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My Top 10 Favorite Victorian Cichlids, From the Mind of a Cichlid Mad Man

What’s up everyone, Jose here again. I’m back for another installment of my top 10 Cichlids. This time, I’m going to talk about some of my favs from Lake Victoria.

In the last 20 to 30 years many Victorian species have been driven to extinction by a variety of factors, including the introduction of
the Nile perch, increased human population and also increased pollution. It’s a real shame, too considering many species were still undiscovered. One more reason why we should never release non-native species.

Vics are very hardy and easy to keep and will do well in most dechlorinated tap water with a ph of 7.5 and up.

Many people have asked me why I would keep certain fish over others and it’s tough to give one  reason. I like them for their rarity, color, attitude and spawning behaviors just to name a few, and most Vics do well in an easy-to-mange 36×18 tank. Well let’s begin with my top 10 in no order.

Astatotilapia Aneocolor– Known as the Yellow Belly Albert this 3 to 5 inch species is a stunner with a red back

and a yellow belly and blue dorsal. One year I put one in my patio pond for the summer and when i brought him back

in he had a purple back and his belly was gold. I would keep them in a 55 as they are pretty aggressive.
Astatotilapia nubilus– If there was ever a candidate for anger management this is the guy. The nubilus tops out

at 4 inches. I like this fish because it is jet black with red fins and some striking egg spots in the anal fin.

 

Haplochromis sp. Dayglow– This 4.5 inch herbivore has a powder blue head, a black verticle bar across the eyes,

red tail fin that contrasts a yellow green body, a red blotch behind the gill and 3 to 4 orange egg spots outlined

in black.

Hap sp. Ruby green– This 4 inch herbivore is sometimes confused with hap Flameback. Males have a red back with a

green bottom, they also have a blue dorsal and large orange egg spots in the anal fin. I have kept and bred this

species and can say that I have had males color at 2 inches. Highly recommended.

 

Paralabidochromis Chilotes– This 5 inch carnivore has many geographical color morphs. The particular strain I like

has a blue face and back, a red body and a blue anal fin. It also has fleshy lips. A very odd and awesome fish to try.

 

Pytochromis sp. Hippo Point SalmonPytochromis sp “hippo point” – Another 5 inch carnivore that is mildly aggressive towards other fish except that it

hates other males. It also likes to feed on the snails Bellamya and Melanoides. Its most striking feature is the

bright crimson red on the majority of its body with the remainder being green. During breeding and fights it also

has a white face with a black bar going through its eye.

 

Pundamilia nyererei Ruti Island Pundamilia Nyererei “ruti island” – A 4 inch fish, this is another one of those species that has a few different

color morphs. I chose the ruti island because i thought the red was really intense  with its mixture of green

and yellow body, black barring and red dorsal. I’m happy i did.

 

Xystichromis phytophagus– The christmas fulu. This 4.5 inch herbivore lives up to its name with its red,yellow,

green,marroon body and blue dorsal. It also has a black bar going through the eye and on its cheek; and a red tail.

 

Harpagochromis sp “blue rock hunter– This 5 inch piscivore is an aggressive species that needs plenty of room.

Males are mostly blue with some tints of yellow or green in the body and a white dorsal edge.

 

Haplochromis sp “all red”- This 6 inch herbivore is a relatively peaceful species except towards its own kind.

It colors up pretty much like a Nyererei except that it has more red in the head and chest area.

 

So there it is: my top 10 vics. I hope this blog might get someone interested in these awesome species. Check out my top 10 Malawis if you haven’t.  Until next time.

Jose

2 comments

  1. avatar

    Did you actually keep and breed the Harpagachromis sp. ‘blue rock hunter?’ If you did, what happened to your fish?

  2. avatar

    Hello Peter, From Jose: “I kept one male but wasn’t able to get a female. They are hard to find and my male since died.”

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About Jose Mendes

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That Fish Place’s resident “Cichlid Pro.” In addition to working at TFP for 13 years, Jose’s been breeding Cichlids for over 14 years and has produced over 200 different species. Jose is the man to question for everything cichlid. Check out Jose’s work in the article: Keeping and Breeding African Cichlids in Small Aquariums, and his many other contributions on cichlid husbandry, behavior, and his personal experiences with keeping cichlids from across the globe.