facts on Dimidiochromis compressiceps
Lake Malawi. As far as I know no local morphs are known apart from a
“Golden variety” which was recently described by Ad Konings in
Cichlid News 11:1, 14-15, 2002.
At the moment
they are hosted in my biggest tank 750 lt (US gals 200) and
I feel is not that safe
to house them to a
Having to give a “lower limit” I’d say 500 lt (US gals. 125): better
safe than sorry!
It’a true (and magnificent I have to add!) Malawi Utaka (hap) hence
no mistake: give them the best Malawi like (alkaline) water you can
In the typical Malawian fashion (on a flat stone, in my tank quite
close to surface). First attempt hasn’t been lucky, with eggs spitted
holding for a few days. On the second one, not uncommon with
malawians, the female performed her duty pretty well! BEWARE:
these fishes are “easy-spitters” (when netted). Take note of the
date of actual mating and wait, at least, 21 days to net the female.
So I did and her despite I was using a handnet (square foortprint)
of over one foot in size
released the fry (almost 50
at first sight). This being known, next time I decide to net her
I’ll wait up to 24 days. FINAL NOTE: I have to report in this
batch one (my second ever) deformed fry: no tail.
flakes, pellets (better) fresh (animal) matter. Then DO check what
is attached at the bottom of this fast fact sheet.
Other Utakas (among them I tried: Fossorochromis rostratus;
Copadichromis borley; Lethrinops sp.; Aulonocara sp.; a – single –
Tilapia sp. (plus my
“usual” big loriicarids) with no detectable problems (with
prowler is always a prowler.
When I got back from Belgium (from
first MCH meeting) I took
at AB Zaire – close to Frank’s house - this pair of Dimidiochromis
compressiceps (middle sized) and, after having quarantined them I
put the female to swim in
their final quarters (my 750 lt tank) and
the male elsewhere to allow
madam (!) to grow a bit before getting
didn’t last that much since the male's tank was only 125 lt!).
Things started to go on happily
not eating and this fact was worrying me a bit ... I started to
be puzzled when I saw her leaving feces (How
come? Where does she feeding It could be possible for the VERY first days – residual parts
of food taken in Belgium, but then ... and so on). The fish was acting normally no odd behaviour detectable: DARK
MYISTERY!!! Then, one evening I had some more time to sit in front of the tank,
and watch them. The D. compressiceps female was ALWAYS patrolling that same
SMALL part of the tank where I was used to see all the fry in the
days immediately after
release (whenever the
mothers weren’t taken to a separate tank). She was, every now
and then, quickly diving among rocks ... A couple of days
later, to my surprise, the female started to feed (with
other fishes) but after
and started the same “patrol duty” (in the meantime,
one of the C. borleyi had released some fry ...)
All of a sudden the story turned, to me, almost clear:
when she "smells" fry swimming in the tank then she refuses my
and gets back to them after she runs out of fry … and immediately switch back to live food as soon as
another female releases ...
will, as a consequence, drop the fry survival rate in the tank,
likely, to zero (and
can imagine how the matter will be with the arrival of the male!)
but, on the other hand, that's what I
a "natural behaviour" in a tank! ... A prowler is,
and will always remain,
See next page for photos of
Dimidiochromis compressiceps fry.