The Black Diamond Cichlid matures to beautiful jet black and bright white coloration, and it is one of the hardiest, most adaptable cichlids in the world!
The Black Diamond Cichlid (Paratilapia polleni) is an exceptional cichlid that is native throughout Madagascar, where it lives in areas of widely varying altitude, temperature, and pH...including some slightly brackish areas! It grows to a fairly large size and matures to a solid black coloration with almost sparkling white spots across its entire body. Males typically develop a characteristic nuchal hump. This species is considered a prize cichlid to many aquarists.
The Black Diamond Cichlid will thrive in an aquarium with plenty of refuge such as clay pots, driftwood, and rock formations. It typically will not eat ornamental plants, but it may do a fair amount of digging, so plants that attach to driftwood and rockwork are recommended. It is often compatible with a variety of other Balloon river and rift lake cichlids of comparable size, particularly in a larger tank where it has been raised along with its tankmates from a young age. It should not be kept with ornamental invertebrates. Territoriality is typically at its peak during spawning. If spawning is desired, tankmates of other species should be avoided altogether unless the aquarium is of massive size with ample cover/decor.
Feeding is simple for the unfussy Black Diamond Cichlid. High-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods will all be readily accepted. Like all cichlids and most other predatory freshwater fish, it should never be fed beefheart or any other mammal meat or poultry, as these materials are not part of its natural diet and will contribute to many negative health effects such as obesity and fatty liver disease. Quality and variety are the keys to a diet that will ensure that this fish maintains optimal health and coloration, so this species should not be fed dry foods exclusively.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Beautiful solid black and bright white coloration as an adult
- Very hardy and adaptable with plenty of personality
- Possible to breed in the aquarium
- Compatible with many other species in a spacious tank
- Potential to be a "centerpiece" fish
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
Temperature: 62° - 82.4° F (17° - 28° C)
pH: 6.5 - 8.0
KH: 5 - 25 dKH
Minimum tank size: 75+ gallons for a single adult or mated pair
Diet: Carnivorous. A variety of high-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods is necessary for optimal health and coloration.
Social behaviour: Loosely social until sexual maturity. Breeding pairs are often aggressive to all other fish.