Malawi Blue Cichlid
Genus name: Pseudotropheus Zebra
Distribution: East Africa, in Lake Malawi
Length: up to 6″ (15cm)
Minimum Tank Length: 36″ (90cm)
Water Temperature: 72-77F (22-25C)
Diet: Worms, crustaceans, insects, dried food, plant matter
Breeding: Egg Layers
The Malawi Blue Cichlid is a squat, high-backed Cichlid which has thick lips, a bulging forehead, and a caudal peduncle that is short and relatively tall. The rear parts of the dorsal and anal fins are elongated and pointed.
There are several different colour phases of the Malawi Blue Cichlid, the commonest has a pale blue background colouration, and seven or eight blue-black transverse bars. The dorsal, caudal, and ventral fins are blue.
In another colour phase the body is blue, but without the transverse bars, and another type of Malawi Blue Cichlid is almost white. Another alternative is a bluish-white body with irregular orange, brown and black markings, but only the female Cichlid will be like this.
The Malawi Blue Cichlid is an aggressive fish, which can be kept in a shoal, in an aquarium with a number of rocks and roots arranged to form hiding places. A few robust plants would probably not be attacked by the Cichlids, although they do like to graze on algae.
Malawi Blue Cichlids are best kept in a species aquarium, although it is possible to keep them with some other fish. They are best kept with other Cichlids, or larger fish with a similar temperament. Do keep a careful eye on them all for a while to ensure they will get on. Do not keep them with small fish, as the Cichlids will eat them.
Spawning takes place on or near the bottom of the aquarium, and the female Cichlid collects up the relatively few but rather large eggs in her mouth, and incubates them there over the next 22 to 24 days.