The Red Fin Kadango Cichlid comes from Kadango, Nkhata Bay, Mpanga Rocks, Mbenji Island, Ipembi Rocks, Tchulutcha Reef, Crocodile Rocks, Cape Ngombo, Nkhungu Reef, Tawain Reef and Selena-Kasinda in Lake Malawi, East Africa. They live in rocky areas or around isolated boulders in quite shallow (5-20 metres depth) water. They oftenshoal in the open water in large numbers, often alongside other species.
They are generally peaceful fish. They won’t do well when kept alongside rowdy or belligerent tankmates and certainly should not be combined with Mbuna. Also avoid similarly-coloured fish, as these may provoke an aggressive response. Other Copadichromis should not be included either, as they can hybridise with one another. Better tankmates include most Aulonocara (Peacocks) species and peaceful Haps such as Cytocara Moorii (Blue Dolphin Cichlid).
The Red Fin Kadango Cichlids are specialised zooplankton (plankton consisting of small animals and the immature stages of larger animals) feeders, although they usually prove to be unfussy in captivity. Offer a good mixture of small live, frozen and dried foods. Ensure also that the fish receive some vegetable matter, such as a good quality Spirulina flake.
It’s a shoaling fish by nature, although rival males need space to develop their individual territories. In most setups it’s best to keep a single male alongside a group of 4 or more females, so that no particular female is singled out for excessive male attention. In bigger tanks several males (with a correspondingly larger group of females) can be kept.
The Red Fin Kadango a maternal mouthbrooder that utilises a similar breeding strategy to others in the genus. Ideally it should be spawned in a species specific aquarium, in a harem of one male and at least 4-5 females. It will spawn in a community situation, although the rate of fry survival will obviously be lower. A 200 litre aquarium is a good size for a breeding project, and this should be furnished with some some flat rocks, and leave some areas of open sand to act as potential spawning sites. Condition the fish on a high quality diet, and they should take care of “business” without further prompting.
When ready the male fish will construct a spawning site, usually a flattish rock surface. This is a very simple depression in the substarte from which coarse material has been removed. Displays of intense colour designed to entice passing females to mate with him will follow. He can be quite aggressive in his pursuits and it is to dissipate this that the species is best spawned in a harem. When a female is receptive, she will approach the spawning site and lay her eggs in several batches, immediately collecting each batch in her mouth. Fertilisation occurs in typical Malawi mouthbrooder fashion. The male has ‘egg spots’ (egg-shaped spots of colour) on his anal fin and the female is attracted to these, thinking they are eggs she has missed. When she tries to add these to the brood in her mouth the male releases his sperm. The female then lays her next batch of eggs and the process is repeated until she is carrying the full brood.
The female may carry the brood for 3-4 weeks before releasing the free swimming fry. She will not eat during this period and can be easily spotted by her distended mouth. If a female is overly stressed she may spit out the brood prematurely or eat them, so care must be taken if you decide to move the fish in order to avoid fry predation. It is also worth noting that if a female is away from the colony for too long she may lose her position in the pecking order of the group. We recommend waiting as long as possible before moving a female unless she is being harassed. Some breeders artificially strip the fry from the mother’s mouth at the 2 week stage and raise them from that point as this usually results in a larger number of healthy young.
- Species – Copadichromis borleyi
- Common Name – Red Fin Kadango
- Origin – Lake Malawi
- Diet – Omnivore
- 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 20cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed