An elongated, laterally compressed cichlid.
The lips of adult fish are large and
The body color is usually greenish-white to greenish-silver-brown.
About 12 transverse stripes run the
length of the body.
These stripes vary in intensity depending on the fish, and are usually dark gray in color.
fins are transparent with a smoky gray tint.
Size/Length: To 16" (40 cm) in nature, although not usually larger then 11" (28 cm)
Similar species: None
Habitat: Eastern Africa; found at depth from 125 to 200 feet (38-61 m) in rocky zones, Lake
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: Smaller individuals can be kept in a tank measuring 48" (122 cm) with a volume of
55 gallons (209 L).
Adults need a 60" (152 cm) tank with a volume of 90-110 gallons (342-416 L).
tank must have large open areas for free-swimming.
Use a back-drop of large rock structures, including caves and tunnels.
substrate should be coral sand.
Water chemistry: pH 7.5-8.8 (8.0), 8-22 dH (18), 70-75°F (21-24°C) is more natural, although
the Zebra Cichlid will tolerate a temperature from 70-82°F (21-28°C) in aquaria.
Social behavior: A highly aggressive, predatory fish that will eat fish under the size of 3.5"
(9 cm) when full-grown.
The Zebra Cichlid is territorial to others of its own and other species.
Suggested companions: Altolamprologus,
Afromastacembelus, Lamprichthys, Synodontis, Cyphotilapia, and
FOOD: Live; fish, earthworms, aquatic insects, snails,
Tubifex, insect larvae; chopped meat; mollusks;
pellets; tablets; large flakes; vegetables; spinach, peas, lettuce.
Sexual differences: The male's anal fin has egg-spots and may have lighter stripes.
Breeding techniques: Use a large breeding tank with the following water propertieS: a pH from 8.0-8.5, a
water hardness from 8-14 dH, and a temperature from 75-79°F (24-26°C).
Keep one male with several females.
many as 400 eggs are laid and taken into the mouth of the female.
They are fertilized via the dummy-egg
The eggs are incubated for a period of
The fry can be fed on
Daphnia, and crushed dry foods.
Breeding potential: 9.
Breeding, until recently, had not been accomplished in aquaria.
Remarks: The large lips of
L. labiatus serve an important role in finding
food in the depths of Lake Tanganyika.
The fish are able to sense food with them.
A close relative to the Haplochromines
of Lake Malawi.
Difficulty of care: 6.
A hardy, but highly aggressive cichlid that can only be combined with other large, robust
Lake Tanganyika cichlids.
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