Greenwoodochromis christyi

Greenwoodochromis christyi doesn’t show spectacular colors, they do show great breeding behaviour as both female and male brood on the eggs and fry.


Greenwoodochromis christyi

Greenwoodochromis christyi was officially described by Trewavas in 1953. The name christy is a reference to the British researcher Dr. Cuthbert Christy who collected and discovered species for the British Museum, including the type specimens for this species. The genus name Greenwoodochromis can be divided into two words: Greenwood is a reference to Peter Humphry Greenwood (1927-1995), which has contributed a lot to the aquarium hobby by gathering information about African Cichlids in particular.

Synonyms: Greenwoodochromis christyi, Lepidochromis christyi.


Greenwoodochromis christyi males can reach a total length of about 18 centimeters. Females usually do not grow to more than 15 centimeters. The color of this species is not very spectacular. They are gray / brown in color. The gill plate lid shows a darker spot that sometimes can show someiridescent blue. Sometimes on the flank six vertical darker bands can be seen.

They are very aggressive towards conspecifics. It is best to keep them as a pair, 1 male and 1 female. A pair usually stays together for years. Forming a pair can cause some problems. Putting a male and a female together does not necessarily mean that it will become a pair. If they do not pair up, one of them will be killed by the other. A pair can best be brought together by starting with around 8 young specimens and letting them grow up together. If they are around two years old, they should be sexually mature and form a pair. Remove the other animals as soon as a pair has formed as they will not tolerate the others anymore.


This species originates from the southern part of Lake Tanganyika. They inhabit the rocky areas and the intermediate zones between rock and sand/mud at depths from 25 meters and deeper.


In the wild, this species feeds on smaller fish and invertebrates. In the aquarium you can feed them with a variety of live, frozen, flake and granulate food.

The Aquarium

Because the Greenwoodochromis christyi inhabits the intermediate zones, you can also set up the aquarium in this way. Place rocks on the edges and back of the aquarium and create caves, cracks and crevices between the rocks where the fish can shelter. Provide a large amount of sand between the stacks of rocks. Plants are not necessary for these fish.

The water temperature can vary between 22 and 26 graden degrees Celsius, a high pH of 8.5 to 9.0 and a GH between   7 and 11.

Breeding Greenwoodochromis christyi

Breeding Greenwoodochromis christyi starts with a good breeding pair. Both parents work together to brood on the eggs and fry. They are bi-parental mouthbreeders. After laying and fertilizing, the eggs are picked up by the female and hatched in her mouth. After hatching the eggs the male  takes over the brooding tasks more and more. They breed for a total of about two weeks until the fry are large enough to be released.

After releasing the fry, both parents guard the fry for quite some time. You can feed the fry with newly hatched brine shrimp, crushed flakes and other small foods.



John de Lange

Copyright images (niet meer beschikbaar)
Ben Lee –


Back to Nature Gids voor Tanganyika Cichliden – Ad Konings – blz. 84

Additional information




Breeding behaviour



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