Cyrtocara moorii
Blue Dolphin Cichlid

    Cyrtocara moorii, Blue Dolphin Cichlid

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  • Max Size:

    8.0"

  • Temperament:

    Semi-aggressive

  • Water Temperature:

    78 - 82°F

  • Diet:

    Carnivore

  • Min. Tank Size:

    125 Gal

  • Description:

    The Cyrtocara moorii, Hap moorii, or Blue Dolphin Cichlid is a popular species of Haplochromis which are found throughout the waters of Lake Malawi in Africa. Both males and females of this species develop a blue color which covers their face, and body. They also have an elongated snout and develop a hump on their heads as they mature. The color, elongated snout and hump on their head gives these cichlids their dolphin like shape, and is the main reason why this fish has become known as the Blue Dolphin cichlid.

  • Compatibility:

    Blue Dolphin cichlids are mildly aggressive African cichlids. They are best kept with other Haplochromis of a similar size and temperament. Dominant males will show increased levels of aggression towards other males, and breeding males will also show increased levels of aggression towards other tankmates. Some compatible cichlid species are larger Peacock cichlids like the Lemon Jake and other Haps like the Red Empress, and the Red Fin Borleyi cichlid.

  • Tank Requirements and Feeding:

    Cyrtocara moorii are native to the hard alkaline waters of Lake Malawi in Africa. Water conditions in a home aquarium should be very similar the conditions in the natural habitat for these fish to be healthy and display bright colors. The water temperature should be between 78 - 82°F with a pH between 7.8 - 8.6. Additives like Cichlid Lake Salt and Malawi/Victoria Buffer will condition the aquarium water for African cichlids. The aquarium substrate should be sand, and there should be some rocks to form caves and passageways along with an open area.

    Blue Dolphin cichlids are carnivores and should be offered a diet which includes a foods that are high in protein. In the wild they feed on small invertebrates, in a home aquarium they will accept commercially prepared cichlid pellets, mixed with plankton based flakes, and live (or frozen) brine shrimp or blood worms. Such foods will help these fish display their best colors.

  • Breeding:

    Blue Dolphin cichlids are sexually monomophic, where males and females are practically identical. Besides the chance that males might develop larger humps or grow slightly larger than females, the best way to tell them apart is to vent them.

    Like most Lake Malawi cichlids, the Cyrtocara moorii is a maternal mouthbrooder. When spawning, a female will circle around, pick up the eggs, and hold them in her mouth to protect them. Females may continue to carry the eggs and fry in their mouth for two weeks or longer. Keeping several females with one male when breeding is good for diving the attention of an aggressive male.