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NYASSACHROMIS BOADZULU

Protomelas taeniolatus sp. Namalenje (?)








NYASSACHROMIS BOADZULU (upper photo : male; lower : female)

A very beautiful fish although it needs close inspection in order to fully realize the complexity and beauty of its colors. Not very common in the hobby the male has a beautiful metallic blue color which extends in the dorsal fin. There are red lines in almost all fins which when displaying are clearly visible. The female has two horizontal bars which distinguishes it from most species (not Protomelas, but protomelas doesn't have the protruding mouth). The male grows to 16 cm (a bit bigger in captivity) and the female smaller 13 cm maximum. A very territorial species which needs some attention when placed with larger tankmates till it acclimatizes and is accepted by the rest. 

Feed any food you like. Once this is done, the male will pick a spawning site and spend the whole day (even when not spawning) defending it against all other tankmates, no matter the size of the intruder. A careful selection of tankmates is required to protect this species from itself. The said attitude may sometimes result in serious wounds for the Nyassachromis. The male has repeatedly attacked the full grown Nimbochromis venustus in a fight that it could never win. As a result the Nyassachromis came back with serious wounds which didn't teach him any lessons. As with all Africans do not overfeed because it readily loses its shape and becomes more rounded.

Minimum tank size : 150 cm / 500 liters. Due to its relatively small size it will be harassed and chased by other bue colored fish. Lots of hiding places required.

Close-up shot: 100 ASA film, 300 mm lens, f/11, 1/60 sec, auto-bellows, Sunpack flash unit (GN:36 at 1/8th setting) taped over the lens, shot from a distance of 80 cm. Flash head tilted slightly to avoid reflections from the glass. Hand-held camera.

Update > In September 2005, I received the following message by French expert Philippe Bournel whose opinion I trust as the correct one:

The fishes shown in your site as well as on Fishbase.org are not in fact C. boadzulu. The true boadzulu is this one : http://burnel.club.fr/Mal/boadzulu.jpg and http://burnel.club.fr/Mal/Cboadzuluf.jpg which are quite different. The fishes you show are Protomelas taeniolatus from Namalenje (probably), which are often sold as "haplochormis boadzulu" but the true boadzulu is not a Protomelas but a Copadichromis (or Nyassachromis for some). If you have one of the first (the first one ???) Cichlid year book, there is an article about it. The fishes in the yearbook are the parents of the ones of my pictures and are the true Copadichromis boadzulu. There are no geogarphic variant of this species.

Photos shot in January 2000. 

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