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Marakeli cichlid - Paratilapia polleni

Marakeli cichlid - Paratilapia polleni

Scientific name: Paratilapia polleni

Common name: Marakeli cichlid

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 20 - 28 cm (7.87 - 11.02 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.5 - 7.7

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 7 - 16°N (125 - 285.71ppm)

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: Madagascar

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: aggressive to smaller

Usual place in the tank: Top levels

Food and feeding

In time Marakeli cichlids will accept all foods. Offer them live or frozen foods but vary the diet with quality flake or pellets. Do not give them beef heart of other animal meat as they cannot digest the lipids.


Africa; Marakeli cichlids are endemic to Madagascar.


Males will be slightly larger than the females with extended dorsal and anal fins. The may also have a rounder head shape.


Prior to spawning the male will darken considerably and dig a large pit in the substrate. The female will deposit her eggs in the pit and after 48 hours they fry should hatch. Both parents will show parental care for the brood and may move them around the tank. Once the fry are free swimming, they can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp.


The expected life span for Paratilapia polleni is 5-8 years.

Short description

Generally a peaceful fish but it will show aggression to its own kind. It is best to house a single specimen or a breeding pair. Paratilapia polleni prefer a sandy substrate with plenty of hiding places and demand a high water quality.


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Marakeli cichlid picture 1 Marakeli cichlid picture 2 Marakeli cichlid picture 3

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