Placidochromis Jalo Reff

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The Placidochromis sp. Phenochilus, or Star Sapphire Cichlid 

Scientific name: Placidochromis sp.

Common name: Star Fire Cichlid, Mirror Ball

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 10 - 12 cm (3.94 - 4.72 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 7.5 - 8.5

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 16 - 24°N (285.71 - 428.57ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 24 - 26 °C (75.2 - 78.8°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: Africa

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: aggressive to smaller

Usual place in the tank: Middle levels

Food and feeding

In the wild, they feed opportunistically on morsels that are stirred up by sand-sifting cichlids. Scientific Name: Placidochromis sp. Common Name: Jalo Reef.


Placidochromis sp. Jalo Reef occur near Nkhotakota on the western shore of Lake Malawi.


An adult male in breeding dress has a brilliant metallic green colour. The body is dark blue with a number of black vertical stripes. The upper edge of the dorsal fin is trimmed with a number of thin lines, from the inside to the outside they are black, white, and yellow. The rear part of the dorsal fin, the caudal fin and the anal fin have yellow spots. The anal fin shows clear egg spots.

The females are not as beautifully coloured as the males. They are grey/brown in colour


The breeding of Placidochromis sp. “Jalo” isn’t too difficult. Most Malawi cichlids are able to reproduce in a mixed aquarium. So you do not need a separate breeding aquarium. Just make sure that the aquarium is set up correctly. That is, with sand on the bottom and a few rocks so that the males can find a suitable place to spawn in the sand, next to a rock.


The expected life span for Ruby red peacock is 5-10 years.

Short description

Placidochromis sp. “Jalo” is a very nice Malawi cichlid. Keep them together with other calm and more peaceful species. Raising young fish is a bit more difficult, but with some attention to water quality, it is certainly doable.


In Lake Malawi, they feed mainly by flushing sediment from the rocks and bottom through their gills.

It is an opportunistic eater that is attracted to swirling sand. They follow other, large, fish that look for their food in the sand. Placidochromis sp. “Jalo” makes good use of this by following them and also extracting food particles from the swirling sand.

In the aquarium, it is not a picky eater. Give them varied food, which can consist of, for example, live or frozen black and white mosquito larvae, artemia, daphnia, shrimp and mysis. Supplement this with spirulina flakes, flake food and granules.