Aquarium fish: Anomalochromis (Anomalochromis thomasi)
Size: 9 – 10 cm
Origin: Africa
Water temperature: 23-27 ° C
Aquarium volume: 75 l

Anomalochromis (Anomalochromis thomasi ) – a small aquarium fish from the cichlid family, the only representative of the genus Anomalochromis.


West Africa . Sierra-Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The species inhabits smaller forest streams, characterized by a large amount of hanging vegetation, where the water is often tea-colored, strongly colored with tannin from rotting organic matter.

Characteristics and disposition

Males reach up to 10 cm in length.

They are more massive, and the dark spots on their body are less pronounced. Females are much smaller (up to 7cm), more slender with a rounder underbelly. Oval body with olive-brown coloration, covered with numerous glistening scales. There is a dark streak going from the mouth through the eye to the frontal part. Several vertical lines also pass through the torso, widening in the center.

Dorsal fin edged in red with a white stripe just in front of the edge. Young fish are not very attractive and are often overlooked during the first contact with aquarium hobby. Thomas dyes are recommended for beginners due to their low requirements, mild disposition, easy reproduction and quite nice coloration with age.

Nutrition and feeding

They are not picky. They consume most of the available food.

They can be given good quality dry cichlid food regularly replenished live or frozen. Preferably 2-3 times a day in small portions.


The steam requires an aquarium with dimensions of min. 75 cm long and 75-100 l capacity. We can use sand or gravel as a substrate.

Fish should be provided with a large number of hiding places, shaded places made of roots, stones or ceramic pots, and a little open space for swimming. They will be ideal inhabitants of plant reservoirs, as they have no passion for digging in the ground. Gentle by nature, but like other cichlids, they are territorial during the spawning season. They should not be kept with vigorous or aggressive species . Peaceful tetras, cuiras, other African cichlids, and small labyrinths will be a good company.

Especially fish swimming in the higher parts will give them more daring, such as microbes .


Easy to reproduce. Dyes, compared to other African cichlids, readily multiply in both slightly acidic and slightly alkaline water . The optimal water parameters are 6.1-6.5 pH, 4-8 dH and temperature 26-28 ° C. We can breed fish in pairs or in larger groups.

For a couple, a spawning aquarium with a length of min. 60 cm, with gentle filtration and numerous hiding places. Several flat stones and broad-leaved plants should be placed in it, which will serve as spawning grounds. Monogamous species. As with most cichlids, it’s best to buy a group of young fish and naturally allow a pair to mate.

Fish for spawning stimulates the feeding of live and frozen food. A female ready for spawning cleans potential spawning sites, these can be flat stones or wide plant leaves, but also the root or the substrate. The male joins the female and helps to clean the selected place. The female lays the eggs in a row and gives way to the male who fertilizes them. The activity is repeated several times.

An adult female during spawning can lay up to 500 eggs. Hatching takes place after about 48 hours. During this period, the male patrols and defends the territory, and the female looks after the eggs. Sometimes parents exchange responsibilities. The fry are relatively small and can be difficult to feed.

It eats yolk sacs for the first half of the day. Then, the smallest foods should be given, e.g. micro nematodes.


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