The Fuelleborni Cichlid is common and widely distributed in Lake Malawi, being found in shallow water around the tops of rocky shorelines and around islands. The water here is often turbulent and has a high oxygen content so they will require a high degree of oxygenation in the aquarium.
The Fuelleborni Cichlid will reach sizes of around 15cm. They have the curved-over upper lip; males are mostly solid blue while females are marbled. Males are a dark blue with orange fins, unless excited, then the blue turns a lighter shade. An orange tint is also apparent when the male gets excited. Marbled males can exist and these males are marbled brown, blue, and green on a pinkish background, and the fins will be a soft blue.
The Fuelleborni Cichlid grows to about 15cm, with males being slightly larger than females. They are a heavy algae eater in the wild, scraping algae of off rocks. Spirulina flakes are the food of choice for this fish, with other vegetables such as frozen peas. They grow quickly and are not overly aggressive, but can be territorial.
The Fuelleborni Cichlid found all over the lake in many different color morphs (Around at least 30).
It should be spawned in a species tank in a harem of one male and at least 3 females. A 48″ aquarium (200 litres) is a good size and should be furnished with piles of rocks arranged to form caves with small areas of open water between. A sandy substrate is best and the water should be well oxygenated. Plants should not be used as they will be eaten. Provide some flat stones and areas of open sand to act as potential spawning sites. The pHshould be around 8.2-8.5 and the temperature 24°c -28°c. Condition the fish with plenty of vegetable, live and frozen foods.
The male will clean and then display around his chosen spawning site, showing intense colour to attempt to entice females to mate with him. He can be quite aggressive in his pursuits and it is to dissipate this that the Fuelleborni Cichlid should be spawned in a harem. When a female is willing, she will approach the spawning site and lay her eggs, after which she picks them up in her mouth. The male has egg-shaped spots on his anal and the female is attracted to these. When she tries to add them to the brood in her mouth she actually receives sperm from the male, thus fertilising the eggs. The female may carry the brood of 25-60 eggs for up to 3 or 4 weeks, before releasing the free swimming fry. She will not eat during this period and can be easily spotted by her distended mouth. If a female is overly stressed she may spit out the brood prematurely or eat them, so care must be taken if you decide to move the fish, in order to avoid fry predation. It is also worth noting that if a female is away from the colony for too long she may lose her position in the pecking order of the group. We recommend waiting as long as possible before moving a female, unless she is being harassed.
- Species – Labeotropheus fuelleborni
- Common Name – Fuelleborni
- Origin – Lake Malawi
- Diet – Omnivore/Herbivore
- PH Range – Alkaline 7.5 – 8.5
- Water Type – Hard
- Temperature – Tropical 24°c
- Breed Type – Mouth brooder
- Current Size – approximately 5cm (Grows to approximately 15cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed