Here is a new fish which I purchased recently which goes under the name Otopharynx intermedium. I got a male and a female. This is a very colourful fish.the photo does not do it justice..the female is drab colour but has the same 3 black spots on the body as the male. They really love the sand and are quite peaceful despite their size. The edge of the dorsal fin is a lovely white and orange as is the anal fin. The whole body is metalic turquoise but the head is more dense of the colour. The name has now officially being changed to Ctenopharynx intermedius. Occurrence of this species is in the southern part of lake Malawi and is found in sediment-rich areas of the rocky habitat, the intermediate habitat, over sand and in the open water where it feeds on plankton. Males grow to a maximum of 21cm while females reach about 16cm. preferred temperature 26 c, the months of reproductive activity occur between July to September, the age at first maturity is approximately 1.3 years. My two fish male and a female are quite placid, they don't bother the other haps even though the others are a lot smaller than them. They do prefer to swim in the open rather than be in the caves, they sift through the sand a lot. Havn't had them spawn yet, but I will let you know their activities etc when they do. Mine live in a 5ft tank but only occupy one end, its very rare to see them swimming at the other end, my Aulonocara's stick together with them and they too just keep to one end of the tank... I did have them in a smaller tank but the male was always chasing the female..this doesn't happen so much now they are in a bigger tank..for now peace reigns amongst them all, apart from the occasional squabble between C. Moorii and S. fryeri they tend to wrestle in the middle of the tank on the sand, with the rest of the fish just wishing to be on lookers.
Text and photos by Adele Rotherham