Entry #138: 284L Biotope Aquascape: Nkhata Bay, Lake Malawi Biotope
Ted Yeatts, Gainesville Florida USA
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Aquascape Details

Tank Size 122 x 46 x 53 cm (48 x 18 x 21 in)
Volume 284L (75 gallons)
Background Deep blue aquarium background
Lighting 48 inch flourescent strip, single tube
Filtration Sump with wet/dry trickle, approximately 12 gallons.
Many "Lake Malawi" biotopes are, in fact, not biotopes at all. They include fish from many areas of the Lake which would never meet in the wild. This, however, is a true Malawi biotope of one area of the Lake: Nkhata Bay. Two species from Nkhata Bay are found in the aquarium: Pseudotrophues sp. "acei" and, from slightly deeper but still overlapping depths, the beautiful white Labidochromis caeruleus "Nkhata Bay". It may seem strange to include driftwood in a Malawi biotope, however, it is crucial to this aquarium. In the wild, shoals of Pseudotrophues sp. "acei" can be found feeding on epixylic algae growing on sunken driftwood. In order to be true to the biotope, driftwood is included. A biotope including "acei" without driftwood would be incomplete. Ph=8.1, 8 dKh, 10 dGh. Ph is easilly maintained through regular partial water changes despite the driftwood. The substrate covers many rocks which are uncovered naturally by the cichlids as they manipulate their own environment.
Title Nkhata Bay, Lake Malawi Biotope
Plants No plants. Algae grows on rocks and driftwood.
Fish/Animals Pseudotrophues sp. "Acei" (6), Labidochromis caeruleus "Nkhata Bay" (4 + uncounted fry)
Driftwood: from Africa; Substrate: sand with gravel of varying sizes mixed in covers base rocks of different shapes and sizes; Rocks: varying shapes and types representative of those in the Lake.