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 3 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, Biotopes of South America 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 …

Biotopes of Venezuela | The natural habitat of Apistogramma hongsloi

Ivan Mikolji Biotope, Biotopes of South America 3 Comments

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 …

Biotope Aquarium Set-Up at Maidenhead Aquatics, Melksham

Chris Englezou Biotope, Biotopes of South America, Community, Events 5 Comments

This weekend I had the pleasure and honour of been invited to Melksham by the aquatic chain store Maidenhead Aquatics to take part in the Wiltshire Plecos & Catfish Study Group gathering. The events are held at different times throughout the year in the aim of bringing fishkeeping enthusiasts of all levels together to provide educational talks and unite the community; they also are a great opportunity to ogle at some truly exceptional fishes and maybe even take a few home. The manager of Melksham’s branch is James Gulliver and with the help of Nick Ridout and the other members …

Lecture and Biotope Workshop for the British Cichlid Association

Chris Englezou Biotope, Chris Englezou, 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, Biotopes of South America, Chris Englezou, 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 …

Biotopes of Brunei | Aquatic Treasures in the Labi Jungle

Zaheer Afie Biotope, Biotopes of Borneo 2 Comments

On 17th February 2017, a 3 member team from the Brunei Biotope Group including myself set off on a journey into the jungles of Labi (located in South East of Belait District in Brunei Darussalam) in search of a tall waterfall known to locals as Wasai Belulok situated along the Belulok River (4°16’32.57″N, 114°25’29.45″E). The journey into the jungle started at approximately 12 noon, until 4pm. At the Belulok waterfall, within a 50 metre span of the stream, various species of fish and one species of aquatic plants can be found. Starting from the pool beneath the waterfall, only one …

Biotopes of Brunei | Ichthyofauna of the Teraja Falls

Zaheer Afie Biotope, Biotopes of Borneo Leave a Comment

On 18th March 2017, we, Brunei Biotope Group, were off again on another journey into the Labi jungle of Brunei in hopes of finding something exciting. On this trip our group of four people were heading towards Teraja Waterfall, a widely known fall along the Sungai Teraja which is frequented  by many tourists, especially those which like to go on jungle adventures here in Brunei. We started our journey from Seria Town at 09:00 AM and we had arrived at the Teraja Longhouse at about 11:00 AM. As we arrived at the Teraja Longhouse, we informed the Iban people (head …