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Maylandia estherae

Aquarium Lighting Tips: Don’t leave the fish tank lights on all of the time. Try for a 8 to 12 hour period of time for lighting. Most want to have the lights on while they are home. You can get the 8 to 12 hours needed by using a timer. For instance, set it to make the lights come on at 10am and off at 10pm. This will let you view your tank when you get home from work.
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Known in aquaria as the red zebra, one of the common Pseudotrophine cichlids is Pseudotropheus estherae, a rock dwelling fish from the genus Pseudotropheus, (though sometimes placed in the genus Maylandia). These fish, like most cichlids from Lake Malawi, are ‘mouthbrooders,’ females hold their fertilized eggs, then fry, in their mouth until they are released after about 21 days.

Despite their “red zebra” name, these fish are most commonly orange, but they are sexually dimorphic, the males sometimes having reddish stripes.

The males are territorial, and subordinate males will be picked on by the dominant or alpha male. Like the other cichlids of this genus, they are best kept in tanks harems with one male to many females. They prefer a rocky terrain providing numerous hiding places, where weaker fish can find necessary shelter. They also arrange pebbles more often than other aquarium fish which should be smooth to avoid injury to their mouths, in an effort to build a “dwelling”. Their predominate food source is algae though those in aquaria will take typical cichlid foods and some vegetable greens as a treat.

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