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Scientific Name: Nanochromis wickleri
Pronunciation: n
Geo. Origin: Lake Mai Ndombe, Dem. Rep. of the Congo
Habitat: Sandy shallows
Diet: Omnivore
Gender Differences: Dimorphic
Breeding: Cave Spawner
Temperament: Mildly Aggressive
Conspecific Temperament: Aggressive
Maximum Size: <4.0"
Temperature: 76-82°F
pH: 4.0-6.0
Water Hardness: Very Soft
Difficulty: 4

Photo Credit: Dr. Ulrich Schliewen, used with permission


Male holotype

Although the southern end of Lake Mai Ndombe in the vicinities of Ipeke and Kutu has been surveyed, the northern part was unchartered until Dr. Ulrich Schliewen undertook a survey in August-September 2002. The cichlid species collected included an unusual Nanochromis species, which was subsequently described as Nanochromis wickleri Schliewen & Stiassny, 2006.

The type locality of N. wickleri is situated south of the port of Lake Mai Ndombe where the species was collected in shallow water over a sandy substrate with flat laterite terraces. Lake Mai Ndombe contains blackwater that is very soft and rich in humic acids (pH 4.0). Given the severity of it's habitat, for breeding both N. wickleri and fellow endemic N. transvestitus should be housed in very soft, acidic water (GH 2-3, pH 4.0-5.5) at about 80°F.

When spawning Nanochromis species, intraspecific aggression levels can run high, especially male on female aggression. For this reason, richly decorated, 20-gallon aquaria or better are recommended.

â€"Randall Kohn


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