Alcolapia alcalicus from Lake Natron

Alcolapia alcalicus

Alcolapia alcalicus. Photo by Greg Steeves. Courtesy of

A true wonder of adaptation, Alcolapia alcalicus makes its home in hot, alkaline springs around Lake Natron. Water conditions routinely exceed 100 degrees and pH levels hover around 10! Rare in the hobby, A. alcalicus can be conditioned to live in the aquarium provided temperatures are in the mid-80s and the pH doesn’t drop below 8. This is definitely a fish that does well in a species only tank, as suitable tankmates can be hard to find. A. alcalicus is a maternal mouthbrooder and spawning is best done in groups of both males and females. In the wild, Alcolapia alcalicus has even adapted to excrete urea (carbamide) through its gills instead of ammonia as other do other fish. Ammonia in high pH waters quickly becomes toxic.

To discuss Alcolapia alcalicus, visit the Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species forum.

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