Rocky litoral at the south-eastern part of Likoma Island on Lake Malawi in Africa

122th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

Poland. Michał Lewandowski

Volume: 450 L
Dimensions: 150x60x50 cm
List of fishes: Metriaclima estherae, Labidochromis caeruleus, Pseudotropcheus demasoni, Metriaclima sp. elongatus chailosi
List of plants:
Description of decorations: Quartz sand 0.5-1.4 mm. Granite and serpentine stones approx. 140 kg
Description of equipment: Narrow filtration driven by a CO 1400-2800L / h circulation pump. Mechanics 3x body 10 ‘100 microns gradation. Biology 6x corps 10 ‘seachem filtration media. 2l matrix, 0.5l purigen, 0.5l phosguard, large sponge as a pre-filter. Water circulator 6000l-h. LIGHTING: 2x T8 36w white fluorescent lamp. 2x T8 36w blue fluorescent lamp. LED strip night lighting
Water parameters: Temp. 27.3’C, pH 7.9, GH 10, No2 0.3 mg / l, No3 5mg / l, Tds 458
Additional info: TANK CARE: Replacing the string filters every 2-3 weeks. Water change once a week 80l. Feeding fish twice a day, six days a week. Varied food (naturefood, seachem)


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Likoma is the largest island on the lake. It rises 176 m above the water level and is about 6.4 km long and 3.2 km wide. Its bays are famous for the huge amount of fish caught here for the needs of aquariums. A common feature of cichlids is the incubation of eggs in the female’s mouth. This feature in African lakes is a biological response to the constantly changing water level

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: In addition to numerous species of fish, there are several dozen species of snails in the lake, including the “borer” (Melanoides family), several mussel species and relatively rarely represented crabs, of which Malawi Blue crabs are commercially represented. The most represented representatives of the fauna are characteristic for the lake cichlids. Currently, about 800 species have been described, which means that there are more in Malawi alone than in the whole world. Many consider freshwater fish as the most colorful.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: Despite the enormous size, the water parameters of the lake at different points do not differ much from each other. Fish from different regions of Malawi live in a similar environment, making them easy to grow in artificial conditions. The waters have even thermal conditions, ranging between 23 and 29 degrees Celsius, depending on the season and depth. The pH of the lake is also stable, fluctuating between 7.6-8.8, which is due to the large presence of limestone and marble in the mountain ranges surrounding the reservoir. Despite the alkaline reaction, the water in the lake is quite soft, the general hardness is 4-6, and the carbohydrate 6-8 degrees German. A distinctive feature is also high transparency reaching in places up to 25 m

List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: The “mbuna” group includes the genera: Cyahtochromis – the only representative of the group is Cyathochromis obliquidens, Cynotilapia – the representatives are Cynotilapia afra and Cynotilapia axelrodi, Genyochromis – the only representative is Genyochromis mento, Gephyrochromis – the representatives Gephyrochromis lawsi and Gephyrochromis moorii, Iodotropheus – the representative is Iodotropheus sprengerae, Labeotropheus – the representatives are Labeotropheus trewavasae and Labeotropheus fuelleborni, Labidochromis – the representatives are Labidochromis caeruelus and Labidochromis sp. Hongii Mayland Lympha Mayland, Maylandia zebra, Melanochromis – representatives are Melanochromis auratus and Melanochromis Cyaneorhabdos, Petrotilapia – representatives are Petrotilapia tridentiger and Petrotilapia nigra – Pseudotropus , Pseudotropheus elongatus and Pseudotropheus saulosi

List of plants found in the nature biotope: plants of the genus Vallisneria. This area is inhabited by representatives of genera such as Cyatochromis and Hemitilapia.

Threats to the ecology:

Sources of information: internet, books

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