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Zebra haplokhromis: the rules of the content in the home aquarium

Zebra haplokhromis to this day has no official scientific status and discoverer. This haplochromis comes from Uganda’s waters. According to external signs, the fish is very similar to rainbow haplochromis, however, the color of the fish has more silver tones, and there are 5-6 black transverse stripes on the body.

The belly and chest of haplochroms are red in color like bullfinches. The maximum body length of the female is less than 13 centimeters, females – twice less.

Mature fish become between 10 and 12 months old. Spawning occurs on a sandy or other smooth surface through a special circular system, which is characteristic of incubating cichlid species. With the right approach, a responsible aquarist can get up to 7 – 8 litters.

The productivity of females ranges from 60 to 11 eggs, which are hatched in the mouth of the female for about three weeks at a water temperature of 25 to 28 degrees.

The female, exhausted after spawning, jealously guards the fry for several days, periodically giving the fry a walk and time to feed. The female releases from the mouth of the fry imperceptibly next to the shelter or bush of the plant, with her head down, the female calls the fry to return to a safe shelter.

The young of the zebra haplochromis is perfectly fed by artemia and cyclop seeding. Fry grow rapidly and the brightest individuals grow up to two centimeters in length during the first month with a corresponding increase in body weight.

At about the same time, the first black stripes appear on the body of the fish. Unfortunately, in all litters more than 50 percent are males.

The main food for adults is small insects and their larvae, mollusks and daphnias. Under conditions of captivity, due to exposure to mycobacteriosis, zebra haplochromis is often transferred to mixed feed, after which the color dims significantly.

Chemical parameters for the cultivation of this fish do not play a key role, however, water should preferably be hard, clean and have a weak alkaline reaction.

The presence of organic suspension provokes the development of scabies and dermatitis in fish. Haplochromis respond well to active filtration, water changes and low salinity (no more than 3 ppm).

In large aquariums (more than 150 liters), the haplochromuses are not so aggressive, respectively, you can settle several males in one aquarium without the risk that the boys will fight for territory and females.

Zebra haplochromis calmly relate to aquarium plants and do not dig. There are only two reasons to start digging fish near the plants – the search for food and the arrangement of ritual areas. However, in an aquarium with haplohromes it is not advisable to plant all the free space with plants.

Approximately 1/3 of the total volume of the aquarium is recommended to be left free for swimming. Near the back wall of the aquarium, as a rule, put all kinds of stone and ceramic shelters.

In these shelters are usually found shelter females, weak males and young.

Certain types of Victorian and Malawian cichlids that have similar sizes and habits (for example, Burton’s astattosilapia) get along perfectly well with the zebra. The standard life expectancy of a zebra haplokhrom does not exceed five years in aquarium conditions.

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