The Albino Eye Biter is a large and impressive open-water predator. This fish is constantly on the prowl, and therefore is not territorial, unless preparing to spawn. In appearance, it is typically a whitish fish with a single yellow horizontal stripe on its side. It is a rather distinctive fish in that its jaw alone is approximately one-third its total body length. With this huge mouth, Eye Biter females are able to brood 250 fry at a time! If you ever see one of these monsters open its mouth, you’ll understand how it can brood that many.
Also of note is its unique hunting style: Eye Biter (Dimidiochromis compressiceps), whose name is derived from its compressed body, uses its extremely narrow body to its advantage in ambushing prey. It has also been observed biting the eyes out of other fish prior to devouring them, hence its common name. It hunts with its head angled downward, and its narrow-body outline toward its prey so as to minimize its visibility. The Eye Biter is often cruel to its prey, catching, crippling, and then leaving its prey to die. They are incredibly quick and can turn its long body in a flash. They also prefer the open water and tend to hang out at the top of an aquarium, probably because it is more open and less hindered by rocks or plants.
If you plan to keep one of these large predators, there are a few things to take into consideration. First of all, keep aquarium decorations to a minimum as they prefer the open, unhindered space. Second, respect that this fish gets quite large 20+cm and requires a large, long tank. Third, and most important, keep in mind that this fish is a predator by nature. Smaller fishes, such as Pseudotropheus species, should not be kept with the Eye Biter. In the wild, this fish preys on other cichlids, mostly Pseudotropheus and Aulonocara species and could easily revert back to this practice in the aquarium if preventive measures are not taken.
For the aquarium, pellets, shrimp, krill, or even mussels are recommended foods. They could also be fed feeder fish if the tank doesn’t contain any Mbuna or other smaller-sized fishes because the feeder fish could possibly make them more aggressive toward any smaller tank mates.
The Compressiceps is a mouthbrooder. Most members of the mouthbrooding variety of African Cichlids are easily bred while in the aquarium if given the proper aquarium set-up and water conditions. A small group of 5 to 7 females and one male will provide the optimal breeding opportunities.
- Species – Dimidiochromis compressiceps
- Common Name – Albino Eye Biter or Albino Malawi Eye Biter
- Origin – Lake Malawi
- Diet – Omnivore / Piscivore
- PH Range – Alkaline 7.5 – 8.5
- Water Type – Hard
- Temperature – Tropical 24°c
- Breed Type – Mouth brooder
- Max Size – approximately 25cm
- Sex – Un-sexed