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Central American Lowlands -- Livebearer Biotope

By Rhett Butler

BIOTOPE AQUARIA

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.

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Central American Lowlands -- Livebearer Biotope
Refugio de Vida Silvestre Cuero y Salado, Honduras
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In 2004 I visited The Refugio de Vida Silvestre Cuero y Salado in Honduras. This refuge is comprised of 13,225 hectares of mangrove-covered wetlands and lowland rainforest.

Around the refuge is a large area of seasonally flooded pastureland in addition to drainage canals and ponds. In these fresh and brackish-waters I found a number of livebearers including black and gray mollies and mosquitofish. The water temperature varied from 79-86F (26-30C).

The substrate of these ponds is sand and vegetation consists of floating Water hyacinth.

The water is tea colored but very transparent.

WATER:
pH: 7.5-8.0, 15-25 dH, 75-86 F (24-30 C)

TANK:
Use a dark-colored substrate of sand or fine gravel. Pieces of driftwood or bogwood can be used along with scattered floating plants (ideally water hyacinth). Lighting should be bright.

PLANTS:
Vegetation consists of water hyacinth and grass.

FISH:
Short-finned Molly - Poecilia sphenops [Pictures]

Black Mollies
Swordtail - Xiphophorus helleri [Pictures]
Mangrove molly -- Poecilia orri
Porthole livebearer -- Porthole livebearer "Occurs in irrigation canals" [quote: FishBase.org]
Yucatan goby - Gobiosoma yucatanum "Known from rivers, estuaries and inland lagoons" [quote: FishBase.org]
Ariidae Catfish


For other ideas, see Fishbase - Honduras listing or a broader broader look at Central American Fish

PHOTOS:
Honduras Cuero y Salado Photos
Molly Habitat, Honduras