Labidochromis sp. Hongi
Labidochromis sp. Hongi is a typical Mbuna, round body, robust build, rounded head. Males are purplish blue with dark transverse stripes to very light blue (in breeding season), with a red head and dorsal fin. Females are noticeably more colorless, brownish, with dark stripes and yellow / brown fins. They do not grow large, around 11 centimeters, the females a bit smaller.
Lake Malawi, East Africa, Hongi Island.
Sandy bottom, rocky outcrops with many hiding places. Plants are allowed, but can be eaten. They do not dig much, but can mostly be seen between the rocks, where they also spawn. Aquarium size at least 120 cm / 250 liters, but the larger the better in connection with the strong territorial behavior.
A lot of vegetable food, especially spirulina flakes or a green granulate, supplemented with crustaceans such as cyclops, shrimps (pieces), mysis and krill. Be careful with fatty and protein foods such as mosquito larvae or brine shrimp. Do not feed red mosquito larvae and tubifex.
Moderately hard to hard, slightly basic, temperature 24 degrees Celsius. Do not keep too warm, above thirty degrees is dangerous.
Labidochromis sp. Hongi is highly territorial and can be very aggressive. The territory will also be fiercely defended towards other species. Two adult males in one tank irrevocably result in the death of one of them. The females patrol all over the tank and are more friendly.
Breeding Labidochromis sp. Hongi
Simply, the fish are polygamous mouth brooders, with the female holding the eggs and fry in the mouth for about three / four weeks. After release, the fry are independent and can be fed with dust food, newly hatched brine shrimp or crushed flakes. Soon they can also handle cyclops. Young fish are not safe for the parents – if one wants to keep a nest, the female will have to be set aside after two weeks of brooding. After hatching, the parent fish will have to be removed from the young fish fairly quickly. They grow quite quickly (about an inch per month).
John de Lange
Kevin Bauman – African-Cichlid.com