Chituta deep, Lake Tanganyika, Zambia

10th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2016

denmark Denmark. Carsten Thorleif Stabel

Aquarium volume: 720 l
Fish and invertebrates: Bathybates minor, Mastacembelus ellipsifer, Synodontis lucipinnis
Plants list: None
Biotope description: In my tank I have here created a deeper biotope, and in addition the open water  for the bathybates minor. Among the rocks you will find the ellipsifer, and these eels have founded a suitble place to spawn their eggs, in the cracks of the rocks! Below I have the synodontis that allso roam their life and are hardly seen, unless food is present. For the matter of B. minor I have left a open space where they can attack their food from below, and when they spawn they go to the bottom, for drop and pick up their eggs! All in harmony they have now all spawned severall times in the tank, ellipsifer every second month, the same place, bathybates release their fry in the upper layer where any of the other predators is hardly seen. Synodontis allso spawn on regulary basis among the rocks!

Photo Gallery

Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2016

I like choice of fish, they sure caught my attention, so bonus points were awarded for promoting rare species in hobby. Hardscape could be better, but from description and video we can see it is functional and fish are behaving naturally. Congratulations.

Petra Bašić (Croatia)

The cichlid and rare fishkeeper’s biotope, I really admire the choice of fish in this Tanganyikan biotope and am very impressed by the breeding activity of all three species present. Bathybates minor is a rare fish in the hobby, so it is terrific that a biotope specific home has been given over to it and that it is not housed with competitors. This is definitely an aquarium I would want in my own home, and there is lots of subject matter to study up close with it containing catfish, cichlids and spiny eels. If the aquascaping was more inventive it could have made the top of my score list in this competition.

Jeremy Gay (Great Britain)

At Chituta bay the structure and color of rocks is almost the same as your background. The hardscape is kind of open and adding some would improve the tank a lot. Of course this species of bathybates is an open water cichlid so i cannot fault that. Your regular breeding of bathybates and Mastacembelus ellipsifer is impressive. A negative point is the cyano bacteria on the sediment. It would have been easy to at least get rid of that. Keep in mind these fish live deep so little light is preferable. Also the temperature around the 40 meters deep is 23-24C.

Evert van Ammelrooy (Netherlands)