The White Blaze Chrysonotus Cichlid comes from between Karonga and Monkey Bay in Lake Malawi, Africa.
As it’s an open water species it needs plenty of swimming space. A substrate of sand is best. Add some rock piles to provide variation and hiding places. These will also be important if you want to keep any rock-dwelling species in the aquarium. They usually won’t harm plants and you can use a few bunches of hard water tolerant species such as Vallisneria and Anubias if you like.
White Blaze Chrysonotus are specialised zooplankton (Plankton or planktonic constituent composed of small animals such as crustaceans and larval fishes) 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 blanched spinach or a good quality Spirulina flake.
A generally peaceful fish. It won’t do well when kept alongside rowdy or hostile and aggressive 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 species (Peacocks) and peaceful Haps such as Cyrtocara moorii (Blue Dolphin).
White Blaze Chrysonotus are a shoaling species 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 3 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.
White Blaze Chrysonotus will often spawn in a community cichlid tank, but if you want to raise a good number of fry, keep them in a tank on their own. You should have about four ofr more females to each male. Allow around 45 x 45 x 45cm for a single male territory as males form 3-dimensional breeding territories in the open water. Other species and females are allowed to pass through this territory at any time, while rival males are chased away. If a ripe female passes through the male will chase and display at her. If interested she will follow him into the centre of his territory. Spawning then occurs in mid-water, with the female catching the eggs in her mouth as they are laid. Fertilisation occurs in more typical Malawi mouthbrooder style. 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 carries the eggs for 3-4 weeks before the fry are released. She will not eat during this period and can be easily spotted by her distended mouthparts and characteristic ‘chewing’ action as she moves the eggs around. If a female is overly stressed she can spit out the fry prematurely or eat them, so care must be taken if you decide to move her. It’s 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. Unless a brooding female is being harassed it’s best to leave her where she is. Some breeders artificially strip the fry from the mother’s mouth at the 2 week stage and raise them artificially. This usually results in a larger number of fry, but is not an approach for the beginner.
- Species – Copadichromis chrysonotus “White Blaze”
- Common Name – White Blaze Chrysonotus
- Origin – Lake Malawi
- Diet – Omnivore
- PH Range – Alkaline 7.5 – 8.5
- Water Type – Hard
- Temperature – Tropical 24°c
- Breed Type – Mouth brooder