Aquarium Expedia: How To Care Haplochromis sp. Flameback


Haplochromis sp. Flameback

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  • Common name:  Flameback
  • Location and lake collected from:  Lake Victoria
  • Approximate size:  4 inches
  • Food:  They should eat most foods including flake, pellet, frozen and live foods. 
  • pH:  7.5 – 8.4
  • Temperature:  76 – 82 degrees.
  • Breeding behavior:  Mouthbrooder.  I have seen a large group with multiple males and an equal number of females to males kept together in a well-decorated tank(a lot of rocks and plants).  Males will defend a territory and chase all other fish except females ready to spawn from it.  My 1.5-inch female held for 12 – 14 days and produced 9 fry.
  • Care of the fry:  The fry can eat crushed flake food and baby brine shrimp along with other small foods.  They are fairly undemanding about their water conditions.  Males start to show breeding coloration at around 1.25 inches.
  • Tankmates:  I have seen them in with Psuedotropheus estherae “Red Zebra”.  Should do well with some of the more peaceful Mbuna like Labidochromis caeruleus “Electric Yellow”, or Utaka species like Copadichromis borleyi.  I have mine in with similar-sized Copadichromis trewavasae without problems.
  • Tank size:  Several adults (3 – 4) should do well in 20-gallon tanks or larger.
  • Additional notes:  I have seen several places refer to this species as Astatotilapia spinosignis.  After doing some research and asking Les Kaufman, who consulted with Ole Seehausen, it has been determined that this is most certainly not a described species.   This species is also sometimes referred to as Haplochromis nyererei “Flameback”.  While the color pattern is somewhat similar, they are different species.  Haplochromis sp. Flameback has a redish orange upper body from the lips to the tail and a turquoise lower body with a few darker bars.   Pundamilia nyererei has a more red upper body from the lips to the tail with a yellow center body, and a black lower body with black barring on the body.

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