Species Article: Lake Victoria & Area

Paralabidochromis chilotes

by Sean Furney

Paralabidochromis chilotes is one of the most easily recognizable of the Lake Victoria Cichlids with its striking coloration and large lips that make it easy to distinguish. With their adult size close being close to 5 inches, larger tanks are recommended. In a tank filled with rockwork and plastic plants I was able to keep my chilotes in with Pyxichromis orthostoma and Astatotilapia latifasciata “zebra obliquidens”. This setup with the different body shapes and coloration made for a very eye appealing tank.

My males started showing some of their adult coloration at approximately 2 inches and breeding behavior at closer to 3 inches in size. My chilotes never spawned, but I did see some breeding behavior. The first thing I noticed was that the males never seemed to have any territories staked out. They would just hang out and when they found a spot that looked about right, the male would start showing some courting behavior.

My chilotes weren’t picky about their water conditions thriving in water anywhere from close to neutral up to a pH of close to 9 and temperatures between 75 - 82. Chilotes don’t seem picky about their food either, eating everything that was offered to them including live foods. Another benefit that came with keeping chilotes was that I had finally found a fish that helped keep my Duck Weed under control!


Cichlids of Africa
Volume I: The Haplochromines
Cichlids of Africa; Volume I: The Haplochromines

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