Steatocranus casuarius
More Photos
Add Your Photo

Steatocranus casuarius

Common Names: African Blockhead
Buffalo Head Cichlid
Lionhead Cichlid
Family: Cichlidae
Category: Cichlids
Distribution: Africa; Fast flowing rivers and creeks in Zaire, Africa.
Main Ecosystem: Stream; Stream
Temperament: Territorial; Females are generally inoffensive but will occassionally quarrel amongst themselves. Males can be brusque and will defend an area, usually under bridges of decor or small caves, but are unlikely to attack fish who will avoid the area and not compete with them. Mature males can be aggressive towards females. Unusually pairs are monogamous in a way unknown to most cichlids. Adult pairs that have already bred can actually suffer depression if seperated and attempts to pair them off with new specimens often fail, with any affected adult never choosing another mate. Males may go as far as to persecute new unwanted females. Males tend to survive better unpaired but unpaired females often wane and die, their longevity almost halved.

The best way to procure these fish, is to avoid mature adults, especially wild specimens. Spectacular though they may be, they will often have been seperated from their regular mate. So choose juvenile specimens who in an aquarium will pair off more successfully with first time partners. If you can find a paired off couple in your LFS, snap them up! Unless very young, never assume this species will pair off successfully, no matter how many specimens of different sexes you may buy.

Again, unpaired specimens may fail to do well, so always buy partner fish for this species. Unpaired specimens may be persecuted by pairs and mature specimens, and usually they wane even if not attacked. Obviously should one half of a pair become ill, make every effort to save it for the sake of its partner. Widowed males are often better kept seperate from their own species if early attempts to replace the mate fail. Better that than the continued serial killing and ostracization of females that may occur with repeated efforts to find it a mate. Basically find established pairs or juveniles, or odds of successful long term keeping will not be good.
Diet: Ominvore; Will eat a range of foods, but likes a varied diet, and is often very fond of chopped shellfish, particularly freshwater mussel, though it will also accept the marine equivalent. If offered the chopped shellfish placed within the shell itself, the food recognition is almost instant, and this can be the key in getting difficult feeders to eat.
Care: Feed flakes and brine shrimp. Humpheads need light coloured, fine gravel to show their best colours. Caves are essential. Plants are sometimes uprooted. A strong current should be provided.
6 - 8
24°C - 28°C
75°F - 82°F
5 dH - 20 dH
Potential Size: Male: 12cm (4.7")
Female: 12cm (4.7")
Water Region: Bottom; Bottom
Activity: Diurnal; Diurnal
Gender: Males grow longer, are darker and have a larger hump.
Breeding: Pairs bond for life. The parents will spawn on the roof of a cave. A shell also makes a nice environment for them to spawn in. In the wild it has been documented seeing these cute little fish spawning in shells as well as caves. Use a neutral pH with medium-hard water. Both the male and female will care for the eggs and fry. The male will become particularly territorial.
Comments: The humphead will move around the bottom of the tank with a series of jerking movements, rather than swimming.
Main Colours:
Markings: Not Specified
Mouth: Normal
Tail: Flat
Search: Show similar species
Find compatible species
Image Credit: ©
Submitted By: Adam
Contributors: longhairedgit, ACIDRAIN
History: View changes to this profile
Edit Profile: