Guenther’s mouthbrooder - Chromidotilapia guentheri
Scientific name: Chromidotilapia guentheri
Common name: Guenther’s mouthbrooder
Usual size in fish tanks: 12 - 14 cm (4.72 - 5.51 inch)
Recommended pH range for the species: 6 - 8
Recommended water hardness (dGH): 5 - 19°N (89.29 - 339.29ppm)
0°C 32°F30°C 86°F
Recommended temperature: 23 - 25 °C (73.4 - 77°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: peaceful
Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels
Guenther’s mouthbrooder are to be found on the African continent. The are to be found in Western Africa where they inhabit the larger river tributaries.
These fish belong to the family of Cichlidae and have been classified with the Latin name of Chromidotilapia guentheri. Adult specimens can reach an average length of just under 6 inches, unlike many other cichlids they have a peaceful disposition but can become aggressive at spawning times. They can become aggressive towards their own kind so it is recommended that they are kept as a single pair, two males in the same aquarium can lead to aggression problems. They are often the preferred species for keepers who wish to gain experience with cichlids without having to deal with high levels of aggressive behaviour.
If cared for correctly the average lifespan for Guenther’s mouthbrooder should be at least 10-15 years of age.
To house a single pair the recommended minimum aquarium size should be at least 4 feet (120cm) in length and 1 foot (30cm) wide. They should never be added to a new set up, they require very high water quality and stable water parameters. They are high waste producers so ensure that the filtration is rated for the aquarium water volume or even higher and this should be backed up with large weekly water changes, at least 30% of the water volume. Sand will need to be used for the substrate as they will dig around in this, plants are optional but there is every chance they will be uprooted. Rocks or wood can be added but they are not essential. The water temperature should range between 23-25°C (74-77°F) and the pH should range between 6.0-8.0. Keep the lighting medium to subdued and ensure that the tank is fully cycled, immature set ups will cause parameter swings which are detrimental to the health of the fish.
These fish can be housed with other cichlids but only species of a similar peaceful nature. They will occupy the lower levels of the aquarium so it may be best to add tank mates that prefer the higher levels.
An easy species of fish to feed but they do require a varied diet. They will swim around the substrate sifting for food at times. For the staple diet offer them a quality flake food or cichlid pellets. This should be varied with live or frozen foods such as blood worms, brine shrimp or artemia. They will also benefit with treats of spirulina flake.
Unusually for cichlids, mature females will display a brighter colouration compared to mature males. They may also display a pinkish region around the belly area and also develop a white stripe on their dorsal fin.
Guenther’s mouthbrooder are mouthbrooders which is not unusual for cichlids but they are biparental mouthbrooders. Both parents will take responsibility for incubating and guarding the newly hatched fry in their mouth. They are classed as substrate spawners but if there are flat stones in the aquarium, these will often be preferred. It is usually the ,ale that will select the spawning site and entice the female to deposit her eggs there, when spawning does take place approximately 50-150 eggs will be deposited. These are quickly fertilised by the male they are then scooped up into the female's mouth. Incubation is shared between the parent fish both taking turns to guard their territory as well. The fry will only be released for long periods of time when they are large enough to look after themselves. Initial feeds for the fry should be newly hatched brine shrimp or similar.