Australian River & New Guinea River Biotopes

When we plan to set up a new aquarium, we often imagine the end result. The longer we engage in this hobby, the more demanding we have of ourselves, waiting for our imaginations to be accurately reflected in the future. Such a plan is very important as it determines the choice of species suitable for the particular environment that we are creating. Setting up the underwater world that your animals meet in nature is nothing more than creating a biotope aquarium.

Today we will focus on how to create the Australian and Oceania biotope aquarium. In aquaristics, the biotope of the Australian river or New Guinea river is most often recreated.

The largest river system in Australia is the Murray-Darling. Due to the continent's isolation, the number of freshwater fish species is small compared to the number of species found in rivers of similar size on other continents. Fish from the rainbow family, which are also found in New Guinea, dominate here. Much of Australia's rivers are periodic or episodic in nature and are called creek here. On continental islands such as New Zealand, the water network is dense and consists mainly of short, swift rivers with high water levels.

The suggested Australian river biotope represents the lower reaches of Australia’s largest rivers.To create a bottom resembling the wild one, use fine yellow-brown sand sprinkled with gravel in several places so that the gravel does not cover the sand at any point. You can use any type of substrate underneath - preferably a fine substrate enriched with plant nutrients. Any lighting will be okay here although some species don’t like excessive lighting (then you can reduce it or use some floating plants that should partially shadow the water surface). The water should be quite clear and the temperature should be between 25-28 Celsius degrees; ph 6-7. Plants from genus Vallisneria, Cryptocoryne, Baldellia and Lilaeopsis will be a great choice for this biotope. Fish occurring in Australian rivers that will fit perfectly to your new setup will be rainbowfish or fish from the Gobiidae family. For better arrangement effects you can use teak wood or stones.

The second biotope of this part of the world is the New Guinea river biotope. This one requires quite strong lighting and the water temperature 24-26 Celsius degrees, pH 6,5-7,1. . For this arrangement the flora should not be too dense. Even single vallisneria cuttings will make the atmosphere. As a substrate sand or stones are suitable although gravel is also okay. Rainbowfish and fork-tail blueye are native to Papua New Guinea so you can successfully breed them in the biotope aquarium. Pieces of wood or pebbles will certainly enrich the arrangement effect. 

Remember that it’s worth introducing some individuals that will join the Cleaning Crew which supports the filter’s work by eating e.g. algae and  food remains. For these biotops we suggest using a group of otocinclus which will reach almost every corner. If these ones did not find your interest, click HERE to look for more cleaning species.