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Cichlids / Africa / Lake Malawi / Mbuna / Fuelleborni

Fuelleborn's Cichlid, Fuelleborni
Labeotropheus fuelleborni

Synonyms: Labeotropheus curvirostris
Physical description: The body is elongated and the upper lip overhangs the lower. The anal and dorsal fins are pointed. The dorsal and caudal fins are usually yellow tipped. Males are usually blue with vertical stripes. Females are often very similar, although sometimes their body coloring is very different, being orange with black splotches. This morph is known as the Marbled Fuelleborn's Cichlid
Size/Length: Males to 7" (18 cm), female to 5" (13 cm)
Similar species: Zebra Cichlid ( Pseudotropheus zebra), Kennyi ( Pseudotropheus lombardoi)
Habitat: Eastern Africa; found along the rocky shores of Lake Malawi
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: 36" (91 cm) or 35 gallons (132 L). The tank should have a rocky set-up. Offer hiding places with caves and stone structures. This cichlid will eat live plants. Use a strong light system to promote algae growth.
Water chemistry: pH 7.5-8.8 (8.1), 12-30 dH (20), 72-82°F (22-28°C)
Social behavior: This species is among the most peaceful of all mbunas, although it can be aggressive and territorial at times. These fish only form pairs while spawning. Does best in a tank with several females and one male.
Suggested companions: Synodontis, Lake Tanganyika Rainbows, Lake Tanganyika Cichlids, mbunas.
FOOD: Algae; flake; live; snails, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, microorganisms, crustaceans, snails, Tubifex ; pellets; tablets; plant matter; vegetables; peas, lettuce, spinach; fruit.
Sexual differences: The male has yellow egg-spots on his anal fin and grows to a larger size.
Breeding techniques: Eggs are laid on carefully cleaned rocks and fertilized with the dummy-egg
method. Up to 60 eggs are laid where they are then mouthbrooded in the throat cavity of the female. Fry are free-swimming after 20-30 days and can be fed small live foods.
Breeding potential: 6. Fuelleborn's Cichlid spawns rather readily in hard, alkaline water.
Remarks: Fuelleborn's Cichlid has chisel-shaped teeth which are adapted for scraping algae off of rocks. Several different color and pattern morphs are available, such as the types mentioned above, an "orange-blotched" variety, and a checkered morph. The male has the ability to undergo a rapid color change depending on his mood.
Difficulty of care: 4. An aggressive fish that is quite an intelligent animal. Fuelleborn's Cichlids are known for their recognition of their owners and shyness towards strangers.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com