bam difficult level

Shallow Rocky Biotope Tank, Kigoma, Tanganyika, Tanzania

Sponsored by

Tanzania, Ujiji, Kigoma region

My aim was to create a 100% viable home for my Eretmodus marksmithi couple, which promotes natural behaviors of the species. After detailed search of BIN, I decided to set up this BAM.

I got inspiration from BIN videos and photos to create rockscape. I collected all rocks and sand from nature. I believe I managed to set up a very viable BAM for my Eretmodus marksmithi couple.

Submitted by
Uğur Ruşen Doğan
Approved by
Ad Konings & Michael Salter
-4.8133712, 29.6096668
Geographical region
Eastern Africa
Drainage Basin
River catchment
Water body type
Water body name
Lake 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
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
27.5 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

12 mg/l
20 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen
0,7 %

Aquarium information

Aquarium description

Set-up date
May 2029
Aquarium decoration

I collected round edged rocks (55 Kg) from a nearby seaside. I placed rocks to create hiding places for my female Eretmodus marksmithi and I covered back of the tank with rocks to give effect of rocky bottom. I used light coloured rocks similar to ones in BIN.

I used very fine, natural light-colored sea sand (40 kg). I poured the sand over the rocks after I positioned them, then the sand flew under and it is not seen as in BIN, but it exists on the bottom to promote beneficial bacteria and maintain water parameters. Every visual details in my design are inspired from photos and videos of BIN.

After hardscape set up was completed, I started to lighten my BAM to promote algae growth, because I wanted my Eretmodus marksmithi couple to feed naturally on the rocks covered with algae. Therefore, my BAM has little more algae than BIN but this is to create opportunity of natural feeding for specie. I tried to create different cave and shadow areas in BAM to help the female not to get stressed or to hide from male when she broods.

Aquarium equipment
  • Filter: Tetra EX 700 (700 L/H)
  • Heater : Eheim 150w
  • Lightning : Sylvania Aquastar T5 24w
  • 2 x Sylvania 75w par30 halogen
Fish care

There is only one couple of Eretmodus marksmithi in my BAM. Decoration of BAM helps to keep stress on low level which can happen because of territorial conflicts. I feed my couple with 3 different high quality food and they also feed on naturally growth algae on rocks all day along.

I am very careful about water parameters and I keep them stable by water changes and constant temperature. All listed above helps me to keep fish active and healthy.


  • Eretmodus marksmithi 2


Plant care
Water care

I used natural sea sand on the bottom and crushed coral in filter to rise pH to 8,5. I keep %20 water changes weekly and do vacuum cleaning between rocks. In every 1-2 days I clean algae on glasses and on equipments. I clean filter in every 3 mounts.


60 cm
60 cm
60 cm
216 L

Substrate in aquarium

Stone form
Submerged terrestrial vegetation


  • Tanganyika Cichlid in Their Natural Habitat. 4th Edition by Ad Konins

Comment by the expert

Ad Konings:

Crieria 5: 60 cm length of aquarium is a bit on the small side for Eretmodus. In the lake they have, as a pair, a territory of several meters in diameter, so I think the aquarium should have been 80 or better 100 cm long.

Crieria 6: Eretmodus lives in often turbulent water and I would have liked to see a little bit more of a flow in the aquarium or an area which is more open and larger (see size of tank) where the pair usually sits together. Also a bit more light or maybe the video compensated and made most of the aquarium a bit dark.

Crieria 9: Looks like the fish didn’t feel at home as they act very skittish.

Michael Salter: The layer of algae defintely adds authenticity. It is doubtful that the tank is large enough for the inhabiatans however. A wavemaker could have been incorporated to good effect.