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Doud 02-08-2010 03:28 PM

150L : Malebo Pool ?
Hi everybody !

I'm just beginning in Tropical fish keeping, and my first fish tank is a 150L. I 'd like a precise biotope of a west african river, the Congo River. The biotope I found informations on is the "Malebo pool". I'd like to find three species of this biotope wich could integrate my tank. For now I have a ground made of substract and black quartzite.

The only and very good information I found is of Bleher's biotope :〈=fr&id=123 And Aquapress Bleher - Aqua-Fisch 2006 – Biotope 1 d=53〈=fr.

The big problem is the size of my tank. And by the end, the only fish (wich exist in Bleher'list) I can put in it is the Microstenopoma Ansorgii. And maybe a Synodontys.

The tank surface is not rectangular. It has a long side of 100cm and the other long is 70cm.
It has this shape :

If someone has more information about this biotope, concerning smaller fish I could put.
A good advice for my tank, shared on a french forum was to put a fish specie for the top of the tank (Ctenopoma or Epyplatys : here the Microctenopoma Ansorgii could be...), another for the middle (phenaco. Interruptus but too big for this Tank, or Pareutropius Debauwi but too big as well no ? because gregarious.... Or Parailia Congica, same problem I guess...) and the third and last one for the ground (a couple of Cichlids like Pelvica - but problem of quartzite ground maybe - or Nanochromis, could be Parilus but it digs, and maybe will injured with quartzite).

Here is my problem ! Thanks by advance !


PS : I prefer fishes with interesting behaviour to "beautiful" ones.

Doud 02-08-2010 03:39 PM

I forgot my water parameters :

NO3 = 10 mg/L / NO2 =0 / GH = environ 14°d / KH = 3°d / pH = 7.2

Doud 02-08-2010 03:53 PM

A possible (maybe) solution for 3 species, clearer :

- upper part of the water : Microctenopoma Ansorgii
- Middle : Phenaco. Interruptus (but too big) / Pareutropius Debauwi (too big ?) or Parailia congica
- Ground, downer part : Nanochromis parilus (or Pelvica ?) but I fear they dig and hurt themselves. Or, as I wanted Shrimps, 4 or 5 Atya Gabonensis on the ground...

Thanks for your advices...


iamntbatman 02-08-2010 10:59 PM

Are you determined to specifically have fish found in Pool Malebo or would any fish from the Congo River basin be suitable? I'm not sure if all of these species are available in that particular part of the Congo river, but in a 150L tank something like this would be fine:

For the top levels, the Microctenopoma you mentioned would work but I've personally never seen these available in stores (although things could certainly be different in France). A more commonly available top-dweller might be Pantodon buchholzi, the African butterfly fish. For the middle levels, a school of Congo tetras would be absolutely stunning. For the bottom of the tank, a pair of kribensis cichlids and maybe a smaller Congo river syno?

Doud 02-09-2010 04:54 PM

Hi iamntbatman and thank you for your point of view !

I had to determine a very specific biotope belonging to the Congo River. That was the deal. And the onlly biotope I found on the net was the Bleher's one.
He make a precision of the situation wich is important and can significate that this biotope isn't the same as the whole Pool Malebo wich is very very hard stream.

""This habitat represents a cross-section from a small bay of the Malebo Pool. Between the stones (the Congo River is full of them) and above the sandy bottom there is a fascinating selection of fishes to be discovered, but water plants are virtually absent.""

The microctenopoma effectivly seems to be quite rare. But who knows... The problem is mostly that it seems to need a bigger space. I try to collect other informations about it. The strange point is that all the people who have one or more in a tank say that it doesn't spend is time on the upper part but at the contrary near the bottom space.

The Pantodon buchholzi, as you suggest, is very interesting. I saw it clearly but I found it a pity to close it whereas it could nearly fly to hunt. But I keep it in my mind cause it appears very interesting...

I also firstly thought about having Phenacogrammus Interruptus but most part of the people I read think that 150L is too small to let them express themselves naturally... Some Parailia Congica or pareutropius Debauwi would be more quiet... And then more adaptated to the tank size.

For the bottom, Nanochromis Parilus sounded right to me... But Have to see, and I think it's not so easy to have some, neither. Maybe I'll change my ground, to put small sand, not to injure fishes.

To conclude I would also say that someone who seems to be really informed about the Congo River, by havind lived there a long time, said to me that this Bleher's biotope where more for those who like aquarium than to try to reproduce this tipical Pool Malebo Biotope.... He talked about a majority of fish wich silver color, and no plant at all in the water, exepted during floods.

Thanks again for all your advices...

Doud 02-13-2010 06:23 AM

Hi !

My choise is getting more precise :

Top levels : Pantodon Buchholz
i > I don't know how many ; on a french forum someone told me to put 1 male for 3 females ; on another forum I've been told not to put some, because of a too small tank. I've read that for 3-4 Pantodon, it's better to have 200L. I juste have 150L. What's you point of view ?
I hesitated with the Microctenopoma but this one has a preference for exploring all the tank.

Middle water : Parailia Congica -> I've read that I must put a minimum of 4. I've chosen them in place of the Pareutropius Debauwi because of the size. It appears that the Debauwi is about 12cm (5") whereas the Parailia seems to be 9cm (3.5"). What do you know about the differences of behavior between the two species of African Glass Fish ? I think to buy something like 8-10 Parailia Congica. As well it's the number adviced for the Pareutropius Debauwi. So the of Size is very important. I'll choose the Congica.

Bottom of the tank : Nanochromis Parilus (wich is available on "iktus", a website selling wild and less wild fishes) > How many should I put ?
I also thought about puting some Atya Gabonensis, but they have to be put in a minimum of 4. It looks like beeing to much for the ground part of the tank. Moreover the Nanochromis Parilus is know to be easily irritable. It would maybe attac the Atya.

For the flora, I will put Bolbitis Heudetolii (maybe 5), but no Crinum I think, as this river doesn't really have plants in it, excepted when there is floods. I already have two "tourbière" roots. I must put more roots and Rocks to prevent hidden parts for the Nanochromis and other fishes... Do you know about Mopani Roots. I heard there is no hole in it, that's why you have to own others...
DO you know any tree wich roots can be found in the Congo river ?

Thanks a lot for paying attention....

fishinadish 02-13-2010 11:34 AM

hmm not sure if this topic is still active but a quick google search came up with this site might be worth a look
Biotope Aquariums

Doud 02-13-2010 02:58 PM

It's active, at list for me ;-)

Thanks for the link. Magabay is a place I past by several times but I didn't noticed all the links preventing to give detail on each river. It's very interesting but I suppose that all fishes don't exist all along the river.
And in my case, I've chosen the Pool Malebo, in the Congo River. I didn't find anything very precise on this link. But a lot of precious informations concerning biotopes all over the world !

Thanks fishinadish !


Doud 02-14-2010 06:27 AM

Oups : "At least" ... And not "At list" ...

fishinadish 02-14-2010 09:54 AM

your welcome

heres another link more specific to the kind of set up your going for
Aquapress Bleher - Aqua Fisch 2006 – Biotope 1

i think aquariums for a precise biotope are 99% planning and researching and the othger 1% is watching all your hard work at the end of a hard day :D

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