17-03-2022, 17:10
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Maylandia estherae

Maylandia estherae or red zebra (Metriaclima estherae, Pseudotropheus estherae), is a haplochromatic cichlid. These fish naturally inhabit Lake Malawi in Africa.

Despite their name "red zebra", wild males can usually be found with blue or orange coloration. The coloration of females varies from orange to bright orange. Aquarium-bred fish are available in a variety of colors, including orange or blue males and females. The fins of the fish exhibit beautiful, vibrant patterns in a variety of palettes. The size of the females reaches 10 cm and the males up to 12.7 cm.

Maylandia estherae is a territorial fish. In most cases, it becomes the dominant individual in the aquarium. It is very aggressive and absolutely does not tolerate any intrusion into its privacy. Even more aggressive red zebra becomes during the spawning period. At this time, it will clash even with much larger fish in size.

Like other cichlids of this genus, red cichlids are best kept in a harem consisting of one male and three females. Can be kept in a common aquarium with other African cichlids.

Pseudotrofeus Esterae transform the entire internal design of the aquarium to his liking, digging big holes in the sand and pulling plants out of the ground along with the roots.

The aquarium should have a volume of 250 liters or more. Use sand or fine sanded gravel as a substrate. At the bottom should be placed large stones. Hardwood plants should be planted in ceramic pots in addition to protect their roots with stones.

Water parameters: temperature 24-27° C, hardness dH 8-15°, pH 7,5-8,5. Requires filtration, aeration and weekly replacement of ¼ of the aquarium water with fresh.

Pseudotropheus estherae, Maylandia estherae

Pseudotrophaeus estherae is a herbivorous fish. The basic diet can consist of plant-based flakes or pellets, which are easy to find in aquarium stores (specifically for African cichlids). Also add some krill, spinach and spirulina to the menu. Fish should not be fed live food, which leads to bloating in their bellies and subsequent death.


Like many fish of its family, the red zebra is polygamous. Because of this, a ratio of producers of at least 1 male to 2 females is necessary. The recommended water parameters for breeding: temperature 25° C, hardness dH 10°, pH 7,5.

Female lays eggs (30-60 pcs.) in a pre-digged hole in the substrate or a crevice between the rocks and then collects all the eggs in his mouth. Then she swims up to the male and he emits a cloud of milk, thereby fertilizing the eggs. The eggs incubate in the female's mouth for about 21 days.

Fry swim under the relentless control of their mother and at the slightest danger immediately swim into her mouth.

This is the only cichlid in Lake Malawi whose fry sex can be determined from the start. The males are dark gray and the females are orange. However, there is an exception where both males and females are orange.

Pseudotropheus estherae, Maylandia estherae

The fry are fed pelleted food and artemia nauplii 4 times a day.

Life expectancy of Pseudotropheus estherae under aquarium conditions is about 10 years.

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