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Pundamilia Nyererei (python Is.)

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lazy dayz
Jan 20, 2008
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South Dakota, USA
Common name/s: None that I've come across

Scientific name: Pundamilia nyererei (Python Is.)

Family: Cichlidae

Origin: Lake Victoria, Africa

Maximum size: about 4"

Aquarium: I would say 55 gallons is the minimum size if you intend to keep other africans (Malawi Mbuna) with them. However, I have heard of established breeding groups being kept in 20 gallons for breeding purposes.

Care: The males of this species are extremely beautiful. When fully grown they show vibrant green, red, and blue colors, with red being the dominant color. When buying your fish take care that you don't accidentally get 2 males to a few females as the males can become extremely aggressive, with the dominant male killing the sub-dominant male. A ratio of 1 male to 3 or 4 females should suffice. The males typically start showing a little color at about 2-2.5" inches. On mine, first the tail and top fins starting turning reddish and now he's getting red on his back. When they start showing color they are sexually mature. One should avoid other species of cichlids that will look similar, as they will also more than likely be attacked by the dominant male. A similar looking male will threaten his herem...as he sees it. Don't forget the bigger rocks to create hidey spots for all the fish in the aquarium. This will help alleviate some aggression that cichlids naturally have as they can hide from the aggressor. My nyererei tend to spend their time in the water column and don't hide to often. Most of the time, the only time they go into the rocks is at lights out or when they are being chased. Keep their water at a PH of about 7.8 to 8.4.

Feeding: These fish are carnivores and need some protein in their diet, unlike most mbuna (which could bloat and die...the Malawi bloat) that they are commonly kept with. Keep this in mind. I feed mine protein pellets, algae pellets, spirulina flake and cyclopeeze. I alternate them. I don't have a specific schedule on what to feed on certain days. I usually alternate from memory and it has worked well so far. Although, many people have schedules for their fish to keep feeding more regular and organized. Nyererei could also be occasionally feed brine shrimp as a treat, maybe once or twice a week or so. Feed your fish twice a day and no more than they will eat in about 30-45 seconds. Remember they will come up to glass and appear to "stare" at you waiting/begging for food. Resist the urge to over feed. Slightly hungry fish will pick a little bit at the algae growing on the glass/rocks and helps to cut down the aggression. They don't pick at it as much as others, but I have seen mine do it occasionally.

*Even though they are carnivores, I would still avoid blood worm.

Sexing and breeding: Sexing young nyererei is very hard. At 1.5 inches or smaller they generally look identical. The males will start to develop some of their lovely color at about 2-2.5 inches long. The females have a drab appearance and are generally grayish/brownish. I feel that the strikingly handsome full grown male will more than make up for the unattractiveness of the females.

When buying these fish for breeding, I would wait until they are about 2.5" long. It will be much easier to distinguish between males and females the easy way of just looking at them in a tank. Buy 3 to 4 females to 1 male and watch them interact after they settle into the tank. If he gets violent or pushy with the females a few more females could help. I have heard of people breeding these in a 20 gallon long. Keep in mind this was a species only tank and they were the only fish in it. They are mouthbrooders.
This is my male at different juvenile stages. When he colors up even more, I'll post some more pics to show his "transformation".



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