The blue dolphin (Cyrtocara moorii) should be referred to aquarium cichlids. It originated from the African Lake Malawi. Its popularity is mainly due to the coloring and unusual shape of the body, on which there is a large fat bump. It is very difficult to call this representative very small, since it can grow in length under conditions of bondage up to 25 cm. Sometimes sizes can be large. The fish are peace-loving, but the males are quite aggressive and often come to grips with each other.
The most acceptable is a kind of harem, in which there are three female animals per male. In such a society, they live on their territory. She is subjected to zealous protection only in the period when the fish spawn. Further, pronounced tolerance is manifested in relation to its territory.
The content of the blue dolphin is not associated with any difficulties. They require only a spacious container with clean water. For soil it is better to use sand. At the bottom of the need to lay various items that will serve as shelter. But free space should also be enough.
Being in the wild
The place of discovery of this species is Boulang. It happened in 1902. The endemic area of habitat is African Lake Malawi, where this species is found throughout its territory. Fish gather in flocks and can be at a depth of 15 m.
This representative can be safely ranked as a predator. They will certainly swallow everything that comes their way. Of course, if the size of the production allows it. By the end of the seventh dozen of the last century, this representative was transferred to an aquarium. The body shape of the fish is elongated, vaguely reminiscent of a dolphin. On the head is a massive bump of fat. In length it grows up to 25 cm. On average, life expectancy is up to 10 years.
The complexity of the content
Equally suitable for beginners and experienced lovers of aquarium exotics. For the content they urgently need a very spacious aquarium. It is necessary to constantly replace water in it and ensure that it is always clean.
They should carefully select their neighbors. Despite the fact that this representative has a peace-loving nature, it is not the best option to keep them in the general aquarium. The best neighbor for them will be the African catfish.
Principles of feeding
This predator has pronounced omnivorous. It uses various benthos for its nutrition. Being in captivity, the fish will eat all that they offer, including artificial and live food. Regardless of nutrition, there should be enough protein in it. For this purpose, they are offered a shredder or artemia.
It is possible to use a small fish as a nutrient feed, but only when there is full confidence in the health of the living substrate intended for the feed. It should not be long fed with minced meat, because it can lead to obesity. In addition, dystrophy phenomena associated with internal organs may develop.
The volume indicators of capacity are determining in the content. It should be no less than 300 liters. Another nuance in importance is the degree of purity and stability of water characteristics. The natural habitat is associated with alkaline waters, which have a pH of 8.0, and the temperature is about 28 degrees. Water must be hard. If the natural water in the region of content is soft, then carry out activities aimed at increasing its hardness. This can be accomplished by adding coral chips. There is an opinion that inappropriate water parameters adversely affect the function of the organ of vision of fish. But there is no scientific evidence.
The ground should be sand. Fish just loves to rummage in it. Characteristically, the fish do not need plants at all. Even if they are present, the fish will certainly dig them up or eat them. It is better if there are large stones in the sand. You can add to the bottom of any other large shelters.
Neighborhood with other representatives
The fish has a fairly pronounced peacefulness, but despite this, the general content is clearly not suitable for these representatives. If her neighbor is the same with her in size, then she will get along quite well with him. It is quite another thing when she meets small fish. She takes it simply as food and easily swallows it. Excellent neighborhood will be with frontozami, African catfish.
To distinguish between fish by gender is very difficult. You can, of course, do this by a lump on the head, but in order for it to fully grow, it will take several years. Males are slightly brighter than females. However, such differences are very relative.
This representative has pronounced polygamy. There are three female animals for one male. Sometimes their number can reach 6 copies. Since the definition of sex is a rather complicated exercise, you can buy fry in the amount of 10 pieces and carry out their joint cultivation. When the body length reaches 15 cm, the fish is considered mature. During this period they should be divided.
Masonry is carried out in the place that will be chosen by the male. In order for the female to lay eggs, the male digs a hole in the sand. It is possible that a stone will be chosen by the male. Then he invites the female to this place. That in the prepared place lays the eggs, which will be fertilized by the male. The female spawn is incubated in the mouth. She is able to put in her mouth eggs up to 90 pieces.
The incubation period is 2-3 weeks. It depends on the temperature that the surrounding water has. After fry appear, she also puts them in her mouth for safety at night. The same phenomenon can be observed in the case of imminent danger. Growing fry is extremely slow. At the initial stage, Artemia is used as feed for fry. At this all the wisdom of breeding fish of this representative ends.
Of course, the content of these fish is not quite suitable for beginners, because it involves constant monitoring of the quality and temperature parameters of water. It is more familiar and under the force of experienced lovers of aquarium exotics. Although, with certain efforts and beginners can breed them.
The main thing with the content - the scope and purity of water. If the water is too soft, then measures should be taken to increase the hardness indicators. Another point is the correct selection of neighbors. Ideally, it is better to keep these fish apart.