Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Nyete' male with babies in the aquarium of Ted Judy. Photo by Ted Judy.
Pelvicachromis taeniatus (Boulenger, 1901) is a dwarf cichlid species from West Africa. The range of the species includes Nigeria and Cameroon. There are many geographic types of P. taeniatus. The 'nyete' form is found in the southern Camaroon region south of the Senaga River. The 'nyete' form is very similar to the 'lobe' form described in Cichlids from West Africa (Linke and Staeck, 1994) and The Cichlid Fishes of Western Africa (Lamboj, 2004).
The pairs of Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'nyete' that spawned for me are wild fish that I obtained from an importer in the United States (Toyin Ojo at Rehoboth Aquatics). I purchased three pairs and placed each pair into a separate tank. The following is a description of the setup:
Tank size: 75 liters (20 gallons)
Conductivity: < 50 mS
Carbonates: < 1
Filtration: air driven sponge filter
Substrate: fine gravel, dark color
Decoration: driftwood planted with Anubias sp.
Lighting: dim fluorescent lighting
Tank mates: three platies and two juvenile Ancistrus sp.
The 'nyete' were small but sexable when I received them. The males were 4 cm total length and the females ranged from 2.5 cm to 3 cm. The males are a greenish color, much more green than any other P. taeniatus form I have seen. The upper edge of the caudal fin in the males is red, and there is some red edging to the soft rays of the dorsal fin as well. There are no spots on the males at all (which is consistent with the close relationship to 'lobe'). The females have a single spot in the soft rays of the dorsal fin. They are not as green as the males, and have the characteristic whitish belly of P. taeniatus females. When aggressive the female's belly becomes a purplish color.
One of the pairs was not compatible, and the male killed the female after being together for about a week. There was no warning. One day she looked great, the next she was well beaten and dead. The other two pairs were peaceful with each other from the start. Both pairs spawned within a month.
Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Nyete' female with babies in the aquarium of Ted Judy. Photo by Ted Judy.
The spawning sites were under the driftwood pieces. There was quite a lot of driftwood, so determining the exact location was impossible. The females disappeared for a few days and came out not at all. The males became more aggressive towards the platies, and kept them away from the bottom of the aquarium. One male succeeded in killing a juvenile Ancistrus, but this was the only incidence of plecocide that I observed.
The females reappeared with fry after being sequestered for six to seven days. The broods were not large, with the larger consisting of only 18 fry. The fry were smaller than most Pelvicachromis species. First foods included decapsulated brine cysts and microworms. One brood did not last three days, but the other brood (the smaller of the two) lasted for three weeks before the last fry disappeared. During brood care the males and females switched roles frequently. The males were as attentive as the females.
Both pairs spawned again about a month after their first broods were lost. I separated the fry from one pair (the least successful pair) and artificially reared the fry… without success. All of the fry were dead within a week. The second pair were more successful their second time around. Their brood of 20 survived without losses for two weeks, then about half of the fry disappeared. I removed the rest and reared them in an incubator. Five of these fry survived to be 1 cm long in the incubator, but died shortly after being moved to a five gallon rearing tank.
Both pairs continued to spawn and produce broods for several months. Very few fry survived beyond 1 cm in length, regardless of any action that I took to rear them. Overall, I found P. taeniatus 'nyete' and interesting fish to keep, easy to breed, but very difficult to rear.
- Lamboj, Anton; 2004; "The Cichlid Fishes of Western Africa"; Bergit Schmettkamp Verlag, Bornheim, Germany.
- Linke, Horst et al; 1994; "Cichlids from West Africa"; Tetra Press, Melle, Germany.
Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Nyete' pair with babies in the aquarium of Ted Judy. Photo by Ted Judy.