Tag Archives: Sciaenochromis

Sciaenochromis fryeri

23. August 2021

Many rock dwelling cichlids (mbunas) of Lake Malawi live isolated on certain rocky shores. These are often miles away from other rocky biotopes, so geographic isolation leads relatively quickly to local color variations.

Other cichlids of the lake, such as Sciaenchromis fryeri, are not bound to specific biotopes and occur accordingly throughout the lake. Although there are tendencies for them to look slightly different in certain regions – for example, in S. fryeri the anal fins of males from the south of the lake are reddish, while those from the north are more yellowish – on the whole these differences are rather marginal.

Of Sciaenochromis fryeri the “Iceberg” variety (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/sciaenochromis-fryeri-iceberg-2/) is especially popular, but also the wild colored animals are beautiful fish with their brilliant azure blue. One should not keep these cichlids together with the fast and aggressive mbunas of Lake Malawi. These species interfere with each other and also have completely different food requirements. While S. fryeri is a small predator that follows large cichlids in the wild, which dig for food in the substrate, scaring up small fish and shrimp that S. fryeri grabs, mbunas feed mainly on aufwuchs, i.e. algae and microorganisms found in it, a very high-bulk diet. In the aquarium, Sciaenochromis get shortchanged compared to fast Mbunas, resulting in fatty Mbunas and malnourished Sciaenochromis. No one wants that.

Sciaenochromis fryeri is a typical mouthbrooder in the female gender and grows to about 15 cm long. Males and females differ clearly in coloration.

For our customers: the animals have code 574295 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Sciaenochromis fryeri „Iceberg“

7. May 2018

Many species of rock-dwelling cichlids from Lake Malawi – the so-called Mbuna – live on isolated places. These place are often many miles away from other suitable habitats. This geografic isolation leads comparatively fast to local colour morphs.

Other species of cichlid from Lake Malawi are not that much specialized and can live in a great variety of habitats. Consequently these species can be found all over the lake. Although even in these species some slight tendencies for local colour morphs are recognizable these differences are rather marginal. For example in Sciaenochromis fryeri: specimens collected in the south of the lake tend to have rather reddish anal fins while the conspecifics from the north have rather yellowish anal fins.

The sport „Iceberg“ has been bred by selection. The ancestors of the „Iceberg“ were individual mutants found near Maleri Island. This was more than 20 years ago. Nowadays the „Iceberg“ is among the most popular species of cichlid from lake Malawi. Currently we have very nice animals (6-8 cm long, which is almost half grown) in stock which are full in colour. However, only the dominant male has the ice-blue coloration all over the body, while in subdominant males this coloration is rather restricted to the forehead and the dorsal fin. This is quite interesting, for the initial intention to breed this fish was a simple aesthetic one; now it shows up that this coloration also serves for interspecific communication.

For our customers: the fish have code 574303 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer