Blue Dolphin (Cyrtocara moorii) is a beautiful aquarium fish brought from Africa. This is a cichlid, distinguished by its bright and memorable color, as well as the unique shape of the body with a fat bump on the forehead.
Fish with such a romantic name can not be ugly. The similarity with the dolphin is really noticeable (as shown by numerous photos on the Internet). High convex forehead, thick moving lips, lean body and backward-directed fins.
This is a blue dolphin – aquarium fish, which changes several shades of blue for a life cycle.
Description of a little dolphin. For the first time, a blue white-lipped cichlid dolphin was imported from Africa, where it can grow up to 25 cm in length.
Under the conditions of a home aquarium, a dolphin can be grown to a maximum of 20 cm.
Dolphin it is called due to external similarity with this mammal. At the beginning of their life, the fry do not resemble dolphins too much, but as they mature, a pad of adipose tissue is formed on the forehead, due to which a great similarity is manifested.
Under the bulging forehead are large eyes and prominent lips.
Adults individuals of light blue tint with unexpressed spots. During the mating season, the shade of the male becomes bright blue, and the forehead turns yellow, transverse stripes appear on the body.
Against the background of the inhabitants of the underwater world, Malawian cichlids are a unique behavior and catchy coloring. A bright representative is the blue dolphin fish, the content and appearance of which have ensured popularity among aquarists.
In the adult, there is a clear resemblance to the mammal of the same name.
Brought about 50 years ago to Europe, these fish do not cease to amaze with their character, which runs counter to the rest of the cichlids. They are peaceful, fearful, good-natured and curious.
Skirmishes for the territory can be observed between males, but in general, there is no problem in choosing a neighborhood in an aquarium.
Coming from African Lake Malawi in nature can reach a length of 25 cm. In an aquarium, depending on its size, the size varies from 8 to 20 cm.
The main features are as follows:
- the head is large, the eyes are mobile, there is a large fat cone on the forehead;
- dorsal fin long (from head to base of tail). Pectoral and abdominal fins are short and thin, the tail is symmetrically bilobed;
- body flattened laterally, high and slightly elongated, has a beautiful blue color. Large dark spots are noticeable in its center and on the tail, and black stripes on the sides;
- young dolphins are gray-bluish with a metallic sheen. On the sides of the body – dark transverse stripes.
During conflicts or other processes of arousal, the coloring of males becomes brighter, turning into blue. The throat and fins at the same time practically turn black.
Gender is determined visually easily. Males are larger and brighter, their tail fins are blue.
With age, the forehead acquires a shade of yellowness, and in the period of spawning it becomes clearly yellow.
The female is less intensely colored; small red dots may be present on the tail.
Many attribute intelligence to them: fish are able to get used to the owner, communicate with him as he approaches the aquarium, and even show emotions.
They demonstrate their beauty in front of their fellows: what is the “demonstration performance” of a young feathered male who spread his fins in front of a female!
Feeding this cichlid species should be correct – balanced and with a rich diet. This is the basic rule of breeding – it becomes the key to success.
Feeding necessarily varied with the addition of dry and live food. It is also necessary to take into account the preferences of specific individuals and include in the diet more of their favorite food containing proteins and vegetable components.
Balanced diet matters. In spite of the fact that any food is adequately perceived, a well-composed menu should contain a lot of protein (for example, a strawberry or artemia will work).
It should be remembered that in nature they are omnivorous predators that feed on benthos (organisms that live on the soil of the reservoir and inside it). Therefore, aquarium dolphins also eat small fish.
However, it is safe to give such food, if you are confident in its quality. The presence of pathogenic microorganisms can provoke putrefactive processes in the aquarium.
Permissible frozen and dry food, various kinds of minced meat and concentrates. Plant foods that stimulate digestion and are rich in vitamins are also needed.
When applying the efforts in the organization of food, it is necessary to fix the amount of food eaten. Looking at with what appetite the blue beauties eat it, you can not notice the overfeeding.
And he, in turn, will lead to obesity and dystrophy of organs.
Of course, dry foods with different functions are considered to be the most popular – to improve color, with vitamins, for food of fry, etc.
