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Alluaud's Haplo
(Astatoreochromis alluaudi) Easy Semi-aggressive 7" 55 gallons 74-82° F, KH 12-30, pH 7.2-8.6 Omnivore Lake Victoria Cichlidae African Cichlid Cichlid-African Alluaud's Haplo (Astatoreochromis alluaudi) is a widely distributed throughout the Lake Victoria basin, where it can be found inhabiting coastal areas of the lake and nearby rivers. Alluaud's Haplo is most commonly found in more shallow waters near the lake or river banks where it lives in and amongst reeds, vegetation and rocky formations. They spend a good portion of their time looking for small mollusks and crustaceans to prey upon. Alluaud's Haplo is most often found in small groups with a single dominant male and multiple females and sub-adult or submissive males. In the aquarium environment, Alluaud's Haplo can co-exist with other Lake Victorian fish and can also be mixed with African Cichlids from other lakes. Their temperament is best described as semi-aggressive, which for an African Cichlid makes them quite sociable. They can even be considered shy when not housed in groups or with too little vegetation or aqua-scaping to provide them with a solid sense of security. The Alluaud's Haplo will act aggressively towards fish of similar body shape and color perceived to be a threat to their territory, their food supply or attention for their mate. As with other African Cichlids, Alluaud's Haplo prefer an aquarium that has a sandy substrate, some vegetation and plenty of rock formations that provide caves and crevices. Alluaud's Haplo is a shoreline dwelling species and will appreciate the addition of some grass like plants or similar vegetation in which to inhabit and explore. It is important that hardy robust live plants or similarly shaped fake plants are used so that the fish do not damage them. As this is a very active species, it is best to provide them with an abundance of caves throughout the aquarium. Alluaud's Haplo do best in groups and should be housed with other species of similar size and temperament in aquariums that are able to provide them with plenty of space to establish territory for themselves. Alluaud's Haplo is an omnivore that feeds primarily upon insects, snails, and mollusks in the wild; however, in the aquarium, this fish can be fed a wide assortment of foods ranging from flake and pellet foods to frozen foods. Ideally they should be fed a varied diet that consists of both meaty and vegetable matter in flake or pellet foods that they can take from the surface or water column. It is best to feed them as much as they will consume within a few minutes a couple times a day.
Zebra Obliquidens
(Astatotilapia latifasciata) Easy Peaceful 5" 45 gallons 75-82° F, pH 7.0-8.5, KH 10-25 Omnivore (insectivore) Lake Victoria Cichlidae African Cichlid Cichlid-African The Zebra Obliquidens (Astatotilapia latifasciata) is a popular Lake Victoria species of African Cichlid, that is popular within the aquarium hobby due to its colorful appearance and peaceful disposition. This species is also bread heavily in the aquarium trade as it is heavily threatened in the wild and may be nearing extinction. While the females of the species are attractive in their own right, they lack the bursts of red and yellow that the males posses. It is the bursts of red and yellow on the belly of the fish with the vertical black bars over top a silver body that makes this fish very distinguishable amongst its peers. Zebra Obliquidens are a dream species for the aquarium hobby as they are very easy to care for and can easily get along well with other fish species. They prefer neutral to moderately hard water conditions, with regular partial water changes or the presence of a high-end filtration system. It is important to provide plenty of rocky hiding places in order to provide this species with a sense of security and a place to retreat to when it feels threatened. They may become aggressive towards others if it is not provided with plenty of caves and crevices as it will feel the need to fight over what little cover is provided. Male Zebra Obliquidens typically get about 5 inches in length, with females reaching about 4 inches in length. While this species is a very suitable candidate for a community African Cichlid aquarium, they should not be kept with species that are much larger or overly aggressive species. Zebra Obliquidens are omnivores (eating primarily the diet of an insectivore), thus they will eat a variety of foods ranging from plankton and insects to more meaty foods including: krill, mysis shrimp, daphnia, chichlid flake, cichlid pellets and other meaty (protein rich) preparations. This species is a hardy eater, that should be fed multiple times a day a diet that is rich in protein and as varied as possible, in order to provide balanced nutrition and promote a healthy immune system. Zebra Obliquidens are prolific spawners that are easily bread within the aquarium environment. They will require a good sized aquarium of 125 gallons or greater, along with flat rocks or slate on which to lay their eggs. The females of the species will actually guard the fry for approximately 2 months after they are born, which means that the fry can be raised in the same aquarium as the parents. They should begin feeding almost immediately on baby brine shrimp or similar preparations and will grow quickly, reaching their distinctive shape and form in about a week.
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