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Cichlids / Africa / Lake Malawi / Moori

Moori, Blue Lump head, Blue Dolphin Cichlid
Cyrtocara moori

Synonyms: Haplochromis moori
Physical description: An oval-shaped cichlid with a characteristic cranial bump on its forehead. The base of caudal fin is very slender. The body is bright blue to dark bright blue. Seven to eight faint vertical stripes are present, although they are often difficult to detect. The fins are the same color as the body.
Size/Length: To 10" (25 cm)
Similar species: None
Habitat: Eastern Africa; found above sandy areas in Lake Malawi.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: 40" (101 cm) or 45-55 gallons (170-209 L) is sufficient for young fish, that are under 5" (13 cm) in length. For fish larger than 5" (13 cm), a tank of 56" (142 cm) or 75 to 100 gallons (285-378 L) is recommended. The background should be large rock formations, while the foreground should be coral sand with a scattering of small stones. Large open swimming areas are very important for this fish. Sturdy live plants can be used.
Water chemistry: 7.0-8.8 (8.0), 10-18 dH (16), 75-81°F (24-27°C)
Social behavior: A peaceful and territorial fish that will form schools when kept in a large tank. Keep one male with several females. In Lake Malawi, the Moori is found in schools with Fossorochromis rostratus.
Suggested companions: Lake Malawi Haplochromines, Synodontis, larger mbunas, Polypterus, Afromastacembelus
FOOD: Live; crustaceans, insect larvae, aquatic insects, Tubifex; beef heart; chopped meat; tablets; pellets
Sexual differences: The male may be slightly larger with brighter colors.
Breeding techniques: Use a large breeding tank with one male and three or four females. The water chemistry should have a pH from 7.5-8.5, a water hardness from 10-16 dH, and a temperature of 79-82°F (26-28°C). Make frequent partial water changes to keep the parents in top condition. The female lays from 20-60, and occasionally as many as 100, on a rock. The takes the eggs into her mouth where they are incubated for 20-25 days. The female continues brood care after the young emerge from the mouth. Start feeding with small live foods. The young grow quickly when kept under a regime of frequent partial water changes.
Breeding potential: 7. Breeding is moderately difficult as long as frequent partial water changes are made.
Remarks: Almost all fish available to the hobby are wild caught.
Difficulty of care: 4. A large, hardy fish that thrives in a properly maintained aquarium.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com