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Iodotropheus sprengerae - Lavender Mbuna, Rusty CichlidMagyarul / Hungarian
Iodotropheus sprengerae - Lavender Mbuna, Rusty CichlidIodotropheus sprengerae - Lavender Mbuna, Rusty CichlidIodotropheus sprengerae - Lavender Mbuna, Rusty CichlidIodotropheus sprengerae - Lavender Mbuna, Rusty Cichlid
  • Scientific name: Iodotropheus sprengerae
  • Synonyms: Iodochromis sprengerae
  • Common name: Lavender Mbuna, Rusty Cichlid
  • Group: Cichlids
  • Habitat: Africa; Lake Malawi
  • Size: 7,5-10 cm
  • Biotope: Inhabits in the southern part of Lake Malwi around the islands of Boadzulu, Chinyankwazi and Chinyamwezi in the shallow, littoral zones of rocky shorelines.
  • Social behavior: A relatively peaceful Mbuna and also one of the smallest. Males can be territorial with each other, but several can be kept in a larger tank. Can be combined with other peaceful Malawi species.
  • Diet: Omnivorous, can be fed with small live and frozen foods, but vegetable matter such as spirulina, lettuce and spinach should form their main diet.
  • Breeding: Easy
  • Tank: Minimum 150 litres
  • Population: 1 male and 3-4 females for 150 litres.
  • Decoration: Sandy substrate with a lot of large rocks which form plenty of caves. Put some flat stones into their tank to provide spawning sites. Aquatic plants are not necessary. Regular partial water changes must also be performed.
  • Temperature: 25-29 °C
  • pH: 7.5-8.8
  • Hardness: 10-25 NK°
  • Lifespan: 10 years

Description: Rusty Cichlid makes a great choice for newcomers to Mbuna. Their latin name came from the greek word ”iodes”, which means iron rust. Their round head has a rusty color, while their body has a deep lavender purple or bluish sheen. Females are less intensely colored. Rusties are sometimes confused with Labidochromis vellicans, but can be distinguished by their more pointed head.

There is only a small color difference between the sexes. Males typically have longer anal fins and have more egg spots on it than females. Lavender Mbuna can be sexually mature at only 4 cm in length. The males form territories, around a suitable spawning site such as a flat rock. Males are displaying at passing females, showing intense color to them. When a female is ready to spawn she will aproach the spawning site, where she will lay the eggs in small batches and gather them into her mouth immediately. Fertilisation occurs in typical Mbuna fashion: when the female tries to swallow the male egg spots on his anal fin, the male releases his sperm. The female then lays her next batch of eggs and the process is repeated. The number of the eggs can be 60. The female will carry the eggs for up to 3 weeks in her mouth before releasing the free swimming fry. During this time she will not eat at all. Stressed females may spit out the brood or may swallow them. The fry can be fed with small live foods or crushed spirulina flakes. They grow quickly and will be ready to spawn after a few months.

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