Intermediate rocky habitat in Bulu Point, East coast of Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania

28th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

Turkey. Uğur Ruşen Doğan

Volume: 180 L
Dimensions of your aquarium: 60x60x50 cm
List of fishes and invertebrates: Neolamprologus pulcher, Neolamprologus leleupi
List of plants:
Description of decorations and substrate: I used 45 kg rock in total I collected from nature in my design. I placed the rocks in accordance with the sample visions of rock structure of the region. As N. pulcher and N.leleupi use rock caverns as breeding nests by their very nature, this is what I paid attetention to most in my design.The rocks were large in the upper parts, smaller and flat in the middle and medium in size in the lower parts.My aim is to make the fish lay eggs between the rocks that look like caves in the middle parts of the aquarium and make the offspring feel safer in this area.When positioning the rocks in this area, I planned to make the light coming from the surface cut off in the middle area and make the fish feel safe in the dim light.The rocks I used on the ground were used to give the appearance of small fragments that were detached from the large rocks in the lake.Since there is a small amount of sand in the habitat, I obtained silica sand from a mine that has the closest appearance to the sand I saw in the visuals.
Description of equipment: As a habitat, I would like to point out that the area receives intense sunlight as it is close to the surface.Based on this situation, I installed a daylight system for the aquarium. While I provided the general lighting of the aquarium with 4x24W Aquastar fluorescent lamps, I positioned the halogen lamp at 45 degrees and 90 degrees to adapt the daylight to the aquarium. I preferred a hang on filter for filtration. Considering the volume of the aquarium, I used Haqos Expro 500. In filtering, I use substrate-based iltration to keep the pH balance and biological cycle stable. I provide heating with a JBL 200 w aquarium heater. In order to avoid the rocks’ damaging the glass, the heat insulating and non-oscillating foamboards were glued to the other three glasses except the front glass of the aquarium. I fixed the rocks on these foamboards.
Water parameters:
Additional info:


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Tanganyika Lake in East Africa, one of the Great African Lakes, located in the East African rift zone. The lake is divided among four countries, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi, and Zambia. It covers an area of 34400 km², is the longest freshwater lake in the world and the deepest African lake. The lake is located at an altitude of 773m above sea level. The average depth is 570 m, while the maximum reaches 1435m. The lake is located in the tropical climate zone. The average annual rainfall is 200mm. Average annual temperature around 20C. Bulu Point is located in Tanzania on the eastern shore of the lake (5 ° 27’42 “S, 29 ° 44’50” E). The described biotope is located in the zone of Litoral.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: The intermediate habitat consists of sandy bottom with numerous rocks which provide shelter for the species-rich community. The rocky part can cover up to three quarters of the sandy bottom. The most important characteristic is the gradual inclination of the bottom. The biocover on the rocks is usually overlaid with a thin layer of fine sand. There is no real depth restriction for this habitat, but it is most heavily populated between 5 and 40 meters. The intermediate habitat harbours the most species rich communities of the lake. The Lamprologini tribe contains seven genera and nearly 100 species of African Cichlids, most of which are found in Lake Tanganyika, though a few species are found in the Congo River Basin and one species in the Malagarasi River in Tanzania. The Neolamprologus genus is the largest genus of cichlids in Lake Tanganyika, containing 50 or so species. The fish in this genus are all closely related but they are split between “shelldwellers” and “rockdwellers”, yet all are substrate spawners. This genus is also the largest group in the tribe Lamprologini. N. leleupi is collected from several locations along both the east and west coasts of the lake, particularly from Bulu Point, Tanzania, Bemba and Zaire. Not all leleupis are orange or yellow. Even though the yellowish orange variant is significantly more abundant in the lake, two other color morphs are not infrequently seen occupying the same habitats: silvery-beige and brownish-black. The Daffodil Cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher (previously Lamprologus pulcher) was described by Trewavas and Poll in 1952. These fish are endemic to Lake Tanganyika, Africa and are widespread in the southern part of the lake. They are found along the rocky coastlines of the countries of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia. There are number of different geographical varieties. The variety known as the “Daffodil” is very popular and is found along the steep rocky slopes of Kantalamba and Kambwinba.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: The water of the Lake Tanganyika is very basic and its pH varies between 8.6 and 9.5. Due to the high algae photosynthesis on the water surface, there is a low concentration of carbon dioxide and the pH is slightly higher. Total hardness is 11-17 dH, carbonate hardness is 16-19 dH. Water is mostly clear, the water is rich in oxygen at the first 40 meters. The water temperature on the surface varies between 24.5 degrees C and 27.5 degrees C.

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Ctenochromis horei, Cyathopharynx sp. aff. Foae, Cyprichromis microlepidotus, Eretmodus marksmithi, Gnathochromis pfefferi, Julidochromis regani, Neolamprologus furcifer, Lobochilotes labiatus, Neolamprologus modestus, Neolamprologus Pulcher, Neolamprologus savoryi, Perissodus microlepis, Neolamprologus tretocephalus, Petrochromis ephippium, Tropheus sp. Black, Tropheus annectens, Tropheus sp. Black, Altolamprologus compressiceps, Neolamprologus Brevis, Neolamprologus Similis, Tanganicodus irsacae.

List of plants found in the nature biotope:

Threats to the ecology:

Sources of information on the biotope:

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