03-05-2013, 07:08 PM
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I am certainly not an expert when it comes to the rift lakes, but my understanding is that Lake Malawi is basically a rock landscape. At a depth well below sea level, plant life would have to be restricted to the shores. There are stands of Vallisneria in the sandy substrate. Many of the cichlid species inhabit the deeper rocky areas.
When I had rift lake fish many, many years ago, I used a calcareous substrate and had Corkscrew Vallisneria planted in a few patches, with a tumbled rock backdrop. Vallisneria is a hard water plant that always grows better in such water, so it is an ideal plant. We have two species in our profiles, Vallisneria spiralis var. spiralis which is the corkscrew, and then the much larger Vallisneria americana var. americana. There are in fact only two species in the genus, and these two varieties are the most commonly encountered. Further info in the profiles [click the shaded names].