bam Demanding level

Ameca River, Jalisco, Mexico

Sponsored by

Mexico, Jalisco, Jalisco

With this aquarium, I would like to show a small part of the once magnificent wildlife of the Ameca River, for which I have chosen a species of fish that is now extinct in the wild, Notropis amecae. I have always wanted to work with these wonderful fish. I am so glad to be part of a small group of aquarists who keep and breed them.

The fish, which grow to just under 4cm, are housed in a 63-litre tank, which I have tried to arrange according to their needs. The substrate consists mostly of fine sand and pebbles, but there is also space for some roots and tree branches to illustrate a flooded part of the bank.

The filtration is provided by a hang-on external filter, which naturally moves the water surface, and the lighting is provided by a simple LED light. Most of the plants are seaweed, but there is also a Juncus hiding in the corner, imitating the shallow water. It was designed as a single-species tank to give me the best chance of breeding these beautiful creatures.

Submitted by
Anikó Csanadi
Approved by
Juan M. Artigas Azas, Jairo Arroyave & Michael Köck
20.5822334, -103.8488846
Geographical region
Central America
Drainage Basin
Ameca River basin
River catchment
Bahía de Banderas
Water body type
Water body name
Ameca River
Water body part
Flood plain
Water body course
Middle course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name
Ahuacatlán, Amatlán de Canas

Videos above and below water

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
24 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

12 mg/l
9 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen
90 %

Aquarium information

Aquarium description

Set-up date
April, 2023
Aquarium decoration

In my imagination the historical Ameca River was one of a kind with its unique inhabitants. Ameca shiner is not the only fish species that we can’t find in the wild anymore.

I tried to arrange the aquarium decoration (branches, pebbles, plants) to leave enough swimming space for the fish. The substrate consists of fine sand and pebbles. The pebbles are in different sizes and colours, rounded in shape. As I was trying to visualise a small flooded area, I also used smaller and larger tree branches and roots. In some places the algae has already covered the pebbles, giving a more natural effect.

The floating plants shade the water surface nicely and the flowing out water of the filter gives the water surface a natural movement. I have raised the substrate in the back two corners of the bottom part to model the unevenness of the riverbed near to the bank. I planted Juncus species in the back right corner of the aquarium to make it look like the land is close by.

Aquarium equipment
  • Filtration: Oase BioStyle 115 (with only sponge what I put in it . I remove the original filling, because I tought it’s not enough.)
  • Lightning: Sobo- Al 550P 24W (9h/d, from 1pm- 10pm)
  • Heating: There’s no heating in summer time, but in the colder seasons I won’t let the temperature drop down under 20°C.
Fish care

I try to give everything what the fish need to make them feel as comfortable as possible. I feed them twice a day in small portions. Their menu usually consists of live and frozen food, such as live baby brineshrimp, daphnia and deroworm, frozen red and white mosquito larvae. I give them liquid vitamins every week.

There are hiding places and a ‘playground’ with roots and branches. Ameca shiners are so active little fish and they like to chase each other under plants and roots. I keep five males and three females and I can’t wait to see the first fry.

The males are smaller and nice yellowish, the females are bigger in silver shine. The temperature is around 24-25°C in summer time. Ameca shiners are extinct in the wild (IUCN listed in 1996). Its closest relatives are the yellow shiner (Notropis calientis) and the Durango shiner (Notropis aulidion).

Plant care

I don’t keep very difficult plants, so they don’t really need a special care. There are Najas guadalupensis, Lemna minor and Ceratophyllum demersum. If they grow too long, I remove some of them and put them into the outside tanks.

Water care

The water in the aquarium is changed in every week – 30% weekly. I use tap water which stand in buckets not less than 24 hours. I check the water parameters every second week (pH, GH, KH).


60 cm
35 cm
30 cm
63 L

Substrate in aquarium

Stone form
Submerged terrestrial vegetation

Comment by the expert

Michael Köck: The creation of a flooded plain is done properly (though round pebbles usually do not occur in plains) and the used plants fit very well. I miss a bit the sunlight to help this great fish a bit “to shine” and tension. Taking in consideration that flooded plains are not the most exciting habitats to display and that the tank size puts limits, there could be played more with focal points, denser planted areas versus lighter and so on.
Juan M. Artigas Azas: Beautiful aquarium! I found very inspiring that an aquarium has been set up with the only intention to enjoy and preserve this modest species.

Jairo Arroyave: BAM includes only one species of fish, now extinct in the wild (Notropis amecae). Like in the case of the previous contestant, it would have benefited, for the sake of accuracy, from more species and diversity. Besides that and the fact that there was not BIN underwater visual documentation and therefore hard if not impossible to compare BAM with BIN (which is a BIG problem IMO), the BAM looks beautiful and seemingly close to a biotope in nature (does not seem very doctored or overly polished), which is a really nice feature.