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Congo Blackfin – Altolamprologus Calvus


Common name: Congo Blackfin

Scientific name: Altolamprologus calvus, Lamprologus calvus, Lamprologus compressiceps, Neolamprologus calvus

Average Adult Fish Size: 15cm / 6 Inches

Place of Origin: Lake Tanganyika

Typical Tank setup: Rocky Tanganyika tank with plenty of caves and shells.

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 120 Litres

Compatibility: Other Tanganyikan fish.

Temperature: 24-28 Deg C / 74-82 Deg F

Water chemistry:  pH 7.6-8.6

Feeding: Carnivorous – prefers live food but will also accept frozen freeze-dried flake or pellet foods. Good frozen foods include krill or brine shrimp.

Sexing: Males tend to be larger than females with longer more pointed fins.

Breeding: Spawning takes place in a cave, shell, or flowerpot too small for the male to enter. The male releases his milt at the entrance, then the female fans eggs, and remains in the shell till they hatch. She may not come out at all during this time. The male then guards the territory, preventing any other fish from coming near. The female will gaurd the fry as well, but the male will usually attempt to eat the free swimmers. For this reason, the shell with the female should be separated from the male shortly after spawning.

Additional Information: This is a shell dwelling species and as such the tank should contain shells or shell like structures for them to hide and breed in. These cichids generally mind their own business, though they can hold their own in a fight. Their scales are very thick, so they can easily take a few attacks. They are very good fish for Tanganyikan biotypes, as long as there are no small shell-dwellers present.