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Astatotilapia aneocolor
by Dan Huber

Male Astatotilapia aneocolor Common name: Referred to as "yellow belly albert"

Location and Lakes collected from: Lake Edward, Lake Albert, Lake George and Kazinga Channel in shallow muddy waters.

Maximum size: 3 - 5 inches

Food: Will eat flake (I use Spirulina), brine shrimp, blood worms, and Spectrum grow and pellets. Fry do well on Spectrum, finely crushed Spirulina flake or live baby brine shrimp.

pH: 7.6 - 8.4

Temperature: 75 - 82°F.

Breeding behavior: Maternal mouthbrooders. Males get very aggressive around spawning time. The spawning male keeps all other fish away from his nest (hole dug out in the sand/gravel) and does his dance to try to impress the female. Once he has mated, his colors fade quite a bit and he spends his time harassing the other fish. It is usually recommended to only keep 1 male per tank. I have kept several males together, which works well. Female Astatotilapia aneocolorThey split up the territory and each keep a harem, protecting their females, and trying to impress and steal the otherís females. This shows the importance of enough space, ideal is 50 gallons or more. It is best to keep this fish in a tank with 1 male and 3 or more females and a lot of rocks. Females brood for 15 - 20 days with brood sizes ranging from 25 - 37 fry for an adult female. When just starting out breeding, 3-15 fry are common. My fish started breeding at about 1.5 inches in size (male) with a 1 inch females, which is common for most Victorian haps.

Care of the Fry: Newly released fry can easily eat crushed flake food, and baby brine shrimp. Mine did quite well on Spectrum until 1 inch in size in a 10 gallon grow out tank. They seem to thrive with feeding twice a day and grow quite fast, especially once they are moved to a larger tank. They seem to be smaller than the average fry size of other Victorians. Growth to sexual maturity occurs in about 6 months from fry size.

Tankmates: I have had mine in with Neolamprologus brichardi and frontosa. They probably do best with other aggressive fish, as they will kill other peaceful fish.

Information Sources include:

1. The Cichlids of the Lake Victoria Basin
2. Lake Victoria Basin Cichlids, Mark Phillip Smith. Barronís


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