Parananochromis brevirostris

This is a video of the 40-breeder aquarium where I house a breeding harem of the West African cichlid P. brevirostris (one male, five females and a few juveniles) that I collected in Gabon last February.  The dithers are a school of redcap moon tetras (Bathyaethiops breushegemi) and a couple yellow-tail Congo tetras (Hemigrammopetersius caudalis).  The giant danio is in there to condition to spawn.  If I leave her in with her male they will scatter eggs every day!

This tank is decorated with bog wood and oak leaves.  The cichlids need a low pH to spawn, so I am using straight RO water for changes and dropping the pH with an acid buffer to about pH 5.5.  There are several ‘burrito’ caves for spawning, which are roomy on the inside with a small opening.  I stuff the caves with long-fiber sphagnum moss which lowers the pH in the cave another half point or so.  The females seem to like the plants matter in the cave, and when given a choice of an empty cave they always use one with moss.

Trying these fish as a harem is a new idea.  Until about a month ago I was keeping each female in her own tank and shuffling the male between them (he appears in the video, but only briefly… the king is very shy).  As single pairs they have spawned several times, and I have enough fry on hand that I can now experiment a bit.  No spawns yet, but as you will see in the video the male is paired at the moment.  He chases all the other females.

4 Replies to “Parananochromis brevirostris”

  1. Ted, I love your website! You recently came to my town of Grand Rapids MI and I was able to get some great fish from that visit. I purchased 6 Pelvicachromis Taeniatus from you and got a great pair. I already have fry! Another club member bought a pair of Parananochromis brevirostris, which I was lucky enough to acquire in a trade. I can’t seem to find much info on these guys, wondering how to sex them? I don’t see any differences in the 2 I have aside from size. In your video I see the females have red belly’s and the male has no stripe running down the length of his body. Both of mine have a stripe and no red belly’s. Do I have 2 of the same sex? Do I just need to be patient? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Chris,

      P. brevirostris are hard to sex unless they are fully adult, and even then it is not so easy to do unless they are conditioned well (and ready to breed). The belly/abdomen is the key for females… gravid females will have a swollen, pink/red belly, while a non-conditioned female will still have some color (sometimes an orange/salmon pink color) without a pattern on the edges of the scales. You will notice that the fish have a black edge on most of the scales, but females have less of that pattern on their belly. Hope you have a pair.

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