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FAQs on African Cichlid Identification 4

Related Articles: African Cichlids, Malawian Cichlids: The Mbuna and their Allies By Neale Monks, The Blue Followers: the Placidochromis of Lake Malawi by Daniella Rizzo,


Related FAQs: African Cichlid ID 1, African Cichlid ID 2, African Cichlid ID 3, African Cichlid ID 5, & African Cichlids, African Cichlid Selection, African Cichlid Behavior, African Cichlid Compatibility, African Cichlid Systems, African Cichlid Feeding, African Cichlid Reproduction, African Cichlid Disease, Cichlids of the World, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid Disease, Cichlid Reproduction, & Malawi Cichlid Systems, Tanganyikan Systems,

Re: fish id, possibly Krib?     7/7/12
Aha! Thank you. These fish were in an overstocked 15 gallon and I have moved them to my 100 gallon. This Mbuna is quite bossy to the blood parrots; nipping at them.
<Is what they and most Mbuna in fact do when kept with dozy tankmates.>
Should he be removed or should we introduce another Mbuna to see if that takes his attention?
<Add another Mbuna and chance are he'll kill it. These fish are very aggressive. Melanochromis auratus are best kept in busy (some would say overstocked) systems with larger, similarly aggressive Mbuna species, for example Pseudotropheus zebra, Pseudotropheus lombardoi and Labeotropheus fuelleborni. It should not be kept with less aggressive Mbuna like Labeotropheus trewavasae or Labidochromis spp., and neither should it be kept with unaggressive Malawians, including Aulonocara spp. Of course, it can also be kept in a single-species set-up, and this is probably the idea because it's the females that are really pretty in this case. But as with other Mbuna, if you do this, keep lots of females per male because the males can be very hard on them; I'd keep 5-6 females, at least, to be honest.>
<Welcome, Neale.>
Re: fish id, possibly Krib?     7/7/12

I appreciate your input here. I believe I need to clarify my intentions a bit more. I would like to create the best environment for the Blood Parrots (if possible) without removing the Melanochromis.
<Good luck on that…>
Do you believe it is possible to keep him in the 100 gallon tank either by adding additional tankmate(s) or some other way to divert his attention from pestering the parrots?
<More shelter, cover for the Parrots may help, but Parrots are stupid and slow-moving, and being bred for looks rather than self-defence, they don't hold their own well with cichlids that evolution has hard-wired to be aggressive. Yes, 100 gallons is a fair amount of space for fish this size, and you may get lucky and find the Melanochromis auratus stays mostly at one end, and the Parrots eventually learn to stay at the other end. But that's about as well as this system/community will work.>
Perhaps adding another female of this or similar species (you mentioned below)?
<Nope. Turning this into a Mbuna aquarium has some merit, and 100 gallons gives you a decent amount of space to work with. Furthermore, some commercial aquarium providers (e.g., for airports and shopping malls) have thrown Parrots into such Mbuna systems. But these aquaria tend to be more for show than anything else, and if fish die/need replacing every few months, well that's fine because it's all covered in the monthly contract. As hobbyists, we have different standards, goals.>
Moving him to a new environment is not something that I am equipped to do and I would hate to pass him on to someone if we can avoid it.
However, I do not want to endanger the constitution of those "dumb-but-cute-looking" parrots.
<Melanochromis auratus simply isn't a species you can throw into a collection of cichlids and expect to behave itself. Adding more fish (of different species) provides more targets to be sure, and that means any one fish won't be subjected to constant aggression, in theory at least. Do read up on Melanochromis auratus; it's a well-known troublemaker, and there's a hearty literature on stocking, maintaining Malawian cichlids. Most anything by Ad Konings will set you up well, but you'll find the writings of Paul Loiselle and Mary Bailey, among others, highly relevant.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: fish id, possibly Krib?     7/7/12

on to more research. Thanks for the pointers and the direction!
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: fish id, possibly Krib?     7/7/12

on to more research. Thanks for the pointers and the direction!
<Oh, and one quick thought. Since Melanochromis are Mbuna that rarely stray far from rocks, if you build a pile of rocks at one end with lots of hidey-holes, you may get lucky and find the Melanochromis stays more or less in that one spot, and the Parrots could move about more freely elsewhere. No guarantees though! Neale.>
Re: fish id, possibly Krib?     7/8/12

