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  • Source: Copyright Colin Wise

  • Source: Copyright Colin Wise

Maylandia estherae 'Minos Reef' (Red Zebra)

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Standard "red zebra" Maylandia estherae have bright blue males and orange females; the orange blotch variety is similar, but the female is orange with black spots and speckles. Some authorities consider Maylandia a nomen nudum, preferring instead another genus, Metriaclima.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Highly territorial and very aggressive, this is a lively, outgoing species that does well in aquaria. Males are best kept singly with large numbers of females. Primarily herbivorous in the wild feeding on algae, aufwuchs, small invertebrates, and plankton. A mixed diet of prepared and green foods is recommended for success in captivity.

Easy to breed. Females are mouthbrooders. Eggs are deposited on the ground and then picked up by the female, who buffets the egg spots on the male's anal fin. This causes him to release his sperm, fertlising the eggs. The eggs are incubated for 2-3 weeks, and then the fry held by the females for a few more days after that. Brood size is around 60 eggs. The free-swimming fry are easily reared on algae and finely powdered flake food. All species and varieties of Maylandia cross breed with one another, so they are all best kept separately.

Family Group: African Cichlids
Distribution Africa: Lake Malawi
Temperature 24-26 C
Size 10-15 cm
Water Parameters Hard, alkaline water essential
Water PH 7.5-8.5