I got a group of these fish from my
cichlid-pal Staf. At the very first beginning the Placidochromis
were rather shy and dull, but then they started growing FAST! I
even think that they will grow close to 20cm at this rate. Mine are
also much duller than the ones you can see in some internet
pictures, but I strongly believe that these colours are deliberately
oversaturated in order to let them look much more attractive so they
will sell better. There is also a small possibility that the
Placidochromis electra "superior" show deeper yellow on the body due
to specific food that they eat in the lake, just like the
Dimidiochromis compressiceps "gold" that loses it's yellow shine in
captivity. Maybe I should consider a deep colour enhancing diet
especially for them ;-)
Anyway as soon as their size was big
enough they started to take their territory in the 1500L kitchen
tank, and now the dominant male is already at the top of the tank
hierarchy. This dominant Placidochromis male builds a nest against
the front window and it even puts the Lethrinops to shame as they
don't even come close in moving that amount of sand around.
This nest itself is kept clean by the
Placidochromis, but it can nowhere compete with the nests that some
Tanganyika cichlids produce beauty-wise. The other Placidochromis
males only defend a territory near the rocks but they don't build a
nest though. Staf already
reported breeding with his cichlids of the same age, but my females
didn't carry fry yet. Maybe the time has come that they will finally
breed. Anyway they have practiced more than enough now and I've also
seen one female with her egg tube extended a bit. Breeding them is
not my priority though, but I'll applaud them doing it and I will
probably leave the females alone and won't recover the fry, unless
someone is dying to get them of course.
Right after introduction. First colour starts coming in.
June 2005: A juvenile making a U-turn.
January 2006: they have grown much larger, but they're still not
full size adults.
The shaking and fast moving around when the female arrives in the
nest is very recognizable from other Malawi cichlid species.
Same as above: they know how to spawn ;-)
The deep digging in the sand reminds me of the much larger
They really are sand shovelling Placidochromis. My Lethrinops are
amateurs compared to these fellows.
More displaying against another male opponent (outside the frame).
Of course the females need to be impressed equally!
Deep digging! Oh did I already say that I like cichlids that move
the sand around?
Large sand particles are dumped at the edge of the nest.
It seems that I can't get enough from the deep digging behaviour of
these Malawi cichlids.