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How to look after
Metriaclima estherae
Red zebra
Konings, 1995

Metriaclima estherae - Red zebra - A pair of males showing typical colouration
A pair of males showing typical colouration
more images here

(Other members of the genus Metriaclima)

ADULT SIZE: 12 cm

WATER CONDITIONS: Moderately hard and alkaline

TEMPERATURE RANGE: 25-28 C

FOOD: Feed Metriaclima estherae a predominantly vegetarian diet

DISTRIBUTION: This species comes from Lake Malawi


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AQUARIUM CARE: A moderately aggressive mbuna, that is best kept in a rocky tank with other Mbunas. It is a typical reef-dwelling plankton-feeder, that is both hardy and colourful; great for beginners. In the aquarium they will take most prepared foods. Males can be blue or pinky (see image), and females can be solid orange, or a blotchy pattern (see images below).



For more about a typical tank set-up see Setting up a Lake Malawi Cichlid Aquarium.

BREEDING: A typical maternal mouthbrooder, that breeds quite readily. Generally eggs are laid on a pre-cleaned stone, and are then gathered up and cared for in the females mouth. This is one of the easier species to spawn and maintain. If they do not breed, removing some of the more aggressive tank mates will often do the trick. Water changes also seem to stimulate breeding behaviour.

Have you bred Metriaclima estherae? Why not fill in a breeding questionaire?, or examine existing Metriaclima estherae breeding reports








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Fishkeeping Facts and Tips

Cichlids? There are estimated to be over 2000 different Cichlid species in the wild, of all sizes, shapes and colours. Many require very specialist conditions such as those coming from the sandy/rocky waters of Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika. Others, such as the Apistogramma dwarf cichlids from the Amazon basin require softer water and a well-planted tank. In general cichlids do not make good community fish as they can get quite aggressive, especially when spawning - but a specialist cichlid tank is certainly a sight to behold, and can be very rewarding for the more experienced aquarist


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