Ventralis Feather Fin
The Ventralis Featherfin Cichlid is endemic to the southern part of Lake Tanganyika, where it is found amongst the rocky habitat in the shallow, littoral zone. Here, these gregarious fish gather in large shoals to feed on plankton drifting in the water column, and rarely venture below 5m in depth. The aquarium that houses this energetic species should be at least 5ft long, with a good amount of filtration, water movement and oxygenation. The best choice of substrate would be coral sand or aragonite, which will help to keep the water hard and alkaline. Rocks should be used to create small outcrops, caves, and steeply sloping walls, ensuring that there are ample visual barriers, but do also leave generous expanses of sand. Hardy plants could also be incorporated into the aquascape if desired. These cichlids are relatively peaceful and are best maintained in a species-only aquarium, but, in larger quarters can be kept as part of a Tanganyikan community with fish of similar size and peaceful temperament (they should not be kept with belligerent species, otherwise they may stop feeding and the males will lose colour). Ideally, there will be a small number of males, outnumbered greatly by females. Having more than one male will help to ensure the fish display their best colours as they vie for female attention. The males may show a degree of territorial aggression towards one another, but a very spacious tank and an abundance of visual barriers will assist in dispersing this behaviour. Ventralis Featherfin Cichlids are intolerant of poor water conditions, so ensure small partial water changes are carried out on a frequent basis. Numerous different regional colour variations are known, including Chaitika, Chimba, Chituta, Congo, Gombe, Halembe, Isanga, Kafungi, Kala Island, Kalumbamba, Kambwimba, Kanoni, Kapampa, Kasakalawe, Kigoma, Longola, Lyamembe, Masanza, Maswa, Moliro, Mpimbwe, Mtoto, Mzwema, Namansi, Nkondwe, Sibwesa, Sumbu, Tembe II, and Ulwile; these will hybridise so should not be mixed together in the same aquarium. May also be seen on sale as the Blue Threadfin Mouthbrooder.
Omnivorous, but avoid feeding too many foods that are rich in protein. A good quality Spirulina-based green flake should be mixed with a standard quality flake food, and offered along with appropriately sized granular foods that have a green component. An occasional treat of Mysis shrimp, vitamin-enriched brineshrimp, and cyclops can be given, but this should only be offered occasionally. Vegetable matter such as Nori, blanched spinach, and romaine lettuce can be fed on a regular basis.
- Species – Ophthalmotilapia Ventralis
- Common Name – Feather Fin Ventralis
- Origin – Lake Tanganyika in Africa
- Diet – Carnivore
- PH Range – 7.8 – 9
- Temperature – Tropical 26°c – 27°c
- Breed Type – Egg Layer
- Maximum Size – approximately 15
- Sex – Un-sexed