Metriaclima/Maylandia sp. ‘zebra patricki’
by Nick Laferriere

Location: Jalo Reef, Nkhomo Reef, Mbenji Island, Maleri Islands, and Chidunga Rocks

Biotope: The Sandy Habitat (transition of rocks and sand) from 3 to 25 metres.

Size: 11cm.

Diet: Feeds from the sediment-rich biocover on the rocks and sand. They also eat large amounts of plankton. These fish will venture out onto the sandy flats to search for food but also will be found in the rocky habitat near sand. These fish are wide spread and this may be due to their liking of sand and will travel over sand to other rocky reefs.

Temperment: Territoriality is seen both in the wild and the aquaria. Males are particularly aggressive against conspecific males. It is best to keep with other larger Metriaclima species or more aggressive Pseudotropheus. Also, keep with atleast two females per male to spread aggression.

Spawning Behaviour: Males will defend a cave normally found in pure rocky habitat. Males in the aquarium will become aggressive to all fish when spawning. Males will flash their fins and vibrate in front of the female. They’re not too particular where they spawn in the aquaria but normally on the bottom glass or a flat rock.

Breeding: Females hold anywhere from 20-40 fry for about 25 days. These fish are very prolific and females are excellent holders. Expect to have more fry than you can handle in a few months. Best to keep 1m 2f as not to overproduce and flood the market. Males’ coloration is generally a yellowish overall hue with a blue dorsal and caudal with black on the face and in the anal and ventral fins. Males also have a large egg spot, which is normally smaller in females. Females are an overall light brown with some blue accents.
Click here for a picture

References:

Konings, Ad. (1990). Ad Konings's Book of Cichlids and All The Other Fishes of Lake Malawi: NJ: T.F.H. Publications Inc.

Konings, Ad. (1997). Back to Nature Guide to: Malawi Cichlids: Germany: Fohrman Aquaristik AB




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