Name: Protomelas similis
Origin: Lake Malawi (Africa)
This is a mild-mannered Malawi cichlid that reaches a size of up to 15 cm. The female is silver with a black bar running laterally the length of her body. The male has a similar black bar that disappears almost entirely when he is sexually active. The male's colouring is irridescent blues and greens and can be very striking when he is in his full glory. In some texts this fish is referred to as a "Red Empress" but I think that this is a different species, Protomelas taeniolatus, which contains more red.
At last! I stumbled onto this fish about 2 years ago at Petsmart (of all places). They had no idea what he was. Someone had just dropped him off. He is about 15 cm now and downright stunning. He almost never fights with the other tankmates. He tears around and displays his dominance, but never nips. He lives with a N. venustus of about the same size, an Electric Blue Hap (10 cm), a Red Empress and an A. jacobfriebergi (both about 3.5 cm). All in a 265 L. For a large male, he really is a puppydog.
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