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Maylandia estherae OB

Scientific name: Maylandia estherae OB
Previous name: Pseudotropheus estherae OB
Natural habitat: Rocky environments and reefs. 
Food in the lake: Feeds on algue that grows on the rocks and also the small invertebrates that live between the algue. the periodical presence of plankton in the open water is also appreciated.
Food in the aquarium: A mix of quality pellets, flakes, krill, artemia, etc fed sparingly. No mammal meat!
Behaviour in my aquarium: The dominant male defends his territory fiercely against all other Mbuna.
Tank mates: Can be kept with other mid-sized Mbuna with preferably another cooler pattern to reduce mutual aggression. Always be careful to prevent crossbreeding with similar species. Who needs another useless hybrid anyhow? 
Aquarium: At least a tank of  >300L with a sufficient amount of rocks and caves. A sand bottom, pH between 7.5 - 8.5, temperature about 25°C


 
Maylandia estherae OB male in my
aquarium


Personal notes:

This Mbuna will most probably be found in greater numbers in our tanks than in the wild, mainly because these OB morphs are specially bred. I got this fish from a friend who urgently needed to get rid of these *sweeties* because they dominated her whole tank. They were transferred to my Mbuna tank, where they settled in. This time they were not able to get control over the aquarium, as the Maylandia msobo are the absolute and undisputed leaders of their community.


The OB (orange-blotched) female with the typical orange body and the obvious brown spots.


Grazing algae is *the* natural way to feed for these cichlids. Of course it's very nice and rewarding to observe this in the aquarium at home. This should be an additional reason to give green algae a chance in a Mbuna setup, instead of trying to eradicate them with all possible aids.

Text and photos by Frank Panis / MCH

New photos by Boyan Kalinov (below)

Female M. estherae OB morph (right) and Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos (left).

A carrying female M. estherae OB morph. Click on the image for a high resolution photo.

Another shot of the carrying female M. estherae OB morph. Click on the image for a high resolution photo.

A juvenile M. estherae OB morph. Click on the image for a high resolution photo.

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