The Chipokae Cichlid comes from Chipoka Island at Chidunga Rocks in Lake Malawi, Africa. It lives in the intermediate habitat, mixed between the rocky areas and the sand areas. It is also a fish that stays in relatively shallow waters, between 5 to 15 metres deep.The Chipokae Cichlid is a beautiful fish with light blue horizontal stripes running along its body and a yellow edged tail. The female closely resembles the M.auratus female the only difference being the absence of the white stripes along the black ones. Females of this species are very prolific breeders, sometimes spawning every month. The existence of a second male in tanks smaller than 180 cm is not recommended. This fish can be a real killer, very territorial and intolerant of its own species. When spawning it becomes ferocious and may kill any fish that challenges it. Even very aggressive species like Ps. lombardoi and M. auratus have a very hard time in these occasions.
Chipokae will sooner or later become hyperdominant and you should keep that in mind when acquiring it. Its aggression is far more pronounced in smaller tanks and is definitely not a fish to keep in anything smaller than a 150 litre tank. In smaller tanks, even if kept alone with its own females, chances are it will kill the females. However, if fish are acclimatised, you can have many males in the same tank.
Its dietary needs are the same as with the rest of mbuna. The Chipokae is considered omnivorous, but it’s primary diet is crustaceans, insect larvae and small fish. In the aquarium they will readily accept any diet that includes quality flake foods, high quality pellets, brine shrimp and Mysis shrimp. Minimum tank size : 150 cm / 500 litres – not to be the first species added.
Breeding the Chipokae is not particularly difficult and they tend to become sexually mature at a very young size. It is best to keep at least three or four females for each male. The male digs enormous amounts of gravel prior to spawning. It will carry gravel that can barely fit its mouth and spit it all over the tank. A larger female may carry up to 50 fry per mouthful. The fry are ready to be released and fully developed by 21 days. The fry are miniatures of their mother at this size and grow quicker than most mbuna. The fry can be raised on crushed flakes, or freshly hatched brine shrimp.