Domesticating anopheline species from wild isolates provides an important laboratory tool but requires detailed knowledge of their natural biology and ecology, especially the natural breeding habitats of immature stages. The aim of this study was to determine the optimal values of some parameters of Anopheles gambiae larval development, so as to design a standard rearing protocol of highland isolates, which would ensure: the biggest fourth instars, the highest pupae productivity, the shortest duration of the larval stage and the best synchronization of pupation. The density of larvae, the size of breeding water and the quantity of food supplied were tested for their effect on larval growth. Moreover, three cheap foodstuffs were selected and tested for their capability to improve the breeding yield versus TetraMin® as the standard control. The larval density was a very sensitive parameter. Its optimal value, which was found to be ≈1 cm−2 surface area, yielded a daily pupation peak of 38.7% on day 8 post-oviposition, and a global pupae productivity of 78.7% over a duration range of three days. Anopheles gambiae's larval growth, survival and developmental synchronization were density-dependent, and this species responded to overcrowding by producing smaller fourth instars and fewer pupae, over elongated immature lifetime and duration range of pupae occurrence, as a consequence of intraspecific competition. While shallow breeding waters (<3 cm) produced a higher number of pupae than deeper ones, no effect of the breeding habitat's absolute surface area on larval development was observed. Increasing the daily food supply improved the pupae productivity but also boosted the water pollution level (which was assessed by the biological oxygen demand (BOD) and the chemical oxygen demand (COD)) up to a limit depending on the food quality, above which a rapid increase in larval mortality was recorded. The food quality that could substitute the manufactured baby fish food was obtained with weighed mixture of 1 wheat+1 shrimp+2 fish. On establishing an anopheline mosquito colony in the laboratory, special care should be taken to design and maintain the appropriate optimal values of larval density, water depth, daily diet quantity and nutritional quality.