In the blog “What is Biotope Aquatics: How authentic are the aquariums really? “, we have given you a short introduction to this special style of aquatics and presented the three-part series.
Let’s start with the winner of the world championship 2017 ( BADC 2017 ). I must admit that when I first looked at the aquarium photos, I was not sure if it was an underwater photo of the area or an aquarium. Our JBL expedition in 2009 took us directly to Barcelos ( Expedición Brasil ) and for the first time we saw millions of red neons in their natural habitat. In fact the animals there live under really hostile conditions: The water is extremely acidic with a pH of just above 4. They have little food, because in such a water not even mosquito larvae want to live there.
The exciting thing about this world championship aquarium is that Stjepan Erdeljic from Croatia managed to reproduce this inhospitable area in an absolutely impressive aquarium. We’re guessing he’s never been there, but has researched a lot on the Internet and possibly consulted Heiko Bleher's book "Biotope" and then he must have spent a lot of time with its design. With a bit of JBL Tropol in the water it becomes slightly tea-coloured, as happens with natural blackwater. The catappa leaves ( JBL Catappa XL ) simulate the fallen foliage. Please do not use oak leaves, because there are NO oak trees to be found in any tropical country in the world! The light sandy ground was an accurate choice, because the brown or black soil, we often choose for optical reasons, only naturally occurs in volcanically active regions such as Galapagos or Tenerife, but not in the Amazon Basin or the African rift valley lakes. Stjepan arranged the wood with such authenticity, it’s as if you are taking a look under the water surface. I take my hat off to an artist like this, whose aquarium will prove an inspiration to many!