Distribution: The Blue Moorii, also known as the Malawi Blue Dolphin and the Hump-head, were described by Boulenger in 1902. They are found in Lake Malawi,
Status: The species is listed on the IUCN Red List, but with the status of 'LC', meaning 'least concern'.
Description:The name Cyrtocara is used here to reflect modern trends. However, certain authorities maintain that the switch in nomenclature is at best. Premature and that we should continue to regard this species as a Haplochromis for the moment.
In the wild, this species is often an opportunist feeder which takes advantage of food stirred up by other fish while foraging.
Malawi Blue Dolphin Cichlid has an elongated body with a pointed snout to some extent. As it looks similar to the snout of the dolphin, thus, this fish has its name- Malawi Blue Dolphin. Its body is colored in blue and has several margins of black color on their back and fins. The number of black margins on back and fins of Malawi Blue Dolphin Cichlid depends on the place of their origin. When they grow into an adult, both the sexes whether male or female develop a lump on their foreheads, a cranial bump.
Tank Set Up
Malawi Blue Dolphin Cichlid grows large in size, thus a huge tank is required to keep this fish. A tank which has the capacity to hold 125 gallons of water is suggested. Being docile in nature, this fish needs few rocks and hiding places. There should also be spacious open areas with sandy substrate where it can imitate its natural environment. Malawi Blue Dolphin Cichlid make nice tank mate with mildly aggressive cichlids, synodontis catfish, corydoras and plecos.
Malawi Blue Dolphin Cichlid males keep a territory with numerous females, so it is wise to keep one male with at least three females. It likes an aquarium which has a sandy bottom, some hiding places and ample open space for swimming. One thing must be kept in mind that though it is a timid fish but it will eat small fish when it can. Since 1968, Malawi Blue Dolphin Cichlid is being imported for the aquarium trade. A majority of these fish are caught wild.
The expected life span for Cyrtocara moorii is 12 years.
Size - Weight: These fish get up to 10 inches (25.4 cm).
Care and feeding:
They are omnivorous, so the Blue Moorii will generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and tablet foods. They do best with a high protein diet, so feed meaty foods such as beef heart chunks, blood worms, or brine shrimp (either live or frozen). To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food or pellet everyday.
Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom: These fish will swim in all areas of the aquarium.
Acceptable Water Conditions:
Hardness: 10-18° dGH
Ph: 7.2 to 8.8
Temp: 74-79° F 24-26° C
Social Behaviors: They can be a community fish although they are territorial. It is best to keep a male with three or more females in a species tank or with other cichlids that are not overly aggressive, such as the peacock cichlids or the mbuna species from
Sexual Differences & Breeding : It is hard to tell the difference between males and females since they both develop a hump on their forehead. The males may be larger, the cranial bump may also be larger, and they may be more brightly colored, but this is not always the case.
Malawi Blue Dolphin Cichlid lays eggs and form matriarchal families. They are typical mouth brooders. On a smooth rock, the female usually lays eggs and then takes these eggs into her mouth. at a time a female lays about 20 to 90 eggs.
The Blue Dolphin Cichlid starts getting sexually active when its body size reaches three inches. The female will lay 20 to 50 eggs at one time on a flat surface such as a rock or log and wait for fertilization. It is a mouth brooder fish so the female picks up the eggs and incubates them in her mouth for up to three to four weeks.
The female will release the fry when she thinks it’s safe. Approximately one week after hatching, the female will no longer take the fry back into her mouth. At this point, the fry can be placed in a grow out tank.
It is recommended to put the female in her own tank before she releases the fry. This will keep the fry safe because the female is too weak to fend off predators.
The fry can be fed finely ground flake and live baby brine shrimp. The fry of the Blue Dolphin is very slow growing. To encourage growth, a daily water change of 15% can be done in the grow out tank.
The Blue Dolphin is desirable because of its beautiful blue coloration and its peaceful nature. It can be kept with other passive African Cichlids in a community aquarium.
credit : www.animalworld.com