Comments: These are fabulous fish, the males develop a very bright white top fin that contrasts with their dark purple-blue body coloration.
This fish was called "Fireline Mloto", before it was given its scientific name, Copadichromis trewavasae.
Origin: the Copadichromis are a genus of fish. The ancestors of the Copadichromis lived only in Lake Malawi in East Africa.
But now they live in aquariums all over the world.
All the Copadichromis are said to live away from the piles of huge rocks in Lake Malawi, where the more aggressive Mbuna fish live, but not too far away from the rocks in the open water, which is the domain of some larger so-called Haplochromis Cichlids.
Maximum Size: In aquariums males can grow to be about 4" to 4.5" long, including their tails, which is a nice size for aquariums.
Females are smaller and remain grey or dull, without the brilliant colors shown by males.
Behaviors: Copadichromis are usually rather aggresive fish, but not as aggressive as the Mbunas that also originated in Lake Malawi.
Compatibility: Some recommended tank mates include other Copadichromis species, mild tempered Mbunas like the Lemon Yellow Mbuna, and Synodontis Catfish, but probably not Cichlids from Lake Tanganyika.
Click here for more about Synodontis Catfish.
Click here to read more about compatible groups of pet fish.
Temperature: Copadichromis 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 the best type of food to feed to these Cichlids, and can be fed to them throughout their entire lives.
Click here to learn more about and shop online for premium fish foods.
Water Conditions: Lake Malawi has hard alkaline water that's 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 your water's pH or alkalinity.
Click here for a lot more information about aquarium water conditions.
Aquarium Size: Malawi Copadichromis like this fish will eventually need to live in an aquarium with at least 80-gallons of water but 100, 120 and 150-gallons are better.
Each Copadichromis will need at least 5-gallons of water, and Copadichromis live best in an aquarium with at least 12 other compatible Cichlids of about the same size.
Decor: Copadichromis 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 Copadichromis will usually dig plants up, so most Copadichromis aquariums do not have live plants.
Copadichromis like 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 Copadichromis.
Better is a 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: Malawi Copadichromis can live for several years. Keep the water conditions excellent and feed them premium foods, and they will most likely breed and 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 a male changes from grey to brilliant colors with small spots on his fins.
Breeding: Copadichromis from Malawi 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 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.
Popularity: Copadichromis are somewhat new to the aquarium hobby and so have not had tme to become as popular as many of the fish from Lake Malawi.
Names: This scientific name for this fish is Copadichromis trewavasae.
Variations: There are usually some variations of each of the species of fish in Lake Malawi. So there are probably variations of this species, but we have not yet seen any.
We hope you've enjoyed reading these comments.
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