Elongate mbuna

Aquarium fish: Elongate mbuna (Pseudotropheus elongatus)
Size: 13 cm
Origin: Africa
Water temperature: 24-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 135 l

Elongate mbuna (Pseudotropheus elongatus ) – a small aquarium fish of the cichlid family with various colors.

Occurrence

Africa. Endemic species, only found in Lake Malawi. Found in the areas of Mbamba Bay and Nkata Bay. It lives in shallow waters close to the rocky coast.

Characteristics and disposition

The male is up to 13 cm long. Smaller female up to 10 cm. The male is more intensely colored with dummy eggs on the anal fin. Two characteristic stripes on the head. On the body from 7-8 blue vertical lines.

Dorsal, thoracic and anal fins are usually dark, edged with a light blue, yellow or white color. General characteristics difficult to describe. It occurs in over 30 geographic variants , which differ in color, size and temperament. The most popular of them are: Mpanga, Chewere, Ornatus, Neon spot, Usisya, Chailosi. The elongated mouthpiece differs morphologically from other mongrels of the Mbuna group.

As the name suggests, it is more slender and elongated. In natural habitats, females defend areas abundantly covered with algae. They leave them during breeding and return with their eggs. Interestingly, during their absence, the territory is protected by the young from the previous litters. Due to its aggressive nature, this species is not recommended for beginners , but it can be interesting for experienced aquarists.

It is recommended to keep one male with 4-6 females.

Nutrition and feeding

It ingests most of the available food. A large part of the diet should be plant-based foods , e.g. flakes, granules with spirulina, scalded spinach, zucchini, cucumber, regularly supplemented with frozen and live foods. Red meat must not be served under any circumstances, as it interferes with the work of their digestive system.

Aquarium

Requires a spacious aquarium with a length of min. 120 cm with a sandy base, numerous rock hiding places and an open space for swimming. Strong lighting will ensure the desired algae growth. One of the most aggressive and territorial mouthpieces of the Mbuna group . It is not suitable for keeping with the peaceful species of Aulunocara or Utaka , but can be combined with other Mbuna species as long as they do not resemble it in appearance.

It is very aggressive towards its species. In a sufficiently large, well-filtered tank, the overflow will spread out aggression a bit.

Breeding

Reproduction is possible but not easy. Required spawning tank, 120 cm long, preferably larger, decorated as in the above instructions with the addition of a few large flat, smooth stones. A female that is not ready for spawning can be killed by an insistent male , so a large number of hiding places should be provided.

The optimal water properties are 8.2-8.5 pH and temperature 26-28 ° C. The feeding of live and frozen food stimulates the spawning of the fish. The male chooses and cleans the place, takes on intense colors and tries to encourage the female to breed. The ready female swims to the designated place, lays the eggs which she collects in her mouth. He also tries to collect dummy eggs from the male’s anal fin.

This releases the dandelion and fertilizes the eggs in its mouth. The female incubates about 20-40 grains of eggs for 3-4 weeks until the fry floats on their own. During this time, her lips are distended and she is not accepting food. The male usually does not leave the female alone. When stressed, she may spit the litter out.

If we want to raise the fry, it is recommended to separate them from the male, while being very careful. It happens that experienced breeders artificially collect the fry from the female’s mouth around the second week. A self-swimming fry is large enough to accept Artemia larvae. For the first few days he is under the protection of his mother and after this period he is also accepted in her district.

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