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Protomelas Taeniolatus (Red Empress Cichlid)

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A relatively large but peaceful haplochromine cichlid from Lake Malawi. Juveniles and females are fairly nondescript silvery fish with black longitudinal markings. Sexually mature males are blue with extensive red regions around the flanks and fins. Several colour forms are known from particular parts of the lake. Previously known as Cyrtocara taeniolatus.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

A good addition to large Malawian community tanks. Like other haplochromines it is too easily bullied by mbuna, but otherwise works well with Aulonocara, Labidochromis, Nimbochromis and so on. Wild fish are predominantly herbivorous so regular offerings of algae-based flake food plus spinach and cooked peas is useful. Otherwise eats most flakes, pellets and finely chopped seafood. Breeding is similar to that of other mouthbrooding haplochromines.

Family Group: African Cichlids
Distribution Lake Malawi, Africa
Temperature 22-25 C
Size Up to 20 cm
Water Parameters Hard, alkaline water essential
Water PH 7.5-8.5
Sociability Peaceful
Schooling Fish No
Water Chemistry More than pH 7 - Alkaline
Care Level Difficult
Diet Adaptable