Finley's Cichlid

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Benitochromis finleyi - (Trewavas, 1974)
Finley's Cichlid

A relatively small African species with full-size cichlid spirit.


Here is a character, feisty and full of typical African cichlid spunk, but in a manageable size. Benitochromis finleyi is characterized by iridescent blue coloration on the cheeks, operculum and anterior portion of the body. Males are larger with a dorsal fin trimmed in red or orange.

Family: Cichlidae

Other common name(s):

  • Mungo

Native range:

Habitat: Finley’s Cichlid is a substrate-sifting cichlid that will require a tank with a fine-grade or rounded-gravel substrate with lots of open swimming room, and plenty of rocks and inverted flowerpots in which to hide. They generally do not uproot live plants, although they may dislodge roots during their normal foraging activities.

Maximum length: 10 cm (4 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 114 L (30 gal)

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

General swimming level: Near substrate.


Carnivore. This species will accept a variety of commercial meaty fare, including cichlid flakes and pelleted foods, as well as freeze-dried, frozen and live foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp.

Aquarium Compatibility

Finley’s Cichlid is moderately tolerant of its own kind, except during spawning, but is generally peaceful with similar-size fishes. Purchase a group of juveniles and let them pair up. However, individual pairs may become aggressive toward other species and will probably need to be relocated to their own tanks later on.


This is a bi-parental mouthbrooder that practices long-term defense of their fry.


Strong filtration and regular water changes are a must.

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