Mbuna and the Rocky Shores of Lake Malawi

Here are some recent pictures of my 70 gallon Malawi tank. The tank is setup to simulate the rocky, algae covered shores of Lake Malawi. Several species of Mbuna reside in the tank and reproduce madly. “Mbuna” is Chitonga word meaning “rock fish”. These fish live among and feed off of the large, algae covered rocks along the coast of Lake Malawi. I attempt to reproduce this habitat using large pieces of limestone quarried in the Texas Hill Country. I use some fairly intense power compact flourescent lighting to get a nice layer of algae growth on the rocks. The fish are constantly grazing on this algae layer, eating both the algae and the particles of food caught in the algae mat. In their natural habitat, this algae layer harbors various small crustaceans which the mbuna feed upon. The German term aufwuchs is often used to describe this layer of algae and crustaceans covering the rocks.

One thought on “Mbuna and the Rocky Shores of Lake Malawi

  1. That is one beautiful tank !
    It must be so serene when all the lights in the house are off except the one in the aquarium.

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