unchallenged king of the tank. A clear case of a hyperdominant
species M.chipokae justifies its reputation as - perhaps - the most
aggressive of the mbunas. A beautiful fish with light blue
horizontal stripes running along its body and a yellow edged tail.
The female closely resembles the M.auratus female the only
difference being the absence of the white stripes along the black
ones. Females of this species are very prolific, sometimes spawning
every month. The existence of a second male in tanks smaller than
180 cm is not recommended. The fish is a real killer, very
territorial and intolerant of its own species. When spawning it
becomes ferocious and may kill any fish that challenges it. Even
very aggressive species like Ps. lombardoi and M. auratus have a
very hard time in these occasions.
fish will sooner or later become hyperdominant and you should keep
that in mind when acquiring it. My M. chipokae was the last mbuna to
be added in my tank. Though much smaller than the other mbunas
already housing the tank, it established itself as the ruler within
a couple of months. There are many people that, after keeping it for
some time, try to get rid of it because of its nasty behavior. Its
aggression is far more pronounced in smaller tanks and is definitely
not a fish to keep in anything smaller than an 80 cm tank. In
smaller tanks, even if kept alone with its own females, chances are
it will kill the females. However, if fish are acclimatized, you can
have many males in the same tank as shown in the picture above.
photos shows an adult male (12 months old) next to its father (fish
facing the lens) Its dietary needs are the same as with the rest of
mbuna. The male digs enormous amounts of gravel prior to spawning.
It will carry gravel that can barely fit its mouth and spit it all
over the tank. Minimum tank size : 150 cm / 500 liters - not to be
the first species added.
shot: 100 ASA film, 125 mm lens, f/11, 1/60 sec, auto-bellows,
Sunpack flash taped over the lens, shot at a distance of 10 cm.