Rocky shores of Gome, Malawi

35th place in Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2019

Denmark. Jesper Taustrup

Volume: 1800 L
Dimensions: 200x120x75 cm.
List of fishes: Pseudotropheus socolofi
Pseudotropheus elongatus
Melanochromis auratus
Melanochromis johanii
Labidochromis sp.
Nimbochromis linni
List of plants: N/A
Description of decorations: The aquarium is built up with artificial rocks. Various types of rocks collected in Italy, Sweden and Tenerife located at the bottom. In addition, Sand with a fine gravel mix has been used.
Description of equipment: Filtration: Sump 500 liters run by two powerheads 3000 l/h
Inside the aquarium there is a Hydor Nano streamer 6500 l/h
Heating in the Floor
Lightning: 3 pics. Of LEDS1400 tubes, 6500 Kelvin, Blue/ White lightning.
Water parameters: Temperature is 24-26°C, pH 8,5-9, GH 10, KH 18.
Additional info: The rainy season in Lake Malawi is from January to March. During the rainy season the water level rises by several meters. At river mouths, some sand and sediment are due to the lake. This means that visibility in these areas is greatly reduced in the lake.


Description of the area surrounding the biotope: Lake Malawi is located in East Africa and is one of the three lakes located in the Rift Valley zone. The area around Gome consists of vertical rock walls, vegetation in the form of smaller forest areas. Sandy beaches with scattered rock formations.
Description of the underwater landscape of the biotope: The underwater landscape consists of rocky reefs, the pebbles’ zones, which provide the framework for many Mbuna habitats. The upper meters are the rocks devoid of sediment as the water movement is stronger here. The algae on the rocks are uncovered here. The cichlids found her is Labeotropheus, Petrotilapia and Pseudotropheus tropheops seeking their food here. A few meters further down, rocks are enveloped in sediment and the water movement decreases. The sediment comes in most cases of rivers that have outlet in the lake. In the rainy season, a lot of rinses are washed out in the lake and it is deposited on the rocks in the area.
Description of the parameters of the habitat: The lake’s water is alkaline pH 7.7–8.6 and warm with a typical surface temperature between 24 and 29 °C The deep sections typically are about 22 °C The water in Lake Malawi is very clear and the visibility can be up to 20 m.
List of fishes and invertebrates occurring in the nature biotope: This biotope is the habitat for many different cichlid species here include Metriaclima, Labidochromis, Pseudotropheus, Melanochromis and many more. Also Aulonocara, and some Protomelas types and various predatory fish such as. Tyrannochromis, Nimbochromis and Sciaenochromis fryeri. In the deeps you find large Kabango catfish
List of plants found in the nature biotope: On shallow waters between rock reefs, there are areas of sand and little vegetation in the form of plants such as Vallisneria and Ceratophyllum demersum.
Threats to the ecology:
Sources of information: Book: Malawi Cichlids in their natural habitat 5th Edition.
Malawi Cichlids in their natural habitat 4th Edition.
Personal interwiew with Carsten Gissel who is a Danish importer of Malawi cichlids.

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