The Nanochromis transvestitusus is the smallest known cichlid. These tiny gems barely reach over an inch in length. Both the male and female are very striking with an olive brown body topped with light brown vertical bars that extend into the dorsal fin.The female is the most colorful however, with a pretty red belly and a black and white striped tail fin.
This West African Dwarf Cichlid is a member of the Nanochromis genus, which contains 8 small cichlid species. This fish is found only in Lake Mai-Ndombe in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is a “black water” lake with tannin stained waters from decaying organic matter, creating a soft and acidic water with a pH of 5.0 – 6.0. The lake has a sandy bottom, but with rocky areas where this fish prefers to live, feeding on water fleas, midge larvae, mites and detritus.
These fish are described as both easy and difficult to keep. They can be can be one of the easier of the ‘dwarfs’, as long as their needs are met. Provide decor that help mimic their natural habitat such as rocks, driftwood, and plenty of vegetation in the background or middle ground for security. Include a substrate mixture of sand and small pebbles they can pick up and maintain a low pH. Aquarists have had no problems when they use the correct pH and the correct hardness in their tanks, those who do not find them more difficult to keep. As long as the tank is comfortable, it is kept clean, and the water parameters of a low pH are met, you will have happy fish.
Their small size makes them more manageable than many of the other cichlid species. They will breed very easily if the water is perfect for their needs and their foods are varied and healthy. The reward, a couple that peacefully rears their offspring together. A great choice for a cichlid enthusiast who can provide a moderate sized tank and wants smaller fish.
The Nanochromis transvestitusus is a relatively peaceful and tolerant fish that can be kept in community aquariums. They are comfortable with other acidic water dwellers that can hold their own. However they will not tolerate other fish that look similar. They are aggressive toward their own species, and do not tolerate others of their genus. Like most cichlids, they get very aggressive and territorial when spawning.
- Species – Nanochromis Transvestitus
- Common Name – Transvestitus
- Origin – African – Congo
- Diet – Omnivorous
- PH Range – 6.5 – 7.5
- Temperature – Tropical 25°c – 30°c
- Breed Type – egg layer
- Maximum Size – approximately 4cm
- Sex – Un-sexed