Labidochromis Red Top Hongi

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Labidochromis Red Top Hongi

Scientific Name: Labidochromis sp.

Common Name: Red Top Hongi

Max Size: 6"

pH: 7.5-8.4

Hardness: Hard

Temperature: 74-82°

Aggressiveness: Aggressive

Region of Origin: Lake Malawi, Africa

Captive Bred or Wild: Captive Bred

Diet: Flake food low protien

Compatibility: Mbuna


This cichlid resides in caves in Lake Malawi which is located in East Africa in the rift valley.


Approximately 5-10 years.


RemarksLabidochromis sp. Hongi are herbivorous mbuna that strongly defend rocky territories (unlike Yellow Labs, another Labidochromis species). Males are a pale blue with subtle striping. Their dorsal fin is yellow-orange and bleeds into the body. Females will typically be brown, but can get some pale purple coloration depending on mood. 


Flake, granules, cichlid pellets and frozen foods


Mature males are larger and more colourful with a light blue body, dark vertical bars (which extend onto the upper lip), and a yellow to orange dorsal fin. Females and juvenile fish are brown/silver-lilac.


When ready to spawn, the coloration of the male will intensify and his aggression level will heighten. He will choose and clean a spawning site, then display to the female fish until one accepts him. They will circle each other in a head to tail manner a number of times, until the female deposits her eggs. These are deposited just one or two at a time and after doing so, she immediately turns around and picks them up. At the same time, the male will rotate so that he is almost on his side, at the same time shaking and extending his anal fin, releasing his milt. The female sees the egg spots on the males anal fin and attempts to pick up those egg whilst she is picking up the real ones that she deposited, and at the same time taking in milt. This is the method of fertilizations, and this ritual may go on for some hours. The eggs may be incubated for up to 25 days until they hatch and the resultant fry held for a further few days afterwards.