Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza is known under many different names in the hobby, including Tropheus Sp. Aff. Moori, Tropheus Kaiser II, and the Emperor Moorii. Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza is native to Lake Tanganyika and Kariza (spelled with an a) is a small village situated on the Ubwari Peninsula on the northwestern shore of the lake.
Housing Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza
Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza should always be kept in groups of at lest 6 specimens, preferably at least 10-15. Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza is a territorial fish. Preventing violence will be easier in a big aquarium with plenty of fish, but skilled aquarists have managed to keep small groups of Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza in aquariums no bigger than 200 liters. Ideally keep only a few males and let the rest of the group consist of females. Sexing young Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza can however be tricky. Introduce all the specimens to the aquariums simultaneously, otherwise the first ones will claim the entire aquarium.
Decorating the aquarium
Try to mimic the native habitat of Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza when you set up the breeding aquarium. In the wild, Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza inhabits the upper 7 meters of the rocky shore habitat and the aquarium should therefore include plenty of rocks, caves and similar. PVC pipes are also appreciated.
Caring for Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza
As mentioned above, Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza inhabits the upper 7 meters of the rocky shore habitat. In this environment, the water is rich in oxygen and the aquarium should therefore have vigorous water movements that ensures a high oxygen content. The water must be alkaline, from pH 7.8 to 9.0. The temperature should normally be kept in the 23-26 degrees C range. If you want to breed Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza, the temperature should however be 26-27 degrees C.
Feeding Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza
In the wild, Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza feed on so called “aufwuchs”, which is the algae carpet that covers stones and rocks. In this carpet, numerous tiny crustaceans have their home, and Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza will therefore ingest not only algae, but plenty of meaty food as well. Algae will however always make up the main part of the diet. In the aquarium, you should try to mimic this situation. Allow algae to grow on the stones and rocks of the aquarium, since this makes it possible for Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza to engage in its natural grazing behavior. Supplement the natural algae with spirulina based food and small crustaceans, e.g. brine shrimp. These fishes are known to appreciate a mix of spirulina powder, shrimps and boiled green peas.
Sexing Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza
Sexing Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza is very difficult. The opening used for sexual reproduction is large and more rounded in females.
Coaxing Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza to spawn
When keeping Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza, a 50% water change performed once a week or every second week is normally enough. If you want to induce breeding, you should however perform several large water changes during one week. This will normally trigger Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza to spawn.
Spawning Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza
Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza is a maternal mouth-brooder. During the first few spawnings in captivity, it is quite common for the female to spit her offspring prematurely. Try to make her as comfortable as possible in the aquarium and provide her with good hiding spots. If she seems to be harassed by other fish, you can move her to her own aquarium. Being netted and forced to adjust to a new home can however be very stressful for her and can cause her to spit her offspring.
In a cleverly decorated aquarium, Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza fry can survive together with adult fish. Many breeders do however prefer to let the female hold her eggs for two weeks and then forcing her to spit out the young fry in a separate aquarium. If you are okay with a few young ones getting eaten by adult fish, you can refrain from doing this and let the female spit her fry in the adult aquarium when she is ready. This is naturally less stressful for the female and will also allow you to witness the natural Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza fry raring behaviour. Tropheus sp. Black Kiriza fry can be fed crushed spirulina flakes and newly hatched brine shrimp.
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