African Butterfly Cichlid

From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Jump to: navigation , search
Anomalochromis thomasi - (Boulenger, 1915)
African Butterfly Cichlid

An ideal dwarf cichlid: attractive, small, and a good community fish.


This is a lovely dwarf cichlid, with all the behaviors that make this family perennial favorites among aquarists of all skill levels. They are fish with personalities and highly developed breeding behaviors. The African Butterfly Cichlid is a peaceful fish well suited to life in a smaller aquarium.

Family: Cichlidae

Other common name(s):

  • Thomas's Dwarf Cichlid

Native range:

Habitat: In the wild, this species inhabits clear rivers in wooded and bushy areas and will prefer a heavily planted tank with hiding places in the form of rocks, driftwood and inverted flowerpots, with plenty of open areas for swimming. A dark substrate will help to show off its colors. Provide flat stones as spawning sites.

Maximum length: 8 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 76 L (20 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Bottom.


Omnivore. In the wild, this species feeds mainly on insect larvae and algae. In the aquarium, it will accept most prepared foods, including flakes, frozen and freeze-dried foods, two to three times daily. Color-enhancing foods containing carotene will help to bring out the rosy background color and red spotting.

Aquarium Compatibility

This is a peaceful species that forms strong pair bonds and is territorial, especially during spawning. House with peaceful, schooling species that are top swimmers, as well as cave spawners, such as Pelvicachromis spp.


Deposits eggs on flat rocks or plants. Fry guarded by both parents. Difficult to distinguish the sexes.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: KW