Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor, Schoeller, 1903
Origin:North-east Afrika, widespread.
Etymology: Multicolor(L): Much, many, colors
Synonyms:Paratilapia multicolor, Haplochromis multicolor, Hemihaplochromis multicolor
First European import:1902, by Dr. C. H. Schoeller.
Description:See picture, although the fish in the picture could also be Pseudocrenilabrus philander dispersus.
Care: Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor requires densely planted zones in a tank and some hiding places like caves. Since the fish are aggressiv, it's best to keep only a single pair in a tank, or to combine them with larger robust fish in a community tank. For the average community tank the fish are only remotely suited, since they have a tendency to terrorize the other inhabitants. Waterchemistry, neutral, soft to medium hard water, that should be well filtered, and rich in oxygen.
Feeding: Omnivorous, all food is taken as long as it isn't too small.
Size:Up to 8 cm.
Breeding: In a 40 cm tank, well planted and with a bit higher temperatures, breeding Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor is very well possible. A hole will be dug in the sand, where the female will lay her eggs, which are immediately fertilizd by the male. After spawning the male becomes extremely aggressiv, and especially in smaller tanks the female will become the target of his aggression. Because of this it's best to remove the male from the breeding tank immediately after spawning. After spawning occurred, the female will collect the eggs in her mouth, and keep the eggs and fry there for approximately 10 days. After this the fry are released for the first time, but will be cared for for at least another week by the female. Up to 80 fry have been reported, that grow fast, and can be fed artemia nauplii immediately after the first release. In case of danger the fry respond to signs of the female, and flee into her open mouth.
Sexual dimorphism:Male much more colorfull, female lacks red spots in the caudal tail.
Picture references:Picture 1: E. Naus
References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.(click on the link to buy this book)
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