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Scientific Name: Parananochromis gabonicus
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Pronunciation: p
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Geo. Origin: Okano River Drainage, Northwestern Gabon & Southern Rio Muni
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Habitat: Shallow Forest Streams
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Diet: Omnivore
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Gender Differences: Dimorphic
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Breeding: Cave Spawner
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Temperament: Mildly Aggressive
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Conspecific Temperament: Mildly Aggressive
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Maximum Size: 4.0"
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Temperature: 70-75°F
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pH: 6.0-7.0
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Water Hardness: Very Soft
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Difficulty: 3
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Water Vertebrate Organism Fin Fish
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Photo Credit: Dr. Anton Lamboj
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Images:
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Pair (male on right)
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Articles:
Comments:
Parananochromis gabonicus was scientifically described from a single female specimen as Nanochromis gabonicus by Dr. Ethelwynne Trewavas in 1975. Although P. gabonicus is just as fascinating as the other species of the genus, it is only marginally encountered in the European hobby, is not the U.S. hobby, and is not as colorful as congeners.
Males exhibit more pronounced pelvic, dorsal, and anal fins than females. Females, however, exhibit metallic deep rosy coloration on the dorsal fin and black tips on the pelvic fins. These latter two characterics are a good way to distinguish between the sexes.
It should be noted that contrary to one account in the hobbyist literature that P. gabonicus was "brought back alive from an expedition to Ghana by Messrs. Landsberg, Numrich, and Wunderlich in 1986" (Linke & Staeck, 1994:115), P. gabonicus is endemic to Gabon and Rio Muni and is not found in Ghana (Trewavas, 1975; Lamboj & Stiassny, 2003). Parananochromis are monogamous, bi-patental cave-spawning riverine species that, for the most part, are found in backwater streams and creeks in forestal biotopes. P. longirostris, however, is also found in some main rivers situated in southern Cameroon and Gabon.
In the wild, their water is generally soft, acidic to slightly alkaline (pH 6.1-7.4) and the conductivity is low 10-24 μS/cm at 22° C), depending on the biotope. Water temperatues are fairly cool, from 21-24° C (70-75° F). P. gabonicus, however, has been recorded in a small, blackwater forestal steamâ€"near Mitzic in northern Gabonâ€"where the water was measured at pH 6.1 and 10 °S/cm at 22° C (71.6° F). Accordingly, P. gabonicus should be housed in well-planted moderate to larger-sized aquaria, in soft, acidic water at moderate to fairly cool temperatures (</=75° F). Formal caves or cave-like structures need not be furnished. Parananochromis species are only marginally cave spawners that tend to spawn under objects in concealed areas. Due to their susceptibility to bacterial infection, water quality is quite important. Partial water changes should be performed weekly.
Parananochromis species seem to benefit from a diet similar to that which they encounter in the wild: algae, small shrimps, shrimp eggs and insect larvae. Rich "meaty" foods should be fed sparingly. â€"Randall Kohn (with special thanks to Karen Horrocks)
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