Today we took the photo equipment in our fishhouse (instead of taking fish from the fishhouse in the phototank), for here in one of our tanks a great show is presented: 50 sexually ripe (7-10 cm long) Otopharynx lithobates, more than half of them males in breeding mood. Wow.
In the natural habitat, males of this species inhabit caves. The bright head stripe is a distinctive feature for females passing the cave. For each females a courtship display is started immediately. In the home aquarium one must take care that females which are not willing to spawn can hide. In the wild they can easily swim away, but in the tank the males can become pretty nasty in cases not enough hiding places are provided for the females.
Otopharynx lithobates feeds on plankton in the wild and can be easily fed by a variety of usual ornamental fish food items. The pH must not sink below 8 in long time sight; otherwise these cichlids, like most cichlids from lake Malawi, are not much demanding and easy to care.
For our customers: the fish have code 556604 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer