Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: With Caution
General Description: The Sunflower Cichlid, also known as the Helianthus Cichlid or Sunflower Lamprologus, are endemic to rocky rubble areas of Kamakonde in the southern portion of Lake Tanganyika in Africa. One of the more aggressive in the genus, Sunflower cichlids have an overall bright yellow-orange color as adults with a dark gill plate pattern. These characters taken together can separate this species from the other seven, including the very common Brichardi (Neolamprologus brichardi), that are included in the “Brichardi complex.” Sunflower cichlids are best kept as a male-female pair, though most specimens are sold at a young age where distinguishing sex is difficult. If interested in maintaining the integrity of your Sunflower cichlid gene pool, avoid mixing this species with any other brichardi species (N. brichardi, crassus, falcicula, gracilis, pulcher, savoryi, and splendens) to prevent hybridization. An adult Sunflower cichlid will grow to approximately 3-1/4″, with females averaging slightly smaller than males. Note: This species is not frequently available.
Diet Requirements: A diet made up of various high quality protein and vegetable based foods are ideal. Such options include frozen brine shrimp and blood worms, and foods containing Spirulina algae are a plus. Sunflower cichlids will accept sinking pellet foods and flake foods as a staple, but these should not make up the majority of their diet. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 30 gallon aquarium is ideal for a pair of Sunflower cichlids. This cichlid cannot be put into a biologically immature aquarium. Bieekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters ideal (Nitrates < 15 ppm). The aquarium should have a finer substrate, driftwood and rocks for this cichlid to feel at home. Many areas of stacked rocks in the aquarium will create hiding spaces and caves to encourage more outgoing behavior and disperse aggression. African cichlid specific substrates, or even marine Aragonite substrate, are great choices because they will buffer the pH and alkalinity to levels characteristic of Lake Tanganyika that is needed for this species to thrive and spawn, if desired. Sunflower cichlids are compatible with other like Tanganyikan cichlid species, particularly Cyprichromis and shell dwellers. There may be some territorial disputes with Altolamprologus and Julidochromis if the aquarium is not large enough. Recommended water conditions, 72-82° F, KH 8-25, pH 7.5-9.0.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/2” to 1-3/4”, Medium: 2” to 2-1/4”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.