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Chindongo flavus

P. flaus location map

Former name: Pseudotropheus elongatus sp. "dinghani", Pseudotropheus flavus
Distribution: bounded to a small Chinyankhwazi Island, Lake Malawi
Size: 8 - 12 cm

Conditions in my tank:
Temperature: 25-26 °C, 29 °C in summer
Temporary hardness: 8 °dKH
Total hardness: 15 °dGH
pH: 7.46
NO2: 0 mg/l
NO3: 40-60 mg/l

P. flavus - maleColoration
Chindongo flavus is, in my opinion, an underestimated species. It is one of the smaller cichlids, the male has beautiful black-yellow strips and are not difficult to keep. The little attention by fish keepers is probably caused by the not attractive, grey-brown coloration of the females. The females are slightly smaller than the males. The adult coloration of the males appears when they reach the size about 5 cm. From the six fishes I bought at the size of 4 cm, only one fully colored up and it meant that there is 1 male per 5 females. Despite this fact, that male was fully colored. The females have the dark brown stripes sometimes.

The aquarium volume with about 200 litres is enough to keep them successfully. It is possible to keep them with other cichlids of Lake Malawi as tankmates, but then in the bigger tanks. The tank decoration should copy the natural habitat of the fishes, it means rocky litoral. It is suitable to create a few caves between the rocks. The male is bounded to certain territory and is ejecting any fishes out of that place. However, I have never observed the high degree of aggressivity in these fishes. There are not serious attacks on the females or other fish species. Despite of the fact that there is not strong conspecific aggressivity shown, I recommend to buy about 12-15 young fishes. The male is adjusting his territory digging the cavities all the time. If I destroy the hollows during the cleaning the tank, he will make new ones next day. The cavities are made in the back side of the tank between the rocks preferably.

P. flavus - female Breeding
The male chooses the suitable place near the bigger stone and digs the small hole about 10 cm in diameter before the spawn. In this nest the spawn happens. The shaking male, which is colored nicely attracts the ready female to the nest. The female is ready when you can see the ejected urogenital papila. They spawn like other mouthbrooders dancing in the circle and releasing the eggs and sperm in T-position. The female is chasing the fake eggs on the anal fin of male and he is releasing the sperm into the water and female’s mouth. The female can stay in the main tank after the spawn. She swims with the mouth full of eggs all over the tank and even chases other females.

The holding females are not shy and try to take small pieces of food. The male is spawning with all the females in the tank on a regular basis. Sometimes the females are synchronized and a few of them may spawn during one week. Then the amount of fry of the same size is higher. Approximately 15-18 days after the spawn the fry are released in number of 10-30 which depends on the female’s size and age. If they were released in the main tank they had never survived. If someone wants to grow them it will be better to move the female on day 15 to other small tank (20 litre is enough) and she will spit the fry there.

P. flavus - holding femaleThe fry grow with no problems because they can be fed with dry food, like small granules. It is very advisable to feed live food (cyclops, brine shrimps). By my experience, they don’t take the frozen cyclops at the beginning. I have observed that some of the fry started to exhibit aggressivity only 2 days after they were released from the mother’s mouth. Two-three fry imposed and fighted near the stone. It’s interesting because I have never observed the intraspecific brutal attacks. It is true that there was only one male and it is possible that with 2 or more males there could be a serious fights.

The feeding the adults should be vegetable based but they thrive laso with the quality flakes which have not the higher amount of vegetable components. I used to feed them flake food Sera Flora, Sera San, Tropical Spirulina, Tropical Vegetable, O.S.I. Spirulina. The mixture contained 50% of Sera Flora and 50% of other flakes plus crushed dry shrimps. The frozen cyclops were added few times a week. I used to feed 3 times a day carefully because they are very voracious.

P. flavus - 2 weeksP. flavus - young male - 3 months Conclusion
I recommend this cichlid also for less experienced fish keepers. It is very hard fish and breeds easy. In addition, this fish has an interesting, in Pseudotropheus genus unusual longitudinal body which makes it together with nice coloration and active swimming among the rocks very attractive.

Copyright © 2003 - 2017 Robert Toman

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