This Permutt Cichlid is found in very deep waters off of the reefs Mara and Higga in Mara Bay in Lake Malawi, Africa. These reefs have strong currents, and so the Perlmutt is often found inside quiet and calm caves, protected against the water currents.
Males can sometimes be very aggressive with females who are either unwilling or unprepared to spawn. For this reason, it’s best to keep this fish in a larger aquarium at least 300 litres with many other tank mates. Perlmutt enjoy caves and other “protected” hiding places. Be sure to provide ample hiding places to ensure each fish a sense of security. Flake food, and particularly, a good Spirulina flake like the Fish Keepers Choice brand, is recommended for these cichlids. Soft, proteinaceous foods like brine shrimp tend to have mixed results; therefore, it’s reccomended that these be avoided.
Dominant males rarely display bars, but instead are a beautiful creamy white with a hint of blueish iridescence. Hence the name “Perlmutt,” meaning “Mother of Pearl” in German. When my male is courting, the vertical bars on his sides are washed out with a creamy pearl color; however, when he’s not courting, the bars are faint. Males tend to be constantly busy digging a nesting pit in hopes that the female will be enticed to spawn with him. Broods consist of about 10-16 fry, and upon release instantly have their adult coloration. Incubation lasts 24-28 days and females require approximately 3-4 weeks between spawns to recover.
- Species – Labidochromis sp. “Perlmutt”
- Common Name – Perlmutt
- 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 10cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed