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October 24: Arrival of New Fresh Water Fish.

October 24: Arrival of New Marine Water Fish.


Included colors

Rusty Cichlid

Rusty Cichlid

Scientific Name: Iodotropheus sprengerae

Price: Upon Request

Origin: Africa; Lake Malawi

Family: Cichlidae


Other Names: Lavender Mbuna, Lavender Cichlid.



Technical Info

Temperature: 24 - 28 ℃

pH: 7.7 - 8.7

GH: 10 - 25

Max size: 10 cm

Min Tank size: 100 Ltr

Position in Aqua: Bottom swimmer



Rusty Cichlid makes a great choice for newcomers to Mbuna. 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.



Omnivorous - does well with flake or pellet foods designed for african cichlids. Suppliment with fresh green vegetables such as peas, romaine lettuce, spinach or zucchini.



The colour of males and females are very similar. The only difference between the sexes are more egg spots on the male’s longer anal fin and more black on the fins. The female will lay unfertilised eggs on a flat stone; she will then take eggs into her mouth and follow the male until he releases sperm. The female will tend to the eggs; feed the fry on newly hatched brine shrimp.


Compatible with

One of the least aggressive Mbuna available in the hobby, and also one of the smallest. It will easily be outcompeted by bigger, more boisterous species, so tankmates should be chosen wisely. Possibilities include Aulonocara, Protomelas or Copadichromis species and other quieter cichlids from Lake Malawi such as Labidochromis caerulus. It can even be combined with some of the more peaceful Tanganyikan species if you prefer. Rival males are territorial to a certain extent, but this behaviour is not as prominent as with most other Mbuna. Several can be kept in most tanks.



The Rusty Cichlid is a rock dwelling cichlid and was one of the first cichlids exported from Malawi.