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Ophtalmotilapia ventralis


 



Opthalmotilapia  ventralis
Top photo: male
Bottom: carrying female

Fast facts on Ophthalmotilapia Ventralis

Biotope: Lake Tanganyika (Africa, Rift Valley). Lot of intralacustrine endemism and colour morphs are present. My specimens (2M / 3F) were from Cape Mpimbwe (Tanzania).

Tank: Some race and/or morph could grow big and moreover all are good, fast swimmers. A large tank is a MUST (mine has been lt 300), depth is as important as height.

Water chemistry: Water temp in the range 24°-26° C; pH (as high as possible) 8.0, nitrite / nitrate as low as possible (used to perform a 30% water change every two weeks to handle nitrogen cycle).

Spawning: It is said to be quite difficult (for african cichlids standards) but I found it quite easy. Holding lasts between 3 and 4 week (see above for temp). I've been used to sometimes "strip" carrying females and sometimes not. Newborns were, in my tank, low in number (maximum being nine, average four). Growth rate is fast, mostly in "grow-up" tanks. Got about 50 fry (from 2 females out of 3) in just less than two years.

Food: Pellets, flakes, frozen food, even if it's reported that wild-caught specimens can be fussy at eating. Newly hatched brine shrimps are excellent food for fry.

Tank Mates: Good tank mates are Shelldwellers and Cyprichromis (judging from my personal experience). Beware of bully fishes that could possibly attack the long ventral finnage of active males.

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