Interzoo 2008 – Biotope 6

Authentic Biotope Aquarium

Hubai Biotope – China


Tetra presents Heiko Bleher’s authentic
Biotope from the shore of the Changjiang river in Hubai, China, sponsored by Tetra.
Habitat: The formerly known as Yangtze River basin (Cháng Jiāng) is not anymore what is was a century ago. Almost all natural biotopes along this second largest Chinese river (and 3th in the world) are history, and specially after the giant construction of the largest hydroelectric dam the Three Gorges, is under construction. Normally there are slate-stones in layers and many rocky regions and white sand (as long as it is not polluted). In the lake areas some aquatic vegetation is still present, like water lilies, the cosmopolitan Ceratophyllum and Potamogeton species.    
Fishes: Myxocyprinus asiaticus, adult and young (26) and Schistura species (30).
Plants: Ceratophyllum demersum, Egeria densa and Potamogeton species can be found and in some lakes also Nymphaea species.
Heiko’s comments: The river, which is about 6 300 km long and has its source in the Qinghai Province flowing eastwards in the East Chinese Sea at Shanghai. In Hubai, west of Wuhan, after the Yangtze enters this province the river receives water from thousands of lakes, which all bear the only Asian catostomid fish species Myxocyprinus asiaticus, but also many other cyprinids, loaches, catfishes, etc. (all other members of the Family Catostomidae live in North America). The largest of these lakes is the Dongting Lake, which borders with Hunan. Unfortunately sand dredging in all lakes has become a mainstay of local economical development in the last few years (because of the incredible housing-boom in China). And the high-density dredging has been the principal cause of the death of local wildlife populations. Already more than 30% of the major tributaries like the Minjiang, Tuojiang, Xiangjiang and Huangpu are heavily polluted by massive quantities of ammonia, nitrogen, phosphorus and other pollutants causing continuous death of many species, and always significantly less fish catch. The Three Gorges dam is having a major adverse impact on the entire region and the biota is threatened by extinction – of which many already have become extinct but no one records these small fishes …

The chemical water parameters in this biotope were pH 7.3-8.5, the conductivity between 250-450µS/cm and temperatures from 14.5-28.7°C (in winter quite cold, in summer very hot).

The following companies have contributed with materials and live stock:

Tetra: Filter and filter material, foods and water chemistry.
Kölle-Zoo – Stuttgart: Décor elements: black slates and typical stone as well as Aquaria gravel and white sand 01-09mm.
Aquarium Dietzenbach: Fishes – the fishes have been collected again for Heiko Bleher and quarantined by Aquarium Dietzenbach, Germany.
Tropica:  Plants have been supplied by Tropica, Denmark
Idea and authentic biotope decoration: Heiko Bleher, Italy



6. Aquarium – 600 litre –

Heiko Bleher’s aquarium display of Hubai Biotope below water



With the right decoration, as in this Hubai natural Habitat, one can see (and learn) how the species, here Myxocyprinus asiaticus, dwell…


…guided by the parent fishes…


…they start and scrape algae and Aufwuchs from the authentic rocks



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