Benthochromis tricoti is a fairly large and graceful cichlid. Males can reach a total length of about 20 centimeters. The females remain considerably smaller. Males have a yellow throat and blue stripes on the flanks. Females are pretty much colorless.
In the wild they form schools of 30 to 100 specimens and the largest populations occur at 100 to 150 meters depth. If these fish are caught in Lake Tanganyika, they can not simply be taken to the surface. With intermediate stops they have to be brought to the surface over a couple of days. Bringing them up to the surface too fast results in dead fish because of decompression sickness.
Benthochromis tricoti occurs throughout the lake. As adults they live in the open waters of Lake Tanganyika at great depths. Spawning takes place in deeper water.
In the lake Benthochromis tricoti feeds on plankton and small invertebrates. In the aquarium you can give them live or frozen foods such as krill, mysis, artemia etc.
Since Benthochromis tricoti is a schooling fish, it is recommended to keep them in groups of at least 6, preferably more to behold the interesting behavior of these gracious fish. Due to the number in their school and their size, this species is only suitable for larger Tanganyika aquariums (500 liters and more). This peaceful cichlid is also difficult to combine with overly busy species.
Breeding Benthochromis tricoti
Spawning takes place on top of a rock instead on the aquarium bottom. In an aquarium females will regularly brood on eggs in their mouth. However, they usually do not brood long enough for the fry to be large enough to survive. The nests are also very small in number.
John de Lange
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