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Haplochromis sp. "All Red"
by Marc Elieson

This beautifully colored Victorian Hap comes from both Lake Edward and Lake Nawampasa. Named “All Red” not because it lacks other colors, but because it has perhaps more red coloration on its body than any other Victorian Hap. The Lake Edward variety has more green on its body than the Lake Nawampasa variety (compare these two photos). Both variants are similar in behavior and dietary requirements; notwithstanding, males can be distinguished quite easily. Both grow unusually large for Vics and are rather boisterous. A word to the wise: the larger the tank, the better.

Lake Nawampasa male ''All Red''"All Reds" are extremely active fish. Dominant males will cruise the tank, anxious to show off their color and flash their fins. They are in constant "bloom," always showing off. Females the typical battleship gray with a few black spots on their sides. Males don’t display their color until they around 2 to 3-inches in length. They also seem to grow rather slowly, in my experience.

This fish will adapt to any aquascape, but prefer rocks and plants to hide in. In the wild, it is found living among the plants surrounding the lakes’ perimeter. It is an herbivore, feeding on aquatic plants in the wild. “All Reds” should offered foods high in vegetable content. I recommend a Spirulina-based flake food supplemented with zucchini.

Males can reach sizes of up to six inches, which is abnormally large for Victorian Haplochromines. Their abnormally large size and active temperament requires that males be kept with at least three females. For these reasons, they should not be kept in anything smaller than 75 gallons. For some odd reason, dominant males tend to spawn more readily when there is another subdominant male in the same tank - aggression between males, it is believed, will trigger the hormonal urges of the group into reproduction. If you want to use this strategy for breeding, you'd better keep a good-sized colony to quell the aggression as breeding males get very aggressive. I personally would discourage you, however, from keeping more than one male per tank.

Lake Edward male ''All Red''Haplochromis. sp. “All Red” should not be kept with similar-looking cichlids (such as Pundamilia nyererei) as these will readily cross-hybridize. Victorians are notorious for crossbreeding. This is particularly true of these two species. Most Vics are endangered or extinct from the wild and so care should be taken to ensure stocks remain “pure.” “All Reds” are polygamous mouthbrooders. Broods can number as many as 50 or 60 fry for a 5.5 inch female! Incubation is usually around 12-20 days. □


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