Above: In this picture a mature premium quality male Black Diamond Cichlid is swimming in one of our aquariums, when one of us snapped this picture.
Comments: These are fabulous fish. The males are dark with bright spangles.
Origin: The ancestors of the Black Diamond Cichlid lived only in Madagascar, which is an large island off the east coast of Africa.
But now this fish lives in aquariums all over the world.
Maximum Size: In aquariums, males are said to grow to be about 12" long, but so far we haven't seen one bigger than about 11" long, including their tails, which is a very large for most aquariums.
Females are smaller.
Behaviors: Black Diamond Cichlids are usually rather aggressive fish, and sometimes eat their tank mates, if they'll fit in their mouths.
Compatibility: Some recommended tank mates include other African Cichlids like Buttikoferi, Mbunas from Lake Malawi, and Synodontis Catfish, also Cichlids from Lake Victoria, but probably not Cichlids from Lake Tanganyika.
But be careful, a Polleni will eat anything that fits into their mouth.
Click here for more about Synodontis Catfish.
Click here to read more about compatible groups of pet fish.
Temperature: this species is tolerant to a wide range of temperatures from about 72 to 82-degrees F. with 75 to 78 being perhaps ideal.
Click here to learn about aquarium temperature, aquarium thermometers, and aquarium heaters.
Feeding: Premium Fish Food Pellets is the best food for this species to eat. It's best to feed them small pellets when their small, then gradually increase the size of the pellets, as they grow larger.
In Madagascar the Black Diamond Cichlid eats small fish but do not require live fish when living in an aquarium.
Click here to learn more about and shop online for premium fish foods.
Water Conditions: pH about 6.5 to 7.5 with moderate hardness.
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 hardness.
Click here for a lot more information about aquarium water conditions.
Aquarium Size: A Black Diamond Cichlid will eventually need to live in an aquarium with at least 80-gallons of water.
Perhaps best kept alone or with a few Synodontis Catfish. Eventually one Polleni will need a huge aquarium.
Decor: Black Diamond Cichlids 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 this fish will usually rip plants up, so most aquariums with Black Diamond Cichlid do not have live plants.
They like a thin layer of medium size gravel about the size of rice mixed with a few aquarium-safe rocks.
Aquarium Filter: Bio-Wheel Filters are highly recommended.
Most 80-gallon aquariums have room along the back for two Penguin 350B Filters, and this is sort of the minimum set up for Black Diamond Cichlid.
Better is a 100, 120, 150, or 200-gallon aquarium 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: Black Diamond Cichlids can live for several years. Keep the water conditions excellent and feed them premium foods, and they'll most likely live for many years, and they may breed to produce the next generation of fish for your aquarium.
Gender: It's difficult to tell males from females, when they're small, but easy when they're mature, because the males change from grey to be very dark with light specks.
Breeding: the female lays eggs, a male fertilizes the eggs, and both parents guard the eggs for two or three days, until they hatch.
The fry soon become miniature versions of their mother and very cute!
Click here for a lot more about breeding various tropical fish in aquariums.
Popularity: The Black Diamond Cichlid from Madagascar has been a rather popular aquarium fish. The males have a very unique pattern.
Names: Their scientific name is Paratilapia polleni.
Variations: There may be two variations: one with large white spots and the other with small spangles on the large mature males.
We hope you've enjoyed reading these comments.
DrTom - 01/19/2015
We have 380-aquariums with lots-and-lots of popular aquarium fish plus lots-and-lots of rare fish!
We consider ourselves to be the link between the world's best sources of fish and the world best customers. We love our work, and we are very responsible.
All of our fish are Premium Quality Fish from the best suppliers in the world. Our fish have better health, more energy and brighter colors, as you can see in our pictures on this website.
We also offer lots and lots of information about keeping pet fish, all from the knowledge of the Bailey Brothers, who have a combined total of 100+ years of experience as breeders, wholesalers, and retailers of pet fish!
Our fish and our customers are treated with the best of care, and we work energetically everyday to make sure every customer enjoys their new fishy friends.
When you purchase pet fish from us, you know you're receiving premium quality fish and premium quality service.
"Received my fish last night and was so pleased! They all arrived alive and appeared to be healthy.
"Once in the tank, they became very active and are now thriving in their new home.
"Beautiful fish, I asked for color and aquariumfish delivered. Processing and shipping was extremely quick."
Nevin and DrTom, the Bailey Brothers
This website is owned and operated by the Bailey Brothers, DrTom and Nevin, who've been together in the fish business for more than 50-years.
The Product Manager has been with the company for more than 35-years.
So we feel very confident that this is the fishiest crew anywhere.