Chameleon Cichlid - Pseudotropheus crabro
  • Beautiful cichlid
  • Interesting color change
  • Interesting breeding behavior
  • Mbuna from Lake Malawi
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Chameleon Cichlid - Pseudotropheus crabro

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Chameleon Cichlid - Pseudotropheus crabro
Native to Lake Malawi in East Africa, the chameleon cichlid Pseudotropheus crabro is quite rightly named - it can change color in seconds, almost making you think it's two different species. The pretty cichlid is a quite peaceful comrade and can be socialized well with other cichlids from Lake Malawi. With the attractive striping the small hornet cichlid (as it is also called) is a really nice eye-catcher in the Malawi aquarium. - Garnelio
Water values: soft to medium hard
Pelvic region: Below
Temperature: 22-28 °C
Feature: Algae eater
Aquarium size: 400/450 l (approx. 150cm)
Planting possible?: No
Fish group: Cichlids
Visual effect: Forms territories (when spawning)
Final size: > 12cm
Breeding: medium
with shrimps?: Socialization not possible
Difficulty: 2 - Normal
Diet: omnivorous - omnivorous
with snails/shells?: Yes
Origin: Africa
Behavior: Normal
with large crabs?: No
with fish?: conditional* (see description)
with dwarf crabs?: No
with crabs?: No

The endemic chameleon cichlid, hornet cichlid or chameleon mouthbrooder Pseudotropheus crabro (synonym: Melanochromis crabro) from Lake Malawi in the East African Rift Valley occurs almost throughout the lake and lives in the sediment-free rocky zone in a water depth between 10 and 20 meters and in the transition zone. During the day, the rather crepuscular cichlids like to retreat into caves. As an inhabitant of the rocky littoral, the Chameleon Cichlid belongs to the Mbuna.

The name gives it away - the Chameleon Cichlid can change color within seconds when excited or stressed, changing from its yellow base color with brown broad bands to a dull, solid brown. Males are more slender than females, which appear slightly more bulbous, especially when they are ready to spawn. In the aquarium, male hornet cichlids grow to 16 inches long, while females remain slightly smaller at 13 inches.

The omnivorous Chameleon Cichlid is distinguished in Lake Malawi by its very special diet. In addition to aufwuchs and plankton, it specifically scrapes fish lice from the skin of a certain catfish species and frees the large Kampango Catfish (Bagrus meridionalis) from parasites. This predatory catfish is rarely kept in aquariums due to its size and voracity. The Crabro also likes to eat the catfish spawn. When it predates on the spawn, it also changes color. Thus, catfish do not recognize their actually yellow-brown striped cleaner fish as spawn predators and continue to let them pick the parasites from their skin.

In the aquarium, the chameleon cichlid can be fed as an omnivorous cichlid with special cichlid food, live food and frozen food, with food for omnivorous aquarium fish in the form of granules or flakes and also with food tabs. Spirulina tabs, for example, are readily accepted as a vegetable food supplement.

The Crabro is an attractively marked and quite peaceful cichlid from Lake Malawi. Within the species, however, it can sometimes be more lively, so caves and other hiding places are important.

The keeping in a small group of one male with a harem of 2-3 females or in a small group of 10 animals corresponds to their natural way of life. The aquarium should hold 400 liters or more and should be set up with large rock structures in the background, with some large caves and creating sight barriers. In the foreground you can bring in sand to imitate the transition zone.

Water values for this beautiful Lake Malawi mbuna are medium to hard with a pH of 7.5 to 8.5 and an aquarium temperature between 22 and 28 °C.

This Pseudotropheus mixes well with other Malawi cichlids with similar requirements. Labidochromis, other Pseudotropheus, Melanochromis, Metricacliema, Mayandia and Cynotilapia are well suited for socialization with the Chameleon Mouthbrooder. Then, of course, the aquarium must be adapted in size.

The Chameleon Cichlid is a maternal mouthbrooder: this means that the female carries the fertilized spawn in her mouth and protects it until the fry hatch. The larvae of the hornet cichlid hatch after about 3 weeks. Breeding of Pseudotropheus crabro in the aquarium is possible. During the breeding season the male of the Chameleon Cichlid behaves a bit more aggressive and defends his territory more determined. Young Pseudotropheus crabro are fed freshly hatched Artemia nauplii in the early stages and can later be fed larger live foods as they grow.

Our food recommendation: NatureHolic Spirulina Tabs are a good supplementary food for all growth eating cichlids in the aquarium. As main feed we recommend the tasty NatureHolic Mainfeed Granules for omnivorous aquarium fish, which perfectly meets their requirements for food composition. Thanks to their soft texture, the food pearls are gentle on the mouth and can be eaten very well by the fish.

Expert Tip: We recommend when keeping fish the NatureHolic 3 Phase Liquid. The care set offers the best all-round protection for your animals. It ensures optimal conditions for successful breeding and keeping.

Scientific name:Pseudotropheus crabro "white dot"
German Name: Chameleon cichlid, chameleon cichlid, chameleon mouthbrooder, crabro, hornet cichlid
Difficulty level:advanced/
Origin/Distribution:East Africa, Lake Tanganyika>
Coloration juvenile:brown-blue ground color with white spots arranged in rows. Dorsal fin spotted, caudal fin unicolor dark
Adult coloration:dark ground color, unicolored fins and a yellowish band just behind the pectoral fin, head bluish
Age expectancy: approx. 15 years
Water parameters:GH 3-15 °dGH, pH 7.5-8.5, temperature 22-28° C
Tank size:from 150 cm
Food: Small live food, frozen food, flake food, vegetable food such as spirulina flakes
Breeding: medium
Behavior: peaceful, but territorial
Group size: Harem: 1 male, 2-3 females, or a group of 10 (3 males, 7 females)
Additional information:
  • 28906
  • 4251932208385

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Chameleon Cichlid - Pseudotropheus crabro

Chameleon Cichlid - Pseudotropheus crabro

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Question: "Hallo, wenn ich drei Stück bestelle, bekomme ich dann automatisch ein Männchen und zwei Weibchen? Und bis wann werden sie ausgeliefert da ich momentan Spätschicht habe und ab 12:00 Uhr nicht mehr zu Hause bin. Mit Freundlichen Grüßen MB"

from Kevin (Garnelio)
from Kevin (Garnelio)

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