Bring Specialized Algae Scraper In Your Tank: Basic Information About Haplochromis Obliquidens


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Haplochromis obliquidens photos

The fish pictured here was sold to me as Haplochromis obliquidens.  I am waiting to get them positively identified and will update this after that.  These photos also show the color change my male has gone through as he grew in size.

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My males coloration at 2 – 2.5 inches.

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The same males coloration at 3 – 3.5 inches.

The same male at adult size. 

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My adult females.

  • Common name:  This species is not the same species as Labrochromis (Haplochromis) ishmaeli.  Labrochromis ishmaeli has a much more rounded head and a very different coloration.
  • Location and Lake collected from:  Lake Victoria
  • Approximate size:  4 – 4.5 inches
  • Food: Will eat most foods.  Mine have scraped the rocks in their tanks and also eaten the Java Moss I had in with them.  In the wild, this species is a specialized algae scraper.
  • pH:  7.5 – 8.5
  • Temperature:  76 – 82 degrees F.
  • Breeding behavior:  Mouthbrooder.  Males can get very aggressive around spawning time so rocks are recommended for the females to hide in.   My male constantly chases my females even after they spawn so I move my brooding females to a 10 gallon of their own until they release their fry.  My females brood for 13 – 17 days and produce 30 – 40 fry each spawn. 
  • Care of the Fry:  The fry can eat crushed flake food, baby brine shrimp, and other small foods.  They do well with several small feedings a day.  Hap. Obliquidens fry is not picky about their water conditions.   Most spawns can be kept in a 10-gallon tank up to an inch in size.
  • Tankmates:  I have kept mine with several species from Lake Malawi.  These included several Mbuna (Labidochromis caeruleus, and Cynotilapia afra), and Utaka species (Copadichromis borleyi).
  • Tank size:  I have kept 1 male and 4 females in a 40 gallon cube tank (24x24x18).
  • Additional notes:  This species is on the 2000 red list of endangered species.  The fish pictured and described here was sold to me as Haplochromis obliquidens.  I am waiting to get them positively identified and will update this after that.

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