Haplochromis obliquidens is an African species of cichlid found in Lake Victoria and the adjacent reaches of the Nile. This fish has an elongated, oval and stout body with a large and elongated head. It has a well developed mouth. The body is compressed laterally with an almost straight ventral line. It has large dorsal and anal fins, ending in a point and reaching the beginning of the tail fin, which is truncated triangular in shape. The shape of the head is characteristic, both in males and females, showing an abrupt vertical profile between the forehead and the mouth.
The Zebra Hap is a very active and fast-swimming fish, but this species is not one of the most aggressive of the genus. Males tend to be aggressive with each other.
They normally swim occupying the middle area of the aquarium, and in the lower part in search of food, but they do not hesitate to rise to the surface in search of food if they are given floating scales.
You need to be careful which fish you mix them with because they can devour smaller species. Its mouth is quite large and even juveniles can eat snails.
These fish need open area to swim unlike Mbuna they tend to spend quite a lot of time in the open in the middle area of the aquarium.
You will need a large aquarium with plenty of caves and hiding places for this Cichlid. The best caves are formed from limestone or any other type of inert rock. If you use an aragonite-based substrate you will be able to maintain the necessary high pH and alkalinity.
Lake Victoria has a great fluvial contribution and its waters are not as hard as those of other lakes in the valley of the Rift.
They need stable water parameters. The tank water needs to be very clean water, highly oxygenated with very low nitrate levels. You will need to perform frequent and abundant water changes and a powerful filter that passes about 5 or 6 times the volume of the aquarium per hour should be used.
The bottom substrate is preferably sandy or fine gravel, light in color, but not white. The appropriate plants must be resistant to this herbivore species, so mainly Anubias, Vallisnerias or “Java ferns” will be best. Be careful when planting because these fish may dig up the plants. You can overcome this problem by using plant glue to attach plants to rocks and wood.
The best tank mates seem to be Peacock cichlid and Yellow lab as they share similar temperament and water conditions. This species will be most functional in tank with large groups of cichlids, as their attention will be diverted from an individual. The overstock technique prevents an aggressive male from focusing on a weaker individual.
These omnivorous fish can eat boiled spinach, cucumber, zucchini and everything that has vegetable content. They will accept protein foods such as blood worms but it is best to feed them with commercial flakes or cichlid pellets. You can include spirulina both in flakes and granules. Although they gladly accept daphnia and brine shrimp, their natural diet is based mainly on algae, plants, insect larvae, mollusks and other aquatic invertebrates.
Although they like stable water conditions, they are not too fussy about water chemistry. They don’t have any extra special requirements when it comes to their care, just make sure that you clean the tank and do water changes every 1-2 weeks to keep nitrates down.
See Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment at Rebel Pets for help with diagnosing and treating diseases.
|Adult Size:||9 cm|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Intermediate|
|Minimum Tank Size:||200 litres|
|Tank Level:||Middle and Lower|
|Lifespan:||5 – 6 years|
|Water Flow:||Gentle to Moderate|
|Temperature:||24 – 26 C|
|pH:||7.6 – 8.6|
|Hardness:||15 dGH or lower|