Pelvicachromis taeniatus ‘Moliwe’

This pair of P. taeniatus ‘Moliwe’ were born in my fish room from wild parents.  I gave this pair to a friend when they were just old enough to sex, and he kept them as the only fish in a heavily-planted tank for over a year.  They spawned several times for him, but he was not really trying to save any fry.  When I heard that he still had the pair I asked if I could borrow them to get a few spawns from, and he responded by giving the pair back to me (he has fry in the tank that will grow up).

I am very happy to have this species back.  This is my favorite location variety of P. taeniatus.  I was able to collect fish at Moliwe (in Cameroon) in 2009, but I did not bring any back with me because I had some wild fish at home already.  One of my dreams is to one day have a BIG tank set up as a Moliwe biotope, complete with the barbs, killies, cichlids and plants from that location.  Since the barbs and other endemic cichlid (Benitochromis nigrodorsalis) are larger and more aggressive than the P. taeniatus, I will need the tank to be at least 6 feet long.

P. taeniatus is not very aggressive towards other species.  They are very territorial towards other P. taeniatus, however, which will be apparent in this video.

10 Replies to “Pelvicachromis taeniatus ‘Moliwe’”

  1. HEy Ted,
    havent talked to you for awhile glad to see you got the web-page back up. with looking at this video can I ask why the mirror is in the tank?
    Jeff from pittsburgh

    1. Hi Jeff,

      The mirror provides a ‘competitor’ for the fish. The display that they are doing in front of the mirror is intended to drive the fish in the mirror away.


  2. Hello Ted,
    First off, I really enjoyed following the Breeders Cup Challenge this past year. I found your website while going through archives on Aquariacentral and am pleased that I did. Glad to see that you were able to get your “moliwe” back, it was a pleasant surprise after reading that you didn’t in the Jan. TFH. I acquired 2 pair of these(f1) off Aquabid from a breeder in Seattle. I’ve had them lay eggs 5 times now(still rather young fish) yet have not had any luck with them raising them yet. Both pair are in a 20 long and aggression has not been a major issue yet. It is a heavily planted tank though. If I do start to pull the fry, would you recommend that I keep the fry seperated in order to aid in the genetic diversity of the species? Both pair are from the same wild parents. I know these are not a common species and would like to do my part to keep the strain as diverse as possible. I am glad to have found your fishroom and thank you for the great reading.
    C.J. in Appleton, WI.

    1. Hi CJ
      Thanks for keeping up with the Breeder Challenge! It was a lot of fun, but I am glad it is over (even though I lost). With regards to your P. taeniatus ‘Moliwe’, has ONE pair spawned five times? How long are the fry surviving before you lose them? Since the two pairs you have are siblings, I would not be too concerned about keeping the fry separated. A good resource for questions like this is We have a good group of westie keepers from all over the world participating on that forum. A good local source for westies is Jeff lives in Mequon, WI, and just got an order of westies in.

  3. Is there any chance soon you are coming before the MAS Show in minnesota?
    I ask you that because I’m really interested in getting either a pair or a group of fry of Pelvicachromis taeniatus ‘Moliwe’?
    I live now in Minneapolis, MN. Is there any chance you ship fish to MN?

    Thanks for replying to my request.


    Yieng-Kong Ly.

  4. Hello Ted,
    First of all,your fishes are wonderful.I would like to ask you some things about biotope of Pelvicachromis taeniatus ‘Moliwe’.How is the biotope near the village of Moliwe?I am setting up a new aquarium for these beautiful cichlids and I want to approach as far as it is possible their real biotope.What plants and what substrate to put?
    Thank you very much.I am looking formard to hearing from you.
    Dimitrios Tsoulos

    1. Hello Dimitrios,

      The land around Moliwe is now all palm oil groves. The stream is no longer shaded, and the banks are eroding a bit. All the plants are marginal (nothing in the current) and is mostly a grass/bamboo. There are some clumps of an Anubias barteri species. I did not see any Crinum plants where we collected. The stream is swift with lava rock cobbles in fine sand. Other species we collected included Benitochromis nigrodorsalis (which I would not put in the same tank), Barbus camphthacanthus (actually a pretty variety… most are ugly gray/brown), Procatopus similis (I think…. and these would be very good dithers) and a few catfish species (all predatory).

  5. Hi Ted

    Oliver has sent me a couple shots of Moliwe, just what you describe about the volcanic cobbles. But what I cannot see is the sand -is it normal, yellowish sand, or a dark brown or black volcanic sand? And were all the Anubias growing emersed?


    1. I remember light colored sand, and there were a few submersed Anubias. THere were also some crinum. Other fish we netted in the same place as P. taeniatus were Benitochromis nigrodorsalis, Barbus camptacanthus and Procatopus sp. (I think P. similis).

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