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Stigmatochromis pleurospilus


malawi sand diver
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Species information

Species: Stigmatochromis pleurospilus

Synoma: Cyrtocara Pleurospilus, Haplochromis Pleurospilus

Common name: None

Origin: Lake Malawi, Africa

Localities/Morphs: Specimens have been collected in the far North of the lake Malawi. The catch locations have been at Lupembe sand-bank, Mdoka and at Ifungu.

Maximum size: 25cm

Natural habitat: Shallow sandy bays of depths between 10m and 40m.

Natural foods/prey: Piscavore - hunts small fish in sandy environments

Water chemistry in the wild: ph 7.7-8.6

Predators: These fish grow large and will hold their own against other large malawi haps.

Brood size: Around 25

Breeding method: They are a colony breeder. The males construct a large bower of around 1m to 1.5m in the sand. They reach sexual maturity after 8 months.

Husbandry requirements

Minimum tank size: 6x2x2 foot

Sex ratio: 1 male to 3 or more females

Sex differences: Males have a yellow belly with pastel blue on the head and upper parts of the body. The male has a light blue patterning on the dorsal fin with yellow spots

Tolerance of conspecifics: agressive - in my experience slightly more agressive amongst themselves than to other species.

Tolerance of heterospecifics: agressive

Water chemistry in aquaria: ph 7.8-8.6

Temperature range: 24-26 degrees C

Foods accepted: Will readily accept good quality pellets but as they get bigger their diet will need to be supplemented with regular live food such as live brine, daphnia, shrimp or small fish to keep them in good breeding condition.

Special requirements: A large tank is essential as these fish are large streamlined predators with a muscular torpedo shaped body and are quick swimmers.

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