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Callochromis Cichlid

(Callochromis pleurospilus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 4"
• Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons   • Water Conditions: 76-82° F, KH 10-15, pH 7.8-8.6
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Lake Tanganyika   • Family: Cichlidae
• Species: African Cichlid   • Aquarium Type: African Cichlid, Rift Lake

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Species Information

Callochromis Cichlid native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Callochromis pleurospilus originate from the shallows and shorelines of Lake Tanganyika, where they forge a living within the sediment rich coast areas of the lake where the plant vegetation meets the lake. Male Callochromis Cichlids spend their time patrolling and protecting a small territory, where they will aggressively chase off other males and similar sized other species.

Female Callochromis Cichlids stay in a small group that will live with a single male in the males territory. When not defending territory or breeding, Callochromis Cichlids hunt for insects, small crustaceans and insect larvae in and around the roots of plants and rocky areas along the coast of the lake.

Callochromis Cichlid do not exhibit the bright coloration that one tends to see from across the room, but upon closer examination they do have very brilliant colors that make them a very attractive addition to many smaller aquariums or larger community aquariums with larger species capable of dealing with their conspecific aggression.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Callochromis Cichlid in the home aquarium.

Callochromis pleurospilus do well in home aquariums that are 4 feet or more in length and provide them with a habitat similar to their natural surroundings. They will appreciate a sandy or similar substrate with plenty of rocky areas and some branch type wood pieces and plants. The key factor in successfully keeping Callochromis pleurospilus in the home aquarium is to mitigate their natural aggression through aquarium size, tank mates and proper arrangement of aquarium decorations.

Male Callochromis Cichlids will exhibit a large amount of aggression towards other males of the species and males of similar species. They will also to a lesser degree harass female Callochromis pleurospilus as well. In order to mitigate this behaviour it is best to house the Callochromis pleurospilus in a four foot or larger aquarium with a single male and a small group of 4 to 6 females, or a larger (6 foot aquarium) if housed with another male or similar species.

Providing plenty of rocky caves, branched wood pieces or similar decorations, will provide fish that are being chased or harassed with areas to avoid the aggression of the male Callochromis pleurospilus. As far as the overall aquarium environment, Callochromis pleurospilus do well when presented with a sandy substrate with plenty of rocky caves, crevices and similar type decorations. Callochromis pleurospilus do not have specific lighting or water movement considerations, but should be provided high quality water conditions and moderate water flow.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Callochromis Cichlid and provide a healthy diet.

In their natural habitat of Lake Tanganyika, Callochromis pleurospilus feed mostly on small crustaceans, insects and insect larvae. In the aquarium environment they will readily adjust to a varied diet of commercial meaty foods. Callochromis pleurospilus should be fed two to three times a day a varied diet of high quality commercial foods including: cyclop-eeze, mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, high quality flake and pellet foods, blood worms and similar other commercial preparations.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Callochromis Cichlid in the aquarium environment.

In the wild males build small depressions in the sandy substrate or utilize an existing, in which to entice the female to lay her eggs. After the eggs are released and then fertilized by the male, the female scoops them into her mouth in order to protect the eggs until they hatch. The female does all of the rearing of the brood, which generally lasts approximately 3 weeks.

At this time the fry will be release from the mothers mouth, where they will be left to fend for themselves. The adult male should be removed after the eggs are laid and picked up by the female, who should be removed from the breeding tank as soon as the brood is released from her mouth. The young fry should be fed freshly hatched baby brine shrimp or given finely crushed flake food.

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