Egyptian Mouthbrooder
Egyptian Mouthbrooder

Egyptian Mouthbrooder, Dwarf Victoria Mouthbrooder - Pseudocrenilabrus multicolour

Egyptian Mouthbrooder
Egyptian Mouthbrooder - Copyright

Common name: Egyptian Mouthbrooder, Dwarf Victoria Mouthbrooder
Scientific name: Pseudocrenilabrus multicolour
Synonyms: Paratilapia multicolor, Haplochromis multicolor, Hemihaplochromis multicolor
Max size: 3.2 inch / 8 cm
Temperatur:  68-75˚F / 20- 24˚C
pH: 6.5-7.5

The Egyptian Mouthbrooder is hardy little cichlid that is very suitable for beginners. It is easy to keep and breed. This cichlid used to be very common a few decades ago but have become increasingly rare over the year. You can still find it in stores from time to time but is not a part of the standard stock in most fish stores.

The Egyptian Mouthbrooder is native to north-east Africa and is widespread in this area. It was first imported to Europe in 1902. This species is also known as "Dwarf Victoria Mouthbrooder". The name multicolor means “many colors”.

This species can be kept in pairs or in harems with one male and 3-4 females.

Aquarium setup

Egyptian Mouthbrooders can be kept in relatively small aquariums and a group can be kept in a 20 gallon / 90L tank.  The aquarium should be decorated with densely planted areas as well as open areas, and the fish should be provided with plenty of suitably sized caves. At least one cave per fish is required. Small split clay post and coconuts make good caves. It is a good idea to create natural territorial borders since some fish can be quite aggressive and natural territorial borders can help defuse this aggressiveness.  Egyptian Mouthbrooders are suitable for community tanks with similarly sized fish that are though enough to tolerate the temperament if the Egyptian mouth brooder. Do not keep Egyptian Mouthbrooders with timid fish.

This species is hardy but it is still important to keep the water quality as high as possible. The pH should be kept around 7 (6.5-7.5) and the temperature in the 68-75˚F / 20- 24˚C range. Soft to medium hard water is to be preferred.

Feeding the Egyptian mouth brooder

The Egyptian mouthbrooder will accept almost all food and can be feed flake food. You should strive to give them a varied diet. They do well on a base diet of flake food but I highly recommend complementing the diet with frozen food. These fishes really appreciate live food every now and then.

Sexing Egyptian mouthbrooder

This species is very easy to sex. Males are larger and much more colorful. Females are smaller and colorless, one might even say dull. The males have red spots on the caudal fin which are not present on females.

Breeding Egyptian mouthbrooder

This species is very easy to breed and a perfect choice for anyone who want to breed their first cichlid or their first mouth brooder. Condition the fish by giving them a good varied diet. Increasing the temperature can help trigger spawning. They dig a hole in the sand where they spawn. The female will then take the eggs into her mouth where she will keep eggs and fry for about 10 days. Once the fry is released they will retreat into the mothers mouth at night or when in danger during the next week or so. The female becomes very aggressive after spawning and if kept in a small aquarium the male has to be removed after spawning or the female might kill him. In larger aquariums, the male can stay but he will need good hiding places. Each spawning only results in a small number of fry; usually below 40 but in rare cases a spawning can result in up to 80 fry.  Egyptian Mouthbrooder fry can be fed newly hatch brine shrimp from day 1.