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Paretroplus menarambo (Allgayer 1996)

"Pin stripe damba"

by George J. Reclos

New Photos - March 2006

Two photos of the dominant male P. menarambo in my 850 L tank. This 3 year old specimen has reached a size of 25 cm TL already. Those particular photos were taken without the use of flash and render the coloration of the fish very accurately. Click on the images to get the high resolution pictures. Photos by G.J.Reclos/MCH - February 2006

Photo of the Month - March 2006

New photos - April 2005

Click on the images to get the high resolution pictures. Photos by G.J.Reclos/MCH

NEW PHOTOS - February 2005

Click on the images to get the high resolution pictures. Photos by G.J.Reclos/MCH

NEW PHOTO - NOVEMBER 2004

Click on the image to get the high resolution picture. Photo by G.J.Reclos/MCH

A pair of spawining Paretroplus menarambo. Photo by Dave Tourle

NEW PHOTOS - OCTOBER 2004

Click on the images to get the high resolution pictures. All photos (except when noted) by G.J.Reclos/MCH

Click on the images to get the high resolution pictures. All photos (except when noted) by G.J.Reclos/MCH

Those fishes were purchased from www.oldworldexoticfish.com following the recommendation of Sonia Giunane (who is definitely to be trusted when Madacascan cichlid quality is concerned). A small team of Greek hobbyists (Tolis Ketselidis, Stefanos Flintzis, Nikos Tsitouras, Manthos Vagionakis and me - all of them MCH contributors) decided that it was about time we selected the fish we really wanted and then get them, instead of relying on the wishes, likes and dislikes of the Greek petshop owners. Since this was our first time ever to get into this trouble we were very anxious as to whether this plan would be successfully in the end. Thanks God, Laif De Mason (owner of the Old World Exotic Fish) proved to be a reliable and knowledgeable man. This is not an advertisement but a report on what actually happened. He arranged everything for us and he fulfilled our every wish - even the loose packaging of the fish. Although Laif did his best, Lufthansa did its worst. For an (yet) unexplained reason they decided to leave the fish cartons in Frankfurt for 8 hours - missing the scheduled flight to Greece. Laif told us that the fish would probably be OK despite the delay and he was right - again. For your information, the fish cartons were delivered to us after almost 42 hours after their packing in the States and losses were below 2%. It is very convenient for us to know that we can now order our African cichlids from a source across the Atlantic. I would like to use this opportunity to thank Laif and Sonia for their help, on behalf of all of us. Finally, many thanks for Tolis who managed to get the famous "Import Fish License" .. so we are not in jail yet !!

To some, Paretroplus menarambo is one of the most beautiful cichlids of Madagascar. Although my personal preference is Paratilapia (any size of spot will do), still I can't resist the temptation to raise this spectacular cichlid. Already extinct in the wild, this interesting cichlid is a nice and relatively peaceful fish, which makes a nice addition to any Madagascan cichlid tank. Grows fairly large so a large tank (well over 600 liters) is a must. Since it closely resembles Paretroplus maculatus (for some it is just another morph of the same species) they should not be kept in the same tank. Aggression is greatly reduced if the fish is kept in schools of more than 6 individuals. All Paretroplus species are snail eaters so you can have a separate tank to grow them if you want to see their natural behavior. The Aquascape of the tank should include sand (all Paretroplines are sand shifters), bogwood and stones. They do not seem to care about plants and their tendency to re-decorate the tank is not a strong one, so plants can be added. Plants planted to form "fences" or natural "dividers" can serve more than one purposes and may reduce aggression. In my case, water parameters are: pH=7.8, GH=8, KH=8, nitrogen compounds not detectable. I perform weekly water changes of 50% with the exception of grow out tanks for which I perform two water changes of 50% per week. The fish - as with most Paretroplines, is a really slow grower and it will not reach sexual maturity before the age of 2.5 - 3 years (in contrast to Paratilapia polleni which will breed at the age of 1 year). All Paretroplus species are substrate spawners and their eggs are individually adhered on a solid surface (usually bogwood). The fish shown in the photos are reported to be 3,5 months old (early November 2003).

Update > You can read a report on breeding this species here.

According to Laif de Mason "all collection sites are in the Northwest area of Madagascar.  P. menarambo is found only in one lake there, so it is from the original type locality, Lake Sarodrano (see Cichlid News July 1993 issue).  Likewise, lamena from the original type locality discovered by Nourisat and deRham, Ambomboa River ( see Cichlid News October 1993 issue).  P. maculatus was originally collected in Lake Ampijoroa in the part which is a forest preserve".

Jean-Claude Nourissat & Patrick de Rham. "Les Cichlides endemiques de Magascar", Editions AFC, 2003 (in French).

Dr. Paul V.Loiselle, in "The Cichlid Aquarium", Tetra Press, 1994, pp. 187-201

Sonia Guinane. The Madagascan cichlid genus Paretroplus. Cichlid News, 2000.

Laif De Mason and Roy Morris Notes on Madagascar cichlids The Cichlids Yearbook, volume 4 (1994): 56-58

Jean-Claude Nourissat. Rediscovering Madagascar: A Quest for New Cichlids - Part I Cichlid News, 1993 (3)

Jean-Claude Nourissat. Rediscovering Madagascar: A Quest for New Cichlids - Part II Cichlid News, 1993 (4)

Matt Clarke Saving Cichlids : An interview with Sonia Guinane and David Tourle. Aquarium Fish and Pondkeeper, June 2002, p. 97-98

The book entitled "The Endemic Cichlids of Madagascar" by Patrick de Rham and Jean - Claude Nourissat is now available in English. Click here to find out how to order and here to read the back cover page of the English edition.

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