Lake Tanganyika is the second oldest, second largest and second deepest lake on Earth. The lake is home to about 250 species of Tanganyika Cichlids. About 98% of these species only occur in the lake (endemic). This is due to the fact that the lake flows into the Congo River. Rapids and other water parameters prevent fish from entering the river from the lake and vice versa.
Although Lake Malawi contains more species (around 1,000), Tanganyika Cichlids are more diverse in shape, color and behavior.
Tanganyika Cichlids for sale
Buying the desired types of Tanganyika cichlids can be challenging. Not all Local Fish Stores sell these fish. Therefore, check in advance whether a store has these cichlids in its range.
There are also a number of enthusiasts who breed these fish themselves. It is worth inquiring whether there is someone nearby who own your desired species.
Nowadays you can even buy Tanganyika Cichlids online. One of the drawbacks of buying online is you can’t pick the fish yourself which is part of the fun in keeping fish. It does give you a lot more options in available species.
Lake Tanganyika Cichlid Aquarium
Decorating the aquarium is entirely dependent on what kind of Tanganyika cichlids you want to keep. Almost all of them have in common that (filter)sand is used on the bottom. Many of the species dig into the sand looking for something edible. They sift the sand along their gills. Make sure you use rounded and not sharp sand.
For the shell dwellers, rocks are not necessary, but they need sufficient snail shells. Many other residents need rocks in between which they can build a territory. Pile up the rocks with holes, cracks and crevices in between. The fish find refuge in between, build a territory and with some luck build a nest and you will automatically get new fish.
The water parameters in Lake Tanganyika are fairly stable. This is caused by the great depth and the lack of large supply and discharge of water. The top water layer has a pH of about 8.7 to 9 with a temperature of 24 degrees Celsius in winter around August to 28 to 29 degrees Celssius in the rainy season around March / April. In the aquarium you can maintain a lower pH from pH 7 to 8.5. Make sure that your Tanganyika Cichlids can slowly get used to your water parameters.