The South-East Asian Biotope

The South-East Asian 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.

Many of our aquarium fish are native to South-East Asia.

Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam have high levels of rainfall, spread over a large part of the year, with an equatorial climate and relatively limited temperature variations. The rivers do not dry out and the tropical forests are fed by vast water networks.

The slightly acidic freshwater courses are relatively shallow. These conditions allow the existence of numerous freshwater plant and fish species.

1- Climate

The water should be relatively acidic (pH 6.5) and soft (Hardness = 5-9). The container does not need to be very large. The water should be kept at a temperature of 23-28°C, and should be translucent.

2- Plants

  • Cryptocoryne nevillii/green gecko
  • Aponogeton
  • Hygrophila difformis
  • Indian Hygrophila
  • Thin-leaf Vallisneria
  • Green tiger lotus
  • Java fern
  • Cladophora aegagropila
  • Cryptocoryne wendtii brown/green.

3- Base substance and decoration

  • Dark gravel (slightly reddish), in a layer 6cm thick.
  • Fine, white gravel, for a “sandy strip”
  • Bamboo stems (X in the planting plan)
  • Vertical root, horizontal root (or similar root), 1 of each.


4- Cohabitant fish species

  • Aplocheilus lineatus
  • Harlequin rasbora
  • Tiger barb/Golden barb/Bala shark/Arulius barb/Cherry barb/Odessa barb/Rosy barb
  • Betta simplex
  • Siamese fighting fish
  • Zebra danio
  • Thick-lipped Gourami/Blue Gourami/Marbled Blue Cosby Gourami/Golden Gourami/Dwarf Gourami/Pearl Gourami
  • Gyrino
  • Kissing gourami
  • Kuhli
  • Red-tailed black shark/Rainbow shark (blue)/Rainbow shark (green)
  • Clown loach
  • Pangasius [shark]
  • Scissortail rasbora
  • Glass catfish