Green Dream of Tanganyika

The 11th place in the qualifying stage of the Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2014

turkey Turkey. Mert Kinali

Volume: 500 L
List of fishes: Tropheus sp. Black Ikola, Xenotilapia spilopterus Mabilibili, Neolamprologus leleupi, Leptosoma sp. Blue Tanzania, Neolamprologus brichardi (albino)
Biotope description: The aquarium was set up based on Tanganyika biotope, Africa. At the beginning, I focused on my tropheus colony and because of this it is rocky. Then step by step I added different kinds of fish.

Was the title important for judging? I gave it the 12th position, because: a) it has no precise location; b) albino fishes will never live in the biotope (get eaten immediately); c) rocks are never that “green” in nature.

Heiko Bleher (Italy)

The best of the African lake rockscapes in the competition, this biotope combines excellent fish specimens of appealing species with very good overall composition.

Jeremy Gay (Great Britain)

A very nice biotope with exceptional arrangement of stones. A more generous space is suitable for fauna.

Victor Mihai (Romania)

It is a shame that the biotope description is so brief and non-specific, because this is a very attractive and natural-looking representation of a Tanganyika biotope. The considered placement of rockwork with larger, imposing pieces surrounded by progressively smaller ones resembles real patterns of wear and fracturing in the wild habitat, and there are no unnatural structures like “rock piles”. Likewise the arrangement is without obvious symmetry or organisation, a challenging balance to achieve. The type of stone is also realistic, as each one is quite angular yet slightly eroded as one sees in Lake Tanganyika. Bright green algae covering the “sunlit” faces of the rocks is a critical detail, providing not only a beautiful and mature appearance, but also giving the Tropheus natural grazing areas so that they may exhibit their instinctual behaviour. It is a real pleasure to see a Rift tank that is this well planned and aesthetic. However, the albino cichlids look out of place (they would not survive long in the wild) and it seems that some of the cichlids come from different areas of Lake Tanganyika.

Michael Salter (Canada)