Alternative species (click on the thumbnail to see the card)
Black diamond cichlid
Females are a little smaller than males. Males have extensions of their dorsal and anal fins and their heads are rounder.
300 L / 66 Imp gal / 79 US gal
T°: 25 to 26°C or 77 to 79°F
pH: 6.5 to 7.5
Hardness: 5 to 18°dGH
25 to 30cm (10 to 12")
8 to 10 years
How to feed the Polleni cichlid?
This species is omnivorous with piscivorous tendency. In the wild, it therefore preferably consumes fish. In aquariums, it is not difficult to feed and will easily accept all types of food that you will offer it. Live and frozen prey will make up the major part of its diet, which you can vary with high quality granules or flakes. His favorite treat: earthworms! Peeled mussels or shrimps will also be eaten.
Do not give animal meat to this fish as they are unable to digest fat.
What kind of behavior does the Polleni cichlid have?
This big fish has a good character: it is sociable but still defends its territory during the breeding period.
Who can live with the Polleni cichlid?
The most accessible configuration in aquariums is the maintenance of a couple in an aquarium of at least 300 L / 66 Imp Gal / 79 US Gal (500 L / 110 Imp Gal / 132 Us gal being ideal). However, if they are raised young together, Polleni can live in larger groups. For example, you can install 10 specimens in a tank of at least 800 L / 176 Imp Gal / 211 US Gal. On the other hand, you will not be able to combine already adult fish in the same tank because they will fight. Moreover, note that a specific aquarium is the best solution for the maintenance of this large fish.
For a harmonious cohabitation with other species, prefer fishes from Madagascar: these are the genera Paratilapia, Paretroplus, Oxylapia, Ptychochromis and Ptychochromoides.
Avoid associating them with too aggressive fish.
How to breed the Polleni cichlid?
Quite difficult to achieve in aquarium but seems more accessible in outdoor pond. A couple will form in a group of young fish (you cannot impose the partners).
A male ready to breed darkens its color enormously. At the same time, he digs a hole in the sand to accommodate the brood. When the female is ready, she deposits eggs there which the male fertilizes. They then look like a gelatinous mass.
Incubation lasts 48 hours. The parents watch over the eggs and then over the fry: they become very aggressive with intruders. The female can sometimes also hunt the male and be too aggressive with him. You will then have to remove it to avoid that it is wounded.
Fry feeding: artemia nauplia.
Which aquarium for the Polleni cichlid?
In its natural environment, the Polleni lives in marshes or lakes, in the shade of rocks and branches. To simulate this setting in an aquarium, the decor will be mostly composed of rocks. Put sand at the bottom of the aquarium.
This fish requires very clean water. The filtration will have to be powerful enough. Also change the water regularly.
Good To know
Good To know
Find all additional information!
Depending on the geographical areas of origin of the specimens, the white/silver dots are more or less large. However, it seems that these variations which are nowadays grouped under the name "Paratilapia polleni" are in reality distinct undescribed species. According to the latest scientific studies, there are at least 2 different species: one with small spots and another with large spots, but the existence of a third species is being considered.
Unfortunately, its existence in its natural environment is now understood because of the destruction of its biotope and the introduction of exotic species. Its conservation status is therefore assessed as "Vulnerable (declining)".
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