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Malawi eye-biter - Dimidiochromis compressiceps

Malawi eye-biter - Dimidiochromis compressiceps

Scientific name: Dimidiochromis compressiceps

Common name: Malawi eye-biter

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 15 - 25 cm (5.91 - 9.84 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 7.6 - 8.6

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 9 - 19°N (160.71 - 339.29ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 23 - 28 °C (73.4 - 82.4°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

Food and feeding

Malawi eye-biters are highly carnivorous. Dimidiochromis compressiceps will accept cichlid pellets, krill, mussels, and shrimp. Do not be tempted to feed them feeder fish as this could make them more aggressive to their tank mates.


Africa; this species is endemic to Lake Malawi.


Males tend to be much more colorful than the females. The females will often display a silvery body color.


As with most Malawi’s, these are mouth brooders. The female’s mouth will enlarge and she will stop eating when she is holding young. Incubation is normally a 4 week process and the fry will be spat out when they are large enough to fend for themselves.


The expected life span for Malawi eye-biter is 5-8 years.

Short description

The aquarium should be set up with minimal ornaments. Malawi eye-biters prefer an open tank as they are a very fast, active fish. The tank also needs to be large as adult specimens can reach 9-12” in length.


Thanks to Marwin! Other pictures were bought from

Malawi Eye-Biter Malawi Eye-Biter, image 2 Malawi Eye-Biter, image 3 Malawi Eye-Biter, image 4 Malawi Eye-Biter, image 5 Malawi Eye-Biter, image 6

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