Practical Information About Keeping, Breeding and Buying Dwarf Cichlids
The many varieties of Pelvicachromis taeniatus are among the most colorful of the West African dwarf cichlids. There are a large number of different named varieties of P. taeniatus that are offered on occasion. Unfortunately, the collecting area for this species is remote and poorly explored. There are obvious color differences in populations that are found in Nigeria and the more northern and southern parts of Cameroon. However, there are countless intermediate forms and identification of aquarium specimens is almost impossible without exact collection data.
Unfortunately, even with exact collection information it is still possible that a given name is wrong as there are many accounts of fish collected from the exact same locality introduced to the hobby under different names.
Pelvicachromis. taeniatus are typical of the genus. They usually form strong pair bonds and both parents will share in tending the fry. P. taeniatus will often be slow to mature and are often several years old before they successfully pair up and reproduce. They do best in soft water with a pH of about 6 at a temperature of 78°F. They will take most frozen and prepared foods but be sure their diet contains a significant amount of vegetable matter. Although they relish live foods they will benefit greatly from vegetables in their diet.
Pelvicachromis taeniatus are often easy aquarium residents. A bonded pair makes a great addition to a community tank and in a single species tank they will provide hours of fascinating behavior and colorful displays.
It is not common to find Pelvicachromis taeniatus in local pet stores, although, some stores do have them on occasion. Pelvicachromis taeniatus are sometimes imported with common kribs (Pelvicachromis pulcher). So, If you find a shop with a tank full of wild kribs take a good hard look and you might find an unexpected gem.
Until recently it was quite difficult to find Pelvicachromis taeniatus from breeders or specialists. However, in the past few years it has become common to see various strains of this species offered for sale. If you are looking for a source check out our Buying Fish section.
In summary, the various forms of Pelvicachromis taeniatus are colorful and interesting dwarf cichlids. They are fairly easy to maintain and breed and are highly recommended to all fish keepers.