In most species the babies do not look like the adults, shown in the pictures, but these babies can grow to look like adults.
Others say that rarely a Chipokae Mbuna can grow even longer than 8".
fish and from time to time males have long energetic fights.
Compatibility: Some recommended tank mates include, other large Mbuna species and Synodontis Catfish.
Click here for more about Synodontis Catfish.
Click here to read more about compatible groups of pet fish.
Temperature: Mbunas live best from about 75 to 80-degrees F. with 78 being perhaps ideal.
Click here to learn about aquarium temperature, aquarium thermometers, and aquarium heaters.
Feeding: Premium Fish Food Pellets is best to feed to Mbunas.
Smaller sized pellets when the fish are small, and larger sized pellets when the fish grow to be larger.
In Lake Malawi this species is a cleaner fish eating parasites from larger catfish, but they do well eating premium pellets in aquariums.
Click here to learn more about and shop online for premium fish foods.
Water Conditions: Lake Malawi has hard alkaline water, which is best for all the fish, whose ancestors lived there.
But these fish can adapt to most types of water, and so as usual it's best not to try to change the pH or alkalinity.
Click here for a lot more information about aquarium water conditions.
Aquarium Size: Mbunas, like this Chipokae Mbuna, will eventually need to live in an aquarium with at least 80-gallons of water.
Each Mbuna will need at least 5-gallons of water, and Mbunas live best in an aquarium with at least 15-other Mbunas of about the same size.
This is one of the biggest Mbunas and so eventually needs an even bigger aquarium, like an aquarium with 120-gallons.
Decor: Mbunas do not need gravel, and a layer of gravel more than 1/4" thick will usually fill with bits of uneaten food that will contaminate the water.
Click here for more about aquarium gravel.
Live plants are beautiful and improve the water quality, but Mbunas will usually dig plants up, so most Mbuna aquariums do not have live plants. Mbunas love rocks and rocky caves.
Aquarium Filter: Bio-Wheel Filters are highly recommended.
Most 80-gallon aquariums have room along the back for at least three Penguin 350B Filters, and this is sort of a minimal set up for this Mbuna.
Better is an even bigger aquarium with 150, or 200-gallons with as many Penguin 350B Filters as will fit across the back.
Click here to learn more about aquarium filters.
The addition of Lava Rocks will keep nitrates in the ideal range. Click here to learn more about using Lava Rocks in aquariums.
Life Span: Mbunas can live for several years.
Keep the water conditions excellent and feed them premium foods, and they will most likely breed to produce the next generation of fish for your aquarium.
Gender: It's difficult to tell males from females, when they're very small, but easy when they're mature, because the males change color and become a very vibrant, while the females have a less distinct color.
Breeding: Chipokae Mbuna and all Mbunas are mouthbrooders. A female lays eggs, a male fertilizes the eggs, and the female picks up the eggs in her mouth.
She'll brood them in her mouth for about 3-weeks, then release them in the aquarium.
They are miniature versions of their mother and very cute!
Click here to read more about breeding mouthbrooders. the aquarium.
Click here for a lot more about breeding various tropical fish in aquariums.
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