Telmatochromis bifrenatus is a delightful little cichlid native to Lake Tanganyika. It is not as vividly colored and intricately finned as the more well-known and illustrious Tanganyika cichlids, but it is still a popular cichlid since it is easy to keep and much more peaceful than its more strikingly ornamented relatives. Its fairly non-aggressive temperament and relatively petite size makes it possible to house in comparatively small aquariums, and it is known to spawn in captivity without any extensive coaxing from the aquarist.
Telmatochromis bifrenatus has an elongated body that ends in a big, blunt head. Adult specimens usually stay below three inches in length and can be housed in aquariums no bigger than 10 gallons.
Providing your fish with a varied and nutritious diet is naturally always important, but it becomes especially imperative if your want to breed Telmatochromis bifrenatus. High-quality flake food or cichlid pellets can be used as a base, and supplemented with plenty of live food such as adult brine shrimp, whiteworms, mosquito larvae, and similar.
Breeding Telmatochromis bifrenatus
Telmatochromis bifrenatus is easy to breed in captivity and the main thing to do is simply to keep them in good condition. Make sure that water chemistry, temperature, levels of organic waste etcetera are kept at ideal levels and provide your cichlids with a varied and nutritious diet. The aquarium should be well decorated; try to mimic the natural habitat in Lake Tanganyika to which Telmatochromis bifrenatus is adapted. Do not expect your fish to start spawning as soon as your bring them home, they may need several months before they get into the right mood. During courtship, the fish will carry out an impressive “dance” where it moves its body up and down in a fashion vaguely similar to that of a slithering snake. The parents should be kept with their offspring because they will care for there young ones and fend off hungry adult fish.
The parents will take care of most of the fry care for you, as long as you carry out water changes and feedings. Newly hatched brine shrimp is a suitable first food for Telmatochromis bifrenatus fry. The fry are quite sturdy and will grow fast in the aquarium.
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