For proper and comfortable aquarium maintenance for fish, it is better to choose a spacious one – from 300 l and more. Another prerequisite is to maintain the purity and constant, constant parameters of water. At home, the fish live in African lakes, where the water is alkaline and the water temperature is 28 degrees.
In the aquarium, the dolphin will feel fine if you try to maintain the temperature between 24 and 28 degrees.
If it is too soft, you will need to make it hard artificially, for example, by putting coral chips into the ground. Some razvodchiki believe that this water can negatively affect the vision of cichlids, but this fact has not been scientifically confirmed.
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The blue dolphin will best be acclimatized in a tank with coarse sand, densely planted with bushy plants with powerful roots. Aquarium dolphins feel great subject to the following rules:
- bright light;
- increase in water temperature to 30 degrees;
- changing the third part of the water in the aquarium every week, provided that it is first passed through biological filters;
- alkaline water reaction;
- good organization of aeration.
Cichlids need space for swimming, as well as the presence of a large number of shelters in the form of caves, grottoes, a variety of snags and stones.
In the aquarium, the blue dolphin is mainly located in the middle part or closer to the bottom. It is best to place individuals in a separate species aquarium, since, despite their impressive size, they are too shy.
The most convenient way is to maintain 8 to 12 fish at once, so they look very impressive, and they do not have to divide the free space.
Usually there are more females in the group, but the male becomes the main one. Thus, during puberty, a struggle for supremacy occurs and a leader appears among the males.
This blue dolphin will be the main one in its group.
Aquarium conditions largely determine the behavior of these fish. So, feeling free in a water volume of 200-250 l, they swim confidently, grottoes and arches are examined with interest (they must be made in advance), they can begin to study the root system of plants.
They live in the lower and middle layers of water, like good aeration and do not tolerate dirt.
The optimum water temperature is 24-28 ° C, but a couple of degrees in either direction will not play a negative role. There are no special complaints about rigidity: acceptable indicators are within 5-20 degrees. The rate of the alkaline index is 7.2-8.5 (the shift is more to the alkaline side).
But even ensuring the stability of these parameters, once a week a third of water should be changed to fresh.
People from the African continent like bright lighting, although wandering around the curtains and hiding in caves for them is a pleasant pastime.
It is desirable to choose the soil sand, with a coarse-grained structure. Color does not matter.
Plants come with a strong root system, firmly fixed in the soil. The second option, allowing to ensure their safety, is to plant in special pots, which are placed at the bottom, respectively, the designer’s ideas.
Dolphins do not like to live alone. The best option for them is when there are 2 females per male (if the territory allows, harmonious living will also be two males and three females).
The issue of compatibility of such fish in an aquarium is rather a warning character. Dolphins themselves will not show aggression towards their neighbors (not counting the “little thing” that they will not refuse to eat). But big relatives – cichlids – can offend their aggression.
You can not settle with mbuna or similar species.
The best aquarium relationships according to the descriptions add up with frontoses, African catfishes, veil synodontis, aulonocara, and others. The barbs will do as well.
Beautiful aquarium in which the blue dolphin and the contrast labidochromis inhabit.
Labyrinth fish and natural cat bottom cleaners harmoniously complement the dolphin society.
The aquarium with blue dolphins contained is beautiful and original. Folding colors can affect the nervous system of a person soothingly, bring a lot of positive emotions.
But harmony can be achieved only by scrupulous following the rules of maintenance and care of the aquarium. Disregarding the nature of the fish, you will not get a natural tandem.
But, if possible, the result will meet the expectations.
Success in breeding a blue dolphin at home is 90% dependent on their own health. The remaining 10% comes from feeding fish.
The diet requires the inclusion of high-quality oligochaetov.
At the age of three years, Circus Muri reaches sexual maturity. Reproduction occurs in the absence of other fish in the aquarium.
Males, ready for spawning, behave excitedly and may show unusual aggression, but only in relation to other males.
The male carefully examines the bottom and chooses a place for the female to throw the calf. Often this place is the surface of a smooth stone.
If this is not found, digs a hole in the ground.
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