Lake Malawi was formed 1-2 million years ago. This geologically young, rocky lake of the East African Rift is about 375 miles (604 km) long and 53 miles (85 km) wide, making it the ninth largest lake in the world.
The lake is bordered by Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. This lake is dominated by cichlids, most of which are endemic to the lake. Over 280 cichlid species have been described, although estimates of up to 500 cichlid species have been made. The largest group of Cichlids found in this lake is the Haplochromines with over 120 species and 48 genera. Among the Haplochromines, are the Peacock Cichlids of the genus Aulonocara; the Mbuna, a large group, including the genera, Cynotilapia, Labeotropheus, Labidochromis, Melanochromis, and Pseudotropheus; and the larger piscivores of the genera Cyrtocara, Nimbochromis, and Sciaenochromis.
pH 7.8-8.6, 6-10 dH, 23-28°C (72-82°F)
Provide plenty of rockwork and caves with hard alkaline water with a pH of at least 7.8. The bottom substrate should be of a material that will aid in the pH buffering capabilities of the water. Good substrate choices could be Dolomite or crushed coral to aid in buffering the water. Tankmates should be from the same area and be able to fend off their attentions.
Vallisneria is the only commercially available species, but Anubias and Java Fern are also suitable if the aquariast is willing to bend the biotope rules.
Lake Malawi cichlids (Mbuna, Peacock cichlids, Others), Synodontis.
Taken fromRhett A. Butler/mongabay.com.