bam medium level

Flooded Savanna, Capanaparo river, Venezuela

Sponsored by

Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of, Apuré

The habitat present both free swimming and fully covered areas by both submerged and floating vegetation that shield from the current and provide shelter. Both green (mostly from Eichhornia genus), and orange-red plants (Ludwigia inclinata) are present.

The water is clear and very little acidic. The sandy bottom is covered by debris and organic matter and is an important source of organism for the young Mikrogeophagus ramirezi diet. A school of Petitella rhodostomus swim in the middle of the water always looking for easy food. They are used to spy Mikrogeophagus ramirezi during their search for live food from the organic debris.

Submitted by
Daniele Maxia
Approved by
Heiko Blessin & Nathan K. Lujan
7.0226111, -67.5814133
Geographical region
South America
Drainage Basin
Capanaparo drainage
River catchment
Orinoco river
Water body type
Water body name
Flooded Savanna of western llanos
Water body part
Flood plain
Water body course
Middle course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name
Rio Capanaparo

Videos above and below water

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
26-30 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

4-6 mg/l
3 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen

Aquarium information

Aquarium description

Set-up date
June, 2017
Aquarium decoration

The bottom consists of a layer of peat (2cm) covered with a thick layer (3-5cm) of amber quartz sand (for aquarium use and similar to that shown in video showing the natural biotope), currently partially naturally covered with organic debrys (natural deposit produced by the aquarium) and plant debrys (collected in nature): fallen leaves and broken branches similar to those shown in video from the natural biotope, Fabaceae pods similar in shape to those of Erythrina sp.), palm fiber. Hard-scape consists of a few wooden pieces and roots.

Aquarium equipment


  • 150w “Mars Hydro TS 1000 Full Spectrum LED” (21010 lumens). Photoperiod is 10 hours (set for comfort 10:00-20:00).


  • external 3-stage filter: mechanical filter-media (coarse, fine), biological media. Delivery pump 2700 L/ h (Sicce Syncra 3.0) which provide a real water-flow of about 1000 L/h. In/out filter system consist on transparent (unmovable) pipes ,pvc pipes passing through the bottom of the tank and grey pvc junctions (hidden by plants).


  • external in-line heat exchanger (Hydor ETH 200) set at 26 °C which is turned on only in winter season.

Other Equipment:

  • CO2 cylinder system (turned off in last years) with a Solenoid valve (Whimar) and an external in-line diffuser (JBL ProFlora Direct). CO2 had been erogated from 12:00 to 18:00 (two hours after light was turned on and until 2 hour before light was turned off) in very low amount which never had reached 15mg/L in order not to intoxicate the fishes.
Fish care

In order to simulate natural habitat, microinvertebrates colonies are weekly restored into the aquarium by fresh inoculums from indoor cultures of Tubifex, Ostracods and Cyclops. All these organism are naturally hunted by M. ramirezi’s which love to catch live food from the debris. Sometimes these live organism are also eaten by tetras, which, always looking for easy food, spy Mikrogeophagus ramirezi during the hunt.

The fish diet include also frozen food (Artemia, Chironomus, Tubifex, Cycloops all from Amtra brand) granulat (Tropical Micro Pellets, Tropical SuperVit Granulat) and flakes (Ocean Nutrition Spirulina Flakes, Ocean Nutrition Discus Flakes)


  • Petitella rhodostomus 10
  • Mikrogeophagus ramirezi 4
Plant care

Fertilization were optimized in order to maintain a low nutrient content which drop to zero after one day from its dosing. Single salt fertilizers solutions (prepared from pure compounds) are dosed:

  • Iron gluconate, potassium nitrate, potassium dihydrogen phosphate, potassium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, trace elements (Cu, Mn, Mo, Zn, B) mix solution.


  • Eichhornia azurea
  • Eichhornia diversifolia
  • Helianthium tenellum
  • Helanthium bolivianum subsp. angustifolius
  • Ludwigia inclinata
  • Eleocharis acicularis
  • Sagittaria sp.
Water care

Transparent water obtained by adding buffers to RO water: mineral salts and low concentrated fertilizers. Fertilization were optimized in order to maintain a low nutrient content which drop to zero after one day from its dosing.

Temperature: 27.6 ° C (year average, minimum at 26 °C from November to May, maximum at 30 °C in July-August due to summer local high temperature), pH 6.6-7.2, KH 2-3 (bicarbonates about 65 ppm), carbon dioxide 5-15 mg/L, oxygen 8 ppm (water oxygen saturation), GH 4, magnesium 5 ppm, calcium about 20 ppm (calculated from GH and Mg2+ values), potassium 8 ppm, iron 0.05 ppm, ammonium 0 ppm, nitrite 0 ppm, nitrate < 5 ppm, phosphate 0-0.5 ppm, (water parameters were all measured with JBL TestLab).

In case of green water presence during summer (due to the set of high light and high temperatures in summer) a high density colture of Daphnia pulex is added to the tank inside a round fish fry net which protect them from fish attacks.


80 cm
60 cm
45 cm
180 L

Substrate in aquarium

Stone form
Submerged terrestrial vegetation