27-08-2019, 21:25
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Congochromis sabinae

Congochromis sabinae naturally inhabits the Congo River in Africa, which runs through the Democratic Republic of Congo. The fish can be found in small tributaries of the river that flow through the rainforest. The water in these tributaries is brownish in colour due to the large amount of organic matter released during the decomposition of fallen leaves and tree branches at the bottom. This fish has long been known among aquarists. It was first introduced on the European continent in the 1960s, and then, and now, many aquarists called it "Red Mary". These fish are not difficult to keep and can be recommended to novice aquarists.

The Congochromis sabinae has a gray back. The middle part and belly of the fish are reddish-pink in colour. The fins are translucent, with reddish-blue edging and a few speckles. During the spawning period the fish turn red. Sexual differences lie only in the size of the fish. The females are slightly smaller than the males. The size of males reaches 6.5-7 cm, and females 4.5-5 cm.

Congochromis sabinae can be kept in a shared aquarium with other fish, preferably occupying the upper layers of water. They also get along well with many peaceful South American cichlids, catfish Corydoras and Southeast Asian carp fish.

Congochromis sabinae

Male Congochromis sabinae are territorial and constantly clash with each other over territory. Therefore, in a small aquarium, can not contain more than one male. Optimal would be keeping fish group consisting of 1 male and 2-3 females. For this number of fish is enough aquarium volume of 60 liters.

Water parameters: temperature 24 - 27° C, hardness dH 0-3°, pH pH 4,0-6,0. Filtration, aeration and a weekly change of 1/3 of the aquarium water with fresh water is required.

Use a soft sandy substrate. Several snags can be placed on the bottom so that there are several shady areas at the bottom. Ceramic pots, placed on their sides, and coconut shells can also be placed in the corners of the aquarium. Some aquarists place suitably sized plastic tubes at the bottom, in which the fish can swim freely. Adding dried beech, oak or almond leaves at the bottom will further enhance the natural habitat of these fish.

Congochromis sabinae

Low light is preferable. This should be considered when planting the aquarium and select species that can grow well in such conditions, e.g. Anubias congensis, Anchor moos and some Cryptocoryne sivadasanii.

Congochromis sabinae diet in nature consists of plant food, organic detritus and small aquatic insects. In aquariums, the fish are fed a variety of foods containing spirulina, daphnia, artemia and bloodworms. Animal food is supplementary and given 2-3 times a week. The fish are also given chopped fruit and vegetables. The fish are fed twice a day.


Congochromis sabinae in suitable conditions constantly spawn in the aquarium. For successful breeding of fish, the water in the aquarium must be very soft, which is necessary for successful spawning of eggs.

For spawning, a pair of spawners is landed in the spawning tank. Courtship is initiated by a female, which with its behaviour and colouring attracts the male, then the pair selects a suitable place for spawning, which usually acts as a cave, where the female and lays eggs. After the male fertilises the eggs, the female stays near the nest, while the male guards the immediate vicinity of the nest.

The eggs incubate for 3 days, and after 7-8 days the fry begin to swim and feed. The parents take care of their offspring for another 1.5-2 months.

The fry are fed with artemia nauplii and daphnia 4 times a day.

Congochromis sabinae

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