23 May, 2010

Eye Biter Cichlid

The Malawi Eye Biter fish has an elongated body shape, it has a triangle-shaped head, which is the best way to identify a eye biter cichlid. 
This species has a reputation for eating the eyes of other fishes in the wild. That' s what behind it's name. Some feel that the eye-eating is a result from an attempt to blind its prey, other think that the eyes are a delicacy for the fish. Strangely though, this behavior has not been observed in home aquarium.
Difficulty of care: 5. A hardy fish that requires a large tank. Be aware that this species is piscivorous. Live foods are required in the diet of this fish.

In the wild this fish is a predatory fish, and they have a large mouth to catch prey. Body coloring ranges from silver to bright blue. The males usually have shining blue color, while the females have paler coloration, and more silvery. After the edges of the scales are orange giving the fish a spotted appearance. The crest of the back is a rusty-orange color and the caudal fin is body colored. The anal fin may be dark blue to bright orange with some blue. Like most other Afican cichlid the males have egg spots in their anal fin. The egg spots are white in colour. The dorsal fin is elongated and can be blue and orange-spotted with a red edging.
Maximum Size of Eye Biter Cichlid: The eye biter cichlid can reach upto 10" (25 cm) in home aquarium, in the wild they reaches slightly larger.
Habitat of Eye biter cichlid: The Eye-biter cichlid inhabits Lake Malawi in Africa. They like to be in the thickets of Vallisneria that grow from a sandy substrate.
In home aquarium they like to stay in the middle layer. But they move alost in any layer, top,bottom, for food.
Aquarium: 40-55 gallons is sufficient for smaller fish. Adult fish need larger tanks, height is not that important, a 1.5' is okay in most cases. Larger tanks are appreciated because this fish likes large open swimming areas. Use a coral sand substrate with large rock structures to create its natural environment. The sides and the corners of the tank should be heavily planted with Vallisneria. Use a filter that causes little or no current.
Water chemistry: 7.5-8.8pH is okay although they can suit in large pH variation.
Social behavior: The Malawi Eye-biter can be kept with other cichlids and catfish that are over 5" (13 cm) in length. Since they will eat any smaller fishes fit in their mouth, try to keep away from small fishes in the tank housing one or more eye biter. Keeping one male with several females is a good idea, else the male will harass the female.
Other Lake Malawi Haplochromines, Synodontis catfishes, mbunas, Polypterus, Afromastacembelus are mostly suggested to be kept with this fish.
FOOD: Live fish are the best food for this fish, although they will happily consume dry and processed food. The prey are taken tail-first, the only known predator that consumes its food in this manner. 
Sexual differences: Males are more brightly colored with obvious egg-spots of the anal fin.
Breeding techniques: Breeding can be accomplished in a large tank with an abundance of Vallisneria and rock structures. Place one male with several females. The fry are incubated for about three weeks in their mother's mouth,  that's why these fishes are called mouthbrooder. when they first emerge. Start feeding the young with Artemia and daphnia.
 Breeding is especially possible in a large tank with only the one male and several females being placed in it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

  © Blogger templates Palm by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP