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Dolphin Blue Aquarium Fish

maintenance, care, compatibility

The blue dolphin is a beautiful aquarium from the cichle family, common in Africa. The dolphin was first discovered in the lakes of Malawi and Malombe, and introduced to Europe in 1968.

The dolphin blue is the most popular type of all freshwater Malawian cichlids due to its amazing color and ease of breeding. This fish can also be found under the name “zirtokara muri” or “haplochromis muri”.

Blue dolphins are quite peaceful creatures, prefer to keep a bunch of 3-4 fish. For the optimal number of them in the aquarium, a combination of one male and at least three females will do.

The maintenance of dolphins in an aquarium does not represent special efforts, especially for experienced aquarists, in the presence of a capacity of 200 liters and a beginner can handle it.

The fishes are territorial and like a large open space for swimming, they keep on all layers of water. The main aquarium water parameters: temperature 24-26 ° C, acidity 7-9, hardness 10-17 °.

Mandatory filtering, intensive aeration, the replacement of a third of water weekly. Lighting can be bright.

The soil is desirable sandy or small pebbles, plants need hard-leaved with a strong root system or in pots. Such aquarium plants are well suited: valisneria, cryptocoryne, anubias.

Ferns can be strengthened on the stones, and the leaves of the limnofila will serve as additional feeding for the fish.

Numerous shelters are needed for fish in the form of grottoes, snags, caves, crevices. To recreate the most similar habitat, you can arrange an aquarium with rocky terrain and buildings of stones laid on each other.

Blue dolphins feed on any kind of high-quality live food. It is best suited to feed with a high content of protein: earthworms, live or thawed shrimp, pieces of beef heart or liver, bloodworms, core.

From plant foods suitable dandelion, spinach, lettuce and nettle.

The cichlid blue dolphin is by nature calm and peaceful, even shy. The best option will be its content in the species aquarium, where the dolphin will fully manifest its special habits and will feel free.

In the general aquarium, successful compatibility will be with non-aggressive representatives of cichlids, like aulonocara or other Malawian fishes, and in color it contrasts beautifully with the yellow labidochromis.

Of the other species, dolphins have good compatibility with barbs, catfish, and labyrinths.

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 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.

It is easy to keep dolphins, so if an inexperienced aquarist wants to have a large aquarium, these fish are perfect for him. For such large fish, a spacious aquarium is needed, where you can freely swim and hide.

As a decor it is best to use sandy soil and imitation of gorges and stones.

Aquarium dolphins have an elongated body with a head similar to an ordinary dolphin. It is because of this structure of the skull and the presence of fat cones – they got that name.

If you look at the photos of one and the other, then you can see striking similarities. The size of fish in captivity of 25 centimeters.

The life of the order of 10 years.

The greatest difficulty in the content is the purity of the water. Blue dolphins are very picky about the cleanliness of the aquarium, its size and neighbors.

To maintain microflora it is necessary to constantly update the water.

As in nature, so in the aquarium these fish are omnivorous. Therefore, the choice of feed depends on the capabilities of the owner.

Blue dolphin happy to eat frozen, live, vegetable and artificial feed. However, it is better to give preference to feeds with a higher content of proteins (artemia or tubule). These fish will not give up on other small fish.

But this method of feeding is risky, as it is not always possible to check the health of the young. Many novice aquarists are trying to feed aquarium predators with minced meat or finely chopped meat.

It is absolutely impossible to do this, because the organism of the fish does not provide enzymes for digesting such heavy food, and, therefore, can lead to obesity and atrophy.

Conditions of keeping aquarium dolphins:

  • The volume of the aquarium of 300 liters;
  • Clean and stable water;
  • Stiffness from 7.3 – 8.9pH;
  • Alkalinity 10 – 18dGH;
  • The temperature is about 26 degrees.

As you can see, these fish prefer very hard water. In order to tighten the water, use coral chips. There is an opinion that aquarium fish living in soft water, lose sight.

But confirmation of this has not yet been found.

To design the place of residence of dolphins is best to use sand. So, you will be able to watch how funny specks in it dig. They do not need plants.

You can plant a small bush, but the blue dolphin will either eat the alga, or dig it up. You can create a unique design, using different snags and shelters, which dolphins will love.

Due to the large size and original color of the fish, you can create real masterpieces, photos of which are so common on the Internet.

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.

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