Rocky shore near Sibwesa, Lake Tanganyika

94th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2017

Lithuania Lithuania. Saulius Liudvinavičius

Volume: 1500 L
Dimensions: 300 x 85 x 60 cm
List of fishes: Petrochromis ephippium moshi yellow, Petrochromis sp. Red Bulu point, Julidochromis transcriptus kissi Bemba
List of plants: N/A
Description of decorations:  Aquaterra tanganyika rock 3d background, 75 kg of sand 08-1.2 mm fraction, Seiryu rock
Description of equipment: Sump, Return pump : Royal exclusiv red dragon pump 9000 lph with anti-calc., Heaters : 2 pcs. Fluval E300, Filter material : Biological : 50 L K1 micro ( fluidized moving bed), Mechanical : 6 nylon mesh filter socks 100 micron, Lighting : 2 pcs aqua sanrise r90 wifi LED units, dimmable., Flow : Tunze stream 12000 lph controllable with tunze 7095 multicontroller.
Water parameters: 24-25° C, GH – 9, KH – 25, pH – 8,5, NH4 – 0 mg/l, NO2 – 0 mg/l, NO3 – 5 mg/l. Water change : constant, 10 % a day

Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Tanganyika is the largest rift lake in Africa and the second largest lake by volume in the world. It is the deepest lake in Africa and holds the greatest volume of fresh water, accounting for 18% of the world’s available fresh water. Tanganyika’s only outlet is the Lukuga River, which flows into the Congo River. As a result of having just one outlet, this rift lake has a particularly high mineral content.

Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: Lake Tanganyika holds at least 250 species of cichlid fish and 75 species of non-cichlid fish most of which live along the shoreline down to a depth of approximately 180 metres (590 ft). Almost all (98%) of the Tanganyikan cichlid species are endemic to the lake. Recreating a Lake Tanganyika biotope to host those cichlids in an habitat similar to their natural environment was my purpose. My Petrochromis ephippium “moshi yellow” was caught in Sibwesa. You can see in this region mostly melted rocks and they are sharp and rough. There are many cave networks that host lots of fish species. Top of these rocks are sediment free and algae rich. Thick layers of algae can be observed in most of the area. Fishes of the genus Petrochromis are algal feeders and attain a large size for cichlids. They inhabit the shallow rocky shore of Lake Tanganyika.

Description of the parameters of the habitat:
Water Parameters: 24-28° C, 502 µS, GH 9, KH 28,5, pH 8,5-9,0, NH4 < 0,05 mg/l, NO2 0,05 mg/l, NO3 < 0,5 mg/l, PO4 < 0,02 mg/l, Fe 0,05-0,1 mg/l.

List of fishes: Petrochromis ephippium moshi yellow, Petrochromis sp. Red Bulu point, Julidochromis transcriptus kissi Bemba

List of plants: N/A

Sources of information:

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

The types of Petrochromis you feed are from different regions of the lake. You mentioned the presentation of Sibwesa rocky habitat, but the floor area of the aquarium is entirely of sand. You cannot see a wall-like structure in the shape of a 3D background that you use anywhere in the lake. I advise you to design your next aquarium using natural materials. If you create the golden rate with natural materials, it will be much more satisfactory in terms of reality and visuality.

Mert Aykuta (Turkey)

I could not see anything in the decoration of the biotope except for the sand. Artificial backgrounds cannot be used so clearly when designing a biotope aquarium. It turns out that the entry represents a sand zone, which is unnatural for the chosen species of fish.

Alexey Malyshev (Russia)