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  Science > Biology > Animals > Aquariums
Lankomumo reitingas Print version Print version
Two Biotope Aquariums: Asia and Africa

Southeast Asia Backwater
Southeast Asia is home to many of the fish which are in most demand by hobbyists today. The backwaters of Southeast Asia are both slow-moving and thick with vegetation. Both above and below the waterline live many ferns and bamboos. The streams are packed with organic matter and stained brown by the iron rich red rocks that cover the bottom.

You can recreate this environment with the following guidelines:
pH 6.0 to 6.5
hardness: 100mg/liter CaCO3
temp 75 to 79 degrees

Bamboo Plant, Blyxa japonica
Giant Hygrophia, Nomaphila stricta

Recommended lighting:
3 watts per gallon of water

- laterite
- sand
- red gravel
- multi colored stones
- pebbles

Suitable Fish:
- Tiger Barb, Barbus tetrazona
- Siamese Fighting Fish, Betta splendens
- Clown Loach, Botia macracantha
- Zebra Danio, Brachydanio rerio
- Honey Gourami, Colisa chuna
- Dwarf Gourami, Colisa lalia
- Pearl Gourami, Trichogaster leeri
- Paradise Fish, Macropodus opercularis
- Red Tailed Black Shark, Labeo bicolor

The bottom layer of the substrate should contain iron rich laterite for the plant growth, topped with a mixture of sand and red gravel accented with larger stones and pebbles. Seachem's Flourite is a red clay gravel very suitable for this. To make things more interesting you can alternate to have some exposed areas of sand as well as gravel or rock, however the overall look of the substrate surface should be dark with a lot of red color. Broken pieces of red clay flower pots also make a nice accent. The over-all look you are striving for is tall, bushy plants in the background and sides, and a rocky foreground. This simulates the plants growing close to shore while the outer areas are littered with rocks.

Zaire River Rapids
The Zaire or Congo River in West Africa stretches for over 2700 miles and is fed by an enormous central basin that was once a lake. Many fish have adapted to life in the part of the river with heavy white water rapids. This is what we will re-create.

pH 7.0 to 7.5
hardness: 150mg/liter CaCO3
temp 77 to 80 degrees F

Anubias nana
Anubias lanceolata
Anubias frazeri
Anubias congensis
African Water Fern, Bolbitis heudeloti

Recommended lighting:
2 watts per gallon of water

Sand and large, smooth, rounded rocks

Suitable fish:
African Red Eyed Tetra, Arnoldichthys spilopterus
African Suckermouth Catfish, Chiloglanis cameroonensis
Ornate Catfish, Chrysichthys ornatus
Banded African Tetra, Distichodus sexfasciatus
African Glass Catfish, Eutropiellus "debauwi"
Butterfly Cichlid, Hemichromis thomasi
Congo Tetra, Phenacogrammus interruptus
Blockhead Cichlid, Steatocranus casuarius
Catfish, Synodontis robertsi, angelicus, brichardi, camelopardalis

Slope white sand up to the middle where you stack large round river rocks, worn smooth by constant water pressure. Arrange the plants in between and around the stones. Tall Anubias in the rear or ends, ferns and dwarf Anubias in the front.

by Robert Paul Hudson
from Robert's web site in Salem Oregon:

Lankomumo reitingas

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