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Pinstripe damba - Paretroplus menarambo

Pinstripe damba - Paretroplus menarambo

Scientific name: Paretroplus menarambo

Common name: Pinstripe damba

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 11 - 13 cm (4.33 - 5.12 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.5 - 7.5

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 6 - 17°N (107.14 - 303.57ppm)

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: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Middle levels


Africa; Pinstripe damba is endemic to Madagascar where it was found in Lake Sarodrano. It is now classed as extinct in the wild.


The expected life span for Paretroplus menarambo is 8-12 years.

Short description

Rocks and bogwood should be added to the tank to create hiding places, the substrate needs to be sand as they are sand sifters in the wild. Pinstripe dambas require a lot of room so a large tank is a must. They are very slow at reaching maturity, often up to two years and as they are now extinct in the wild you should consider carefully before purchasing a specimen. Often it is best to purchase these with the intent to breed them so you will require patience. They are extremely intolerant of poor water conditions so make sure that regular water changes are performed and that you also use a filtration system that is capable of dealing with the large amounts of waste that these fish produce.

They are best kept in small groups, another reason for using a large aquarium, if kept singly or in pairs they may become aggressive. They can be housed with bottom dwelling catfish or other Madagascan cichlids that require the same water parameters.

Food and feeding

Pinstripe damba will accept all foods. Use quality flake or pellets but supplement the diet with live or frozen foods like blood worms or brine shrimp.


There are no visible differences between the sexes.


Paretroplus menarambo

are substrate spawners; provide some flat rocks or wood to act as spawning sites. The adults do not reach sexual maturity until they are 2-3 years of age. If you are intending on breeding these fish it may take a while before you get any success. Due to the difficulty in sexing them it is best to purchase a small group of juveniles and grow them on which will allow them to pair naturally. To trigger the spawning performing a cold water change may help and keep the lighting subdued as bright lighting will distract them. Like many cichlids the chosen spawning sites will be cleaned by the parent fish and the eggs will either be deposited on the chosen site or even a pit in the substrate. Both parents will tend the eggs and fry which should hatch out after 4-5 days. When the fry are free swimming they can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp.


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Pinstripe damba, picture 1 Pinstripe damba, picture 2 Pinstripe damba, picture 3 Pinstripe damba, picture 4

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