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Thick Skin Cichlid

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Thick Skin Cichlid (Astatotilapia sp. thick skin)

Photo of: Thick Skin Cichlid (Astatotilapia sp. thick skin)

Scientific Name(s): Haplochromis sp. 44, Astatotilapia sp. thickskin, Haplochromis sp. thickskin, Astatotilapia sp. thick skin, Haplochromis sp.44 Red Tail


Common Name(s): Thick Skin, Haplochromis sp.44 Red Tail, Obliquidens (misnomer), Haplochromis obliquidens (misnomer)


Family: Cichlidae


Species Type: African Cichlids, Lake Victoria


Maximum Size: 5 inches


Life Span: 10 years


Natural Habitat: West African Lake Victoria


Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons


Tank Region: All over


Possible Tank Mates: Other african cichlids, syndontis catfish


Description: This is an absolutely beautiful Victorian species. The males have just about every color of the rainbow from a very early age. This fish is not an obliquidens. It was erroneously named 'obliquidens' years ago because of its striking similarity to Hilgendorf's find in 1888, Haplochromis obliquidens, which has not been circulated in the hobby, and is assumed by many authorities to be extinct. This fish will probably be classified into the Astatotilapia genus.


Temperature Range: 75°F - 82°F



pH Range: 7.2 - 8.5

pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0


Hardness Range: 5° - 20°



Breeding Information: These fish will begin spawning at an early age. My fish spawn at under two inches, about ten months post release. It is common for the females to abort the first couple of spawns before becoming excellent mothers. First spawns number between ten and fifteen eggs, the female holding them in her buccal cavity. They, as with most Victorians, are mouth brooders. A good sign that spawning is in the works occurs with males squaring off with each other, becoming very colorful. The female will sport an ovipositor, a small nipple on her belly, that will become larger as the actual spawning draws closer. These fish choose a flat stone, usually in a cave as the spawning location. The two breeders will circle each other making dry runs before the first egg appears. The female will drop one egg at a time, circle around and pick it up. The male will lay on his side as the female nips his genitalia, causing the release of sperm. When the female is done the male will still harass her, wanting more spawning. Do not feed the tank for a day as I fed the fish in an attempt to curb the male away from the female that was finished spawning. The female looked at the food, then spit out the eggs. It was the last time I made that mistake!


Sexing Information: Males are far more colorful starting around 1.5 inches in length.


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


Temperament: Aggressive


Common Diseases: None specific to species


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African Cichlids, Lake Victoria


Keith Pardee

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