Lake Tanganyika shore areas

91st place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2017

germany Germany. Kai Rafael Brunner

Volume: 1269 L
Dimensions: 240x70x70 cm
List of fishes: Neolamprologus nigriventris (WF), Neolamprologus mustax Orange (WFNZ), Ectodus descampsii (WFNZ), Enantiopus sp. Kilesa (WFNZ), Neolamprologus buescheri “kamakonde” (WF), Paracyprichromis nigripinnis Blue Neon “Chituta” (WF)
List of plants: Hydrilla verticillata, Hygrophila lacustris
Description of decorations: Modules of Back to Nature in the color Basalt Gneiss: 1x module M; 2x module H; 1x module E; 1x module B; 1x Module O; Neothauma tanganyicense shell; Tiphobia horei shell; river sand fine grain (0.1-0.5 mm) slightly mixed with coarser gravel 0.8-1.0 mm; sandstone.
Description of equipment: Main filter is a planted biofilter tank. Description: Dimensions: 185 × 25 × 20 cm. I have decided against firmly bonded chambers, because I would like to be flexible with regard to the flow rate. I have implemented it with cable ducts which serve as guidance and fixation into these then PVC-U plastic plates. Thus, I can vary the flow direction and flow rate at any time. The aquarium has 2 holes of 32 mm, one in the inlet chamber (serves as an emergency drain if there should be flow disturbances in the tank) and one in the drain chamber via which the filtered water is returned to the aquarium and thus back into the water circuit. For this I have 2 PVC-U bushings installed and the appropriate 32 mm PVC-U tube glued. It is important to note that the emergency sequence is positioned higher than the regular sequence, otherwise the function of the filter is not guaranteed. (The pipe in the drain must be set with 1-2 cm less than the pipe from the emergency drain.) Otherwise, most of the water in the filter tank would flow back into the aquarium unfiltered at the beginning! 2 tubes with 90° angles were added to reduce the noise (rippling). At the upper ends of the tubes, a friend has still printed with his 3D printer overflows which also have a second impact on the rippling. The 3rd bore of 25 mm is for the inlet piping leading to the pump. Now for the actual filtering. Since my aquarium has a built-in chamber internal filter, which I also used before the filtering over the top filter tank, I have this still involved in the filter circuit. It is equipped with different pore filter sponges of PPI 10 to PPI 30, additionally I have a filter network from the tank (more stable than the one from the aquarium supply) equipped with Siporax. The top filter tank is equipped as follows: Chamber 1: Pump chamber (Eheim compact + 2000); Chamber 2: Eheim MECHpro / EHEIM SUBTRATpro / Epipremnum pinnatum; Chamber 3: Glafloam filter material 2x basket of lava granules planted with Cyperus; 1x basket of lava granules planted with Ficus benjamina “pandora”; 1x basket of lava granules planted with Crinum purpurascens; Chamber 4: coral reef and filter wool; Chamber 5: drain chamber into the aquarium.

Lighting: 2x 60 cm LED strip (each 2x 60cm nautic sky / 1x 60cm RGB color); 1x 60cm LED strip (1x 60cm nautic sky / 1x biotope “warmwhite”; 1x RGB color). Controller: lighting control – temperature sensor – 2x controlled socket strip – CAN bus. 1 × water filter (to remove suspended particles and residues in drinking water with a water change). 1x Schego Titanium heater 600W. 2x flow pump HydroWizard ECM42. 1 × aqua medic 2500 (permanently installed for water exchange).
Water parameters: 25-27°C, pH: 8.32, NO3: ~10mg/l, NO2: 0 mg/l, GH: >7°dH, KH: ~15-16°dH, CI2: 0.

Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Approximately 45,000 people live around Lake Tanganyika. The lake is located between the East African countries Tanzania, Congo, Zambia and Burundi. About 1500 species of animals and plants can be found around the lake. Currently, the lake is unfortunately the “Most Threatened Lake of the Year 2017”, because it has unfortunately a lot to deal with wastewater from the industry, the villages and the oil pumps of the night fisheries.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: Lake Tanganyika has a variety of aquaric life in its fauna. It is one of the largest lakes in Africa and is located 782 m above sea level. It is the second out of the deepest and the sixth out of the largest lakes on Earth. In the northern part the lake has a maximum depth of 1470 m. The main attractions are the Ruzuzi, Kalambo and the Malagarasi. The water flows out in the Congo via the Lukuga river. The lake is home to over 300 species of fish (new discoveries are always made), of which 95% are endemic. Most of them are cichlids. The lake offers many habitats: shore zones: rocky bank; stoney bank; sandy banks; transition zone; sublitoral; river deltas; and finally the open water area.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: The Tanganyika Lake has the following values / parameters: pH: 8.6-9.5 so very alkaline; total hardness: 7 to 11°dGH; carbonate hardness: 16 to 19 ° dKH; conductivity: 570 to 640 μS/cm; water temperature depending on the season: 24-28 °.

List of fishes: Neolamprologus nigriventris, Neolamprologus mustax Orange, Ectodus descampsii, Enantiopus sp. Kilesa, Neolamprologus buescheri “kamakonde”, Paracyprichromis nigripinnis Blue Neon “Chituta”.

List of plants: Hydrilla verticillata, Hygrophila lacustris.

Threats to the ecology: Currently the Lake Tanganyika has the title “The Most Threatened Lake of the Year 2017”. This title was given to it, as it has to deal with a very strong occupancy. The sewage water produced by the industry, the craft industry at the lake, the waste water from the villages and also from the oil pumps of the night fishermen on the lake will lead to more and more problems in the coming years. Animal and plant species in and around Lake Tanganyika will gradually disappear. There are always the importers here who import the cichlids for our aquaria. I am not fundamentally against the fact that they should come into experienced hands and contribute to a conservation of species, and not into the hands of hobby-aquarists who do not even manage to set up a well-suited aquarium for the animals.

Sources of information:

Comments of the members of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2017

It is another Tanganyika representation that we can call community aquarium instead of biotope. The fish you feed together are the species seen in different habitats and at different depths of the lake. I do not think that you can show us enough reality and naturalness because of you using 3D background. When I look at this aquarium, I cannot see a freshwater system that has been going on for many years, the feeling that it has woken on me does not go beyond a newly established aquarium. Also, your plant planting shape was one of the reasons for breaking your scores.

Mert Aykuta (Turkey)