The Cobalt Blue Zebra Cichlid comes from the rocky shores of Lake Malawi, Africa.
The Cobalt Blue will do best in a cichlid community aquarium with numerous rocks and caves with a sandy bottom and plenty of places to set up territories. An aragonite based substrate or coral sand is ideal for these fish as it will help to maintain the necessary high pH and alkalinity.
A grouping including more than 10 mbunas is recommended as this will spread out aggressive behavior. The tank should be 300 – 400 litres and should have rocks and hiding spaces to provide escape from aggression of other tankmates. There should be smooth surfaced gravel for them to pick up in their mouths and move. An aragonite based substrate or coral sand is ideal for these fish as it will also help to maintain the necessary high pH and alkalinity. Mbunas enjoy plants, but will uproot them because they constantly rearrange the substrate.
A male Cobalt Blue Zebra should be kept with several females. The Cobalt Blue Zebra is a mouth brooder and the spawning process is intriguing. The male Cobalt Blue Zebra will establish a territory and its colors will become enhanced when it is ready to breed. A female that is ready to spawn will then enter the territory and the two will interact aggressively. The female Cobalt Blue Zebra then releases a couple of eggs into a gravel pit. She then picks these up in her mouth. Meanwhile the male displays the “egg spots” on his anal fin. These spots are the same size and color as the real eggs. The female nips at these eggs spots and the male releases his sperm, which then reaches the females mouth and fertilises the real eggs that she has previously picked up. The process is then repeated until the female has a brood of between 10 and 50 eggs in her mouth.
After spawning, the female Cobalt Blue Zebra keeps the eggs in her mouth for about a week until they hatch. After that, the fry will seek safety by retreating into the female’s mouth for up to a month. During this period, the female rarely eats. Once the fry are able to fend for themselves, the female stops allowing them in her mouth. The entire process is quite stressful for the female, so a separate tank for her during this period is recommended.
The Cobalt Blue should be fed foods rich in vegetable matter such as flake, pellet and leafy seaweeds.
- Species – Metriaclima callainos
- Common Name – Cobolt Blue Zebra
- Origin – Lake Malawi
- Diet – Omnivore/Herbivore
- PH Range – Alkaline 7.5 – 8.5
- Water Type – Hard
- Temperature – Tropical 24°c
- Breed Type – Mouth brooder
- Current Size – approximately 5cm (Grows to approximately 10cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed