the "Red Empress" because of the coloration of the
breeding male this fish is a very popular addition to Malawi tanks.
Due to the temperament of the males it is not recommended to keep
more than one male in the tank unless it is a very big one (bigger
than 1500 Liters). Usually, one female is enough if other species of
similar nature and size are present in the tank. The species grows
to more than 20 cm (female considerably smaller) and will spawn
readily if given ample space. It is worthy to note that my pair
spawned one week after they were added in my tank, despite the fact
that they were the last addition to it. The territory is relatively
small and is not defended at all times. It is mainly defended (and
used) for spawning. After that, the male will swim freely without
actively defending it, even if another species is using it for
species has a voracious appetite and will eat anything offered from
flakes to pellets and frozen food. Extra care should be taken to
avoid overfeeding otherwise the fish will lose its shape becoming
more "rounded". A very good swimmer it needs ample free
space. Compared to other Africans it is a relatively peaceful
species which will not chase other tankmates (not even its female;
at least not very actively). Due to its very distinct coloration
which distinguishes it from other species I have observed that even
known trouble seekers (like Nimbochromis venustus, Nimbochromis
livingstoni and the Red Parrot cichlids) will not chase the Empress.
I have observed this fish to have kind of an obsession with
Chilotilapia euchilus. It will chase it all over the tank and will
do everything possible to prevent it from spawning. This may be due
to the fact that the females of these two species look quite
similar. Will not harm the plants and it can live happily in a
planted tank as long as the plants will not limit the available
swimming place. Needs rocks and caves for hiding.
tank size : 150 cm / 500 liters.
Recommended tank size :
200 cm / 750 liters.
pictures see next