Cichlid Room Companion

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By , 1995. printer

Classification: Captive maintenance, Lake Tanganyika.

" Fishroom talk taking place on 1995-Dec-06 "

Dev runs over to the storage closet, pulls out a huge bronze gong, and slams the hammer on it, getting everyone's attention for the meeting at hand, and resumes his grouting.

Horus says: however, I've prepared a slide show if everyone is ready.

Horus says: Cyprichromis are sardine-like Cichlids that are endemic to lake Tanganyika. they are usually found in large schools in open water, or open water above a rocky habitat.

Horus says: there are many morphs of this fish all the morphs are found only in specific locations in the lake.

Horus says: the males exhibit the color in the dorsal anal and caudal fins.

Horus says: these fish are usually found in schools primarily of one sex brooding females are usually in schools surrounded by schools of non-dominant males while the dominant males usually swim amongst the group of females.

Horus says: they are easily kept and breed rather easily in captivity.

Horus says: in basic Tanganyika conditions. they will breed in completely undecorated tanks, as well as in tanks similar to their natural habitat.

Horus says: as for their diet, they are constantly eating zooplankton that is abundant in the lake. I have bred and still breed quite a few species of Cyprichromis as well as Paracyprichromis and they do well on spirulina and most other flake foods. I supplement

Horus says: their diet with live brine shrimp twice a week and the occasional leftover baby brine which I hatch daily.

Horus says: these fish spawn at a young age, somewhere around 6-8 months old, with small spawns of 3-5. my personal best is 22 with a "blue flash" leptosoma.

Horus says: I really don't have anything "prepared" to say so if anyone has questions about these fish, I'd be glad to try to field them. I realize that not a lot of you keep this fish, so questions can be about other Tanganyikans as well.

Dev says: what are good tank mates for Cyprichromis...err.. what AREN'T good tank mates

Horus says: well, Cyprichromis are actually good tank mates for most. they are good dither. their natural enemy in the lake is frontosa

Kenkearney asks: what size tank is needed to breed them?

Horus says: for breeding? anything that's 3 feet long will do. The taller the tank for breeding these, the better. they utilize the mid to open water.

Kenkearney asks: a 3ft tank for a 10cm fish?

Horus says: you could keep a trio or quartet of them in a 3 ft tank. most people here probably would not keep groups of 20-25 fish like I do.

Horus says: by a 3' tank, I mean 40gal +.

Kenkearney asks: so a 29g would not work for a breeding pair?

Dev says: 29g is only 30"

Horus says: a 3'-29g would probably work if you have a low population.

Kenkearney asks: would C. leptosoma also have to have a 3ft tank?

Horus says: That's what I would recommend. we're talking about Cyprichromis species in general

Barro says: I am very new to Africans, could you give a little blurb on tank conditions...

Horus says: sure. I keep mine at pH 8.8-9.2, no readable no-no's, hardness about 300ppm, temperature 76-80

Dev says: how do you get your pH up to that range

Barro asks: I have no trouble with the 300ppm but how do you keep the 8.8pH? pH up and buffers?

Horus says: I use baking soda. It's cheap, it works. of course, I do 2 33% water changes a week.

Barro asks: any plants that survive at that high a pH?

Horus says: the only plant I can keep alive here is anubias nana.

Dev asks: would they get along with aggressive fish like Tropheus?

Horus says: I think Tropheus might be too aggressive for Cyprichromis , but that's a generalization. I've never kept them together.

Dev says: Tropheus are just too aggressive, period :)

Kenkearney asks: what about the N. brevis and L. ocellatus with a S. angelicus?

Horus says: as long as the Synodontis angelicus can't fit into their shell it should be fine.

Kenkearney asks: do they actually stay in the shells?

Horus asks: the catfish or the shell dwellers?

Kenkearney says: dwellers

Horus says: they breed in the shells and retreat to them for cover.

Horus says: with adequate dither they are less secretive and tend to come out more.

Kenkearney asks: are Rainbow fish good for them?

Horus says: not to sound elitist, but I don't like to mix fish from two different places although I know people who use them.

Kenkearney asks: I don't either but what are other good dither fish?

Horus says: Cyprichromis are the ideal dither fish. they don't require a "home" and are found in the lake.

Kenkearney asks: congo tetras?

Horus asks: Can Congo tetras tolerate Tanganyika water conditions?

Apistogramma says: I do not think so.

Kenkearney says: forgot about that

Kenkearney says: think they like it more pH around 6.5

Apistogramma says: the alkalinity is is a matter of hardness for the Congos.

Crypt says: Congo can tolerance that condition but will not thrive.

Crypt asks: Is it Ok to mix Cyprichromis with Lamprichthys?

Horus says: yes, crypt. I keep them together when I'm not breeding the Lamprichthys.


Chin, Jeff. (May 27, 1996). "Cyprichromis". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on October 19, 2019, from: