Authentic Biotope Aquarium

Lower Niger River, Nigeria


Habitat: an area north-west of Port Harcourt in Nigeria, backwaters of the Niger River. Biotope: marmelstone along the shore almost cascade-like, fine sand, some drift wood. Aquatic vegetation consists of only few varieties as shown here – in most areas plants they are completely absent. The biotope created is authentic to the habitat of the species shown.

Fish species: Gnathonemus petersii; Brienomyrus species; Arnoldichthys spilopterus; Alestes longipinnis; Pantodon buchholzi; Xenomystus nigri; Parachanna obscura; Synodontis eupterus; Synodontis species; Pelvicachromus pulcher.

Water plants
Crinum calamistratum and C. natas; Bolbitis heudelotii.    

Heiko Bleher‘s comment: the Niger River Delta is rich on aquatic biomass and mostly fishes. It is not as rich on species but still during the dry season abundant fishes can be found (if the oil spill from recent times will not be repeated).  The longnose elephant fishes as well as round nose species live here in large groups, none of the two are solitary fishes and should always be kept in groups. Also both live over sandy ground as they find their food in it (by digging with their “long“ or “shortnose“ deep into it). This behaviour is similar to taht  Corydoras species in South Anmerica and of members of the Gymnotiformes. Predators live next to peaceful fishes very well and dwarf cichlids even lay their eggs – naturally garding and protecting these carefully. The pH averages between pH 5.8 and 6.8 and the conductivity value from 32 to65. The temperature fluctuates little between day-time and night-time from 25.5°C (lowest measured near the surface) and 28.5.°C (highest value taken at 2.30PM from about 10 cm below the surface).


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