If there is one genus of cichlid sure to dazzle, it has to be Paratilapia from Madagascar. Large, resplendent in colour and demeanour they are hardy, unusual and sure to earn a place in the heart of any keeper.
Paratilapia are the most widespread genus of cichlid in Madagascar and once found throughout the island. Today they are less common but still extant in the north-west and north-east, and along the entire east coast. There are also relic populations in the Central Massif and in pockets of the south-east.
Sexing Paratilapia is generally fairly easy. Males are usually larger with more pointed fins and, as stated, often lack the vivid coloration of females. At a larger size the genital papillae also give clues, as the male is long and pointed while the female is shorter, thicker, and, in some species, slightly wrinkled.
Males often develop a spectacular nuchal hump in adulthood. Pairing Paratilapia is not hard. Although the males will chase females, they rarely injure them and, once paired, they make devoted couples always close to each other.
- Species – Paratilapia Polleni
- Common Name – Polleni, Black Diamond Cichlid, Stary Night Cichlid
- Origin – Madagascar
- Diet – Omnivore
- PH Range – 6.5 – 8
- Temperature – Tropical 24–28°c
- Breed Type – Egg layer
- Current Size – approximately 5cm (Grows to approximately 28cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed