This is an aquarium measuring 200x60x50cm, about 600 liter. This aquarium has been in my livingroom for three years now (since september 2005). The previous one was of the same measurements, but it had scratches all over the window, so I replaced it.

I've made the rear wall by myself. I used polyurethane-foam and put some pvc-tubes inside to provide the fish with some extra hideouts. Afterwards, I painted it with yellow, green and black acryllic paint. When the paint was still wet, I threw some sand on it to provide a natural effect when it's under water. When the rear wall was dry after some days I have put it in my aquarium. I then washed it for a couple of times, and after a week I set up the aquarium.


On the bottom are tempex plates to prevent breaking of the glass. On top of that are the first rocks, "Grauacke", and well-washed sand. I then put the other rocks in and filled my aquarium with water, which has a pH of 7,9 and a dH of 8,6 (according to our water company). I'm not doing any water treatments, because my fish like this environment.

I'm filtering over three Eheim pots (type 2213, 440 liter/hour), each filled with cotton-wool. From two of these filters the water goes (from each filter separated) through a closed pvc-tube of 1 meter long and 5 cm. width, filled with ceramic pipes,in which little holes have been drilled. The water flows in large flowerpots filled with hydrograins, about 25 cm thick. In the meantime, the water has reached the top of my aquarium and it flows through little holes in the bottom of the flowerpots back into my aquarium.
The advantage is that there is a continuous gas exchange, which results in a higher degree of oxygen in my aquarium.
The third filter goes back into my aquarium directly, it sprays over the surface of the water.

To create light, I'm using two Grolux 58W lamps, two "Blue Sky" 30W lamps and two "Blue Sky" 38W lamps. The Grolux light are turned on first, from 9 am. An hour and a half later the 30W lamps will turn on, and another hour and a half later the 38W lamps. They will go out in the opposite order, starting at 8 pm, so the lights are out at 11pm. The total time the aquarium is lit is 14 hours. This results in a good grow of algae on the rocks.

The temperature fluctuates between 24 degrees Celsius in winter months and 28 degrees Celsius in the summer.

As vegetation I'm using Microsorium Pteropus and Anubias "nana", which are doing pretty good, but they don't live in Lake Malawi. The fish are leaving these plants alone.
I used to use Vallisneria Spiralis and Ceratophyllum Demersum (when it was in stock), but my fish always ate the Vallisneria.


Until several months ago (2007), this aquarium's population mainly existed of "non-mbuna's", such as Aulonocara jacobfreibergi "Eureka", Copadichromis borleyi "Kadango", Cyrtocara moorii and Protomelas steveni "Taiwan Reef". Besides these fish there were two groups "mbuna's". There was one group of yellow Labidochromis caeruleus and a group of Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos. Furthermore, there were lots of young fish swimming around. These were mainly "maingano" and "caeruleus". It surprised me there were so many young fish, because there also was a couple of Sciaenochromis fryeri in my aquarium.

In spring 2008 I decided to start keeping "mbuna", like Thimo. I sold the "moorii`s", "taiwan reefs" and "kadango`s" and went looking for new inhabitants. I managed to find them quite fast. My aquarium's population hasn't changed much since then. At the moment (March 2013) I have the following species:

Cynotilapia afra "Cobue", 1 male with 2 females
Labeotropheus fuelleborni "marmelade", 1 male with 3 females
Labidochromis chisumulae, 1 male with 3 females
Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos, 1 male with 3 females
Metriaclima callainos, 1 male with 3 females
Metriaclima hajomaylandi, 1 male with 2 females
Metriaclima sp."msobo" Magunga, 1 male with 3 females
Sciaenochromis fryeri "iceberg", 1 male with 2 females
Tropheops sp."red cheek" Likoma, 1 male with 3 females

From 2008 to 2012 we`ve also had some breeding tanks in which we kept the following species:

Astatotilapia calliptera "Thumbi East"
Cynotilapia afra "Likoma"white top
Gephyrochromis moorii "Msuli"
Labidochromis caeruleus "Nkhata Bay"
Labidochromis caeruleus "yellow"
Metriaclima sp."elongatus usisya"
Metriaclima sp."zebra long pelvic" Mdoka
Pseudotropheus sp."elongatus spot"

The species mentioned above have all been in my main aquarium for some time. It was fun to change species with eachother, to study the behavior of the fish in a more crowded aquarium.

aqua johan overzicht


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