African Butterfly

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The African Butterfly Cichlid is known from shallow forest streams and savannah wetlands with muddy substrates. This is a small species that is often overlooked when juvenile, but when settled in to a planted softwater aquarium, it matures into a beautiful fish that is easy to breed. The aquarium should be spacious with a soft sand or fine rounded gravel substrate. There should be plenty of shady hiding places provided amongst areas of dense planting, driftwood, and caves (including a few smooth flat rocks to provide potential spawning sites). Filtration should be efficient, but water movement not too strong, and small partial water changes should be carried out on a regular basis to keep nitrate at a minimum. African Butterfly Cichlids are generally shy, peaceful (except when breeding), and are gregarious, so should be maintained in groups of 8 or more wherever possible. Tankmates should be peaceful and could include small barbs, Corydoras catfish, dwarf gouramis, small Loricariids (suckermouth catfish), rainbowfish, rasboras, and tetras. If kept in cramped quarters, breeding pairs will become quite aggressive towards their tankmates, so adequate space must be provided. Wild caught specimens tend to be more colourful than the tank bred fish, and there are several geographical colour variants, including 'Guinea' and 'Kilissi River'.