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Paretroplus nourissati (Allgayer, 1998)

(Lamena nourissati)

by George J. Reclos

Photos of the Paretroplus nourissati sized approximately 4 cm.

Paretroplus nourissati in my tanks - click on the thumbnails to see a larger picture. Photos: G.J.Reclos/MCH

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Paretroplus nourissati in my tanks a month later (sized approximately 7 cm)- click on the thumbnails to see a larger picture. Photos: G.J.Reclos/MCH

Two photos of the largest Paretroplus nourissati in my tank. Click on the thumbnails to see a larger picture. Photos: G.J.Reclos/MCH

Photo of the Month - March 2004

We recently imported 30 Paretroplus nourissati from www.oldworldexoticfish.com (Laif De Mason) which generally arrived in prime shape in our tanks. It should be noted that Paretroplus nurissati juveniles were the most stressed in this shipment which resulted in the loss of two specimens (ut of 30). The fish are kept by Tolis Ketselidis and me. You can read here about our fish import experience. The fish shown in the photos are reported to be 3,5 months old (early November 2003)

Paretroplus nourissati and Paretroplus damii are the two species which add color in the Madagascan cichlid palette. Both species show their remarkable coloration only during spawning or when guarding their fry but even this is a good reason to keep them. Pe nourissati is one of the relatively small cichlid species reaching an adult size of less than 20 cm while at the same time it is not a deep bodied fish, making it suitable for smaller tanks (you can keep 4-6 of them in 600 liters). Unfortunately size is not the only factor to be taken into account and its aggression during the spawning and fry guarding stages will probably force you to take every fish out (except the pair). The species shown in the pictures is the "classic" Pe nourissati while there is also a variety with blue lips. 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 photos below show the three steps of aquascaping for an 140 liter tank (71 x 47 x 42 cm) which will be the home of 6 Pe nourissati and 11 Pe maculatus, sized 2-4 cm, till they grow a bit.

Sand, some bamboo plants, a black background and a matured external filter are the initial elements.

A number of ceramic pots, with their openings facing to the back or the bottom and a coconut shell are the next stage. Pe nourissati really loved those pots.

Finally, lots of bogwood, a second external filter (total turnover 600 l/h) and a powerful air pump (350 l/h) makes it a more suitable tank.

See next page for more photos.

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.

Sonia Guinane. Introducing Lamena nourissati and Lamena nourissati "blue lips", Cichlid News, 18-22.

Patrick de Rham. Breeding the Lamena, a new cichlid from Madagascar. Cichlid News 4(1), 14-17

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

See next page for more photos.

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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