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Placidochromis electra
by Marc Elieson

Placidochromis electra malePlacidochromis electra has been a mainstay in the hobby for many years. It has been reclassified in recent years, being previously named Haplochromis Jahni or "Deep Water Hap." The latter name was applied to this cichlid because it was believed until recently that its niche was restricted to deep water, but now it is known to occur at depths deeper than just 7 meters. Food is scooped from the surface of the sand (not dug) after being exposed by digging foragers, in manner similar to that of C. moorii and P. phenochilus

P. electra differs from these others in its foraging behavior in that it does not follow behind a forager that it claims as a "host," but rather is attracted to stirred up sediment. It behaves as an opportunistic feeder, rushing from one "dust cloud" to the next. Fish belonging to this species are not territorial in the wild or in the aquarium. Mouthbrooding females occur in the same areas as those where both non-brooding females and males in breeding coloration forage. P. electra wanders through the aquarium or its natural habitat, never staying at any particular spot for more than a minute.

Placidochromis electra maleMany varieties exist for this species. Some are more blue, some orange, and then some white with blue accents. This particular morph hails from Londo and is characterized by a white body and a powdery blue head. Its anal fin is a faint red. The dark vertical bars on its body vary in number and appearance based upon its mood. Sometimes only one is visible, and at other times, four can be easily spotted. The dark bars on this particular male look like they were painted on with charcoal and are very attractive. Pictured are two males, one fully developed and the other is sub-adult. Note the difference in fin development between the two. □

 

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