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Ptyochromis sp. "salmon"
by Greg Steeves

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Male coloration consists of a steel grey base marked with blotches of red. This red brilliance continues onto the flanks with the final 1/3 of the body (along the caudal region) a lime green. The caudal fin is transparent. The anal fin is also translucent but adorned with a small number of very well evolved occuli. These egg spots are lined between the fin rays and have well defined orbits. The pectorals are black while the dorsal fin is mostly clear with a blue sheen. Female coloration is an unassuming tan color with a well defined thin black mid flank line stretching from the caudal peduncle to the gill plate. In the aquarium, the brilliance of the red coloration denoted dominance amongst the pack. As the males age, the luminance dulls so that the most attractively colored fish will be those in their breeding prime. To show this attractive fish off at its best, it should be housed in a species only tank or with very submissive fish. It is an easily bullied species and will fade in color when not the prominent species in a community.

Fin Underwater Organism Fish Water

Adult female

Fin Fish Marine biology Underwater Tail

Adult female

In a species only setup, P. sp. "salmon" males will all color and retain their brilliance. comes especially easy when housed in this manner as well. It is when they are not able to display dominance (usually in the presence of other species) that maintenance of this species becomes problematic. Simply put, P. sp. "salmon" are easily bullied by more aggressive fish. One should avoid the Pundamilia, Neochromis, and Astatotilapia genera when choosing compatible tank mates. Some of the peaceful Xystichromis species such as sp. "flameback", sp. "day glow" or phytophagus may work, but as stated before, to show this fish off best it really should devote a species only tank to their habitation.

It is best to house multiple males with at least twice the number of females. In this configuration the males will exhibit their brilliant coloration consistently. P. sp. "salmon" is not an overly territorial furu, in fact; aggression is confined to the actual breeding area. The dominant male will choose an area consisting of a flat surface or a depression he has excavated, as the spawning location. From here he will defend this area from all other fish darting from the area and hurrying back to display for the female. When the female accepts the male's advances, she joins in the territorial defense of the spawning area. Spawning takes place in the typical haplochromine manner.

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