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Blue Dolphin Cichlid

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The Blue Dolphin Cichlid (Cyrtocara moorii) is a unique-looking cichlid. Both the male and female become soft blue in color as they mature. They also develop a hump on their heads, which can vary in size and shape. This hump and their unique protruding mouth give them their dolphin-like appearance

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Blue Dolphin Cichlid

The Blue Dolphin Cichlid (Cyrtocara moorii) is a unique-looking cichlid. Both the male and female become soft blue in color as they mature. They also develop a hump on their heads, which can vary in size and shape. This hump and their unique protruding mouth give them their dolphin-like appearance. Juveniles are often silver-blue with three dark spots on their flanks. This large fish is generally peaceful but is best kept them in groups of 3 or more, 1 male to a few females. They are found in Lake Malombe (a much smaller lake south of Lake Malawi) as well as Lake Malawi. 

Malawian and Victorian cichlids are similar in care and temperament, leading to fish from these two lakes being grouped together in the hobby. Several hundreds species of cichlid are found in Lake Malawi, along with many regional variations, but Lake Victoria has far fewer due to the introduction of invasive predators. Most cichlids in both lakes are rock-dwellers. They seldom stray far from the rocky bottoms and sides of the lake and will quickly dart into the rocks to hide. As with all cichlids, they are very territorial and will not tolerate other cichlids around “their” crevice.

Two of the most popular groups of these cichlids are the “Peacocks” (mostly the Aulonocaragenus) and “Mbuna’s” (native term for “rock fish” and including the genera Pseudotropheus, Labidochromis, Maylandia, Melanochromis and others). While aggression and compatibility can vary from species to species, mixing Mbuna and Peacock cichlids is not usually recommended. Mbuna cichlids tend to be more aggressive and may bully the usually more passive Peacocks but some Mbuna cichlids are far more aggressive than others. Several other groups of cichlids can also be found from these lakes, some of which can be large and aggressive predators; research all choices carefully.

Decor for a Malawi/Victoria aquarium should be very rocky. Rock “piles” and shelf-like backgrounds are common designs and can be made from tufa rock, lava rock or slate. Substrates can range from the whitish coral sand used in saltwater aquariums to black freshwater sand or even regular decorative gravels. Wood tends to lower pH and is not usually recommended for African cichlid aquariums.

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