|Africa; Endemic to Lake Tanganyika, widespread
|Rift Lake; Rift Lake
|Schooling; The Cyprichromis genus contains the only schooling cichlids
|Cyprichromis need a tank large enough to allow schooling; 4' is a good minimum length. The Jumbo varieties, which pass 6" and may be given a separate species designation, need additional space. Cyps make the perfect addition to the unused water space in many Tanganyikan tanks, because they school above the rocks. Large schools of eight or more fish are necessary. Cyps are, though somewhat delicate, usually off the radar of all but the most aggressive fish because they stay farther up in the tank
|Male: 11cm (4.3")
Female: 11cm (4.3")
|Middle, Surface; Middle-Surface
|Cyps are nearly impossible to sex until they begin to color up, at which point it's difficult to miss. Males develop over a period of a few months striking colors; generally the normal-sized varieties are bright colors, primarily blue and yellow, while Jumbo varieties are pastels, lavender and yellow, often with black. Females stay relatively drab. Males may begin to "shake" and shimmy ocassionally before the first hints of color appear, usually around an inch long.
|Although a pair or trio can be induced to breed, the basic spawning act of Cyprichromis is a huge group effort. In the wild, thousands of fish may be involved, and eggs from one female are often snapped up by another. In the tank or in the wild, the group hovers, heads down, shivering, as the females release eggs to be milted and then grab them up again. The eggs are quite large so broods are small; the small mouths of the females can only hold a handful, although the buccal cavity stretches qui
|Although Cyprichromis, unlike the related Paracyprichromis, prefer openwater to sheer rock faces, they nonetheless appreciate the security of tall plants or rock piles to dart into if needbe. These available hiding spots will keep the Cyps out in the open, helping convince their tankmates that the water's fine and it's safe to come out.
|Blue, Yellow, Brown
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