Authentic Biotope Aquarium
Lago Cuipeuá – Amazon
Tetra presents Heiko Bleher’s authentic
Biotope from the Lake Cuipeuá, Amazon, Brazil, sponsored by Tetra.
Habitat: This is a lake often confused in with the name Curipera. It is a smaller lake located west from the city Alenquer in the state of Pará in Brazil. There is a single native village of fishermen along its northern shore and the lake is surrounded by growth of large grass, which is submerged during high water period. There are some trees, but most of the area is deforested for cattle and buffalo farming. The lake connects with the Rio Curuá and other bodies of water in the Alenquer region during the floods. The discus and their mates, such as angelfishes, larger earth eaters and other cichlids, loricariids and large characoids live in such a biotope as shown, in very large groups. Aquatic vegetation is almost absent except for floating plants and some large Cyperus along the edges.
Fishes: Symphysodon haraldi – blue and brown (red) discus (50), Pterophyllum scalare (9); Geophagus sp. (2); Mesonauta sp. (11) and Loricariichthys sp. (5).
Plants: floating plants like Eichhornia crassipes, Pistia stratiotes, Utricularia species, Azolla caroliniana and many Ludwigia helminthorrhiza can be found. And some large Cyperus standing along the lakes edges.
Heiko’s comments: The Lago Cuipeuá has for years been confused (used) as Curipera, a lake that does not exist in the Alenquer region were these fishes are coming from. Here one can see that there is one alpha animaland also a fully striped male, called “Royal Blue”, and a more Cuipeuá-like brown, with some reddish colours. (The extreme reddish discus as often identified with the name Curipera, or by some now correctly as Cuipeuá, are very rare.) Cuipeuá is one of the few lakes were discus hide among the submerged grass during the lower water season and this is the only time (one month out of 12) that discus can be collected here. The fishermen circle the grass and catch an entire large group (one as shown). Here the discus can find lots of aquatic insects among the grass, algae and terrestrial insects and that is why they come here during that short period. A few angelfishes swim along most of the time as they feel protected within the large discus group, also Mesonauta species but more in the upper water region. Loricariids and cichlids dwell over the sandy ground, filtering out the sand (as discus do) for micro-organisms. In this authentic display one can see how discus live with their young – 48, almost one year old discus, with their parents (the fully striped and the red discus). The decoration is biotope-correct, as seen by me in Cuipeuá during raising water.
The chemical water parameters in the Lago Cuipeuá were from pH 6.53, the conductivity between 19µS/cm and temperatures from 26.3 – 26.9°C.
The following companies have contributed with materials and live stock:
Tetra: Filter and Filter material, foods and water chemistry.
Kölle-Zoo – Stuttgart: Décor elements – mangrove roots, stones and white fine sand as well as Aquaria white gravel 01-09mm.
Aquarium Dietzenbach: Fishes – the fishes have been collected by Heiko Bleher and the 48 discus bred by the German breeder Ireneus Bartmann.
Tropica: Plants – have been supplied by Tropica, Denmark
Idea and authentic biotope decoration: Heiko Bleher, Italy
This is an authentic lake Cuipeuá habitat below water – every species shows its brightest colour in the correct environment with correct lighting – paced in right angle (a fact mostly overlooked in general aquarium set up)