bam Easy level

Cape Kaku, Lake Tanganyika, Zambia

Sponsored by

Zambia, District of Mpulungu, Kasaba Bay

Watching some videos on You tube, on the Alex Jordan channel I came across a dive in the Cape Kaku region, southwest of Lake Tanganyika and I was fascinated by the huge rock formations composed of gravel rising towards the surface. As I was looking for inspiration to compose a biotope tank in a taller than wide tank, I glimpsed a composition with two large rocks composing with a rocky wall (background) recreating the rocky intermediate zone of the lake, with a small and steep portion of sand, perfect environment for the creation of Altolamprologus calvus and Lamprologus ocellatus.

Submitted by
Marco Antonio Cunha
Approved by
Ad Konings & Michael Salter
GPS
-8.6413937, 30.8684940
Geographical region
Eastern Africa
Drainage Basin
Lake Tanganyika
River catchment
Water body type
Lake
Water body name
Tanganyika
Water body part
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
No
Water temperature
27-29 °C
Water flow/curent
Slow

Chemical parameters

pH
9.0
Conductivity
GH
267 mg/l
KH
196 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen

Aquarium information

Aquarium description

Set-up date
July, 2020
Aquarium decoration

I used approximately 50 kg of rocks that I collected from nature, in addition to a lateral bottom and two large artificial rocks, both made by me in my project.

I placed the rocks according to the sample views of the rock structure of the region, where we see large outcrops towards the surface, forming huge walls. The larger rocks are arranged at the top and the smaller, flatter ones at the bottom, providing a welcoming atmosphere to the inhabitants of the Altolamprologus calvus rocks, leaving a small piece of sand where my Lamprologus ocellatus lives, with some snail shells, using river sand. with some broken shells, to give a more natural and similar appearance to the region.

My goal was to recreate the intermediate rocky area, with the steep slope of the soil, characteristic of the region. By positioning the rocks at the top, I planned to cut off the light coming from the surface, creating shaded areas for the fish. The stones I used on the substrate were used to give the appearance of small fragments that were detached from the large rocks of the lake.

Aquarium equipment

As a habitat, I would like to point out that the area receives intense sunlight, as it is close to the surface. Based on this situation, I installed a light system composed of a 50W Aquanano luminaire with white and blue LEDs and a 2700K 7W hot spot, positioned at 45 degrees to simulate the incidence of sunlight.

For filtration, I use a 900 l / h Jebo container, using only a biological blanket for mechanical filtration and 2 liters of Oceantech ceramic for biological filtration.

Given the climatic characteristics of the region where I live, with small thermal amplitude and high annual average, I use a ventilation system controlled by a thermostat, keeping the aquarium temperature between 27 and 29 degrees. In the rear window, I used a blue vinyl panel to promote the feeling of infinity.

Fish care

Animal care consists of fortnightly maintenance with TPA and cleaning of the filter’s mechanical mat, in addition to vacuuming any excess debris in the substrate and rocks.

To maintain the ideal parameters I use a homemade buffer, with the addition of essential salts MgSO4, CaCl2, NaHCO₃ and Na2CO3 in the TPAs. The photoperiod is 8 hours. Feed provided once a day, consisting of a mix of rations from New Life Spectrum.

Fish:

  • Altolamprologus calvus 3
  • Lamprologus ocellatus 1
Plant care

None.

Water care

Dimensions

Length
60 cm
Depth
50 cm
High
70 cm
Volume
210 L

Substrate in aquarium

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

Comment by the expert

Ad Konings:

Crieria 5: Since this aquarium should reflect a small piece of Lake Tanganyika I have a few remarks: A. calvus and L. ocellatus are never found together, not even within 20 meters of each other. If you would have chosen L. multifasciatus that would have been much better. Why only a single L. ocellatus? The reverse would have been more natural, i.e. 1xA. calvus and 3xL. ocellatus. I don’t see a shell or equivalent for the L. ocellatus, which is mentioned in the description.

Michael Salter: The space is really to small to recreate a realistic portion of an area with fairly large rocks. The species combination and proportions are very quesionable as well. More research needed to be done in this case.