A small stream that supplies water to the volcanic lake Barombi ba Kotto – Cameroon

_st place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2022

Volume of aquarium: 144 liters

Dimensions of aquarium: 80x45x40 cm

List of fishes: 3 x Chromidotilapia guentheri v. loenbergi
5 x Procatopus sp.

List of plants: The aquarium also contains a species of riparian plant brought by a friend from Africa, probably an African philodendron.

Description of Decorations and Substrate: 3D background of beech bark protected with synthetic resin, 1-3 mm granular sand, dried beech leaves, twigs and torso willow roots, river stones.

Description of Equipment: 2x internal filtre {Eheim pickup 200 and Eheim pickup 60)
Made Led lamp.

Water Parameters: Temperature 26 gr.C, pH 6,8

Additional Info: No exist.

Aquarium video:


Description of the Area Surrounding the Biotope: Lake Barombi Koto, also known as Lake Barombi Kotto or Lake Barombi-ba-Kotto, is a small lake in the volcanic chain in the Southwest Region of Cameroon. It is a volcanic lake with a diameter of about 1.2 km (0.75 mi). There is a small island in the middle, which is densely inhabited by the Barombi, a tribe of fishers. The Tung Nsuia and Tung Nsuria streams, each about 1–2 m (3 ft 3 in–6 ft 7 in) wide and 0.3 m (1 ft 0 in) deep near their mouth, are the only inflows into the lake, and they dry out in dry season.
Apart from these 2 streams, there are a multitude of unnamed secondary streams. They are present especially in the rainy season and are not deeper than 0.30 m, with a variable length and width and which in the dry season can dry completely or partially. Water of the these creeks is soft, lesser than 100 µS, temp around 26°C, pH close to 7. No water plants within. Just layers of leaves, branches, roots.
Coordinates 4°28′N 9°16′ECoordinates: 4°28′N 9°16′E
Type Volcanic crater lake
Primary inflows Tung Nsuia and Tung Nsuria streams (dry out in dry season)
Primary outflows Nkundung-Kotto Stream (dries out or greatly reduced in dry season), which is a tributary of the Meme River
Basin countries Cameroon
Max. length 2.2 km (1.4 mi)
Max. width 2 km (1.2 mi)
Surface area 330 hectares (820 acres)
Average depth 3.8 m (12 ft)
Max. depth 6.2 m (20 ft)
Water volume 1,248,000 m3 (44,100,000 cu ft)
Surface elevation 110 m (360 ft)
Lake Barombi Koto often appears green-brown because it is rich in phytoplankton. Invertebrates, turtles and the aquatic frog Xenopus tropicalis are common in the lake, which is also an important sanctuary for birds. Seven fish species are known from the lake, including Enteromius callipterus and a Clarias catfish, while the remaining all are cichlids: Coptodon kottae, Chromidotilapia guentheri, Hemichromis fasciatus, Pelmatolapia mariae and Sarotherodon galilaeus. Of these, C. guentheri is represented by the endemic subspecies loennbergi, while C. kottae is entirely endemic to this lake and the smaller Lake Mboandong.

Crecks are shallow, about 30cm deep, with many leaves, branches and roots on their bottoms. Some of them have a rich riparian vegetation
The nothobranchiids Aphyosemion bivittatum, Epiplatys infrafasciatus and Fundulopanchax oeseri, the poeciliid Procatopus sp. Chromaphyosemion cf splendopleure, , and Barbus callipterus are found in these creeks.
In the wet season Chromidotilapia guentheri can climb on these small streams where they can lay their eggs and grow in the new generation alone. Chromidotilapia and other cichlids were found these streams, so this migration is common. The fish probably return to the lake when the water level drops.

Description of the Underwater Landscape of the Biotope: The aquarium is trying to restore a small creek that, especially in the wet season, supplies water to the volcanic lake in Southwestern Cameroon, Barombi ba Kotto. The stream is small both in length and depth. On its bed are many dried leaves, branches and roots. There is no emerging vegetation in the small creek, but the paludous plants on its banks create areas of shade and hiding. In the fallen leaves at the bottom of the stream, a lot of invertebrates and small organisms develop, a rich source of food for small fish and future generations. Specimens of Chromidotilapia guentheri v. loenbergi in the shelter of riparian vegetation and fallen branches are fighting for territories. Some of the females are ready for reproduction and put on their beautiful and bright wedding dress. Close to the surface of the water, they play and watch specimens of Procatopus that look like fireflies. Everything is full of life.

Chromidotilapia guntheri loennbergii , is a small, rare, interesting, beautiful Vest African cichlid. This variety of Cromidotilalpia guntheri is an extinction fish in its original location, the Barombi ba Kotto volcanic lake and the streams that supply it with water.. Who likes pastel colors (vernil, gold, blue, pink) very like a this fish. The way of reproduction makes it even more interesting. It is a paternal mouthpiece for the first 12 days after the laying, then the care of the fry returning to both parents, the fry in case of the danger can shelter in the mouth of both parents. They are very good parents and care for chickens for more than 30 days.

Description of the Habitat Parameters: Water of the these creeks is soft, lesser than 100 µS, temp around 26°C, pH close to 7. No water plants within. Just layers of leaves, branches, roots.

List of Fishes and Invertebrates Occurring in the Nature Biotope: Fish: Enteromius callipterus , Clarias catfish, Coptodon kottae, Chromidotilapia guentheri loenbergi , Hemichromis fasciatus, Pelmatolapia mariae and Sarotherodon galilaeus, Aphyosemion bivittatum, Epiplatys sexfasciatus and Fundulopanchax oeseri, Procatopus sp, and Barbus callipterus

Also animals: turtles and the aquatic frog Xenopus tropicalis are common in the lake,
Nevertebrates:in lake :
Bulinus snails (including the near-endemic B. camerunensis) infested with Schistosoma, which causes the disease bilharzia in humans, are present in the lake.

List of Plants Found in the Nature Biotope: No exist.than riparian plant.

Threats to the Ecology of the Biotope: (it is taken into account when choosing the winner in the ECO Trophy category) *The endemics are threatened by pollution and sedimentation from human activities, and “turning” of the lake’s water because of deforestation of the surroundings (this may allow more wind, and the lake is stratified with oxygen-poor lower levels). They are potentially also threatened by large emissions of carbon dioxide from the lake’s bottom (compare Lake Nyos), although Barombi Koto is too shallow to contain very high amounts of this gas.

Sources of Information:
– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Barombi_Koto ,
– Stiassny, M.L.J.; A. Lamboj; D. De Weirdt; G.G. Teugels (2008). “Cichlidae”.
– M.L.J. Stiassny; G.G Teugels; C.D. Hopkins (eds.). The fresh and brackish water fishes of Lower Guinea, West-Central Africa / Poissons d’Eaux Douces et Saumâtres de Basee Guinée, Ouest de l’Afrique Centrale. Vol. 2. Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale. pp. 269–403.
– Jump up to:a b Moelants, T. (2010). “Chromidotilapia guntheri ssp. loennbergii”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2010: e.T183124A8044577. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-3.RLTS.T183124A8044577.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
^ Jump up to:a b Moelants, T. (2017). “Coptodon kottae”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T21898A117222792. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T21898A117222792.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.