The Central American Biotope

The Central American Biotope

Choose your aquarium population carefully, to anticipate and avoid future problems.

Definition of a biotope: This is a habitat which constitutes a biological unit, characterised by its fauna and flora.

General points:

Freshwater fish are native to countries close to the equator. This is why the water in your aquarium needs to be heated. However, temperature is not the only criterion to be followed. In theory, you should try to recreate a water environment equivalent to the natural biotope.

The Central American aquarium is, without a doubt, the easiest exotic aquarium to create, unless it includes Cichlidae (which need a large volume of water).

1- Climate

The water is both basic and hard, pH 7-8 with a carbonate hardness of 5-9. The water should be kept at a temperature of 23-28° C, and should be translucent.

2- Plants

  • Water hyssop.
  • Broadleaf arrowhead.
  • Echinodorus.
  • Green cabomba.
  • Echinodorus osiris.
  • Lobelia cardinalis.
  • Echinodorus quadricostatus.

3- Base substance and decoration

  • Dark gravel (slightly reddish).
  • Fine white gravel.
  • Green, flat jasper (or similar jasper).

4- Cohabitant fish species

  • Yellow acara
  • Black molly
  • Cichlasoma meeki/Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum albino
  • Guppy/blue guppy/Picasso or Endler’s guppy/red guppy
  • Jack Dempsey
  • Yucatan molly
  • Platy fish
  • Mexican tetra
  • Xipho