Pseudotropheus Red Zebra

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Red zebra - Pseudotropheus estherae

Scientific name: Pseudotropheus estherae

Common name: Red zebra

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 7 - 10 cm (2.76 - 3.94 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.8 - 7.9

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 11 - 21°N (196.43 - 375ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 23 - 26 °C (73.4 - 78.8°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: Africa

Temperament to its own species: peaceful to females

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels

Food and feeding

Red zebra needs a high vegetable diet. Supply it with spirulina flake; algae based flake or cichlid pellets. They will also accept treats of tubifex, daphnia and brine shrimp.


Africa; Red zebras are found in Lake Malawi.


Despite its name, the red zebra cichlid is not always red. Nor does it always sport stripes! males tent to have more egg spots and female less but larger egg spots on the anal fin.


Red zebras are typical Malawi mouth brooders. The female will hold the eggs in her mouth to incubate for a period of up to 3 weeks. During this time, she may hide away and refuse to eat, this is normal practice. When the fry are released, she will still look after them for another week, gathering them at any sign of danger.


The expected life span for Pseudotropheus estherae is 5-8 years.

Short description

It is best to keep one male with several females. Add plenty of rock work to the tank to create hiding places but leave open swimming spaces at the front. Take care not to over feed these fish as it can lead to bloat.