Blackwater Rio Atabapo Aquarium Biotope

Rio Atabapo Blackwater Biotope Technical Description: Blackwater Rio Atabapo aquarium biotope.

Dimensions of tank: 110 x 55 x 60 cm

Lighting: Spot spotlights LED 10W 2 pcs and T8 fluorescent tubes 2x18W

Filtration:  Eheim Classic 2217 and Tetra ex 800 plus.

Hardscape: Due to the fact that the river passes through the jungle there is a lot of driftwood and a lot of rotting organic matter on the bottom. As a result of this, the water becomes a black color stained with tannins.  Along the river, there are bare rocks, large and small boulders, which I tried to mimic.

Substrate: The substrate consists of white sand with a grain size of 0.1 to 1.5 mm.

Driftwood: The roots of trees are similar to those found in the biotope.

Water temperature: 28-30°C/82-86°F.  The temperature around the river ranges from 18 to 35°C/ 65 to 100°F. The hydrogen levels range from 3.5 to 5.5.

Rio Atabapo Blackwater BiotopeWater parameters: PH (acidity level) 5.5-6, the TDS (total dissolved solids) is 30 ppm, and the water is soft.


Altum angel- Pterophyllum altum

Other Suitable Fish:
Apistogramma sp.
Dicrossus sp.
Slender hemiodus – Hemiodus gracilis
Geophagus daemon- Satanoperca daemon
Mesonauta sp.
Crenicichla notophtalmus
Orinoco eartheater- Biotodoma wavrini
Cardinal tetra- Paracheirodon axelrodi

Plants:  Not applicable.  There are no plants in this biotope.

Biotope description: The Atabapo River is a blackwater river tributary of the Orinoco River. The river is 131 kilometers long and gets up to 1 km wide. The depth of the river gets down to 15 meters. The water from the river mainly comes from rainfall. There are heaps of boulders and a dense forest on both sides of the river.

by Daniel Czubkowski

Photos by  Daniel Czubkowski

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