Lake Malebo, coastal area, Congo River, Democratic Republic of Congo

119th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

Russia. Tatiana Belyanina

Volume: 240 L
Dimensions: 120х40х50 cm
List of fishes: Phenacogrammus interruptus, synodontis, Ctenopoma acutirostre, Pantodon buchholzi, Steatocranus casuarius, Gnathonemus petersii, Polypterus delhezi.
List of plants: Anubias barteri var. Nana, crinum calamistratum, Bolbitis heudelotii, Nymphaea.
Description of decorations: In the design materials were used selected in accordance with the biotope, light sand, river gravel of various fractions, pieces of lava, drowned driftwood, branches, and dry leaves.
Description of equipment: Tetra EX 1200 filter, lighting Juwel Led Day 29w 9000k, Juwel Led Nature 29w 6500k.
Water parameters: pH 7.0, GH 10, temperature 25°С.
Additional info: The aquarium is new, started 3 weeks ago, daily change of 30l of water.


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Malebo Pool is a lake extension of lower Congo above Livingston Falls, between the Republic of the Congo in the west and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the east. It covers an area of ​​450 square km and is divided into two branches by the island of Bamu in its center. Its maximum depth is 16m, annual fluctuations in water level up to 3m. The flow of water is regular. The water is a little muddy, has a brownish tint. The flow is moderate.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: The Congo Basin extends for more than 1900 km from north to south. The river originates in the mountains and carries volcanic stones over the course. The passage of the stream through the Bateke plateau consisting of soft sandstone and an alluvial plain adjacent to the channel, consisting of unconsolidated sedimentary deposits forms a sandy bottom of predominantly light color, mixed with gravel of various fractions. Rainforests on the banks of the river determine the presence of snags and foliage.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: pH range: 6.0-8.0; dH range: 5 – 19. Tropical; 24°C – 28°C.

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Synodontis decorus,Steatocranus casuarius, Phenacogrammus interruptus,Polypterus delhezi,Polypterus ornatipinnis,Myomyrus pharao,Distichodus lusosso,Phenacogrammus interruptus, synodontis, Ctenopoma acutirostre, Pantodon buchholzi, Steatocranus casuarius, Gnathonemus petersii, Polypterus delhezi,Tetraodon mbu,Channallabes apus,Parauchenoglanis monkei.

List of plants found in the nature biotope: Anubias, Crinum, Bolbitis heudelotii, Nymphaea, Pistia.

Threats to the ecology: Deforestation of the tropical rainforest of the Congo. In the valley of the Congo River, huge tropical forests grow, the second largest after the Amazonian. The destruction of such forests will change the climate of the entire planet, and not just a separate ecosystem of the river, and our generation will notice these changes. According to the joint research center of the European Commission, only in the period 2000-2010 the Congo basin lost 2 thousand square km annually. Marshes are drained to build roads, more forests are being cut down for farming, which leads to soil erosion and a change in the river’s coastline.

Sources of information:,,,

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