Central American Lowlands -- Livebearer Biotope Aquarium Setup


A biotope aquaria is an aquarium that is set-up to simulate a natural habitat. The fish, plants, water chemistry, and furnishings are similar to those that can be found in a specific natural setting.

Central American Lowlands -- Livebearer Biotope
Refugio de Vida Silvestre Cuero y Salado, Honduras

In 2004 I visited The Refugio de Vida Silvestre Cuero y Salado in Honduras. This refuge is comprised of 13,225 hectares of mangrove-covered wetlands and lowland rainforest.

Around the refuge is a large area of seasonally flooded pastureland in addition to drainage canals and ponds. In these fresh and brackish-waters I found a number of livebearers including black and gray mollies and mosquitofish. The water temperature varied from 79-86F (26-30C).

The substrate of these ponds is sand and vegetation consists of floating Water hyacinth.

The water is tea colored but very transparent.

pH: 7.5-8.0, 15-25 dH, 75-86 F (24-30 C)

Use a dark-colored substrate of sand or fine gravel. Pieces of driftwood or bogwood can be used along with scattered floating plants (ideally water hyacinth). Lighting should be bright.

Vegetation consists of water hyacinth and grass.

Short-finned Molly - Poecilia sphenops
Swordtail - Xiphophorus helleri
Mangrove molly -- Poecilia orri
Porthole livebearer -- Porthole livebearer "Occurs in irrigation canals" [quote: FishBase.org]
Yucatan goby - Gobiosoma yucatanum "Known from rivers, estuaries and inland lagoons" [quote: FishBase.org]
Ariidae Catfish

For other ideas, see Fishbase - Honduras listing or a broader broader look at Central American Fish

Honduras Cuero y Salado Photos
Molly Habitat, Honduras