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Raspberry Head - Callochromis pleurospilus

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Item: 211104

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Females of this strain and slender and silver but males develop a stunning multicolored body. The sides are pink and green with whitish fins, blue in the face and lips, and red in the dorsal and forehead. They are best kept with one male to several females with plenty of room to escape as males can become very territorial, especially while breeding.



Cichlids from Lake Tanganyika can be divided into several main varieties. Some of the most popular are the shell-dwellers and torpedo-like bottom-dwellers from the genera Lamprologus, Neolamprologus, Altolamprologus and Julidochromis. These fish are very similar and the sceintific classification of some, especially the Neo/Alto/Lamprologus cichlids, have been reclassified often in recent years. Cichlids from the Cyprichromis and Paracyprichromis genera are open-water sardine-like fish usually found in schools in their native lake. Tropheus cichlids and the “Frontosa's” from genus Cyphotilapia are popular large cichlids that seem beastly in comparison to the tiny “Lamps” and “Julies”. Other types of Tanganyikan cichlids include goby-like bottom-dwellers and fish known to sift through mouthfuls of substrate. Many regional variants exist in these groups.



The water chemistry in the African rift lakes is notoriously unique. Lake Tanganyika is particularly hard with a very high pH, although many fish that have been captive-bred may be acclimated to more moderate conditions similar to those in Lake Victoria or Lake Malawi. As many Tanganyikan cichlids are sensitive to water quality and changes in water quality, make sure conditions are stable.



Décor for a Tanganyikan aquarium should provide rockwork for the cichlids to hide in and around and can be created using tufa rock or lava rock. As most species sift through the substrate, open areas should also be provided. Tanks housing open-water or larger species should be more sparsely decorated. The substrate for these aquariums should be fine and smooth-edged; whitish coral sand or black buffered substrate is popular. Wood tends to lower pH and is not usually recommended for African cichlid aquariums.



Visit That Fish Blog for more information from our marine biologists and aquarium staff on African cichlids and many other topics!
Common NameRaspberry Head Pleurospilus
Scientific NameCallochromis pleurospilus
OriginLake Tanganyika (Africa)
Max Size (in inches)4
Community SafeYes, with caution (African cichlids only)
pH Range8.2-9.2
DietCarnivore
Min Tank Size (in gallons)45
Temperature Range76-80
DifficultyEasy

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