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Set up a natural habitat for Tanganyika cichlids

Seting up a natural habitat for Tanganyika cichlids is a great way to beautify your space. And just as we introduced you to Malawi cichlids, we also have a lot to say about Tanganyika cichlids.

Lake Tanganyika is the oldest in Africa. Tanganyika is a huge lake located on the territory of countries – Tanzania, Congo, Zambia, Burundi, and the length of the coast is 1828 km, making it the longest lake in the world. At the same time, Tanganyika is also very deep. At the deepest point, it is 1470 m, and the average depth is about 600 m. To make it easier for you to imagine, the lake’s surface is slightly larger than the territory of Belgium, and the volume is smaller than the surface of the North Sea. Due to its colossal size, the lake has water temperature stability and parameters.

Tanganyika cichlids in their natural habitat

Lake Tanganyika is particular because evolution followed a unique path. Other related lakes dried up, covered with ice, and Tanganyika did not undergo any notable changes. Fish, plants, invertebrates have adapted to change. And so, it is not surprising that most of the fish that live in the lake are endemic.

We know about 200 species of various cichlids, but new, previously unknown species are found in the lake each year.

The lake area located in Tanzania and Zambia is not explored due to the danger to life. But what we do know is that most fish and animals live in the upper layers of the water. This lake is incredibly rich in fish, especially the one we are interested in – cichlids.

So, you have opted for cichlids and are thinking about whether to take Malawi or Tanganyika cichlids?

Such dilemmas arise regularly, and what we can tell you is that Tanganyika cichlids require you to have some experience with aquariums. Still, of course, the genuine aquarist can master everything.

Aquarium for Tanganyika cichlids

An aquarium of about 150 l is good for starting to store Tanganyika cichlids. Aquarists can later decide switching to larger aquariums, which reach a volume of up to 500L depending on the number of fish and the species. The largest known cichlid can reach up to 90 cm, and the smallest will be only about 4 cm.


This area you should study thoroughly since substrate depends on what kind of fish you want to keep and what conditions it requires. Some species live in shells and require relatively more minor substrates. Most Tanganyika cichlids are good diggers, so they need a thick layer of sand, and some do not dig at all, so you can put whatever suits you.

The same goes for stones. First, you find out about future fish what they like, and then you start buying stones. In general, the fish is not interested in the aesthetic appearance of the stone. Caves that you make are more important so that there is a place to crawl in case of danger. We recommend that you do not mix different stones, and if it’s flat, then everything is flat. Although that doesn’t bother the fish in general, it will be better for your eyes when you tidy up the aquarium.

See a selection of 3D wallpapers that we highly recommend for Tanganyika cichlids.


In the Tanganyika biotope, lighting does not play a significant role, and fish do not require special lighting. In general, lighting plays a more substantial role in the aquarium observer and affects the aesthetic appearance than in the fish themselves.

Water temperature

Tanganyika cichlids live at a temperature of 20 to 27 c. As in the natural habitat, the temperature in the aquarium should be constant and should not vary much. Find out what kind of heater is best for the aquarium size you have decided.


As for food, some are herbivores, and some are carnivores, which is essential to consider when choosing the species that will procure you to make it easier to choose food later and the way of feeding. When purchasing fish, check with the seller about them and the conditions they enjoy most.

Tanganyika cichlid in rocky aquarium

Aquadecor Backgrounds

Now we showed you what options you have if you are thinking about African cichlids. They are beautiful, have lovely marine-like colors, and most important – they are easy to maintenance.

So to make it easier to interpret their natural habitat, look for a large aquarium and browse through our Massive rocky 3D aquarium backgrounds. If you want to add something more to it, choose Additional rocks and stones. You will make a comfortable space for your Tanganyika fish. We have a large selection of aquarium backgrounds; and even if you have ideas on your own, we can make them by your design. Take a look at our shop and gallery selection and start your adventure with these beautiful creatures.

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