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Aquarium fish dolphins

maintenance, care, compatibility

Blue fish dolphins aquarium: with whom they get along and how to care

Beautiful aquarium fish blue dolphins belong to the cichl family. This is one of the most common aquarium fish, deserved popularity due to the unusual appearance and appeasable character. The homeland of animals is hot Africa, where they can be found in the lakes of Malawi.

The blue dolphin arrived in Europe in 1968, and a little later mastered the Soviet (then) aquariums.

These inhabitants of aquariums are distinguished by their peaceful and even nature-shy nature. The fish is completely non-conflicting, but still the best conditions for keeping are the specific aquarium.

Only in this case, she can feel free, showing all the features of behavior.

If this is not possible, then non-aggressive fish from the family of cichlids, such as aulonocara, should become neighbors. In general, any Malawian fish will do. Particularly interesting is the blue dolphin with yellow labidochromis.

Among other species you can choose barbs, labyrinth fish and catfish.

When selecting neighbors it is worth remembering that the fish can mate with livingstone haplochromis, as well as leopard representatives of this species. The color of the offspring in this case is gray-brown with characteristic blue stripes.

The blue dolphin Cyrtocara moorii (formerly Haplochromis moorii) is an unusual aquarium cichlid originally from Lake Malawi in Africa. It is popular among fans of cichlids, primarily for coloring, as well as for the unusual body shape with a large fat cone.

At the same time, blue dolphins are quite rather big aquarium fish, and can reach a size of 25 cm or more. Sufficient peaceful, but males are aggressive towards each other, and it is better to keep them in a harem, from one male and three or four females.

Such a harem lives on its territory, which is carefully guarded only during spawning, at other times remaining more tolerant.

Keep blue dolphins is simple enough, provided that they live in a spacious aquarium, the water in it is stable and clean, and it is decorated correctly. It is best to design in the form of a biotope, with sand as a soil, a large number of stones and various shelters, and free space sufficient for swimming.

Blue dolphins are polygamous fish, form a family consisting of a male and several females. One male can be useful 3-6 females.

Since the sex of dolphins is difficult to determine, the best way to pick up such a harem is to buy from 10 fry and grow them together. Fry become sexually mature with a body length of 12-15 cm, and then they are separated.

The male chooses a place for laying, as a rule, it is a smooth stone or digs a hole for caviar in the ground. After that, spawning begins and the male invites the female and she lays her eggs, and the male fertilizes her.
Since the fish are carrying caviar in the mouth, the female takes it for incubation. The female bears 20 to 90 eggs, and bears them for two to three weeks. The period depends on the temperature of the water and the environment.

After hatching, the female also hides the fry in the mouth at night or when they are in danger. Starter feed for fry – naupilii artemia.

Fry grows very slowly.

Aquarian blue dolphin: the secrets of the content of the fish

In 1902 an endemic of unusual color and shape was seen in Boulanger. It turned out that this fish has a great distribution in local lake waters. Most of them live at a depth of 3 to 15.

It turned out that the beautiful inhabitants of the lakes are predators, but this did not prevent the exotic lovers from starting to breed them in the aquarium.

Cyrtocara moorii, also known as the blue dolphin, belongs to the family of African cichlids that inhabit the waters of Malawi. This fish is very popular among aquarists, as it has an unusual neon shade and a noticeable fat bump. Aquarium dolphin can not be called a small fish, the smallest individuals reach 25 centimeters in length.

They are pretty cute neighbors, one male gets on well with three – four females. During spawning, they may show aggression towards other representatives, but at other times they will not be accused of a cocky character.

Blue dolphin is the most common type of Malawian cyclide. Interestingly, this type of fish, as well as the majority of African cyclides, are optional hermaphrodites, that is, with the creation of certain conditions, they can change their gender. European aquarists got acquainted with blue dolphins relatively recently – in 1968.

The presented fish visually resembles a dolphin mammal, that’s why it is called so. The body of the representatives of this species is somewhat elongated and compacted.

The head is large, the lips are thick, the eyes are large and mobile. Anal and dorsal fins in dolphins are long, but the ventral and pectoral fins, on the contrary, are short.

