16-06-2016, 14:02
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Melanochromis exasperatus

Melanochromis exasperatus or as domestic fishermen call this fish - the pearl of the Lycoma, lives in Lake Malawi in Africa. Due to its undemanding nature and relatively small size, these fish are very popular among aquarists.

Melanochromis exasperatus

Melanochromis exasperatus has a beautiful coloration. The coloration of males is bright blue. They are especially beautiful in the pre-spawning period, when their whole body becomes a rich blue color with a metallic sheen. Females are yellow-orange in color with stripes of scales of pale brown, chocolate and pearl. The maximum size of the fish is 8 cm.

Melanochromis exasperatus is an aggressive, territorial fish. Particularly aggressive males who are always looking for a rival to express his dislike. This behavior males become a problem in small aquariums, so it is desirable to contain these fish a small group consisting of 1 male and 2-3 females. For such a number of fish would be sufficient aquarium volume of 150 liters.

The aquarium should be placed a large number of shelters in the form of stones, so that each fish could have a personal refuge. By aquarium plants these fish are indifferent, so it is better to try to recreate in an aquarium conditions as close as possible to those in Lake Malawi - with rocks and rocky bottom. The bulk of the time the fish spend in the lower layer of water.

Water parameters must meet the following conditions: temperature 22-27° C, hardness dH 7-22°, pH 7,5-8,5. Requires filtration, aeration and weekly replacement of 1/3 of the aquarium water with fresh.

Melanochromis exasperatus

The fish menu should consist of 80% animal food. Small crustaceans, insect larvae, bloodworms, artemia, frozen and dry food can be given as food. A vegetable supplement in the form of nettle and dandelion leaves as well as caddis and rhizocia is required. The fish must be fed twice a day.


Melanochromis exasperatus reaches sexual maturity by the age of one year.

Spawning stimulate a slight increase in water acidity to pH 8.2. In the pre-spawning period producers intensively fed a variety of foods. The male first builds a recess in the ground or cleans a large rock from the dirt, and then lures the female, who dropped there eggs immediately collects it in his mouth and hides in the shelter.

The eggs are incubated in the mouth of the female for 18-21 days, after which there are fully formed fry, which under the supervision of his mother swim in a flock and eat. Some aquarists are advised to separate the fry from their mothers after 2 weeks in order to maintain their numbers. Feed the fry with artemia.

Melanochromis exasperatus

The life expectancy of Melanochromis exasperatus under aquarium conditions is about 5-8 years.

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