- Scientific name: Aristochromis christyi
- Common name: Malawi Hawk, Aristocratic Hap
- Group: Cichlids
- Habitat: Africa; Lake Malawi
- Size: 30 cm.
- Biotope: Inhabit in the lake where rocky shores meet the sandy substrate, usually at depths from 6 to 33 feet.
- Social behavior: Agressive, large predatory fish. It can be combined with similar sized fish
- Diet: Carnivorous; All kind of live foods. It will eat any other fish that can fit in its mouth. Most specimens also accept dried foods. In nature mbuna from 3 to 8 cm are it's favorite food.
- Breeding: Hard
- Tank: Minimum 600 litres
- Population: 1 fish for 600 litres
- Decoration: Needs plenty of swimming space, and a sandy substrate. Add large rocks to provide hiding places.
- Temperature: 24-26 °C
- pH: 7.4-9
- Hardness: 10-30NK°
- Lifespan: 8-10 years
Description: The common name of this fish is coming from it's special shaped nose and the highly placed eyes, what gives it an 'aristocratic' look. Dominant males have a light blue coloration with orange-red anal fins. Females have an overall tan-grey body color with two large black lines on the upper flank. Sub-dominant males have same color as females, but their heads have a blue coloration. The black stripe that reaches from the head to the tail only disappears with the dominant males in breeding color. It has a huge mouth, allowing it to swallow prey up to around 10 cm long! In nature it is a solitary species and so should be kept as a single male specimen, or in a harem with one male and several females.
Make sure that there are plenty of hiding placesin the breeding tank as the male may attack and even kill females that are not ready to spawn. The pH should be around 8.2-8.5 and the temperature 26-27 °C. Condition the fish with plenty of live foods. Before breeding the male starts defending a territory by chasing all other fish away from that location. It's usually a large flat stone or a pit in the substrate. When a female is ready to spawn, she will approach the spawning site and lay her eggs in several batches, immediately collecting each batch in her mouth. While the female searches for eggs she'll come close to the anal fin of the male that has an egg pattern. This way she swallows the male"s sperm and the eggs get fertilized. The female may carry the brood for 3-4 weeks before releasing the free swimming fry. She will not eat during this time. When the juveniles are old enough they're left by the mother.
(Peacock cichlid, African peacock)
(Moori, Blue dolphin cichlid)
(Checkerboard Julie, Marlier's julie)
(Lyretail cichlid, Fairy cichlid)
(Many Banded Shell-Dweller)
(Electric blue haplo)
(Moorii, Blunt-headed cichlid)
(Flower horn fish)
(Blue Victoria Mouthbrooder)
(Tanganyikan Spiny Eel)
(Red Claw Crab)