Cyprichromis Jumbo leptosoma "Cape Mpimbwe"

Black Bee / "Yellow Head"





Origin and locality/variety: Cape Mpimbwe--Tanzania, Lake Tanganyika, East Africa

Size: Adults are usually 3.5 to 4.5 inches in aquarium environment.

Sex differences: Males are somewhat variable in coloration. They sport dark (dark purple to black) dorsal and anal fins which are trimmed in white and a caudal fin which is nearly always totally yellow. Body coloration--from back to front--often blends from hues of dark violet to a rather bright yellow which can cover the full anterior portion of the fish. The yellow is more intense during courtship, and is not always present in all males. Females are plainly colored, but often have a yellow tint in the caudal fin.

Aquarium behavior: All Cyprichromis are best kept in colonies which include numbers of both sexes. This genus is ideal for Tanganyikan community set-ups. They tend to school in the upper half of the aquarium. Despite their delicate looks, Cyprichromis are extremely hardy and can thrive in a number of environments. As long as they are not kept with very large frontosa or predacious Malawi Cichlids, they will be the highlight of any aquarium. Minimum aquarium sizes for adults is about thirty gallons, but at least fifty-five gallons is recommended.

Aquarium diet: Cyprichromis readily accept most foods: flakes, frozen, and live. A combination of flakes, frozen, and live is recommended. Most of the time, they are first to the food.

Observed spawning habits: Cyprichromis is typically bred in colonies. They breed in the open water column (in the center of the aquarium). Males in the aquarium will constantly display to vie for the females' attention. Females will mouth-brood the young for up to a month. A normal breeding colony consists of at least six individuals.