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Chindongo bellicosus (Bellicosus Cichlid)

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Chindongo bellicosus is an omnivorous species of cichlid endemic to Lake Malawi.The name bellicosus is Latin for 'warlike' or 'fond of war' and refers to the aggressive behaviour of the species. In the wild, they prefer areas with rocky substrates at depths of 3 to 15 metres where they graze from the rock surfaces.

Chindongo bellicosus is difficult to distinguish from most congenerics, but male and female colour patterns provide usable distinctions between most of them- C. bellicosus is characterised by 6-8 dark, vertical bars below the dorsal fin and a light beige to bluish ground colour.

One will find it's colouration consisting of 7-8 blue vertical bars on a dark brown to blackish back ground in territorial adult males.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

This species can reach a length of around 10 cm and is a maternal mouthbrooder with an aggressive temperament. It will display behaviours of being defensive of their territory and is also sadly classed as a near threatened species.

When you set up an aquarium for a rock dwelling Lake Malawi cichlid, you should try to resemble its natural environment in Lake Malawi by including a lot of rocks and caves. The bottom substrate should be sand and the rocks should form a lot of hiding places, since this species likes to shelter in caves and crevices.

Their diets are mostly herbivorous, making it important to provide them with vegetation. Feeding them too many high protein pellets or foods high in crude fats can create digestive issues, or lead to Malawi Bloat, making it important to offer the appropriate diet and not overfeed them. Blanched vegetables (cucumber, peas, zucchini) may help to aid some digestive issues.

Family Group: African Cichlids
Distribution Lake Malawi
Temperature 24-28C
Size 10CM
Water Parameters Medium to High
Water PH 7.5-8.5
Schooling Fish Yes
Diet Special Needs
Water Chemistry More than pH 7 - Alkaline
Care Level Difficult
Sociability Aggressive