The Mpanga Cichlid comes from Mpanga Rocks in Lake Malawi, Africa.
The Elongatus mpanga is an attractive Mbuna with both sexes being rather similar to each other in appearance, both have blue and black colouring but the male will have much more intense colours than the female. Males of this species also have a more noticeable yellow hue to the tail fin. Being relatively aggressive, the Chewere is best kept with other Mbuna providing they are not similar in appearance to avoid unnecessary aggression and crossbreeding if you are planning on keeping both sexes. As with any Mbuna tank a rock aquascape providing plenty of caves and hiding spots is necessary.
Mpanga, like most mbuna, need a high amount of green matter in their diet. Otherwise, they are very prone to developing Malawi bloat which is difficult to treat and often fatal. Feed red zebras with commercial algae wafers, blanched vegetables, or spirulina flakes to avoid any complications. The occasional meaty treat such as mysis shrimp can be given, but use a lot of caution when giving mbuna any meaty food.
Mpanga are maternal mouthbrooders. If conditions are suitable, these fish will breed quite easily. They can be conditioned by feeding more frequently, but it usually isn’t necessary to encourage a spawn. If you don’t see your fish breeding, it may be due to aggression in their tank, so you may need to create a more peaceful environment to encourage mating. The female will usually lay about twenty or thirty eggs on a flat surface in the male’s territory. She will then scoop up the eggs into her mouth and stimulate the male to fertilise the eggs in her mouth. It is believed that the eggs spots on the fins of many males can confuse the females into thinking that those spots are eggs and encourage her to stimulate the males. After about three weeks, the female will release her fry. They can be fed crushed flake flood once they are free-swimming. If you would like to keep a large amount of the fry, stripping the female of her eggs once they are fertilised can be done. It is a delicate but not too difficult process. The eggs can then be transferred to a separate tank to be hatched and raised.
- Species – Metriaclima sp. ‘elongatus chewere’
- Common Name – Mpanga
- Origin – Lake Malawi
- Diet – Omnivore/Herbivore
- PH Range – Alkaline 7.5 – 8.5
- Water Type – Hard
- Temperature – Tropical 24°c
- Breed Type – Mouth brooder
- Current Size – approximately 3.5-4cm (Grows to approximately 10cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed