Nanochromis transvestitus

One of the few species where females are more beautiful than males: Nanochromis transvestitus. A small Dwarfcichlid from Africa.


Nanochromis transvestitus

The Nanochromis transvestitus can reach a length of around 6 centimeters. In this species the females are more beautiful than the males, the females have a red belly, a more striped caudal fin, and they are slightly smaller.

This is a peaceful species, you can keep them together with small characins, Killifish and other fish from the middle and upper water layers. You can find them mainly on the bottom of the aquarium. It is a species that mainly is roaming around on the substrate.


Lac Mai Ndombe, Congo, Zaïre.


Nanochromis transvestitus requires an aquarium of at least 60 centimeters. Decorate the tank with dense planting and drift wood. You can also use half coconuts as hiding places. They prefer subdued lighting. The substrate should consist of fine (filter)sand.


Temperature: 27 -29 degrees Celsius
pH: 5 – 6.5
GH: 3 – 6

In nature, fish have to deal with fluctuating temperatures. Keeping the minimum or maximum temperature for a long time is not always desirable and can shorten the average lifespan of the animals.


Both small live food and frozen food can be given, they will also eat dry foods like flakes and granules. Just make sure there is enough variety to keep them healthy.

Breeding Nanochromis transvestitus

Nanochromis transvestitus are monogamous cave spawners. Set up a special breeding tank with very soft and acidic water (PH 4.5-5.5). The temperature must be around 27 degrees Celsius. They deposit up to 60 eggs, the female guards the nest, and the male guards the territory. The fry can be raised with powdered flakes and newly hatched brine shrimp.



John de Lange

Copyright images

Patrick Meeze

Additional information








Minimum aquarium length in cm

Length maximum in cm

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pH maximum

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Social Behaviour

Breeding behaviour





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