Fuelleborni Cichlid

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Labeotropheus fuelleborni - Ahl, 1926
Fuelleborni Cichlid

A interesting Mbuna cichlid from Lake Malawi, this species is now available in many color forms. Note typical egg spots on this male's anal fin. JJPhoto.dk


With bright colors and a fleshy, downturned snout adapted for grazing, the Fuelleborni Cichlid is a curious looking fish with fascinating breeding behaviors. Its size and aggressiveness dictates having at least a 55 gallon (209 L) tank with a rocky aquascape. Best kept in groups of one male to several females. The male usually sports large, orange egg spots on its anal fin.

Family: Cichlidae

Other common name(s):

  • Blue Mbuna

Native range:

Habitat: Found in extreme shallows of Lake Malawi, where it grazes algae growing on rocks.

Maximum length: 17 cm (7 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 209 L (55 gal)

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

General swimming level: Bottom to midwater.


Omnivore that feeds primarily on algae and vegetable-based foods, such as Spirulina, dried seaweed, leaf lettuce, herbivore flakes and tablets. Will also take enriched brine shrimp, mysid shrimp, black worms and other meaty foods for conditioning.

Aquarium Compatibility

This is not a community fish, but might be housed with Synodontis spp. catfish or other aggressive African cichlids.

Special Care

Needs hard, alkaline water, pH 7.8-8.5; KH 10-18.


Lays large eggs which are gathered up and held in the female's mouth for approximately three weeks until hatching. The fry return to her mouth for protection for about another week.


Captive breeding is producing many color forms.

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