Origin and Habitat:
Hongi Island, Lake Malawi, Africa
Primarily a herbivore these fish do well on a diet of good quality flake and pellets supplemented with vegetable such as zucchini, peas, lettuce and carrots.
Males attain 6" while females remain slightly smaller
Minimum Tank Suggestion
55g (4ft), although anything larger is recommended.
Temperature: 78 - 82°F pH: 7.8 - 8.6 Water Hardness: Hard
Found mainly on Tanzanian Side of Lake Malawi, multiple locations house these fish.
Males are very territorial and as such do not do well in smaller tanks even as juveniles.
Dominant males of this species will show a range of colors, The body is mainly blue but in dominant males, orange coloration is observed on the dorsal fins, black barring is also present, indicating the fishes mood. Pronounced black barring signifying an aggressive or dominant mood. The barring is always present although changes hue depending on the fishes mood. Dominant males can be identified with egg spots located on the dorsal and anal fins, sub dominant males will not have this although they will display the orange coloration of the dominant male.
Females stay a brown color although a trigger mechanism can cause them to change color in an instant to resembling lilac with very highlighted black barring.
Like all mbuna pr rock dwellers these fish are very good at rearranging rock structures in a tank, as such these must be well stacked or secured to prevent them causing a rock collapse which may break a pane of glass.
Ratios of this should be always at least 1 male to several (at minimum 2) females, this to prevent harassment on a single female from the dominant male.
Females are aggressive one holding a brood of fry, being a mouthbrooder, females hold the fry in their mouth for approximately 18-28 days, ideally a female should be removed from the tank once holding. Females holding can be aggressive to not only other fish but also to other females, chasing them away and fin nipping.
The following members have contributed to this profile: Tazman
Pictured below are a Dominant Male, Sub dominant Male and Female and a Young Male showing coloration.