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Chisawasawa (Tramitichromis intermedius)

Photo of: Chisawasawa (Tramitichromis intermedius)

Scientific Name(s): Tramitichromis intermedius, Lethrinops intermedia, Trematocranus intermedius


Common Name(s): Chisawasawa


Family: Cichlidae


Species Type: African Cichlids, Lake Malawi


Maximum Size: 6.5 inches


Life Span: 8 years


Natural Habitat: East African Lake Malawi


Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons


Tank Region: All over


Possible Tank Mates: Other less aggressive african cichlids such as haps and peacocks


Description: This gentle species is sometimes thought of as drab in color, but a healthy dominate male is quite beautiful. They sift through the substrate for insect larvae and soft invertebrates that may be living there. This should be kept in mind when selecting the substrate for your tank. Similar to many haps, juveniles and females of the species display three black dots on each side of the body. This can also be seen on sub-dominant males. The male when in full color or courting dress has a metallic sheen to him containing shimmers of many colors. Tramitichromis are mouth brooders and can have broods well up to 100 eggs when full size. Females usually hold for about three weeks and fry reach sexual maturity at about a year in age. These fish get large but are extremely slow growing. The perfect fish to start in a 55 gallon tank, then use as justification in by larger tanks as it grows.


Temperature Range: 72°F - 80°F



pH Range: 7.8 - 9

pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0


Hardness Range: 10° - 15°



Breeding Information: A common mouthbrooder. The male makes a spawning site, by creating a crater in the substrate. The male and female encircle each other, where as the female lays her eggs, and the male fertilizes them. The female then picks the eggs up and carries them in her mouth. The female will carry the eggs and fry for 3-4 weeks. It is best to separate her at this time.


Sexing Information: Males are colorful with iridescent colors of blues and greens on their scales, and some on their fins. The females are more drab, with mostly brown coloration. Both sexes have the three spots markings. The females are also slightly smaller in size when fully grown.


Diet: Omnivorous - does well with cichlid flake or pellet foods. Diet can be suppimented with snails and fresh green vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, romaine lettuce and peas.


Temperament: Somewhat aggressive but more peaceful than most malawi cichlids


Common Diseases: None specific to species.


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African Cichlids, Lake Malawi


Keith Pardee

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