Another utaka (open water) species and - most probably - the last addition in my tank. Copadichromis borleyi is a very beautiful fish and one that I was looking for. Lately, I got such a specimen and, although the magnificent coloration of the adult male is not yet shown, it is still a beautiful fish. The adult male has a blue face and a maroon side, coupled by the white border of the dorsal fin. A relatively peaceful species requires a lot of swimming place and should better be kept in a tank longer than 150 cm. May school with other utakas if present in the tank. Large Haplochromis species are not the best companion for this species because they are more aggressive. In fact, when this fish was added in my non-mbuna tank, I had to turn the lights off, and then keep a close eye on it to make sure it was not eaten on the spot.
I would like to make it clear to you. When a new fish sized 10 cm is added to such a tank, it will either be chased by the small species (Aulonocara, Nyassachromis, Copadichromis) or eaten on the spot (Nimbochromis and Buccochromis). Finally, the fish was chased and a bit bullied by the Aunolocara stuartgranti male and was almost eaten by the Buccochromis nototaenia male which tried many times to get it. Mbuna should be avoided for the same reason (they will not eat it but they will definitely harass it a lot), unless a very long tank is available (more than 200 cm) and both habitats are created. This species may become aggressive if other fishes of the same color combination are present in the same tank. In nature it feeds on zooplankton but it will accept almost anything in captivity. The female closely resembles the female of many common Malawi species (Aulonocaras, Sciaenochromis etc.) therefore special care should be taken to avoid crossbreeding. Since this fish is very unlikely to become hyperdominant other males may crossbreed with its female. Will grow to 18-20 cm (the male).
Minimum tank size : 150 cm / 500 liters. Will fight with any blue - colored fish in the tank (e.g. Sciaenochromis ahli, Aulonocara stuartgranti, Nyassachromis boadzulu)