Haplochromis chilotes

Haplochromis chilotes is a fairly calm Victoria cichlid. You can best keep them in a harem. They can reach a maximum length of 20 centimeters.

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Haplochromis chilotes

Haplochromis chilotes was first described in 1911 by Boulenger.

Synonyms: Paratilapia chilotes, Paralabidochromis chilotes.


Haplochromis chilotes males can reach a total length of around 20 centimeters. The females stay slightly smaller. The males are also more colorful than the females and have clearer egg spots. They develop the large lips from a length of seven centimeters.

The character of this species is relatively calm. Only during mating this can quickly change, the males fight each other fiercely. They form a very large territory from which all other males are chased away. It is therefore better to keep only one male with several females.


The habitat is located in Lake Victoria. They live on the rocky coasts between small and medium-sized rocks. They usually inhabit parts that do not end very steeply. Sometimes they are also found above sandy substrate.


In the wild they mainly feed on invertebrates. They search for them among the algae and in the sand. They also eat some algae in their search for something eatable. In the aquarium it is not a picky eater. Most food such as flakes, granules, frozen and live food is accepted.

The aquarium

Decorate the aquarium with rocks with cracks and crevices in between. Use (filter) sand on the bottom so that they can also look for food particles in the sand.

You need a large aquarium for a harem of Haplochromis chilotes. Consider a minimum size of 150 x 50 x 50 centimeters. The other inhabitants must have approximately the same size. Too small companions soon end up as food. Haplochromis chilotes has a fairly large mouth.

Breeding Haplochromis chilotes

Haplochromis chilotes is a mouthbrooder. The male chooses a rock to which he tries to lure the woman. During spawning the male and female circle each other. The female lays the eggs and while circling the eggs are immediately fertilized. The couple keeps circling and the female picks up the eggs in her mouth. She incubates the eggs in a few days, but the fry remain in her mouth for quite some time. They still feed on their egg yolk sack. In total the female keeps the eggs / young in her mouth for 16 to 18 days before they are spit out. The youngsters must take care of themselves after being spit out. You can raise them by feeding them newly hatched brine shrimp and crushed flakes. A nest usually consists of 20 to 30 eggs.


John de Lange

Copyright images

Kevin Bauman – African-Cichlid.com

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