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Myaka myaka
by Robert De Leon

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A while back a received a small group of Myaka myaka from a friend in the hope I'd be able to get a successful spawn. My friend originally purchased 20 unsexed individuals and in less than a couple years, the group was down to less than half of its original size. Although I was never able to spawn the remaining fish, I gained some insight into this rare crater lake cichlid.

Underwater Fish Fin Marine biology Terrestrial plant


Myaka myaka are indigenous to Lake Barombi Mbo in Cameroon. Lake Barombi Mbo is the largest volcanic lake in the Southwest region of Cameroon. The fish in the lake are isolated and have evolved into several unique species. A summary of the different species in Lake Barombi Mbo can be found in the article Insight on Barombi Mbo, Cameroon by Greg Steeves.

All the species in the lake are at risk. Not only by human pollution, but also by the very forces that created the lake. Large carbon dioxide emissions from under the lake change the acidity and poison the water leading to large fish deaths. These carbon dioxide emissions have also led to human deaths surrounding the lake.

Fin Underwater Fish Marine biology Ray-finned fish

Myaka myaka is the only species in its genus. What M. myaka evolved from isn't known but is believed to be from some haplochromine. In the wild M. myaka spends its time feeding on plankton and small insects in the deeper parts of the lake. When mature, they reach almost 3 inches in length.

In the aquarium:

Anyone thinking of keeping Myaka myaka should be aware that they are extremely aggressive toward each other. As they mature you can expect to experience losses due to interspecies aggression. Other species that are housed with M. myaka aren't targets of this aggression. However, M. myaka's constant movement and aggression toward each other can be stressful to other fish.

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