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South America River Biotope at Home Aquarium.

If you use the official wording, the word “biotope” comes from the Greek phrase, in which βίος means life as well τόπος - a place. A site of a certain geospace (land or water body) inhabited by a biocenosis. And the biocenosis, in turn, is a collection of animals, fungi, plants and microorganisms that historically live in one area.

Biotope aquarium "Amazonium"is presented in this image. Biotop aquarium can be seen in this photo.
Biotope "Amazonium".

In simpler terms, a biotope is a piece of wildlife in your home, in terms of its parameters as close as possible to its original. In our case, it is an aquarium that recreates life in one of the rivers of South America.  

Why biotope?

Today, there are an infinite number of types of aquariums, ranging from Betta fishes in glasses and ending with chic “Dutch auariums”, Japanese aquascapes and multi-ton aquariums with fish “monsters”.

But most of all I am attracted to aquariums, as close as possible to natural water bodies, are biotopes. It is clear that to recreate a piece of a certain place of a river or lake in my house is rather problematic. After all, even in a small river with a length of 300-500 km, the flora and fauna at the source and in the mouth will already be significantly different. And if you take the territory of the Amazon River Basin, which has just a huge area, then when creating a biotope, you need to specify the exact geolocation of the site, up to a meter. Otherwise, the home biotope will no longer match the original. Yes, and settle it according to all the rules is unlikely to succeed. After all, we will not add dragonfly larvae to the aquarium and plant mosquitoes under the aquarium cover. So from the point of view of aquarism, the biotope is limited to fish, crustaceans, plants, snails and, perhaps, water parameters (“black water”, hard, soft etc.)

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The idea of ​​creation.

I do not know why, but I am very attracted to various kinds of catfish in the aquarium. Especially come from of South America. This project was conceived for them. 

Process of creation. From A to Z.

Here I will post a series of my posts that you may have already read. But they were all written mainly for this project. Therefore, now all together. If you have any questions, just click on the topic and it will open in a new window without closing this one.

Aquarium and equipment.


I did not choose an aquarium for a biotope on purpose. Just started to equip one, standing in our kitchen. This is an aquarium on 112 liters from a Polish company WromakWith dimensions 80x35x40, and thickness of glass 6mm. By itself, the aquarium is not bad, albeit an economy class. The only thing I did not like is the cap. Because of its appearance and outdated type of lighting. Yes, and it cost as the aquarium itself. Therefore, I made the cover with LED lighting myself.


Heater set JBL ProTemp. It is good because it is fully immersed, has a plastic protective cover (catfishes-suckers can not burn themselves), and turns off when the water level in the aquarium falls. That is, it will not burst if you forget to turn it off from the outlet when changing water. 

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To control the temperature choose the right thermometer.

So, we figured out the light and temperature in the aquarium. Now filtering.


I decided to make a biotope completely without plants, so their role should be played by filters and fillers. They should be removed from the aquarium or kept within acceptable limits: ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and phosphates.

Therefore, for these purposes, two filters are installed. One internal, with sprinkler.

Other filteris hinged (hang on).

As the main fillter media used Seachem Matrix. It is universal, copes with everything at once, and has a lot of positive feedback.

And for phosphate excretion, i am using Seachem phosguard.

Aquarium design. 

As the main element of the design I decided to use a rather large snag. Which, however, stubbornly does not want to sink for the second week. Therefore, the design has not yet been fully completed. 

For maximum comfort of bottom dwellers, I decided to use a very fine, light cristobalite.

And in order to make the color of water as close as possible to the natural, so-called color “Black water”put in water almond leaves (cattapa), oak leaves and alder cones.


And now, actually, for whom everything was started.

  • Loricaria Rio Atabapo                            5 pc 
  • RineLoricaria Red (L010A) 2 pcs
  • Corydoras Panda                                  7 pc
  • Agassiz’s Corydoras                              6 pc
  • Corydoras venezuela orange 4 pcs
  • Neon tetra                                              5 pc
  • Neon tetra red 5 pcs

Some of them can be read separately.

Biotope. Video.

And some fishes you can see in the video with our biotope.

  • RineLoricaria Red on 0: 05 second.
  • Loricaria Rio Atabapo on 1: 48 second.
Biotope of the river of South America in the home aquarium.
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Biotope of the river of South America in the home aquarium.
Biotope of the river. How to recreate a piece of wildlife in a home aquarium. The whole process, from A to Z.
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