Biotope: Lake Malawi. Lot of intralacustrine endemism and/or local color morphs are reported. Any possible care has to be taken by the fish keeper to avoid cross breeding.
Tank: Aquascape the tank in a normal Malawi fashion providing plenty of swimming space and hiding spots for the females. Also note that this fish enjoys subdued lights.
Water chemistry: Definitely an alkaline environment. Refer elsewhere in MCH to check water chemistry values I measured at the Lake Malawi.
Spawning: Adulthood is reached at about one year of age. Spawning is carried in the classical Utaka way. Most often a flat stone is used as the “mating point”. My group consists of two males (subdominant male is chased – mostly during actual courting - but is generally living well thanks to the tank size which is a generous 750 liters) and three females; only one of the carrying females has been netted till now. It is quite difficult to net them without actually dismantling the whole tank and especially the rock piles. The brood was ten healthy fry growing at a slow rate (quite common among Utakas).
Food: It’s an Utaka. Therefore you should feed them flakes, pellets, tablets, frozen matter (shrimps, frozen bloodworms, artemia). My fish appreciate (live) black mosquito larvae.
Tank Mates: The group is kept with other Utakas (Haps) and two big plecos. They do great with all of them while some minor fights take place among the two males – when the dominant is trying to spawn. Things are not that serious up to now, but I suspect things can become worst in the future.. See next page for photos of spawning taken by George in his tank (December 2001) …