Awesome. I will give this a try! Thanks again.
<Keep a close eye on them. As I said, there's no guarantee. Cheers, Neale.>

Cichlid, ID    6/20/12
Hello crew! Everyone i talk to cannot identify this fish, i would really appreciate if you could! Thank you!
<It's a Pseudotropheus of some sort, of the type often marketed as the Pseudotropheus "Orange Blotch". Whether it's a hybrid or a true species is hard to say from a photo. Most of the ones sold in typical aquarium shops are hybrids. In any case, it'll be much like Pseudotropheus zebra in care. Needs good quality (low nitrate!) hard, alkaline water; gets to about 12-15 cm/5-6 inches in length; will be highly territorial, even psychotically aggressive; and needs to be kept in a (large) Mbuna aquarium rather than a standard community tank. Mostly herbivorous, so its diet should be based around green foods and algae-based flake, with meaty foods like bloodworms and standard flake used sparingly. Cheers, Neale.>

Cichlids    5/13/12
How can I tell what kinda
<…kind of…>
African cichlids are these
Thanks, Kial
<No, not from this photo, no. If sold as "mixed African cichlids" at a pet store, they're almost certainly Pseudotropheus hybrids, typically similar to Pseudotropheus zebra in size, colours, and psychotic levels of aggression. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Cichlids, repro. Af.     5/14/12
I looked up Pseudotropheus hybrids an that's what they are, thanks, how many times a yr can they breed, they did once already an I've had them since Jan, they had the babies in march.
<... read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Identifying Cichlids
ID Two Lake Malawi Cichlids    4/16/12

Hello and thank you for your consideration in advance for reading this message.
I was hoping that I could get some assistance in identifying two cichlids that I recently rescued from Wal*Mart (got new fish tanks and burned out pumps, bad stuff), and at first I was thinking they might be yellow labs as they had the coloration, but after being in my tank for a few days, it seems that their color has come back to them! I've attached two pictures, the first picture is what I was told is a Kenyi, but recently I've been getting varied ideas and conflicting identification. Oddly enough, when I first introduced him, he had a pale/pink hue and now, as you can tell is much more yellow in color. I've been told Kenyi, Lab, and hybrid. The second picture is what I personally suspect as a Red Zebra male, but as both fish are relatively young, I do respect the idea that they may not have their true colors yet.
Anyway, again I thank you for consideration and taking the time to read this message, and I would like to say thanks for this awesome website again!
< The first fish definitely has some lab in it, but is not a Ps. kenyi. It is probably a lab red zebra cross. The second picture looks like a poor quality red zebra.-Chuck>

Cichlid Question! 12/20/11
Guys & Gals,
<Hey Dan>
Thanks for all you do for the hobby and help us all care for our aquatic animals. All of you are a great help to us out here who love the hobby but don't have a lot of experience. My question is pretty simple and straight forward (hopefully). Can you tell me what type (name) of the cichlids that are contained in this picture?
<Mmm, yes, Lamprologus brichardi...>
Which one is the female and which one is the male?
<Mmm, likely the bottom fish is female, the larger a male>
I know at least one is male and the other is female because the other day I had little babies all over the bottom of my tank. Again thanks for your help and any assistance in helping keep the babies alive and what they eat would be much appreciated.
<Best to have you search WWM, the larger Net re. Congratulations! Bob Fenner>

Fish ID
Lake Malawi Cichlid ID 10/12/11

Is this fish an electric blue Ahli? What is the scientific name?
Thanks in advance!
<No. This looks to be a cross between an electric blue and some sort of Mbuna. Probably a Metriaclima zebra.-Chuck>

please identify, Af. cichlids... 2/4/11
I am currently deployed to the Mideast theater and have the privilege of keeping an African Cichlid tank, but unfortunately the fish are not labeled in the pet shop so I have no idea what I do have and I have several different ones. Need to know exactly what they are whereby I may be able to care for them properly. Hope you can help. Thanks much for your time and assistance.
<These would appear to be Aulonocara, the colourful ones the males, the females normally silvery-brown. Basic care is straightforward provided you keep them by themselves in a hard water aquarium and don't mix them with anything else (for example Mbuna such as Pseudotropheus zebra). Do read here for the details:
Cheers, Neale.>

