Astatotilapia calliptera, commonly known as the Blue Pseudonochromis or Regal Blue Cichlid, is a beautiful species found in Lake Malawi, Africa. To provide the best care for these captivating cichlids in your aquarium, follow these summarized guidelines:
– **Tank Size:** A minimum of 55 gallons (208 liters) is recommended for a small group of 4-6 individuals.
– **Tank Setup:** Use fine sand as substrate and provide rock formations and caves for hiding and territorial behavior.
– **Water Parameters:**
– Temperature: 74°F to 80°F (23°C to 27°C).
– pH Level: Slightly alkaline to neutral, ideally between 7.6 to 8.6.
– Water Hardness: Moderately hard to hard water, between 10 to 20 dH.
– **Filtration:** Use a good quality filter to maintain water quality and keep the tank clean.
– Astatotilapia calliptera is omnivorous, and their diet should include high-quality cichlid pellets or flakes.
– Supplement their diet with occasional live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.
– Astatotilapia calliptera can be aggressive, especially during breeding and territorial disputes.
– Suitable tankmates include larger, robust Malawi cichlids with similar temperaments.
– Avoid keeping them with smaller or more passive fish to prevent stress and potential harm.
– **Behavior and Social Structure:**
– Maintain a small group of 4 or more individuals to disperse aggression and reduce stress on single fish.
– Males may display vibrant colors during courtship and breeding.
– **Health and Disease:**
– Monitor their behavior and appetite regularly to spot any signs of illness.
– Quarantine new fish before adding them to the main tank to prevent disease transmission.
– Maintain stable water conditions to promote overall health and immunity.
– Breeding can occur under the right conditions.
– Provide caves or flat surfaces for egg-laying and protection.
– Maintain water temperatures around 76°F to 80°F (24°C to 27°C) to encourage breeding behavior.
By creating a suitable environment that mimics their natural habitat and meeting their specific care requirements, Astatotilapia calliptera will thrive and reward you with their stunning colors and engaging behaviors, making them a beautiful addition to your aquarium.