Pelvicachromis pulcher

Aquarium fish: Pelvicachromis pulcher (Pelvicachromis pulcher)
Size: 10 cm
Origin: Africa
Water temperature: 24-27 ° C
Aquarium volume: 70 l

Pelvicachromis pulcher (Pelvicachromis pulcher) -bellied (Pelvicachromis pulcher) – beautifully colored, freshwater aquarium fish from the cichlid family.


The species is native to Africa . Fish can be found amidst dense vegetation in shallow and slow-flowing or stagnant waters. Some populations also live in slightly saline water.

Characteristics and disposition

Red-bellied pigtail is a pride of every exhibition aquarium.

The male reaches 10 cm, its dorsal and anal fins are elongated. The female is fuller and slightly smaller – up to 7.5 cm in length. The ruby-colored sides are a characteristic feature of the female. Outside the mating season, it is not aggressive and can stay in a general aquarium along with other species with similar requirements. Its beautiful coloration and interesting life cycle can be fully appreciated in a species tank.

It’s best to keep them in pairs . If we want to keep more than one pair, the tank must be correspondingly larger. The form of albino is also seen and popular.

Nutrition and feeding

They accept most of the foods available. They can be fed with cichlid pellets and supplemented with live or frozen food.


For a couple, a minimum of 70-liter aquarium is recommended, with numerous hiding places (rock decorations, caves), necessary places for breeding. For this purpose, you can use clay pots, roots or pieces of wood. Vegetation is not essential, but fish will appreciate the extra shelter. It is best to use sand for the bottom of the aquarium, which the fish eagerly dig, especially during spawning. Dyes are recommended for a general aquarium, but it should be remembered that during reproduction they are very territorial.

Generally, however, they are shy, docile fish, and will not be comfortable with larger and more mobile fish. The companions recommended for them are small tetras, barbs , danios , razbors , cuiras , and armors. In a properly arranged and large aquarium they can be kept with other cichlids so that the fish can occupy their territories.


Very easy to reproduce . They are monogamous fish that form constant pairs.

There is no guarantee that male and female fish will form a pair when purchased from a store. Moreover, one (less willing) fish may not survive the spawning season. So it is recommended that you buy a group of 6 or more young fish and allow them to pair naturally. If we decide otherwise, choose the largest male and the most beautifully colored female from the seller’s aquarium. The spawning aquarium should have about 50-100 liters and water at a temperature of 24-27 ° C, pH 6.5-7.0.

Such water properties will ensure an equal gender distribution among the fry. If the water is too alkaline, most of the young will be males, and too acidic – females. Fish should be provided with plenty of cavities, caves, places where they can lay eggs (pots with the bottom cut out, set upside down will work well). Preferred sponge filter with flow regulation. If we want to raise a larger number of young, there should be no digging and bottom fish, especially catfish, in the aquarium.

On the other hand, shoal species such as tetras , razbors , and microorganisms are recommended , which will give the couple courage. For spawning, it stimulates more frequent feeding of live and frozen food. The first sign that may indicate an upcoming spawning is the more intense coloration of the fish, especially the female. Her belly darkens to a purple hue. Usually it is she who starts the courtship, dances in front of the male showing her colorful belly.

Then the fish choose caves or dig their own under decorations where they hide for the next few days. The female lays red-brown, 2 mm eggs (up to 300 roe grains) mostly on the walls or at the top of the pot and takes care of them. The male defends the entrance and territory from intruders. Hatching takes place after 2-3 days. The young begin to swim freely after the next 7-8 days.

At this point, the pair should be carefully watched as it happens that the female turns away from the male. The fry are large enough to eat brine shrimp larvae or nematodes as their first food. We leave the fish with their parents until the next breeding or when the female starts to be aggressive towards the male. A couple with cannibalistic inclinations can also be exceptionally successful.


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