Endemic to Lake Malawi where there exist two principal colour forms. The ‘sulphur head’ variant inhabits West Reef and Eccles Reef, close to Makanjila Point in the southeastern part of the lake, while the form often referred to by the subspecific name A. m. kandeensis is known only from Kande Island, just off the central-western shoreline. See the ‘notes’ section for more information on the differences between these populations and why we include them together here.
Inhabits the so-called intermediate zones of the lake, where rocky shores give way to sandy bottoms with scattered rocks. The population at Kande Island occurs in water around 10 metres deep with nuptial males forming their territories at the point where rocks and sand meet, and females swimming in foraging groups over sand.
Arrange some piles of rockwork around the Tank but leave some open spaces between them and use fine sand as substrate so that it’s able to feed naturally (see ‘diet’). Coarser options such as Gravel or small pebbles can inhibit feeding, damage gill filaments and even be ingested with the potential of internal damage/blockages. It will not harm plants so. Hard water-tolerant Species such as Vallisneria, Anubias Or Sagittaria species can be added if you wish.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Beautiful multi-coloration.
- Very hardy with plenty of personality
- Very manageable size for a cichlid
- Compatible with many other species in a spacious tank
- Potential to be a "centrepiece" fish
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
Temperature: 71° - 79° F (22° - 26° C)
pH: 7.0 - 8.0
KH: 12-20 dKH
Minimum tank size: 30 gallons for a pair
Diet: Omnivore. A variety of high-quality dry, frozen, and live plant-based and meaty foods are necessary for optimal health and coloration.
Social behaviour: Congregates loosely in groups. Can be territorial during spawning.