Home    African Cichlids    Kenyi Cichlid

Kenyi Cichlid

(Metriaclima lombardoi)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 6"
• Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons   • Water Conditions: 75-82° F, KH 10-15, pH 7.5-8.5
• Diet: Herbivore   • Origin: Lake Malawi   • Family: Cichlidae
• Species: African Cichlid   • Aquarium Type: African Cichlid, Rift Lake

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Species Information

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

Kenyi Cichlids originate from the Mbenji Island and Nkhomo Reef areas of Lake Malawi where they live near the sediment rich areas where the rocky reefs meet the sandy substrate. As a juvenile the Kenyi Cichlid exhibits a light blue and white body with darker blue vertical bars. Adult females retain the juvenile coloration, while adult males turn a vibrant orange and yellow coloration.

Interestingly enough females will take on the coloration of males during mouth brooding, which is most likely to deter interference from other males looking to mate. While the Kenyi Cichlid is an attractive and interesting species, this is often overshadowed by its extreme aggressiveness. The ferocity of their territorial aggression makes this species not suitable for aquarium hobbyists who are new to keeping African Cichlids.

Only hobbyists with experience mitigating African Cichlid territorial aggression should consider keeping this species. Proper aquarium decor design, aquarium size and aquarium tank mates will play a crucial role in whether the Kenyi Cichlids aggression can be mitigated, which is required to successfully integrate this species with other tank mates.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Kenyi Cichlid in the home aquarium.

Kenyi Cichlids should be kept in aquariums of 75 gallons or larger in order to provide enough room to properly recreate their natural environment. It is important to provide plenty of rocky caves and crevices to provide the fish with hiding places, adequate territory and places to graze for algae growth. Kenyi Cichlid are pretty territorial, thus the aquarium should be decorated in such a way to provide them with enough caves and rocky formations to both establish their own territory and still have adequate swimming room.

Provide plenty of rocks within the aquarium in order to create surface area for algae growth, which is a very beneficial secondary food source the Kenyi Cichlid and other herbivores and omnivores living within the aquarium. Like many species of African Cichlids, the Kenyi Cichlid is aggressive and proper stocking and aqua-scaping should be well thought out to prevent severe territorial battles between aquarium inhabitants.

Feeding & Nutrition

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

Being herbivores, the Kenyi Cichlid requires a diet based on vegetable and plant matter. They should be provided a high quality vegetable based flake or pellet food along with naturally occurring algae growth within the aquarium.

They may also consume meaty or combination flake or pellet foods designed for omnivorous African Cichlid species; however, the bulk of their diet should come from vegetable based foods in order for them to maintain a healthy immune system.

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