JBL Malawi Rocks®
Rocky reef aquarium JBL Malawi Rocks®
The Malawi Lake resembles a coral reef with its colourful fish. In addition the cichlids display some very interesting behaviour: they brood their eggs in their mouth. Anyone looking for a colourful aquarium with very lively and interesting fish, will find it in the JBL Malawi Rocks®!
Malawi cichlids belong to the most colourful freshwater fish and their mouth brooding is one of the most interesting breeding behaviours of all fish. Since cichlids are territorial fish and they strongly defend their patch and therefore fights often occur. This is why it is important to create hiding places and territorial boundaries with the help of stones and plants. Because of the fish’s aggressive behaviour, it is difficult to add fish at a later date. However should you need to do this, it’s best to separate a part of the aquarium with a partition pane where you can add the “newcomers” until the stock is accustomed to them. Only then can the pane be removed. Please take this into account when setting up the aquarium.
Modelled on nature
The Lake Malawi in Africa has developed quite a unique fauna over millions of years. The cichlids have evolved to adapt to the lake’s diverse habitats and developed endemic (only existent there) species. Even within species colour varieties have developed since rocky reefs are often separated by large areas of sand, which are a natural barrier for the fish. This way a species can be blue monochrome coloured in one spot and blue striped 1000 m away at the next rocky reef. Many species from the shallow water (up to 15 meters in depth) are grazing fish species which scrape the growth (algae with microorganisms) from the rocks. Other species are predators which feed off other fish and their brood. Plants are only found in a few areas of the lake shore. Most of these regions consist of sandy areas with stones.
100 x 40 x 50 cm = 200 l
pH value: 7.5-9.0
KH: 5-10 °dKH
Nitrite (NO2): 0 mg/l
Temperature: 24-27 °C
The decoration to suit your JBL Malawi Rocks®
Here you can see which substrate and plants you need for your aquarium to look like a piece of Lake Malawi.
These plants suit a rocky reef aquarium.
Jungle Val - Giant Vallis (Vallisneria americana gigantea)
Dwarf Anubias (Anubias barteri var. nana Bonsai)
Here you can see the exact plant location and species in the aquarium. The letters characterise the plant species, mentioned above.
This outline shows all the technical products you need for the Lake Malawi themed aquarium and a price quotation to give you an idea of the costs involved.
The animal stock for the rocky reef aquarium
The following animals suit your Lake Malawi aquarium:
Dwarf Lake Syno
Video about the setup of the JBL Malawi Rocks®
In an 8 minute video we show you how the completed aquarium will look like and how to set it up step by step
How to maintain your rocky reef aquarium
1/3 partial water change with substrate cleaner JBL AquaEx Set 45-70 .
If the Jungle Val/Giants Vallis plants become too long and start taking away too much light from the water surface, the leaves need to be pruned or removed. Please always remove dying or diseased leaves – this can be easily done with long scissors ( JBL PROSCAPE TOOLS S CURVED ).
Add weekly 15 ml liquid fertiliser ( JBL PROFLORA Ferropol ).
CO2 application in Malawi Lake Aquariums
A CO2 system is also useful in this aquarium type, even if almost nobody mentions anything about it. With the lack of CO2, a phenomenon occurs, where plants can extract CO2 from the carbonate hardness of the water. As a result, the carbonate hardness decreases and lime deposits form on the plant leaves (key word: biogenic decalcification; for more information see Water values ). With the use of a CO2 system you can prevent this problem, keeping the carbonate hardness stable and promoting clearly visible the plant growth.
Maintenance time per week
How often do you need to empty and clean the complete aquarium?
Your JBL Malawi Rocks® can stay healthy and beautiful for many years with the above mentioned care. Redecorating your aquarium after a few years, if you wish, will be no problem.
2-3 x daily as much as the fish can eat in 3 minutes.
The aquarium shouldn’t be situated in a too bright place since direct sunlight promotes the algae growth.
The water of the Lake Malawi has a special feature: The carbonate hardness is higher than the general hardness. In most tap waters it is the other way round and the GH shows the higher value. With the help of a special mineral salt ( JBL Aquadur Malawi-Tanganjika ) you can adapt your tap water so that it complies with the water of Lake Malawi. For hard starting water we recommend a reverse osmosis system and the specific adjustment of the water with JBL Aquadur Malawi-Tanganjika .
When adding the stones please take care that the stones are firmly placed on top of each other. To be on the safe side you can bond them with JBL PROHARU UNIVERSAL . The stones need to be tilted towards each other or be glued that way, so that no pressure builds up on the side or rear glass pane. They must not touch the glass.
Tap water is not always suitable for fish and needs to be treated to make it suitable for them with an appropriate water conditioner ( JBL Biotopol ) before putting them in. Add a bacterial starter ( JBL Denitrol ) one hour later and you are ready to introduce the fish. Check the nitrite level of the water every 2 days during the first two weeks with the JBL Nitrite Test NO2 to check the nitrite content of the water.
Experiencing the habit up close
A JBL expedition has already taken us to Lake Malawi in East Africa. In our report you can find out what research findings our team brought back with them and the many photos will give you an impression about the beauty of this habitat above and under water.