#669: 125L Biotope Aquascape Sandy sedimentary bottom area in Ndole Bay, Lake Tanganyika, Zambia,

Protim Sarkar Kolkata, India

Awards and Comments

Third Place
Here we see a true biotope focused on a single species with great attention to detail has clearly been applied.

Firstly I must note the use of the snail shells which are covered in glorious amounts of algae and detritus exactly as you would find in Lake Tanganyika. This creates a level of authenticity usually missing from Shell-Dweller biotopes and was the first thing to catch my eye.

The aquascaper notes that they could not acquire the native snail shells as their collection is banned and I think this needs to be understood and accepted. We can strive for authenticity but the law and safe-guarding of nature must come first.

The second element which really commends this display to me is the use of lighting. Lamprologus multifasciatus may not live in the deepest parts of Lake Tanganyika but they are often deep enough that the bottom is much more dim than one might assume of a tropical lake. This has been carefully replicated in the display and demonstrates a nod to authenticity which I truly appreciate.

The numbers and sex ratio of the L. multifasciatus is appropriate and they have been given a good-sized tank thereby reducing stress and aggression.

I also appreciate that the aquascaper has used relatively inexpensive equipment fish and materials to create this biotope proving it is one which anyone might have go at an important element in our relatively expensive (sometimes to the point of exclusion) hobby.

For me this is certainly the best representation of this habitat and the best showcasing of this species of fish which I have ever seen and it should be highly commended.
— Tai Strietman
Minimalism in nature = minimalism in the aquarium. Here is a perfect example in which less is more. Creating something this simple and making it look like this might seem easy but it's not. The periphyton on the substrate looks in perfect equilibrium not too much algae and not too much decaying organics. This perfect natural balance is exactly what we try to reach as biotopers and we know it's almost impossible to achieve but we try!
— Ivan Mikolji

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 90 × 45 × 30 cm
Title Sandy sedimentary bottom area in Ndole Bay, Lake Tanganyika, Zambia,
Volume 125L
Background For the Background, I have used Blue Vinyl.
Lighting Philips 6000K RGB LED tubes (1 piece)
Filtration Sunsun HW-304B External Canister 525gph with 500 grams of media for Chemical and Biological Filtration.
Plants N/A
Animals Lamprologus multifasciatus 16 pieces (12 female, 4 male)
Materials Here in this 125L aquarium, I have used extremely fine river basin sand with large amount of coral bone as substrate. I couldn’t find the Neothauma tanganyicense as these shells are now forbidden to collect. So I have used plenty of Turbo Shells, Tomato Shells and Shark Eye Shells to form the Shell Cluster.
Additional Information The 125L aquarium comprises of only Lamprologus multifasciatus. Here the colony of fishes swims around the open area of the field, grazes over the algaes upon the cluster of shells. When one fish chases another fish, that fish takes shelter inside the shell. Lamprologus multifasciatus forms colonies around shell formations, where a male lives and reproduces with several females. The parents live together with their young, who care until they become young and then integrate into the colony.

This area also has large clusters of algae in the substrate that act as both a barrier for young fish or fry and a source of microorganisms for them to feed on. This area is depicted in my aquarium in an effort to visually and practically replicate the environment for the cichlid species that call it home.

I can experience its behavior as much as the interaction with the environment, its feeding and reproduction, as if they were in their natural hábitat.

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