Tropheus brichardi ‘Mpimbwe’ can be quite sensitive and therefore difficult to keep. The aquarium where you house your Tropheus brichardi ‘Mpimbwe’ should have a gravel base and be decorated with rocks. The water must be hard and alkaline, ideally with a pH-value around 8.6 and a hardness around 300 ppm. Keep the temperature at 80 degrees Fahrenheit and provide vigorous mechanical filtration combined with regular water changes. Changing 35-40% of the water every fifth day has proven successful in the past. The levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate must be kept as low as humanly possible. If you still experience troubles, add dolomite to the gravel and feed only small amounts of food each serving. Tropheus brichardi ‘Mpimbwe’ is known to do well on spirulina conditioning flakes. As a last retort, many aquarists have experienced success when using ‘Clout’ and refraining from feeding the fish during the entire treatment cycle.
As your Tropheus brichardi ‘Mpimbwe’ fishes grow older, you can expect quite a lot of fighting until one male has established dominance. It is important to include plenty of hiding spots in the aquarium where submissive fish can retreat. The fighting will normally run in cycles, with relatively peaceful periods being abruptly ended by a lot of violence. Both males and females will fight. The male who manages to establish dominance in the aquarium will lose his stripes and change into a sparkling greenish dress that shimmers in gold. The throat will take on an amazingly vivid orange-yellow shade.
During courtship, the dominant male will start courting a female and the pair will shimmy and circle each other. Since this is a maternal mouthbrooder, the female will pick up the egg and carry them around inside her mouth until the fry is big enough to be released. The brooding period can vary, but expect it to take roughly one month. Do not be surprised if the first few spawnings fail; the females of this species normally need a few “test runs” before they figure out how to raise their offspring.
If the aquarium is well decorated, at least a few fry usually manage to survive in the aquarium with the adults. You can feed them powdered flake food of the same variety that you give the adult fish. If given nutritious food, the fry can reach a length of 1.5 cm within a week after being released and start to fight, or at least dislike, each other.
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