the entrance of Badas road which only leads to a Badas Water Pump Station(located about 7.5 km from the entrance of the road via Lumut-Seria Highway) at the end of the road, formerly, it had railroad tracks used when Brunei was still under British protectorate, but now about more than 90% of the tracks have been disassembled, whereas the rest are currently either rusting in the Peat swamp, or already submerged. …

Current status of the Mediterranean Killifish (Aphanius fasciatus) in Malta | A Complex Conservation Question

Chris Englezou Chris Englezou, Conservation 4 Comments

Between the 21st-26th March 2017 I had the opportunity to visit each of five known localities for the Mediterranean Killifish Aphanius fasciatus on the island of Malta. The Killifish is locally known as “Buzaqq” and has historically inhabited brackish to hypersaline habitats at Marsa, Marsaxlokk, Marsaskala, Salini and Għadira. Salini The population at Salini are the only remaining natural population still residing in their natural habitat, but this habitat has been heavily altered since it was constructed into a large salt pan area by the knights of St John in the 16th century. It is still maintained to this day for …

Biotopes of Brunei | The Jewels of the Karamunting Hills

Zaheer Afie Biotope, Biotopes of Borneo 2 Comments

Today, 30th April 2017, the Brunei Biotope Group embarked on another exploration trip, this time to the Bukit Karamunting (Karamunting hill), a public hiking locale connected to several other hiking trails in the area; it is situated in Subok Village. Accompanying me on this short trip was my friend and fellow member of the group, Ismail Mourad. The journey started off at around 7am in the morning, we met at Ismail’s house in Subok, the track that we planned to take was only a few hundred metres from his house and so we proceeded to walk to the bottom of …

Biotope Aquarium 101: An authentic Sri Lankan rainforest biotope for Cherry Barbs

Jeroen Vanhooren Biotope, Uncategorised 2 Comments

This aquarium simulates a riverbank in a small stream of the Nilwala basin at an elevation of around 200m above sea level. At this elevation Pethia nigrofasciata and the Cherry Barb Puntius titteya can be found together, they are endemic to the wet zone in south western Sri Lanka and inhabit lowland tropical rainforest streams. Huge amounts of rainfall occur in the wet zone because of the monsoons between March and August. Due to the fact that the island has been isolated for a long while and due to the moist, warm climate, there is a very high rate of endemism, …

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

Jeroen Vanhooren Biotope, Biotopes of South America, 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, Chris Englezou, 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, Biotopes of South America 1 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 5 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, Chris Englezou, 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 …

Biotopes of India | The Western Ghats, Mountain Streams to Mangrove Swamps

Chris Englezou Biotope, Chris Englezou 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 …