top of page



Note: Purchase your entries to the Biotope Show on the ACA Convention 2019 Store Page


Biotope, for our purposes of the competition, is defined as:  “A small or well-defined area that is uniform in environmental conditions and in its distribution of animal and plant-life.”

In practice that means that each Biotope entry must reflect an actual limited area in a body of water, somewhere in the world, which features cichlids.  If an entry is intending to represent a Central American biotope, the country, river or lake, and area within those two geographical places, must be designated in the entry.  The tank must contain at least two cichlids of a species native to that biotope but can contain any number of other fish and native invertebrates which reflect as close to a realistic portrait of the area as possible.  Plants, wood, rocks and substrate must also reflect the chosen biotope accurately.

Points will be awarded as follows:

1.  Health and appearance of the cichlids: 60 points
2. Health and appearance of the other fish in the biotope: 10 points
3. Health and appearance of the plants or natural appearance of artificial plants used: 10 points
4. Appropriateness of the fish, plants, substrate, wood and other elements of the display: 10 points
5. Overall quality of the display: 10 points

Entrants may bring their own tanks and any other structural materials, fish and plants.  Tanks will be provided in sizes ranging from 40 to 75 gallons, but no tank can be longer than 48 inches.  Heaters, filters and glass tops will be provided as well.  Substrate will be provided, but there is no guarantee that the appropriate substrate for all biotopes will be available.  Plants will be offered for sale at a discount, as will wood.  Rocks will be available in a large variety of sizes and shapes.

Setup MUST be completed by 9 PM on Thursday, July 18. The tanks must be empty by 11 PM Saturday July 20 and all borrowed materials must be returned to their designated areas.

Judging will take place Saturday July 20, at a time to be determined.  Awards will be announced at the Banquet on Saturday evening

bottom of page