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Malawi Cichlids

Placidochromis sp. "electra blue"

Placidochromis sp. "electra blue"

Placidochromis sp.

Above Male Placidochromis sp. "electra blue". Photo by Rick Borstein.

General

Placidochromis sp. "electra blue" is a moutbrooding, Malawian cichlid. This fish is relatively new in the hobby (2001) and there is a dearth of information available.

Males, which get up to about five inches, are have an overall blue coloration with darker bands. Females are a drab silvery blue and max out at 3-3.5 inches in length.

A synonym for this fish is Placidochroms sp. "Electra Blue Hongi" and Placidochromis "new electra".

Note that this fish is not Placidochromis electra (Deep Water Hap) or Placidochromis sp. "electra superior."

Habitat

Placidochromis sp. "electra blue" is found in the sandy, intermediate zone between 5 and 15 meters of depth between Liuli and Mbamba bay in Lake Malawi.

Care

Placidochromis sp. "electra blue" is a little bit more challenging to keep than other Malawians. Although easy to breed, several GCCA members have found it difficult to keep alive for extended periods of time.

Regular partial water changes are important, of course. I changed 50% of the tank volume weekly.

Males are definitely aggressive to each other, so provide rockwork or other hiding places.

Feeding

Placidochromis sp. "electra blue" is easy to feed . . . and that may be a problem in itself. In the lake, it is found sifting through the sandy bottom.

My fish eagerly ate cichlid flakes, spirulina flakes, etc. I lost a male shortly after starting to feed a pelleted food. Could this fish have a longer intestine tract and need more roughage?

Breeding

To breed this fish, begin with six to eight juvenile individuals. At about 9 to 10 months, males will color up and shortly after breeding will ensue.

Provide a flat piece of slate or other rock for the spawning site out of the way of strong water current. I believe that the eggs of this fish are fertilized externally since this fish is closely related to Cyrtocara moorii, the Blue Dolphin. If the fish breed where there is too much current, the sperm will be washed away resulting in a poor hatch rate.

Females are good holders and spawns are in the 18-24 range. I stripped the female at 5 days post hatch and incubate the eggs in a commercial egg tumbler.

The fry are free swimming at 21 days and will take baby brine shrimp immediately.

The fast-growing fry are cute. At about one month you can see a prominent light dorsal stripe which is very attractive.

Retail Price

Placidochromis sp. "electra blue" juveniles are in the $10-15 range U.S .

Placidochromis sp. "electra blue" is difficult to find. This is a hobbyist's fish that is occasionally available at GCCA auctions and swap meets.

Report November 2003 by Rick Borstein

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