Haplochromis cornflower is an exceptionally beautiful fish that can decorate any aquarium of suitable size.
Haplochromis cornflower is a representative of the Cichlid family living in Lake Malawi. Its favorite places are rocky biotopes at a depth of 10-40 meters.
Haplochromis cornflower Appearance
Haplochromis cornflower got its name due to its unusually beautiful coloration, similar to the color of cornflowers. During spawning, several dark vertical stripes appear. They are also a sign that the fish is under stress. Males have a white edging of the dorsal fin. The anal fin is red or yellow. The head and jaw of the female is blue.
Maximum body length in the wild is 15 – 16 cm.
Haplochromis cornflower is characterized by a malleable character and gets along well with other cichlids of the same size. But can be aggressive during spawning. In nature, this fish does not form a flock and lives solitary, but in the aquarium you can contain and several representatives of haplochromis. For one male should be at least 4 females.
The minimum volume of the aquarium is 250 liters and the length is 150 cm. It should be equipped with multi-level shelters and rocky structures. Small caves and grottoes will not be superfluous – this will bring the environment closer to natural living conditions.
The soil should be without sharp corners, sand, gravel or pebbles will do.
A large number of stones in the aquarium will distract Haplochromis from digging the soil. During spawning, females lay eggs not in holes, but directly on the stones. There, between the stones, they will hide from other fish, keeping the eggs in their mouths.
As soon as Haplochromis grows more than 7 cm, they destroy all living plants. True, you can try to give them plant food in the form of scalded with boiling water lettuce leaves. This will somewhat reduce their interest in plants. Swim mainly in the middle and lower part of the aquarium.
Water suitable for Haplochromis is alkaline, moderately hard. These representatives of Malawian cichlids need clean water. Powerful filtration is an important condition for keeping Haplochromis cornflower. You should also control the level of nitrates so that their level in the water is not off the scale. The optimal temperature is between + 25 °C and + 28 °C.
Do not forget about regular water changes. One third of the aquarium volume every week.
It is best to feed live food – in nature, these fish feed on insects and mollusks. Haplochromis will also eat frozen and dry food. The most important thing is not to overfeed the fish, they are prone to overeating.
Average life expectancy is 5 – 7 years.
Propagation Haplochromis cornflower
The male prepares a place for spawning, then begins to lure females there. After fertilization, the females incubate the eggs in a special goiter. After about three weeks from her mouth will float out ready for independent life fry. Artemia naupliuses and live “dust” are excellent starter food.
Haplochromis cornflower is an exceptionally beautiful fish. Its unique cornflower color makes it extremely popular. Many representatives of Malawian cichlids live in aquariums, but this fish is one of the most beautiful. In addition, the maintenance of this cichlid does not cause any difficulties.