South American Blackwater Stream

By Rhett Butler


A biotope aquaria is an aquarium that is set-up to simulate a natural habitat. The fish, plants, water chemistry, and furnishings are similar to those that can be found in a specific natural setting.

Always check compatibility! Some species from a particular habitat are not suitable tankmates. For example, the Peacock Bass will eat small tetras since they are their natural food in the wild.

The biotope aquarium can be adapted by adding species from disparate areas that have similar water requirements.

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[Photos from various habitats/biotopes]

Freshwater fish species listed by country and ecosystem -- excellent resources for constructing biotope aquaria.

South American Blackwater Stream

Click to enlarge

Discus Biotope Aquarium

Angelfish Biotope Aquarium

Angelfish Biotope Aquarium

Rio Negro, Brazil

Rio Negro, Brazil


South American Blackwater Stream

Blackwater ponds, creeks, and rivers originate in the rain-forest. In the slow-moving waters, acids are leeched from decaying vegetation creating very transparent, tea-colored water. These waters have almost no measurable water hardness and an acidic pH.
The substrate in blackwater habitats is typically leaf litter over a base of fine clay or sand. Decaying wood and plant matter is common especially in flooded igapo forest. There are many submerged terrestrial plants, many of which retain most of their leaves.

Rio Negro

pH: 4.5-6.5, 0-4 dH, 81-86 F (27-30 C)

Furnish the tank with bog wood and a dark, fine gravel substrate.
There can be subdued lighting and still water.
Peat filtration is recommended.

Sword plants, Heteranthera, Ceratophyllum, Vallisneria, Cabomba

Discus, Angelfish, Dwarf Cichlids, Tetras, Hatchetfish, Corydoras, Farlowella, Loricarids.

Blackwater River: Brazil, Venezuela, Rio Negro (Brazil), Rio Negro (Brazil), Rio Negro (Brazil), Rio Negro (Brazil), Mixing of Waters - Rio Negro and the Amazon, Mixing of Waters - Rio Negro and the Amazon, Brazil, Brazil, Rio Negro Beach, Rio Negro Beach.
Blackwater Lake: Brazil,
South American Blackwater Creek Mountain blackwater creek: Venezuela, Venezuela, Venezuela.
Blackwater creek: Venezuela
Igapo: Brazil, Brazil, Brazil, Brazil, Brazil, Brazil.

Altum Angelfish Biotope Aquarium Pictures
Discus Biotope Aquarium Pictures


Other Biotope Resources