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 Profiles Victoria Basin Cichlids Yssichromis piceatus
Yssichromis piceatus
Scientific Name: Yssichromis piceatus
Pronunciation: s--kr-ms
Geo. Origin: Lake Victoria
Habitat: Open Water
Diet: Omnivore
Gender Differences: Dimorphic
Breeding: Maternal Mouthbrooder
Temperament: Mildly Aggressive
Conspecific Temperament: Mildly Aggressive
Temperature: 74-78°F
pH: 7.2-8.6
Water Hardness: Hard
Difficulty: 2
Photo Credit: Ross Smith
Haplochromis "Yssichromis" piceatus (Greenwood and Gee, 1969) is a pelagic species foraging on zooplankton, sometimes far from the shores. It is one of the remnant species of five known zooplanktivores that were widely distributed throughout the lake. Since it's feeding habits can take it far from the shoreline, it has been heavily preyed upon by the Nile Perch. All zooplanktivores have suffered dramatically from the introduction of the Nile Perch. It appears to have increased in number since 2000 being caught in larger number than in the 1990's by scientists from the Leiden University. It shares its habitat with Haplochromis "Yssichromis" pyrrocephalus, but has a different distribution in the water column and a different feeding methods and hours. It lives in large schools in the wild where males and females swim together in search of food. The males are absolutely stunning in colors, being black body colored with bright red orange fins. It also has a differs from H. pyrrocephalus in it's nuptial dress and spawning site. A colony of males will dig small spawning pits in the shallower water in the breeding season. It's important to keep a large colony of this species in the aquarium (similar to the Cyprichromis species from Lake Tanganyika) as this fish is quite peaceful. You will note that we have indicated the genus Yssichromis as a subgenus in quotation marks until a re-evaluation of Humphrey Greenwoods classifications is completed.
 Profiles Victoria Basin Cichlids Yssichromis piceatus
 Key To Species Profile Terms
 Pronunciation: Refer to our Pronunciation Key for an explanation of the phonetic symbols.
 Habitat: This is the primary location where the cichlid is found and is a generalization. This does not
  mean a fish cannot be found in other habitats.
 Diet: Many cichlids specialize in eating one type of food; notwithstanding, some of these specialized
  feeders are flexible and can be opportunistic feeders.
 Temperament: This describes the overall demeanor of a cichlid toward other tankmates that
  are of a different species. Consider that there is variability in temperament due to various factors,
  including aquarium size, tankmates of similar appearance, stocking levels, and order of introduction.
  There may even be some variability among individual specimens.
 Conspecific Temperament: This describes the overall demeanor of a cichlid toward other tank-
  mates of the same species. Consider that there is variability in temperament due to such factors as
  aquarium size, stocking levels and order of introduction. There may even be some variability among
  individual specimens.
 Maximum Size: This is in regards to total length (including the tail) of typical aquarium specimens.
  Wild specimens may not attain this size, or may in fact grow larger than aquarium raised individuals
  due to various factors. Also consider that this is the typical maximum size and there are exceptional
  individuals that will exceed it.
 Difficulty: This measure is a relative value, comparing a single species against all other cichlids.
  This only accounts for maintanence in the aquarium and not breeding considerations.
  1 = easy and forgiving, 5 = extremely challenging.
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