bam Demanding level

Shallow intermediate habitat, Cape Banza, DRC

Sponsored by

Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, Fizi, Ubwari Peninsula

This BAM aims to simulate a shallow region of the coast of Cape Banza, located in the far north of the Ubwari peninsula, in the northern basin of Lake Tanganyika.

A lighted aquarium filled with Hydrilla verticillata in the intermediate zone between the rocks. The rocks are kaolinite-rich sandstones, which occur along the entire coast of the Ubwari peninsula and also in Brazil. The largest rock is approximately 60 kg and takes up 2/3 of the aquarium. The substrate has a large granulometric dispersion and is the result of a mixture of sand from different beaches.

The fauna is composed of shell-dwellers, Lamprologus ocellatus and Neolamprologus multifasciatus, separated by the immense rocks, and with sandy areas unique to each species. Rock-dwellers Neolamprologus leleupi occupy the rocky agglomerates that form refuges and caves. The species interaction is quite interesting, each with its well-established regions. Neolamprologus leleupi are prolific and Lamprologus ocellatus promotes birth control.

Submitted by
Marcus Vinicius David
Approved by
Ad Konings & Stefano Valdesalici
GPS
-4.0498838, 29.2423897
Geographical region
Cenral Africa
Drainage Basin
Northern basin of the Lake Tanganyika
River catchment
Water body type
Lake
Water body name
Lake Tanganyika
Water body part
Open water
Water body course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name

Videos above and below water

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
High
Concentration of sediments
Low
Water temperature
27 °C
Water flow/curent
Slow

Chemical parameters

pH
9.1
Conductivity
632
GH
214 mg/l
KH
374 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen

Aquarium information

Aquarium description

Set-up date
April 2020
Aquarium decoration

A lighted aquarium filled with Hydrilla verticillata in the intermediate regions between the rocks. The rocks are kaolinite-rich sandstones, which occur along the entire coast of the Ubwari peninsula and also in Brazil. The largest rock is approximately 60 kg and takes up two-thirds of the aquarium. The substrate has a large granulometric dispersion and is the result of a mixture of sand from different beaches in Rio de Janeiro.

The shell-dwellers inhabitants, Lamprologus ocellatus and Neolamprologus multifasciatus, are separated by the immense rocks, and with sandy areas unique to each species. Rock dwellers Neolamprologus leleupi occupy the rocky agglomerates that form refuges and caves and are positioned diametrically opposite the Neolamprologus multifasciatus colony. The hardscape layout was designed so that each species would occupy its own region and minimize interaction between them.

Aquarium equipment

The filtration system consists of a sump with a nominal volume of 54 L (60/30/30) divided into four compartments. The sump is fed by a reverse overflow water capture system, capable of collecting water along the entire length of the water column.

The first compartment is for the decanting of suspended solids. The next compartment is filled with a polyester fibers sheet for mechanical filtration. Subsequently, a compartment is filled with sintered ceramic (equivalent to 4 liters) which serves as a surface for the growth of bacterial colonies (nitrobacter, nitrosomes…) to promote biological filtration, oxidation of ammonia (NH3) to nitrite (NO2) and from nitrite to nitrate (NO3). The last compartment works to return water to the aquarium, with the aid of a 2700 L/h motor pump, model SB2700 SarloBetter.

An aquarium heater, EHEIM Thermocontrol 200, has been positioned in the last compartment of the sump to keep the aquarium temperature at 27 °C. In this same compartment, a small air pump is used to ensure the dissolved oxygen saturation level, approximately 8 ppm (27 °C).

Three LED aquarium light bars and two 10 W spotlights, from China, were used to achieve different lighting conditions. The LED bars (warm white [3000 K], cool white [6000 K] and RGB) are adjustable in intensity and allow to simulate (not automated) different lighting conditions, twilight or full sun.

Fish care

Fishes:

  • a pair of Neolamprologus leleupi + fry
  • a pair of Lamprologus ocellatus
  • a small colony of Neolamprologus multifasciatus, 3 males and 5 females + fry

The fish care starts with choosing the biotope aquarium culture. This BAM intends to go beyond aesthetic issues and is very concerned with the physicochemical conditions of water. In this way, it promotes the health of the fish.

The lighting turns on and off gradually, taking advantage of the intensity adjustment capability of the LED bars. Avoiding abrupt changes in lighting conditions.

Fish are fed once a day and in minimal amounts. NLS foods and Dr. Bassleer’s functional foods with vegetable extracts of garlic, açaí, and lapacho tree are used. Weekly pellets are offered soaked, and subsequently dried, in an alcoholic extract of propolis. Propolis is a natural functional additive which, when used at the appropriate dosage, results in better fish health, acting as an immunostimulant, food additive, antimicrobial and therapeutant (De la Cruz-Cervantes et al.).

Plant care

The plants don’t require much care and I’m only concerned with providing enough light for them.

Water care

Water care is a fundamental requirement of this project. The Degens et al. and Tiercelin et al. works guided the physicochemical conditions in which water must be maintained. The cations Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+ and the anions Cl- (chloride), SO4– (sulfate) and the carbonates (CO3– and HCO3-) were considered the macroelements, and the main values of the concentrations were reproduced in the aquarium. Appropriate amounts of sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, magnesium chloride hexahydrate, calcium chloride dihydrate and anhydrous potassium sulfate were measured and solubilized in tap water. Dosing each of the chemical elements was the way to guarantee the concentrations found in nature, as industrialized products are unable to reproduce the elementary ratios, especially if we refer to the Ca and Mg ions, responsible for the hardness of the water. GH values hide the exact concentrations of these elements and may represent different summations of Ca and Mg concentrations. Controlling the Na+/K+ ratio promotes sperm motility, favoring reproduction within the system (Morita et al.).

100 L of water of system (aquarium + sump) is changed every two weeks. The partial water change is made with water previously treated with conditioners, added with salts and in thermal balance with the aquarium, so that there are no considerable oscillations.

Dimensions

Length
120 cm
Depth
50 cm
High
40 cm
Volume
240 L

Substrate in aquarium

Sand
Beige
Pebble/Gravel
Beige
Stone
Beige
Stone form
Irregular
Silt/Mud
Beige
Leaves
Few
Driftwood
Few
Submerged terrestrial vegetation
No

Bibliography

Comment by the expert

Ad Konings: Criteria #3 – Very extensive list of species although many have never been reported from Cape Banza. Criteria #4 – Perfect! Criteria #5 – I’m certain that the fishes can live “harmoniously” together for a long time but one of the three species does not occur anywhere near Cape Banza, i.e. N. multifasciatus only occurs in the southernmost part of the lake mainly in Zambia. The title of a the biotope is “Shallow intermediate habitat”, but none of the three species occur in such habitat. N. leleupi occurs in pure rocky habitats (only black morph at Banza) at depths below 15 m and L. ocellatus is mostly found below 5m on sandy/muddy bottoms without rocks and certainly no plants.

Stefano Valdesalici: Nice looking tank and equilibrate.