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Haplochromis sp. "Ruby Green"
by Marc Elieson

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Haplochromis "Ruby Green" are obviously so-named because of males' vibrant red and green coloring combination as shown in this photograph. This fish is collected from the region around Lake Kyoga and Lake Nawampasa, where it inhabits the plant-filled shoreline of these two lakes. It is easily mistaken for Hap. sp. "Flameback" and care should be taken to differentiate these two species to prevent mixing and cross-hybridization.

It is an herbivorous cichlid, scraping algae off of aquatic plants in the wild. As such, it should be provided with foods high in vegetable content, such as a Spirulina-based flake food and boiled zucchini and spinach.

Hap. Sp. Ruby Green is a very peaceful fish. In fact, its perhaps the most peaceful cichlid *** ever kept. It does best when kept in an all-species set up or with other mild fish. I do not recommend keeping this fish with mbuna or Tropheus, despite their similar dietary requirements.

It is a polygamous mouthbrooder. The holding period lasts 15-21 days and broods consist of 14-35 fry. My adult females are only 2.5-inches in total length, so you can begin to imagine how packed 35 fry must be as they develop in the mothers buccal cavity.

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Males are colorful, while the females have the typical battleship gray colors with a few dark lines. This species maxes out at about 4-inches. Males begin to show color as early as 1.25-inches in length and may begin spawning at this early age. I have successfully raised fry from females no more than 1-inch in length! It is not atypical for females to have difficulty holding full term their first couple of times. Holding females may be removed to a nursery tank if you want to raise the young, as parents do not protect their young and may even eat them.

Multiple females to one male is recommended. Furthermore, only one male will show his color (the dominant male, of course); therefore, it is recommended to only house one male per tank; however, a second male will encourage the dominant male to perpetually display his breeding dress. In fact, if males are kept singly (without any females or males), they tend to NOT show their adult coloration. But, when conspecifics are present, this Victorian Hap loves to show off his color and will often cruise the tank, flashing his fins, trying to impress them.
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