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Yssichromis sp. "Blue Tipped"

 Yssichromis sp.

AboveYssichromis sp. "Blue tipped"  Photo by Rick Borstein. See video below.

General

Yssichromis sp. "Blue tipped" is a mouthbrooding cichlid from Lake Victoria, Africa which was found near Rusinga Island. This fish, which does not yet have a species name, was originally discovered by Yves Fermon in 1992. In the hobby, it is often referred to as "blue tips" or just "blue tip". 

Yssichromis sp. "Blue tipped" is a rather slender bodied fish. A large male might get up to four inches and females are about a half inch smaller. The coloration is highly variable, especially on the males when spawning. When the boys are feeling very "sexed up", they turn a steely blue and the caudal fin is edged in red-orange.

However, the color is fleeting in my experience and I wasn't able to obtain a picture of a colored up male. Here is a link to very nice picture of a colored male available from Dave's Rare Fish. For the most part, this is a silvery-tan fish with some green and darker blotches on the side. Males which are quiescent will sometimes show a blue swath along the back. 

Females are a bit drab, mostly silver-tan, and have a few gold highlights. Depending on the light, both males and females will show some metallic glints.

Habitat

Yssichromis sp. "Blue tipped"  is usually found in the open water. Reports are that it schools with an open water cyprinid (Rastrineobola argentea) to help protect it from predators.

Care

Yssichromis sp. "Blue tipped" is easy to keep. All it needs is clean, hard water that is 75-80F and a two foot or longer tank.

Feeding

Yssichromis sp. "Blue tipped" readily accepts prepared foods such as New Life Spectrum cichlid pellets, Dainichi Veggie Deluxe Pellets, Extreme Cichlid PeeWee pellets, Repashy gel foods and most flake food. In the wild, this fish is an open water zooplanktivore that feeds predominantly on insects.

Breeding

I obtained a eight, tiny Yssichromis sp. "Blue tipped" fry from fellow GCCA Member Matt Swarzek. At the time, the tiny fry were baredly three-eights of an inch long. The fry went into a 5-gallon tank with a sand bottom. Initial growth was slow, but once the fry got up to about half an inch, growth accelerated. When the fry were a bit over an inch, I moved them to a 40 breeder and later to a 75 gallon tank. The 75 gallon tank had a sand substrate and was filtered by two large Swiss Tropicals sponge filters. At this point, the fish were just under three inches long and occasionally I saw flashes of the blue coloration as a male danced in front of female.

Shortly thereafter, I observed the first female holding. I allowed her to hold for twelve days and then stripped her of fourteen small fry. The babies are immediately able to eat baby brine shrimp and a week later I transitioned them to flake food.

Retail Price

You are not going to find Yssichromis sp. "Blue tipped" at your local pet store. You can sometimes find it on the internet or from hobbyists who maintain rare Victorian species.  I suspect that unsexed juveniles would go for $8 per fish. 

Video

Video by Rick Borstein

Report May 2015 by Rick Borstein

 

Chicago Aquatic Experience

I think it is pretty cool to have an event like this coming to Chicago, I for one will be checking it out. 

Aquatic Experience – Chicago is the first show in our industry’s history to combine everything aquatic under one roof. From saltwater to freshwater with pond and aquatic animals, we’ll have it all. Consumers and retailers are invited to join us for educational seminars and a thriving show floor filled with hobbyists from entry level to the most sophisticated aquarium keepers as well as livestock and equipment experts and the industries best and trend setting manufacturers. Add in a bevy of high powered speakers you’ve heard of and read articles from but have not had the chance to meet in person and you’ve got a “must see” for any aquarist no matter what their experience level. - See more at: http://aquaticexperience.org/

Box exchange and grow out competition

All,
Don't forget we will be having
1. A grow out competition - Protomelas labriden's ($1 per fry, first come first serve)
2. Fish from our box exchange with the Michigan Cichlid Association this week.

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