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Deepwater hap - Placidochromis electra

Deepwater hap - Placidochromis electra

Scientific name: Placidochromis electra

Common name: Deepwater hap

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 10 - 12 cm (3.94 - 4.72 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 7 - 8

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 8 - 20°N (142.86 - 357.14ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 23 - 26 °C (73.4 - 78.8°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: Africa

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: aggressive to smaller

Usual place in the tank: Middle levels


Africa; Deepwater hap is found in Lake Tanzania.


The expected life span for Placidochromis electra is 8 years.

Short description

Always provide a sandy substrate as Deepwater haps will be active all day sifting through it looking for scraps. Provide rock work for hiding places but leave the front of the tank open for swimming spaces. The deepwater hap is a relatively peaceful species compared to other species of the same area so make sure that they are not housed with aggressive species such as mbuna, aulonacara or similar are ideal and will provide harmony in the aquarium. With the larger size of the males these fish should be kept in an aquarium that is capable of holding at least 200-250 litres, larger for a larger group.

Food and feeding

Deepwater hap is a scavenger and will often look for scraps that the other fish have dropped. It will accept all foods offered, use quality flake, krill and brine shrimp, but feed sparingly to prevent bloat occurring. A varied diet will keep these fish healthier and should bring out the best colouration in the fish. Only feed what the fish can eat in five minutes, any uneaten food will decay and lower the level of water quality in the aquarium.


Males tend to be slightly larger than the females with a dark band running through the eye. It will also display a yellow band on the edge of the dorsal fins.


Placidochromis electra are maternal mouth brooders. The female will collect the eggs into her mouth after they have been fertilised and incubate them. This will last for 2-3 weeks and she will hide and refuse to eat during this. When the fry have been released by the female, they can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp.

It is best to purchase a small group of juveniles to obtain a decent breeding group, males will defend a spawning territory towards other males but this aggression is limited and in many cases it is possible to leave subdominant males in the breeding tank but this should be monitored through the breeding project.

Spawning pits are dug into the substrate by the male and he will then display to any females by intensifying his colouration and swimming around the pit. Any females that are ready to spawn will swim to the pit where breeding will take place, once the female has picked up the eggs into her mouth she will then swim the the egg spots at the rear of the male, mistaking them for eggs. The male will then release the sperm into her mouth and fertilisation will take place.


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Deepwater hap, picture 1 Deepwater hap, picture 2 Deepwater hap, picture 3 Deepwater hap, picture 4 Deepwater hap, picture 5

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