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This uncommon sand-sifting cichlid is one of the most stunning and unique fish in the hobby today!
The Black-Chinned Sparkling Cichlid (Xenotilapia melanogenys) is a deeper water Tanganyikan species that grows to a larger size than most other cichlids that inhabit the massive rift lake. It shoals in deeper waters, but will make its way to more shallow sandy areas for breeding. This relatively rare species grows into one of the most beautiful cichlids in the aquarium hobby.
The Black-Chinned Sparkling Cichlid will thrive in an aquarium with piles of rocks that form some caves. Sand substrate is essential for this species, as they will sift through it looking for food. It is a bit of a skittish species, so it is best kept in groups. Unlike many Tanganyikan cichlids, individuals of this species do not form individual territories per se, but there is a very distinct hierarchy within each group, so cover must be available for subdominant fish (especially males) to retreat from alpha males. Any boisterous or aggressive fish should be avoided as tank mates. Dwarf shrimp and other small, delicate invertebrates should also not be kept with the Black-Chinned Sparkling Cichlid. Other Tanganyikan cichlids too large to be considered prey can make good tankmates. If spawning is desired, tankmates of other species should be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether unless the aquarium is of considerable size with ample cover/decor.
Feeding is simple for the unfussy Black-Chinned Sparkling Cichlid. High-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods will all be readily accepted. Quality and variety are the keys to a diet that will ensure that this fish maintains optimal health and coloration, so this species should not be fed dry foods exclusively. This fish will primarily feed by sifting through the substrate, so make sure you have a sand bed of at least 1".
We are currently offering juvenile specimens of this magnificent fish! Juveniles will grow into the magnificent specimens you typically see in photos online.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Very uncommon in the aquarium hobby
- Unmatched coloration
- Possible to breed in the aquarium
- Compatible with many other species in a spacious tank
- Potential to be a "centerpiece" fish
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
Temperature: 75° - 81° F (24° - 27° C)
pH: 7.5 - 9.0
KH: 10 - 25 dKH
Minimum tank size: 40 gallons
Diet: Sand sifter. Mostly carnivorous. A variety of high-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods is necessary for optimal health and coloration.
Social behavior: Relatively skittish. Can be compatible with peaceful fish too large to be considered prey
Origin: Tank-Bred, but indigenous to Lake Tanganyika, Africa
Average adult size: 6.4" (16 cm)
Average purchase size: 1- 1.5 inches (2.5-3.8 cm)
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