Cameroon. It is endemic to Lake Barombi Mbo, a volcanic crater lake with a diameter of just 3 miles.
Maximum Standard Length
48 x 12″ 55 gallon.
Not much is written about the fishes’ natural biotope. We suggest a sandy substrate with some piles of rockwork and/or driftwood arranged to form caves and hiding places.
Temperature: 82-86°F (28-30°C)
A micropredator in nature. Feed a diet composed mainly of live and frozen foods, supplemented with good quality pellets or flake.
It is best kept in a species tank to allow the best possible chances of a successful spawn. The fish pay little attention to conspecifics, even when spawing, and can be maintained in a group.
Has been acieved in captivity but little published information exists. Maternal mouthbrooder. It appears that spawning is a very simple process, with a pair of fish leaving the main school and spawning directly onto the substrate. No particular spawing site is designated or constructed. The female lays the eggs, allows the male to fertilise them and then picks them up in her mouth. She retains them for 3-4 weeks. Once released, the fry can be fed on brine shrimp nauplii, microworm or powdered dried foods.
Because of it’s its tiny natural range, habitat destruction due to excess water removal (the nearby town of Kumba relies on the lake for it’s water supply), deforestation, the introduction of non-native species and overfishing, it is considered to be critically endangered. All efforts at captive breeding are to be encouraged. However, it is correspondingly rare in the hobby. The area around Lake Barombi Mbo has been suggested to be designated a protected area, but as yet this has not occured.
Currently there are 2 other species of Stomatepia. These are also endemic to Lake Barombi Mbo and are similarly threatened.
S. pindu can undergo rapid colour changes when threatened or excited. The most notable of these is a pure black colouration that the fish exhibit when in good condition, and particularly when spawning.