EAST AFRICAN CICHLIDS (Lake Malawi & Tanganyika);
*Other common names: Taiwan Reef
*Size: Generally up to 6 inches (15 cm.)
*Scientific Name: Protomelas Steveni
*Natural Habitat: A Haplochromis found in rocky habitats free of sediment in generally only three locations of Lake Malawi; Taiwan Reef and in Tanzania at Higga Reef and Mbamba Bay Island
Please click on the map above for better view of Taiwan Reef Habitat
*Description : A very colorful fish once grown out, but won’t show it’s dominant colors unless a female is around. If there is no female, the male will keep its sub adult colors.
*Recommended Tank Size and Temperament: Don’t put them in anything less then a 75 gallon tank with lot’s of rockwork. Make sure the rocks have no sharp edges so that they can’t hurt themselves. Mildly Aggressive
*Water Parameters: Typical Lake Malawi Cichlid water parameters; Temperature: 78 - 82°F (26- 28 °C.), a pH over 7.8 and definitely a high mineral content which includes a GH over 200 ppm (or more)
*Typical food: The Taiwan Reef Cichlid primarily feeds on the algae cover on rocks, however it is an omnivore and will accept a varied diet. I strongly recommend Spirulina 20 Fish Food Flake, Hikari Algae Wafers, or similar high content Spirulina and vegetable foods.
Ocean Nutrition's Spirulina enhanced frozen Brine Shrimp is an excellent supplement to their diet as well
*Breeding: Maternal Mouth brooder
*Contributors Notes: by Jon V (at Everything Aquatic)
I acquired this species in July 2007, from an auction off eBay. Seller was lilduce21. I received from him 2 male, and 6 female regular gene Taiwan Reefs. In the shipping process, 2 of the females died and I took shots of them, and he sent a replacement shipment of more then I lost, which I was really pleased with. I ended up with the rest of his Albino colony which was 1 male and 4 females. So my total count ended up being 3 males (2 regular, 1 Albino) and 8 females (4 Regular 4 Albino).
By late October of 2007, this species had begun spawning in my 180 gallon tank. What I found unusual and am not positive why, but it seemed only the Albino females were ending up with broods. I suspect that the females of the regular look were either already bred too much, infertile or just too old. There was one dominant regular male TR and for a dominant male, this is the one big thing I want to say about this species. He really didn’t get into many fights or chase off the other 2 males. They seemed to co-exist very well. This might be due to being a 180 gallon footprint. I do however feel the aggression level of this species is relatively low. This species is closely related and has a very similar look to the Red Empress.
I am basing the father of the fry I started getting by December 07 being the regular gene male, because half the fry from the albino females were coming out with the regular look and half were albinos. I personally do not consider an albino and a regular gene fish of the same species that spawn to be a cross breed, though some “purists” in the hobby might shun this. Fry counts were about 40-50.
By March of 08 it was getting clear with this number of females and males, it would not be too much longer before I’d be overrun with Taiwan Reefs. I picked 15 of the best fry from the last spawn I had that come out in Feb of 08, posted an ad in Cichlid-Forum to sell off the rest of the colony. I kept 1 regular male, and 1 Albino male, sold the rest. I talked the buyer into taking the third male and all the other females. The buyer was looking strictly for females for the known male he had, but having a second male could have advantages. I sold the adult group off for $100.00.
Those 15 fry, starting in March of 08 went to live and grow out in my 75 gallon tank. Out of that group, I ended up keeping only a male and female pair. The rest I sold off. The male regular look Taiwan reef I kept died on me in the late Spring, sometime in April, so all I was left with for adults were 1 albino male. By October 08, I went back to the pair I kept and they were sub adult size by then. I moved them back to the 180 where the adult male was and within 2 weeks, the female of the pair had spawned with the older male. That brood, all albinos yielded 63 fry by November 08. She had attempted to spawn 2 other times since, once in November, once in December, but for some reason or another, when isolating her to the holding tank, she aborted the brood. She has not tried to spawn since.
My read on this species, very mild Hap to keep. I’d opt more for the regular look then albino, however, it’s worth mentioning that the albino version in the hobby is not very common and may be worth your time to obtain if possible. Males in my tanks did not display any territorial issues among themselves. They were housed in tanks of 75 gallons and 180 gallons. Breeding them is not very difficult to do if anything might be difficult to stop them from breeding short of keeping them in separate tanks. You could probably hit a great deal of offspring and line breed this species easy, keeping known males that show higher red colorations and re-breeding them back. The males near breeding time will take on a very neon blue look in the face show a deep red along the body. One way to sex this species also, early on, is to try to look at the anal fin. Males at about 2-3 months of age will start to show the red tinting there. I highly recommend this species for a peaceful community setting or even in an aggressive Mbuna setting since they do not spend lengthy times in the substrate.
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YELLOW LAB (Labidochromis Caeruleus)
*Other common names: Electric yellow lab, Lemon Yellow, Yellow
*Size: up to 5 inches (13 cm.) females are usually much smaller then the males
*Scientific Name: Labidochromis Caeruleus Family- Cichlidae (Pseudocrenilabrinae)
*Natural Habitat: Rock dwelling Cichlid found in Lake Malawi (Africa)
*Description: Bright yellow in color, males have a black markings on their dorsal, pelvic and abdominal fins. Females have them only on the dorsal fins; however, some do have charcoal markings on the pelvic and abdominal fins. Also the males do have 1 or more egg spots on their anal fins, which the females completely lack.
*Recommended Tank Size and Temperament: 55 gallons is the recommended minimum size of any mbuna fish. (Because of their calm demeanor, they can be kept in a 30 gallon already, 1 male to 3-4 females ratio). They are rather calm for a Cichlid, and can be housed with a variety of species because of this.
Also lots of rocks are enjoyed by them for hiding as well as crashed coral substrate, which will help to keep the pH in the higher range without using any chemicals. They can also be kept with dither fish, like giant danios, short finned serpae tetras… and with bristle nose plecos for bottom feeders.
*Water Parameters: pH 7.2-8.4, typically 8.0 is good. Temperature: 76-82°F. Harder water is preferred, so a GH of over 200 ppm is advised.
*Typical food: This fish is an omnivore. A quality flake such as Spirulina 20 or pellet (or Cichlid Stick) is a good for this fish. This can be supplemented with frozen foods as a treat.
*Breeding: Maternal mouth brooder, substrate spawner. Typical incubation time is 28 days.
*Contributors Notes: By Barbara (of Everything Aquatic)
Yellow labs may be the most common cichlid in the hobby. Their mild temperament with their bold yellow colors makes for a great mix with a variety of cichlids. They are often housed with Mbuna, haps, and peacocks. My own set of yellow labs is a delight to my tank. I have enjoyed breeding them and watching their behavior. They are not an aggressive fish, and tend not to hide, so the vibrant color is always on show.
Recommended Reading for any aquarium keeper looking to maintain an aquarium to the highest standards:
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