Males of the blue dolphin have a huge fatty growth on their foreheads. Fish habitat is the sandy shoal of Lake Malawi in Africa. In nature, there are specimens of fish up to 25 cm, while in the aquarium the size of the blue dolphin does not exceed 8-20 cm.

Blue dolphins are long-lived, they can live in captivity up to 15 years.

The color of young fish is slightly different from adults. Juveniles have a gray-blue color.

There are dark transverse stripes on the sides of the body, and huge dark spots are localized in the center, which disappear with time. Color adult dolphins – velvety blue. In the dominant males during the spawning period, the forehead becomes yellow, and the color becomes dark blue.

On the sides appear dark blue transverse stripes.

For the maintenance of blue dolphins requires a huge aquarium with a volume of at least 200 liters and a water temperature of 24-28 degrees. Water change and filtration is a must.

In such conditions, the fish will feel comfortable. It is worth noting that only in huge aquariums it can grow up to 20 centimeters.

There should be a lot of swimming places, but do not forget about the construction of shelters (grottoes, caves, stones, snags). The aquarium dolphin keeps mainly in the middle and lower layers of water.

Aquarists recommend keeping a blue dolphin in a species aquarium, as this fish is quite shy. The aquarium dolphin is a peace-loving fish, although there are cases when males sometimes argue for leadership.

What aquarium dolphins look like :: aquarium fish dolphins :: Aquarium fish

Blue dolphins – aquarium fish belonging to a fairly diverse and widespread order of cichlids. Cichlids live in the rivers and lakes of the tropical belt, namely, in Central and South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. The total number of species is very significant – about 2000.

The size of the representatives of the family varies from 2.5 cm to 1 m. Some species have commercial value, others are very rare and are not even described. There are those that are on the verge of extinction.

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Blue aquarium dolphin – more accurate name Zirtokara Muri – one of the representatives of the cichlid family. The homeland of the blue dolphin is the African lake Malawi.

It is rather shallow and has a sandy bottom. The males of dolphins are very territorial and disputes over their leadership are not uncommon. For their maintenance requires an aquarium of more than 200 liters with a sandy bottom and all sorts of shelters.

There must be at least 2 females per male.
The aquarium dolphin has a tall, elongated, flattened body. The dorsal and anal fins are long and hard; the pectoral and abdominal fins are thin and short.

The tail has a two-legged structure. Under natural conditions, males can grow up to 25 cm.

Aquarium representatives smaller – males about 20, females 17-19 cm.
Young dolphins have a silver-blue color of the body, dark stripes on the sides and the same spots at the base of the tail and on the body. It is impossible to distinguish males from females at this age.
An adult male acquires a velvety blue color. Both males and females have a fatty growth on their heads, which makes them look like a dolphin.

In addition, the fish has big eyes and lips. Males are usually larger and brighter, having from 4 to 7 dark vertical stripes on the side of the body.

Blue tail fin. Females are smaller.

Instead of stripes, they can have two dark spots on the body. Caudal fin covered with reddish dots.
Blue dolphins reach puberty by 9-10 months. The ability to multiply retain up to 7-8 years of age. During the spawning period, the growth on the male’s forehead acquires a yellow-gray color.

In general, blue dolphins live to 15 years.
Under natural conditions, blue dolphins form flocks dominated by females. The dominant position is one of the males.

In order to consolidate his status as a leader, he is starting up skirmishes with other males. However, they do not cause serious injuries to each other.

In general, Tsirtokara Muri is a peaceful fish, and easily gets on with other non-aggressive Malawian species.


Aquarists value cichlids for their bright color. Interest is also the behavior of these fish during the breeding season. Some aquarists prefer to grow fry in an incubator.

The female lays caviar on the previously cleaned surface of the stone or in the hole, which the male digs in the ground. She bears fertilized eggs in her mouth.

All this time – 21 days – the female does not eat, as a result, it loses its strength.
Eggs are removed from the female’s mouth and placed in a separate container. For the normal development of “dolphin offspring” it is necessary to provide in the incubator soft lighting and the presence of fresh running water.

Fry born to night prefer to spend in the mouth of a female. Both parents protect offspring.

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