species not commonly found in Malawi tanks, this Buccochromis
species (according to M.K.Oliver it could be a spectabilis, lepturus
or nototaenia) is every inch a really big Malawi cichlid. Its colors
are the usual blue / green / yellow combination found in many
Haplochromine species of the Lake and its behavior is the normal
behavior expected from a piscivore. It's display colors are not the
vivid kind seen on most common haps but rather a "pastel"
hue as in Lethrinops species. Grows fairly large by African cichlid
standards (more than 35 cm for the adult male; 24 cm for the female). Not very aggressive or territorial
(at the size of 12 cm)
it has no problem in an African tank, mainly because of its speed. A
really fast swimmer, it usually occupies the upper half of the water
column. Its main characteristic is a black band along its body which
is not horizontal as in many protomelas species but diagonal. Its
shape is rather unique for an African and discriminates it easily.
eat shrimps, pellets and sinking flakes (as well as any fry it can
get). It prefers to eat from mid-water so it very rarely reaches the
surface for food. It is a really voracious eater, the first to start
feeding and the last to stop. Very little information is available
on this species. This is more profound in the web where very few
sites list this fish and the available information and photos are
very rare. I will add info on its spawning habits once I get the
chance to see it (soon I hope). The hobbyist should know that males
of this species - as with many other Malawi Haps - takes a very long
time to reach sexual maturity, final size and develop its
magnificent coloration. In view of that, the hobbyist should either
wait patiently until this happens or buy already adult fish, which
do not come cheap.
tank size : 200 cm / 750 liters with a lot of swimming
place. Doesn't care about hiding places, it always escapes by
male has gained 10 cm in just two months which is typical of fishes
attending a great final size. Many thanks to Dr. Michael K. Oliver,
owner of the
"The Cichlid Fishes of
Lake Malawi, Africa"
for his precious help in identifying this fish which was sold to me
as Maravichromis melanonotus. His best guess (unfortunately based on
photos I sent him) is that it is a Buccochromis nototaenia.