Species Article: Lake Victoria & Area

Haplochromis sp. 'all red' Lake Edward

by Greg Steeves

Lake Edward is home to a beautiful Haplochromine cichlid dubbed "all red". There is also a variant that is making it's way into the hobby from Lake Nawampasa. Both locales of this fish grow a little larger than most of the more common varieties of Victorian region cichlids that are avaible to the hobbyist. Males can reach in excess of five inches while female generally stay slightly smaller. The larger a tank one can procure to keep this species, the better.

"All reds" are a boisterously active fish. Dominant males will glow in full color constantly. Females, for the most part, are rather drab, dotted with black blotches on a gray-silver body. Spawning of this species is not difficult. If possible a female to male ratio of 3:1 or better is helpful. This fish seems to spawn more readily in the presence of two or more mature males. Struggles for dominance no doubt fires up their fury for reproduction. Larger spawns of 60 or more fry are possible from adult fish. Haplochromis sp. "all red" is a maternal mouth brooder, and spawns in the fashion typical of the majority of Victorian cichlids. When officially classified, the "all red' will likely be desingnated into the Astatotilapia genus, but we'll have to wait to find out for certian.

These fish can be housed in large tanks or bare vats, and I've even heard of "all reds" being kept in garden ponds. All one needs to sucessfuly care for this fish is a large container to hold the water, clean well filtered water, and a good protien based food. Tank decor, while aesthetically pleasing, is not of vital importance to Haplochromis sp. "all red". Tank mates can include pretty much all the Malawian mbuna of similar size (except Melanochromis) and most Aulonocara. The brialliant red coloration of Haplochromis sp "all red" contrasts very nicely with the blues and yellows commonly found on Malawian cichlids. When mixing any species of fish, especially those who would not normally encounter each other in their native enviroment, close observation on all tank inhabitants should be made. One may find it necessary to move a fish out to keep it from being damaged or killed.

Haplochromis sp. "all red" is an undemanding and beautiful cichlid from a region where not a lot of fish are available. It will make a welcome addition to any cichlidophile's collection.


Cichlids of Africa
Volume I: The Haplochromines
Cichlids of Africa; Volume I: The Haplochromines

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