Lake Tanganyika, sandy sedimentary bottom area in Ndole Bay, Zambia

14th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

China. Liu Xueying

Volume: 60 L
Dimensions: 60x40x25 cm
List of fishes: Neolamprologus multifasciatus (Boulenger, 1906)
List of plants:
Description of decorations: I used large amount of coral bone as substrate. Stones and styrofoam were used to create high low landforms. Thick layers of fine sand covered on the top. I couldn’t find where to get the real nature shell, so I used the similar ones instead. With long time exposure to light, algae were blossom though it’s still not enough due to the limit time.
Description of equipment: Two EHEIM classic350, 620L/H, ZETLIGHT ZE8300, 96W, Simulated sunrise and sunset, Homemade led background light
Water parameters: Temperature 24°C. The parameters of water are PH8.5 and the hardness of carbonates is 17dH.
Additional info:


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Lake Tanganyika is the largest of the three large lakes of the African Rift Valley, with a surface area of 32.600 km², with 673 km of length, 72 km in it´s widest point and with a coastline of 1,828 km. Its the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume and the second deepest after lake Baikal in Siberia, with 1470m. and an average depth of 570m.
The lake is surrounded by four countries; Burundi in the Northeast, Democratic Republic of the Congo in the West, Tanzania in the East and Zambia in the South, forming a surface of 231.000 Km². Nearly one-sixth of the world’s freshwater is located on Lake Tanganyika. The lake is an important freshwater resource for people living in its vicinity.
The lake contains at least 250 species of cichlid fish (Cichlidae) and 150 other species of non-cichlid fish, most of which live on the shore of the lake, at a depth of 180 m. The lake is also an important site of study on the evolution of species. Almost all (90%) of the cichlid species of Tanganyika are endemic to the lake. This high degree of endemic species also occurs with many lake invertebrates, such as molluscs, crabs, copepods, shrimp, jellyfish, leeches, etc.
This aquarium represents the Ndole Bay area in Zambia, which is adjacent to Nkamba Bay in Nsumbu National Park on Lake Tanganyika.
Ndole Bay is part of Cameron Bay. It is located at 8 ° 28’1.14 “S of latitude and 30 ° 28’29.45” E. of longitu

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: Lake Tanganyika has different habitats.At a distance of tens of meters, the habitats of Ndole Bay change drastically, and different species evolved to adapt to them. In front of the beach, it’s found an habitat based on large rock and sand plates. Followed by these large rock plates, begins a great plain of sand. To the east, as the depth increases, the bottom of the lake has a new change, a dense area of sand and fine sediment with fields of Neothauma snail shells. In the North of the beach, two small habitats were created, each with its set of species, a coast filled by a dense canefield and rocks of little size. On the south coast there is also a reed, but without rocks with a thick base of mud. Rock structures resembling a reef run parallel to the beach and are separated by bands of sand for only a few meters. It is a shallow area with a good water movement. A large number of fish inhabit rocky and sandy areas where they find protection, food, and their breeding grounds. Different species have different requirements in terms of territory.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: The water in Lake Tanganyika is alkaline, with a pH between 8.5 – 9.0 depending on the depth and alkalinity surrounding the 650µS. The water temperature of the lake is very stable, due to the large body of water. The surface temperature of Lake Tanganyika ranges from 23-27°C, and the hypolimnion temperatura ranges from 23–24°C, although most fish inhabit areas with a temperature of 24-27°C.

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Altolamprologus sp. “Sumbu” (Boulenger, 1898), Lamprologus ocellatus (Steindachner, 1909), Lepidiolamprologus cunningtoni (Boulenger, 1906), Neolamprologus multifasciatus (Boulenger, 1906), Neolamprologus tetracanthus (Boulenger, 1899), Telmatochromis temporalis (Boulenger, 1898)

List of plants found in the nature biotope:

Threats to the ecology:

Sources of information:

  • Limnology and hydrology of Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi – Ruud C. M. Crul
  • The Hydrology of Lake Tanganyika By C. GILLMAN – Bulletin No. 5 of GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY DEPARTMENT.

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