Our current Congo import contains again two species of the funny humphead cichlids: Steatocranus casuarius and S. gibbiceps. They look very similar to each other at first sight (and we can hardly avoid in wholesale that sometimes a casuarius is among the gibbiceps and vize versa), but when looking closely you can see that in S. casuarius the scale center is dark and in S. gibbiceps it is light. S. gibbiceps is also more slender. The species grows to about 10 cm in length. The frontal hump is only moderately pronounced in S. gibbiceps, but males develop a very elongated dorsal fin.
Humphead cichlids should be kept at least in pairs, in sufficiently large aquariums also in groups, where there is always something going on. They are relatively peaceful, although the immediate area of the breeding burrow is fiercely defended and individual space is also otherwise demanded. Although they inhabit very oxygen-rich water in nature, adaptation to aquarium life is not a problem for them. The water in the Congo is soft, but not overly acidic, so water composition requirements are also easily met. Any common fish food is eaten, but it must not be too fatty (no Tubifex and the like), because this leads to intestinal diseases, which can be fatal. Plants are not damaged, but occasionally they are dug up or bitten away when the animals get into breeding mood. Steatocranus are cavity breeders with parent families.
For our customers: S. gibbiceps has code number 575042 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.
Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer