Paretroplus nourissati tips for success

Discussion about cichlids from Madagascar and India
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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Paretroplus nourissati tips for success

Post by ciclasoman » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:25 pm

Lamena (Paretroplus nourissati) is a fantastic looking cichlid from Madagascar that offfers a myriad of flexible community tank arrrangemets. Most people would probably not agree with my previous statement but years of trying to get these fish to breed have shown me a thing or two about this gorgeous species. As a rheophyllic fish Lamena is a highly aggressive against its conspecifics - i.e. A nourissati will pursue and kill any nourissati in the near vicinity, even in large, large aquaria.
Paretroplines are highly seasonal fish when it comes to breeding and while a group of Lamena may be getting along, it is breeding season that up-ends what little peace may exist. There are a few steps one can use to keep aggression from taking hold and causing the loss of an increasingly uncommon fish.
Aquarium volume is of utmost importance- tanks greater than 100 gallons are recommended for two reasons: it is easier to provide hiding spaces in a larger tank and secondly stocking levels will require more water volume and filtration.
Stocking levels are as equally important as aquarium volume, cichlid tempers are more manageable by increasing the number of individuals and the use of a robust dither selection. There are no prescribed rules as to how many fish per gallon to maintain but in a 100 -gallon tank, a group of 10 lamena is appropriate. An equal number of dithers should be used- the selection is important to serve as a distraction and to dissipate aggression during breeding activities. I have used giant danios, killies of the genus Cyprinodon and Pachypanchax, as well as goodeids such as Godea gracillis, Ameca splendens, etc-my favorite tank mate is Etroplus canarensis, something about the barring coloration keeps the lamena calm. The possibilities really blossom here as a beautiful tank can be set up with artificial plants, sand and caves and other visually pleasing structures. There are only a couple of breeding reports in small aquaria of 50 gallons and in these cases the pair bond is short lived.
When sourcing the fish, it seems prudent to obtain young individuals and allowing them to grow together- this seems to help the colony adapt to new quarters and tank companions- keep in mind that fish need to be observed closely for Ich if introduced to an established colony. I highly discourage addition of fish that have not been quarenteened.
Lamena is a fish that has not been studied in its natural habitat so natural behavior is unknown and unfortunately it suffers from a rapidly disappearing habitat. I worry that the increasing unfamiliarity with this fish and its tough disposition will cause its disappearance from the hobby and for that matter negate conservation efforts.

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