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Hummingbird cichlid

Cichlida Ellow, Labidochromis yellow, or Cichlida-hummingbird, scientific name Labidochromis caeruleus, belongs to the Cichlidae family. Due to its bright color and not too aggressive disposition, it has become one of the most popular cichlids from Lake Malawi (also known as Nyasa). They belong to the Mbuna group, numbering 13 genera and living in the rocky regions of the lake. Translated from the local dialect, the word "Mbuna" just means "inhabitants of the rocks."

In nature, there are several natural color forms of this species, but the most famous is the yellow variety. The fish was discovered in 1980 by Stuart Grant and his group of divers, and Pierre Berhard began mass breeding and supply to the market at his fish farm in Burundi, near Lake Tanganyika. Since 1986, Cichlida Yellow appeared on the market under the name Labidochromis Tanganyika "Labidochromis tanganicae" and was mistakenly perceived by many as a representative of the lake of the same name, which led to a lot of confusion. Fortunately, the error was quickly rectified and is now referred to as an inhabitant of Lake Malawi in most publications of the Hummingbird Cichlid.

Fish parameters:

    Size - from 8 to 10 cm. Nutrition - a combination of meat and vegetable feed Life expectancy - 6-10 years.

Habitat

Endemic to Lake Malawi in Africa, originating from the northern part. The yellow color form has a narrower area - the border waters between the states of Tanzania and Mozambique, part of the common border of which runs along the lake. They live in rocky coastal areas at a depth of 10 to 30 meters, as well as at the confluence of small streams and rivers. In these places, aquatic plants grow rapidly, mainly Vallisneria.

Description

A stocky fish, has a somewhat elongated body, reaches a length of about 8 cm, but in an aquarium it often grows up to 10 cm. It has a long dorsal fin, pointed towards the end.
The color is varied, there are white, blue, combined color forms, depending on the region of origin. The most popular is the bright yellow variety. A black stripe stretches along the dorsal fin; the pectoral fins are partially painted in the same color.

Food

In nature, they feed on algae and invertebrates inhabiting them. All types of live, frozen and dry food are accepted with pleasure in the home aquarium. The diet should contain meat products in combination with herbal supplements in a 50/50 ratio. The daily diet, for example, can consist of bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp combined with dried spirulina - blue-green algae, sold as flakes.

Maintenance and care

Cichlida Ellow needs clean water with stable values ​​of hydrochemical indicators. For more information on how to control and change the pH and dGH parameters, see the section "Hydrochemical composition of water".
High quality of water is achieved by means of its weekly renewal by 10–20% and installation of an effective filtration system. Choose the most efficient filter from those [that is available to you for the price, in addition to purifying water, it also provides an internal flow, which is welcome.Other minimum equipment required includes an aerator, heater and lighting system.
The design should recreate the conditions of the natural habitat. For a group of 3 fish, a tank of 120 liters or more is required. In the design, a substrate of coarse sand is used. Coral sand is an excellent choice, in addition to its aesthetic beauty, it affects the pH level, maintaining it at a slightly alkaline level. An obligatory attribute is the heap of rocks and stones with the formation of gorges and grottoes. They serve as hiding places for fish. Several groups of plants of the genus Vallisneria can be used.

Behavior

The most peaceful among the representatives of Mbuna, it is not territorial, they adapt perfectly with other types of cichlids of similar size and temperament. Show aggressiveness only to fish of a similar color. They can live both singly and in pairs.

Breeding / Reproduction

Successful breeding is possible when one male and at least 3 females are kept together. The design should contain flat stones, they act as a spawning ground. The mating season is accompanied by increased activity of the male, he pursues the females, encouraging them to mate and inviting them to his spawning stone, previously cleaned of debris. During this period, its color becomes more intense. During the mating season, feed the fish heavily with meat products. When the female is ready, she accepts courtship and lays 10 to 30 eggs and immediately takes them into her mouth - this is an evolutionary defense mechanism inherent in African lake cichlids. An interesting mechanism is provided for their fertilization; males have a characteristic pattern on the anal fin that resembles eggs. The female mistakenly perceives them as real and tries to take them into her mouth, at this moment the male releases the seed.
The eggs are in the female's mouth throughout the entire incubation period, which is 3-4 weeks. During this period of time, she cannot eat and lives at the expense of her reserves. If there are not enough of them, that is, the fish did not eat well before spawning, then it may discard the eggs ahead of time or eat them.
After the appearance of fry, the female continues to look after the offspring for about a week, in case of danger they will hide in her mouth. Feed the fry with finely ground dry food and Artemia nauplii.

Diseases of fish

A fairly hardy species, less susceptible than others to the disease "Bloating Malawi", which is a potential threat to most cichlids of the lake of the same name. Susceptible to most common aquarium fish diseases caused by inappropriate living conditions. Adequate care and proper diet will help prevent health problems for your pets. Read more about the symptoms and treatment methods in the "Diseases of aquarium fish" section.

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