All about Lake Inle for beginners (and how to build a Lake Inle biotope)


May 9, 2023
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Perth, Australia
About Lake Inle
Lake Inle is the second largest lake in Myanmar/Burma, after Indawgyi Lake. It is home to more than 35 species, including 17 endemic species of fish, and holds one of the largest groups of migratory gulls. The water is slightly alkaline (pH 7.8-8) and large sections of the lake has floating plants. Lake Inle has 4 cities bordering it and there are many villages that the Intha people live in. There are some swampy areas outside the villages and open areas in deeper areas of the Lake. Some fish, such as emerald dwarf danios and Sawbwa barbs live in dense vegetation and open water in the latter.

Why I like Lake Inle
I like Lake Inle because of the number of endemic species that live in here. The Lake is known for its people who row their boats on one leg while fishing for food sources that are found on the Lake i.e. carp. The Intha people are Buddhists and live in simple houses of bamboo and wood on stilts. The fish that live in the Lake are very colourful and they are popular on the aquarium trade.
How to build a Lake Inle biotope
All you will need for this setup is fine river sand, some gravel, small rocks, crushed root tabs and plants that are native to the Lake. Firstly put a layer of river sand and gravel mixed together for the base. Crush some root tabs into a fine powder and pour it over the layer of sand and gravel. Spread some small rocks on the first layer to replicate a lake bed. For the plants, choose the ones that are native to the Lake and not water hyacinth because it is an introduced species to the Lake. Ludwiga repens, , Lemna minor, Nitella flexilis and Rotala rotundifolia are some plants native to the lake. Place the bigger plants on the background and the smaller plants on the foreground. For the livestock, put a large group of emerald dwarf danios, and Sawbwa barbs if you want to do a densely vegetated area of the lake, or display the rare Lake Inle danio for a great effect. For invertebrates go for the Caridina cf. babaulti ‘green’ shrimp as it is recorded to be found in the Lake.

How to maintain your biotope
It is the same as any other aquarium. You will need to do 20-50% water changes every week or few weeks to maintain the quality of the aquarium. Some of the native plants will need to be fertilised for growth spurts. Test the water parameters every month to see if everything is going well.

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