Rocky placers near Chituta Bay, Tanganyika Lake, Zambia

43rd place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2017

ukraine Ukraine. Volodymyr Bilichak

Volume: 200 L
Dimensions: 182x500x500 cm
List of fishes: Lamprologus similis, Telmatochromis vittatus
List of plants: Vallisneria sp.
Description of decorations: Carpathian Stone’s looks like a biotope Rocks  and quartz 1-2mm, color looks like biotope soil.
Description of equipment: Heater – Eheim Jager 200W, -aeration – Eheim AirPump 100, -filtration – JBL CristalProfi GreenLine e1501, -lighting – LED 6500K.
Water parameters: T-27C, clear,  pH 7.5,  Gh10.

Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Chituta Bay is located in the southern part of Lake Tanganyika (Zambia). On the shore of Chituta Bay, there is a village with the same name. The bay is located 5-6 kilometres north-east of Mpulungu town.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: Where the huge rocks popping-up from the deep, cut into the shoals, between the gravel placers and sand dunes with millions of Tanganyika shells very interesting fishes live. A diver can observe the complex relationships in the colonies of Lamprologus similis, which lives revolve around the empty shells of the Tanganyika mollusks Neothauma, and the cute and curious Telmatochromis vittatus, which despite the interest in twisted “shells” of underwater slug, still loves to squeeze into cracks in cliffs, or flicker into the narrowest gaps between stones of placers, where they can calmly shed the eggs away from the eyes of predators. Lamprogus similis are like miniature monochrome frontosa, they create large colonies, their mating habits attract the eye: the two males fighting, though without serious injury, females twisting their tails in front of the males inviting them into the shells, defeated males swimming safely 30-40cm away and … continuing the search for a free female. The purpose of creating this aquarium was to reproduce the biotope of the transition zone between the gravel placers and the sandy bottom with scarce vegetation. Hydrobionts were selected according to the geographical and aesthetic criteria: aquarium of the pastel, calm tones, Telmatochromis vittatus and Lamprologus similis in colours alike, but at the same time contrasting each other in body shape and stripe pattern: similis with high body profile and vertical stripes that make them look yet more powerful, at the same time, vittatus are long and supple, the longitudinal stripes emphasize their dashing grace.

Description of the parameters of the habitat: Water is clear, transparent. T-26-27C, pH8.

List of fishes: Lamprologus similis, Lamprologus multifasciatus, Telmatochromis vittatus, Neolamprologus brichardi.

List of plants: Potamogeton sp., Vallisneria sp., Elodea sp.

Sources of information: Jewel of the Rift Cichlids (film),  Peter W.Scott – “The Complete Aquarium” (96-101 pages)