Interzoo 2008 – Biotope 3

Authentic Biotope Aquarium

Nan River – Thailand


Tetra presents Heiko Bleher’s authentic
Biotope from the Nan and Lop Buri rivers, affluents of the Chao Phraya in Thailand, sponsored by Tetra.
Habitat: The Nan river is the spawning grounds of a very unusual freshwater fish often confused with its marine relatives: Polynemus paradiseus  (and P. multifilis). This unique species needs plenty of room to swim, as it never stops or rests. Lives over sandy ground and migrates up into the Nan River in Thailand to spawn, were there is some aquatic vegetation and also many floating plants and bushed along the riverside. In its habitat live several other fish species, like of the genus Bagarius, Hemibagrus, Yasuhikotakia (former Botia like Y. modesta) and other ground dwelling species, also the sole Brachirus aenea, which migrates together with the so called Paradise Threadfin (P. paradiseus).
Fishes: Polynemus paradiseus (1), P. multifilis (2) and Brachirus aenea (20).
Plants: Floating plants such as Eichhornia crassipes, Pistia stratiotes, and Cryptocoryne species like C. albida and C. crispatula var. balansae, some Crinum thaianum, Hygrophila corymbosa and Hygrophila polisperma as well as Hygroryza aristata (also floating).
Heiko’s comments: Thailands largest river, the Chao Phraya, is supplied by four larger river systems and the Nan is the most eastern of all and big part of its surrounding area has been logged. Very few trees are left. Unfortunately there is the spawning ground of this unique fish, which is long been described (and 5 species are known, also the very similar and sympatric migrating P. multifilis), but had never been introduced into the hobby until my first collecting, which was near the village Nakorn Sawan (today a city) in the early 1970s. And I discovered also that it is a freshwater fish and if kept correctly it is a unique jewel for any larger aquarium. This fish needs a lot of open space to swim freely and be feed mostly with live foods, or frozen. There is practically no other freshwater fish like it. To associate with other fishes, I suggest only bottom living species, like these soles. 

The chemical water parameters in the Nan river were from pH 6.0-6.9, the conductivity between 38-92µS/cm and temperatures from 27.5 – 28.9°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: stones and white fine sand 01-09mm as well as Aquaria white gravel 2-4mm.
Aquarium Dietzenbach: Fishes – the fishes have been collected this time for Heiko Bleher and imported and quarantined by Aquarium Dietzenbach, Germany.
Tropica:  Plants have been supplied by Tropica, Denmark
Idea and authentic biotope decoration: Heiko Bleher, Italy



3. Aquarium – 600 litre –

Heiko Bleher’s aquarium display of Nan River Biotope below water





Polynemus paradiseus (top) and P. multifilis (below) in their natural decorated aquarium according to their Nan River habitat

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