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Dolphin Cichlid – Cyrtocara Moorii

Red Zebra

Common name: Dolphin Cichlid

Scientific name: Cyrtocara Moorii, Haplochromis Moorii

Average Adult Fish Size: 20cm / 8 Inches

Place of Origin: Lake Malawi

Typical Tank setup: Rocky Malawi tank with plenty of open swimming space and other less aggressive Malawi cihlids

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 160 Litres

Compatibility: Other Lake Malawi cichlids, typically less aggressive ones.

Temperature: 23-28 Deg C / 73-82 Deg F

Water chemistry:  pH 7.6-8.6

Feeding: Carnivorous – prefers live foods or frozen foods over flake or pellet foods.

Sexing: Very hard to determine. The cranial lump occurs on both the male and the female.

Breeding: Not easy. Keep at least three females for each male. Frequent water changes are essential both for breeding and for the growth of the fry.

Additional Information: Cyrtocara moorii is a beautiful, mild-tempered fish that is a delight to keep. It is commonly known in the hobby as the Malawi Blue Dolphin, and was once classified as Haplochromis moorii. Now it is the only species belonging to the genus Cyrtocara. The nickname Blue Dolphin originates from the shape of its head – a nuchal hump and bill-like mouth – which resembles that of a dolphin. This fish is quite rare in Lake Malawi, although it has a very wide distribution. Notwithstanding, most exports come from Lumbaulo and Malombe. It has been in the hobby for several decades now, being first imported in 1968. In the wild, C. moorii displays a very unique feeding adaptation. Classified as a micro-predator, it follows close behind substrate-digging cichlids – like Taeniolethrinops praeorbitalis, Fossorochromis rostratus, and Mylochromis lateristriga – and feeds on the small edible organisms and particles that get stirred up behind them as they feed.