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Astatotilapia burtoni
by Greg Steeves

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Prolific is somewhat of an understatement when describing the breeding frequency of Astatotilapia burtoni. So long as, in the confines of your aquaria, dominant male(s) are not harassed by other inhabitants and there are ample healthy females, A. burtoni will spawn readily. It is rather remarkable how young these haplochromines will reach sexual maturity. I have had 3 cm long females hold a brood to term. At normal aquarium temperatures (76F-82F) A. burtoni will hold for around 20 days. Brood size increases with growth but spawning frequency will drop off as the fish ages. As a mouth brooder, A. burtoni is also a popular choice as host of the cookoo spawning catfish Synodontis multipunctatus. When in peak breeding condition, A. burtoni females will carry a brood monthly.

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Astatotilapia burtoni may be a great cichlid to introduce a novice hobbyist into the realm of haplochromines. Although one might consider it a good beginner fish, there will always be room for this colorful little cichlid with even the most experienced aquarist. A. burtoni combines well with many other cichlids and as such can be considered a community fish in an aquarium designed for a haplochromine community. You may well find that A. burtoni mixes with other cichlid lineages as well. The pleasing coloration and mild disposition make Astatotilapia burtoni a welcome addition to many cichlid aquariums.
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Originally published in AfricanCichlids.net
 
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