Bulu Point rock deposit, Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania

66th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

China. Wang Peng

Volume: 288 L
Dimensions: 120×60×40 CM
List of fishes: Neolamprologus similis/Lamprologus brevis/Neolamprologus pulcher/Neolamprologus leleupi
List of plants: N / A.
Description of decorations: The materials I chose were collected in rivers and riverbanks.
Material includes: light natural sand, rocks of different sizes, stream stones and some gravel (using tools to crush them). I tried to pick out rocks of similar colour and shape, which were similar to those in natural waters, and eventually presented the scene of this habitat.
Description of equipment: Filter equipment:
ATMAN-CF1200 External Filter ×2 / Pre-filter ×2
Degreasing Film Filter ×2
Netlea/Nitley LED 6500K 50W×3
Heating device:
EHEIM IHAN heating rod 200W ×2 (1 with 1 spare, no heating device used in summer)
Others: oxygen pumps×1
Water parameters: Temperature: 25 ±1
PH: 8.8
Additional info: In my aquarium, I used light natural bottom sand, rocks of different sizes, stream stones and some crushed stones (using tools to crush them). I tried to pick out rocks of similar colour and shape, which were similar to those in natural waters, and eventually presented the scene of this habitat. On the placement of stones, I want to highlight a large area of rock. I try to put them out of their natural habitat and make them look magnificent and have a certain perspective. I used two larger external filters and two pre-filters, physical filtration and cultivation of nitrifying bacteria. A lot of coral bones were added to the filter material to improve the GH value of water to simulate the original ecological environment. I use pure water and a small amount of domestic water to mix to ensure the balance of GH / TDS values, because there are a lot of rocks in the tank, they can control the fluctuation of PH values very well. It’s easy for me to control algae growth by changing water and controlling light time. In daily maintenance, only changing water and cleaning the glass of fish tank. In the photos and videos, you can see that the fish are in excellent condition. They like the ecological environment I simulate very much, and I am very happy about it.


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Lake Tanganyika is a freshwater lake in central Africa. Located between 3 degrees 20’S, 29 degrees 5’E and 8 degrees 48’S and 31 degrees 15’E, Lake Tanganyika is located in the western part of the Great Rift Valley of East Africa. It belongs to fault lake. The winding shoreline of the lake is 1900 kilometers long. The main rivers entering the lake are the Malagarasi River, the Ruziji River and the Kalambo River. The only outlet of the lake is the Lukuga River. It is about 679 kilometers long and 50.134 kilometers wide, including 1828 kilometers of coastline (570 meters deep on average). The deepest part is located in the north of Lake Tanganyika, and the deepest part is 1470 meters, second only to Lake Baikal. It is the second deepest lake in the world. With an area of 32900 km, it is the sixth largest lake in the world. The Lake contains at least 250 species of Cichlidae and 150 other species of non-Cichlidae, most of which live on the shore and are 180 meters deep. The lake is also an important place for the study of species evolution. Almost all (90%) of the species in Tanganyika are endemic to lakes. This highly endemic species also occurs in many Lake invertebrates, such as mollusks, crabs, copepods, shrimps, jellyfish, leeches and so on.
Lake Tanganyika has six main types of community habitats: rocky coast, surge, sandy bottom, muddy bottom, oceanic waters and seabed waters. The Ikola coastline 1 km deep includes rock coastal biota types, where stones are located on rocks or on sand. At 1-3 meters, it consists of mostly brown and green algea-covered stones, which are interesting nutrients for herbivores and omnivores. Strong waves and currents bring many nutrients from oceans and curved waters, such as dead organisms or invertebrates, which are valuable to carnivores. The bottom is covered with very fine grayish-brown sand, but due to the density of the rocks along the shore, part of it is visible. Stones of all sizes create shelters for species that inhabit the lake. Stones usually have rounded edges, almost the same as sand. The upper part of the stone is covered with green algea, while the lower part is covered with brown algea. At 5-12 meters, sediments cover more rocks than algea. In these depths, caves formed by rocks and low-flow caves provide perfect shelter for matrix spawning. Strong waves and flows blur the water, enrich it with oxygen and have high PH levels. Because of its low depth, sunlight is sufficient to reach the bottom and support the growth of organisms.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: Rocky coastal biota can be divided into three different parts: shallow rock coastal habitats, rock sediment-free habitats and rock sediment-covered habitats. Close to the surface, you will find shallow rock communities and their inhabitants. As you move on, you will enter a steep rock environment where no sediment can accumulate – no sediment habitat for rocks. Below this community is the third and last rock community, a habitat covered by rock sediments. The bottom is covered with large stones. In the deeper part, the stones become smaller and smaller, the bottom is covered with sand and shells, the water in the lake is very clear, and the transparency is about 15-20 meters.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: Bulu Point is located in Tanzania on the eastern coast of Lake Tanzania, the cusp of the Western protrusion of the northern tip of the Mahale Mountain National Park peninsula. 2 KM east of Karilani Island and Karilani Island. Its diving collection site is 1.5 kilometers northwest of Bulu Point, opposite Sitolo Bay, West Toro Bay. The water in the lake is alkaline, with a pH value of about 9 and a depth of 0-100 m, which is about 8.7, and gradually decreases to 8.3-8.5 in the deepest part of the lake. The surface temperature is usually about 24 C.

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Petrochromis sp/Altolamprologus compressiceps/Aulonocranus dewindti/Cyathopharynx foae /Cyphotilapia frontosa/Cyprichromis leptosoma /Cyprichromis microlepidotus / exGnathochromis pfefferi/
Haplotaxodon microlepis /Julidochromis regani/Lepidiolamprologus attenuatus/Neolamprologus savoryi/Petrochromis famula/Tropheus brichardi/Xenotilapia spilopterus

List of plants found in the nature biotope: Unfortunately, I haven’t found any aquatic plants.

Threats to the ecology: Tanganyika lake is the second deep lake in the world, and the waterway connects Burundi, Congo (Jin), Tanzania and Zambia. Factories along Lake Tanganyika intentionally discharge untreated solid waste and wastewater into the lake. In addition, Lake Tanganyika is also threatened by illegal buildings. Some people illegally build buildings on the nearshore lake, which also pollutes the lake water. With the development of social economy and the rapid growth of population along the lake, Lake Tanganyika is facing the threat of environmental pollution. In order to reveal the import of heavy metals from Lake Tanganyika.

Sources of information:

Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019