Name: Paralabidochromis sp.
Origin: Lake Victoria (Africa)
I've sort of taken a tour through East Africa with Rift Lake Cichlids, having started with small Lake Malawi mbuna, then peacocks, then progressed to dwarf Tanganyikan species (namely Neolamprologus multifasciatus shell-dwellers), and finally converted my 30-gallon tank to a Lake Victoria species tank. I now keep about half a dozen species of haplochromines from Lake Victoria, including three juvenile Rock Kribs. Despite being the smallest fish in my tank (the biggest are a pair of red-finned unidentified haps about 3" long) they have no trouble holding their own. They eat greedily and are already facing off in minor little squabbles. There seems to be very little literature available on Lake Victoria cichlids, but from my observations, they seem to do well with the same water parameters as Malawi cichlids. I keep the tank at about 8.2 pH, adding Rift Lake salts and trace elements, and do a 50% water change every 7 to 10 days. I use a cannister filter and a powerhead to keep the water clean and provide a strong current, which they seem to enjoy. The tank is furnished with fine-grade quartz gravel, carved rocks, and African rootwood, along with a small cluster of floating plants. Given the enthusiasm with which my Victorians consume spirulina flakes, I'd guess that they would benefit from a diet composed of about 50/50 vegetable matter and protein, especially live brine shrimp or frozen prawn eggs.
Rock Kribs seem to be less aggressive than some of the other Victorian haps; before the three juveniles I had now, I briefly had a 4" grown male and had to return him because my biggest male hap was attacking him. I'd be careful of mixing Rock Kribs with aggressive species like the Malawi mbuna or aggressive Lake Victoria species like the "half-crimson" haplochromis. They get along well with small peacocks and gentler Lake Victoria haplochromines, however. Like Malawi cichlids, Victorians are fiesty and territorial and seem to do better in slightly crowded tanks. In order to accomodate my dominant male hap, I've gotten juveniles of the other species, and this, along with the crowding, seems to have reduced his aggressiveness. At the same time, the Victorians aren't quite as nasty as my mbuna were; I just today introduced a small zebra obliquidens to the tank and he settled in without a problem. In contrast, every time I introduced a new fish to my Malawi tank, I had to resort to all kinds of subterfuges like rearranging the tank and turning out the lights to keep the established fish from harrassing the newcomer to death.
I'm glad to see Victorian cichlids becoming more available to hobbyists, especially since they are endangered in their natural environment. In fact, many of Lake Victoria's beautiful native cichilds are in danger of becoming extinct due to environmental damage and predation by introduced non-native species like the Nile perch. Hopefully, as more aquarists become acquainted with these sturdy yet delicately beautiful fish, increased public awareness will spur conservation efforts in time to save them in the wild.
I have two of these fish and one of them is extremly agressive, she swims around looking for trouble constantly and has killed 2 juvenile tiger oscars leaving only one in my 950 Liter tank, it's a very agressive tank and that is why I picked her because she was picking on all of the other ones at the store, she's only about 8 cm but very aggressive. The other one doesn't tend to be too aggressive at all and he is very playful and even a little shy. I will come up to my tank and be looking around and I won't see any fish but when my eyes wander to the bottom I catch him staring straight at me. It's really very cute. They are beautiful fish and remind me of humming birds, the way that they swim.
I have a pair of these fishes as well, and the Female is extremely aggressive. She is about 9 cm long, the male is about 4 cm. I have a porcelain hollow ruin decor and she keeps the male there 24/7, only allowing him to come out to feed or breed. She seems to always be in heat and as soon as the Fry are about 7 mm long she is ready to breed again. I have a 100 L tank and she has the rest of the fishes in check. She already killed and comsumed 1 large Apple Snail and 2 mid size Ram Snails. But the only problem I have is that of their fry only 1 survives, the rest die. Looks like the juvenile fry from the first litter is adapting well to the tank after I re-intruduced it. It's about 3 cm long now and learning to stay away from his mom.
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