Likoma Island’s rocky habitat, Southeast of Lake Malawi, Mozambique waters

68th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

China. Lu Xiaolong

Volume: 140 L
Dimensions: 90x55x30 cm
List of fishes: Labidochromis Caeruleus, Pseudotropheus sp. “Demasoni”, Cynotilapia Afra “Cobue”
List of plants:
Description of decorations: The base was made of coral bones, and then sand was laid on them, with rocks of all sizes
Description of equipment: Oase Filto Thermo300, 1000L/H,FLUVAL407,1450L/H,homemade led background light,
Two ZETLIGHT ZE8300,96W, Simulated sunrise and sunset
Lighting: up aqua U series Pro 40 color temperature 7000K
Water parameters: Temperature is 26°C, ph is 8.5
Additional info:


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Likoma Island is located in southeast of Lake Malawi and is the larger of two inhabited islands, the smaller being nearby Chizulmulu. Likoma and Chizulmulu both belong to Malawi, and together they make up the Likoma District. Both islands lie just a few kilometers from Mozambique, and are entirely surrounded by Mozambican territorial waters. This region has got relatively clear waters and mostly rocky habitats.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: Mbunas inhabit the rocky shallow areas. They are commonly found over small and medium sized rocks at depths between 10-33 feet (3-10m). They feed zooplankton, epibenthic invertebrates, and aufwuchs. Large rounded rocks provide shelter and a place for the mbunas’ main diet to grow. Aufwuchs in the algae includes microfauna such as small invertebrates. They stick close to the rockwork to avoid the open water piscivores commonly referred to as the haps.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: Water parameters of Likoma Islands are similar the other regions. Electrical conductivity (μmho = microsiemens): 210-220, Total solids (mg/L) average: 134.4-140.0, Sum of cations (meg/L): 2.45, Sum of anions (meq/L): 2.5-2.59, Total hardness as calcium carbonate CaCO3 (mg/L): 60.8-85.60, Total calcium as calcium carbonate CaCO3 (mg/L): 41.0-49.0, Total magnesium as calcium carbonate CaCO3 (mg/L): 19.58-36.60, pH: 7.9-8.5, Na (sodium) (mg/L): 21.0, K (potassium) (mg/L): 6.4, Ca (calcium) (mg/L): 16.4-20.7, Mg (magnesium) (mg/L): 4.7-8.8, Alkalinity as calcium carbonat CaCO3 (mg/L): 118.0-129.0, HCO3+CO3 (bicarbonate, carbonate) (meq/L): 2.36-2.58, Alkalinity as HCO3+CO3 (bicarbonate, carbonate ions) (mg/L): 71.98-78.69, Cl (chloride) (mg/L): 3.57-4.3, SO4 (sulfate) (mg/L) (using ion-exchange resins): 5.5, SiO2 (dissolved silica) (mg/L): 1.1-4 ,PO4• P (phosphate)(μg/L): <7-30 Temperatures: 23°C-28°C

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: Common Mbuna species seen there are Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos, Cynotilapia zebrodies (Likoma), Labeotropheus fuelleborni (Likoma), Labeotropheus fuelleborni (Maison Reef), Labeotropheus trewavasa, and Cynotilapia afra, but you can see also all other mbuna species found in Lake Malawi.

List of plants found in the nature biotope: Alga

Threats to the ecology: During dry season, the water level is lower so that some nonlocal people tends to catch fish illegally by poisoning or electronic method. Since 2006, local community conducted a conservation activity to protect the Laoning river. As a result, the fish biodiversity recover and turns out a beautiful and abundant underwater scene.

Sources of information:

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