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Haplochromis sp. "Dayglow"
by Marc Elieson

Haplochromis sp. “Dayglow” is yet another striking Victoria Basin Hap, collected around Lake Kanyaboli. Males of this species have a powder blue head with the typical black vertical bar running across the eye. This fish also has a characteristic black blotch on the upper part of its gills. Males will fluctuate in their color depending upon their mood, switching between yellow and blue. Its bright red tail contrasts beautifully with the blue to yellow coloration of the males. They typically possess three orange egg spots on their anal fin, which are distinctively outlined in black (one is significantly larger than the other two).

This fish is a typical Victorian Hap in that females of this species are gray with only a faint vertical bar over the eye and another passing longitudinally across the center of their body. Also, only one dominant male will display his color. Any others remain almost colorless and could quite easily be mistaken for females. They do to this so as to blend in with the females in order to avoid the aggression of the dominant male. The dominant male is also territorial and females even have an established hierarchy among themselves. Dayglows are also quite active, with dominant males anxious to show off their color. Anytime another fish swims through his territory, he will puff out, displaying his fins and color.

Adult males can reach sizes of 4 to 4.5 inches. Females need lots of caves and other hiding places. Males should be kept in ratios of at least 2 females to every male. They are very prolific spawners, and broods consist of 15-30 fry.

This particular Victorian Hap is a micro-predator, consuming aquatic invertebrates found in the muddy bottoms near the shore. An omnivorous diet should be offered in the aquarium, with a quality flake food supplemented by occasional live or frozen feedings □

 

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