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Haplochromis sp. 'Kenya gold'
by Don Greg Steeves (Gas)
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An incredibly beautiful little fish, Haplochromis sp. 'Kenya gold' should be housed with other lively cichlids. Ensure that tank mates, if other haplochromines, are very different in coloration and females are easily told apart. We have housed this species in such diverse colony mixes as Astatotilapia desfontainii, Pundamilia nyererei, Neochromis greenwoodi and others. We would not recommend housing with other snail eating species. The aquarium used to house H. sp. 'Kenya gold' should have a sand substrate, open areas for grazing and several rocks or driftwood placed throughout the tank. These objects will serve as territorial boundaries. A rudimentary pit will be excavated by the spawning male as a breeding site. Despite its small size of 9-11 cm, H. sp. Kenya gold' is capable of holding territory with more aggressive species. We have not experienced plant eating with this species but it would be advisable, if adding greenery, to use the more hardy species such as Anubias, Apontogeton or Java fern. No specific water conditions are necessary for this or most other haplochromine species from Lake Victoria.

Spawning is typical compared with the other haplochromines from the region, with small broods of 10-20 fry being normal. Perhaps the small batches of fry are the reason for its lack of abundance in the hobby. This fish is listed as CEN (endangered) on the CARES priority list, however that designation might have to be reexamined on the next revision. For all we know, it might already be extinct in the wild and survive only in the hobby. All in all, Haplochromis sp. 'Kenya gold' is a fantastic undemanding fish for anyone’s cichlid collection.

Originally published on AfricanCichlids.net

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