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Haplochromis sp. "Kenya Gold"
by Marc Elieson

This beautiful Victorian Hap gets its name because of its gold color and because it is collected on the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria. They are a little bit smaller than most other Victorians, reaching sizes of only 3 to 3.5-inches. In the wild, however, they max out at a mere 1.5-inches!

Hap. sp. "Kenya Gold" has a great advantage over many Cichlids because it can be kept in a smaller sized aquarium, such as a 30-gallon tank, although I would not suggest keeping more than one male in anything less than 50 gallons.

Males sport a gold body color with dark vertical bars and a single horizontal stripe stretching from the gill plate to the caudal peduncle. Females have the same dark markings as the males, but lack the gold body color.

“Kenya Gold” are found only along the northern shoreline of Lake Edward at Katwe Bay, where it inhabits the shallow waters near the shore, areas less than 3-feet deep. It is believed to be a micro-predator, feeding on aquatic insect larvae found among the reed beds.

For the aquarium, Spirulina flake food is recommended with occasional live or frozen foods given as supplements. I have found that they really enjoy daphnia. Although this fish is not as aggressive as most Victorians, it is recommended to house males of this species with at least 2, if not 3 or 4, females of the same species.

This is what's called a "Rock Cichlid," therefore, it's important to provide them with lots of rockwork to hide in. This fish has a shorter incubation period for its eggs, being in my experience about 15-20 days, probably due to their eggs' smaller size. Broods consist of 10-14 fry. They prefer a pH range of 7.6-8.4, with a temperature between 76F and 82F. □

 

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