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What is an Amazonian Aquarium?
Basically, it means your aquarium will mimic the natural environments found in the Amazon. This is called an Amazon Biotope.
Check out this really great looking Amazon biotope tank by Biotope Aquarium.
In this post, you’ll learn about the key characteristics found in many of the Amazons 1100 rivers, streams, and lakes.
Let’s start with the water.
Amazon Water Chemistry
Most of the water found in the Amazon will be a darker color and have a pH range somewhere between pH 6.0-6.9. But in the slow-moving streams of the rainforest, it’s possible to see ranges around pH 4.5.
Most fish species in the Amazon will be able to thrive in a temperature range between 74-78 degrees F. But this can fluctuate depending on the time of year.
With that out of the way let’s look at some of the main types of biotope you can find in the Amazon.
Amazon Biotope Options
Because the Amazon River is so large and covers so much of South America there are many different types of biotope you could use in your aquarium.
Below is a list with a brief overview of each biotope.
When it comes to plants in an Amazonian Aquarium it’s important to know there aren’t a lot of plants found in the water. Instead, you would see more floating plants or plants located in the shallow streams and shores of the river.
This is because of the issue with the water conditions preventing adequate amounts of light getting to the plants.
That said there is still a wide range of plant species available for anyone looking to set up an Amazonian aquarium.
When you’re ready to get your hands dirty and start scapin’ you’ll give thought to just how you will recreate the natural look and feel of the Amazon.
To do this we recommend using lots of driftwood and rocks.
Why use Driftwood?
Driftwood is found all over the Amazon and actually serves a lot of purposes. Most Driftwood will release tannins which will lower the pH levels to help Amazon fish species thrive.
The tannins that are released aren’t bad for your water but it will give your tank that Blackwater, tea color. If you don’t like this “Yellow” water look try placing your driftwood in a bucket, fill it with boiling water every two days and wait until the water is more clear.
The driftwood will also help provide shelter and hiding places for smaller fish to help avoid some predatory fish found in the Amazon.
Your aquarium isn’t just for your fish, it’s also for you and you should want something visually appealing.
Rocks can help with that by adding depth to your tank. Place the larger rocks and some driftwood together until it looks good to you. You fish will also enjoy exploring, hiding and swimming through these areas of interest.
The Righ Substrate
When it comes to the substrate of the Amazon there are really only a few types to pick from. Pick the one that best represents the biotope you are trying to recreate.
Here they are;
Amazon Biotope Lighting Options
Lastly, you’ll want to consider the lighting you will use.
However, as we mentioned above the water conditions in Amazon don’t exactly provide the best lighting conditions.
Most of the streams and rivers are covered by overhanging rainforest, floating plants and covered in leaf debris letting very little light left to provide for plant life.
With that in mind finding an inexpensive LED light that will be suitable for most low light plants will work just great for your Amazon biotope aquarium.
Creating any biotope is a fun thing to do but creating an Amazonian Fish Tank will be a fun “Challenge” and you’ll learn how to provide for specific fish species and enjoy watching them live in their natural environment right in your home.