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Biotope Aquarium Tutorial

How to create a biotope aquarium?

Creating a biotope aquarium isn't an easy thing to do! You will have to start with a region in the world. The smaller the region, the more difficult it will be. Besides that, it will also get more expensive. As this is just a tutorial, we will use an easy example here, and we'll try to create an Amazon biotope aquarium. As an assumption you already have a normal community tank, with plants and fish from all over the world.

The first thing to do is research. Make a list of all the plants and fish that are in your posession, and determine where they are from, and which watervalues they require. Then mark all the ones that are suitable to place in your new biotope setup.

Species Where from: Temperature pH Hardness
Angel fish, Pterophyllum scalare South Amerika, Amazon river, Peru, Equador 24-28 6-7.5 4-20dGH
Congo Tetra, Phenacogrammus interruptus Afrika, Zaire 24-27 6-7 4-18 dGH
Clown Loach, Botia macracantha Indonesia, Sumatra and borneo 25-30 6-6.5 below 5 dGH
Corydoras trilineatus South Amerika, Peru 22-26 6-7 4-18 dGH, max 10KH
Papiliochromis ramirezi, Ram South Amerika, Venezuela, Colombia 22-26 6-7.5 3-15dGH
Javafern, Microsorium pteropus Tropical SE Asia 20-28 5.5-7 KH 2-12
Amazon Sword, Echinodorus parviflorus South America, Peru/Bolivia 22-28 6-7.8 KH 2-15
Anubias barteri West Afrika 22-28 6-7.5 KH 2-15
Vallisneria spiralis Europe/North-Afrika
Cosmopolitan by human spreading
15-30 6.5-7.5 KH 5-12





fish descr

If you look at the hypothetical list(The values are the actual values) you can see that the yellow marked lines could be used to setup your biotope tank. There may be some discussion about the vallisneria, and if Rams belong in a Amazon biotope, and this is something for you to decide. To shut up any criticasters, just change the name of your biotope to South Amerika biotope. If your most beloved fish are the Clown loaches, and you do not want to part from them, then stop now, or create a SE Asian biotope.

Why this whole list with all those watervalues? If you look at the temperature column now, you can see that the fish and plant we currently selected, can only be kept together at 24-26 degrees. If the temperature is lower, your Angelfish won't be treated properly. Any higher than 26, and the Corydoras and the Rams will get in trouble. The same for the pH and Hardness, take the lowest high, and the highest low to determine which values are possible. In this case the pH can vary between 6.5 and 7, 4-15 dGH, and KH 5-12.

With these values the tank can be created. Sell or give away the other fish, but leave the plants in the tank until you have proper replacements for them. With the above list of possible values select fish and plants from the biotope that you would like to add to the tank from a book. Recreate your tank setup a bit, change to peat filtration, or add KH+ untill the watervalues are the ones you desire. Then the hardest part starts, finding the right plants and fish, and creating a nice looking tank with the selection you made!


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