Cichlid Identification
Lake Malawi Cichlid ID 6/17/10

Crew: I recently started my first cichlid tank and purchased several small 'assorted' cichlids from my LFS. Can you help me identify them? I have checked online and print resources but would like to be sure. They are all small and I presume very young.
My best guess on the blue ones is Pseudotropheus Elongatus. These fish are about 2 inches long.
The yellow ones look like yellow labs to me, but not exactly. They are only about 1 inch so may need to grow more to easily identify.
The apparent albino is a complete mystery to me. Without any colors to go on I am at a loss. They do have a single egg spot though.
Thanks for your help. Curt Lewis
< For photos 0232 and 0231 checkout Ps. socolofi. Photo 0268 and 0247 could be a yellow lab cross or Ps. tropheops. As the fish grows it will be easier to tell. The albino could b M. vermivorous.-Chuck>

Cichlid ID
Cichlid Identification -4/6/10

Hello WWM Crew,
I recently purchased a few very young Cichlids from my LFS. I was wondering if you could identify three specific fish. The two orange/brown are the same species but I have no clue what species they are. I cannot find any Cichlids online that look similar. The striped one is a dull brown/orange color now, but he (assuming masculinity) was much brighter when I purchased. The striped fish is noticeably larger than the OB. By size and coloring, can I assume the larger is the male and the OB is female?
The blue fish is just barely over an inch. It has black stripes/bars running vertically down it's side, however, the picture does not show this.
I know the fish are pretty young to be making guesses at their species, but I figured I'd give it to the experts to try to figure it out!
Tank set up:
33 gal, long octagonal tank
2 20gal Penguin filters
Plenty of rocks for hideaways!
Crushed coral substrate
2 Unknown orange/yellow/brown cichlids
1 Unknown blue cichlid
1 Metriaclima estherae
4 Pseudotropheus *"red top Gallireya"*
< The fish you have are definitely from Lake Malawi. The photo of the first pair appear to be Pseudotropheus tropheops. They come in many geographic variants. Do a google images search and see if the photos match your fish. The small one looks like a small Ps. zebras type. Time will tell.-Chuck>

Fish Identification? -- 04/03/10
I was hoping you might be able to tell me if the big one in the single fish pic is a female rusty or a female afra?
<It may be a female Iodotropheus sprengerae, but could be (too likely) a cross... an Mbuna hybrid>
I rescued afra's and rusty's from two different people who had nowhere to put them and now I don't know which one this one is. I do know it is a female for sure because it is holding.
Then there is these three little ones that I am not 100% positive about. I am pretty sure the ones that have the blue coloring are afra but I have no idea what type.
The brownish looking one in the back is the one I have no idea at all what it is. Could it be a female afra?
<Possibly. Am going to place your query in our resident Cichlid expert, Chuck Rambo's in-folder... He's traveled to, dived in Lake Malawi... Maybe he's seen your fishes up close and personal!>
Thank you so much for your help
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Fish Identification? -- 04/03/10
Bob, I really appreciate it again thank you so much!
<Welcome Mary. BobF>

Fish Identification?
Lake Malawi Cichlid ID 4/6/10

I was hoping you might be able to tell me if the big one in the single fish pic is a female rusty or a female afra? I rescued afra's and rusty's from two different people who had nowhere to put them and now I don't know which one this one is. I do know it is a female for sure because it is holding.
Then there is these three little ones that I am not 100% positive about. I am pretty sure the ones that have the blue coloring are afra but I have no idea what type. The brownish looking one in the back is the one I have no idea at all what it is. Could it be a female afra? Thank you so much for your help Mary
< It is not a rusty but probably not an afra either. The mouth looks wrong to be an afra. I would guess that it is a cross between a Ps. zebra and another Malawi cichlid. This happens all the time when people keep assorted Malawi cichlids together and then pass off the fry as a single

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