Physical description: A Cichlid with a similar body shape to Fuelleborn's Cichlid.
The body is elongated and the
anal and dorsal fins are pointed.
Male specimen are usually similar in color and pattern.
They are blue with dark bands, and have
yellow to red to brown anal, caudal, and dorsal fins. On the other hand, females range in color from: speckled
in a number of colors, the coloring of male fish, to marbled orange.
The lower jaw is under-slung for rasping
algae off of rocks.
Size/Length: To 4.5" (11 cm)
Similar species: Zebra Cichlid (
Pseudotropheus zebra), Kennyi (
Pseudotropheus lombardoi), Fuelleborn's
Cichlid (Labeotropheus fuelleborni
Habitat: Eastern Africa; rocky shore areas of Lake Malawi where there is an abundance of algae.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: 40" (101 cm) or 45-55 gallons (170-209 L).
Water chemistry: pH 7.0-8.5 (8.1), 10-30 dH (18), 72-82°F (22-28°C)
An aggressive and territorial fish that should only be combined with other Mbunas.
are especially aggressive and should be kept with several females.
Retreats are important for the Mbunas
in the tank. Suggested companions: Small Haplochromines, mbunas,
Synodontis FOOD: Algae; flake; live; snails, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, microorganisms, crustaceans,
; pellets; tablets; plant matter; vegetables; peas, lettuce, spinach; fruit.
fish's color may fade if not fed sufficient vegetable foods.
Sexual differences: The male has obvious yellow egg-spots on his anal fin, while the female has small
ones or none at all.
Breeding techniques: Forms a matriarchal family.
Eggs are laid on carefully cleaned rocks and fertilized with the dummy-egg
Up to 40 eggs are laid, but usually not more than 12. They are then mouthbrooded by the female (ovophile
mouth brooder) for 21-30 days.
The fry are free-swimming after 3 weeks and can be fed small live foods.
Breeding potential: 6.
Breeding is not difficult.
Remarks: The Fuelleborn's Cichlid has chisel-shaped teeth which are adapted for scraping algae
off of rocks.
This fish's color and pattern varies greatly depending on the area that the fish is found. In some
areas, males specimen possess female colors, and carry the eggs in the throat sac.
Many of these morphs are named after
the islands near where they are found ("Thumbi" and "Chilumba").
This fish can quickly acclaims to tap
Difficulty of care: 5.
A hardy mbuna that does well in a mbuna community tank.