Sulpher-Headed Hap (Otopharynx Lithobates)

Sulpher-Headed Hap (Otopharynx Lithobates)

Sulpher-Headed Hap (Otopharynx Lithobates)

Sulpher-Headed Hap (Otopharynx Lithobates)

Sulpher-Headed Hap (Otopharynx Lithobates)  When talking about the cichlid species of Lake Malawi, you will inevitably hear these three terms: mbuna, peacocks, and haps. The mbuna are the ones that give Lake Malawi cichlids the reputation of being aggressive. They are all primarily vegetarians. The term peacocks refers to the genus Aulonocara which, unlike the mbuna, do not inhabit rocky areas, form schools, and browse food from the substrate. They are generally considered the most peaceful of the Malawian cichlids. The third term, haps, refers to fish-eating cichlids that were formerly all placed in the genus Haplochromis. Generally, they also live in open water and can be fairly aggressive. However, today’s fish, the sulpher-headed hap, is somewhat of an oddity. First, it is a rock dweller and will rarely stray fat from the substrate or the rock pile it calls home. Second, it is peaceful for a Lake Malawi cichlid and can even be kept in a general community tank with fishthat share similar water parameters. Namely, its potential tankmates should be able to stand a pH of 7.5 or higher. Some rainbowfish are suitable as well as some livebearers like mollies. However, this hap is still a fish-eater so the tankmates should be bigger than the sulpher-head’s mouth. The most common color variety show bars on the flanks on the body, but the beautiful Zimbabwe form is pictured here. The males all undergo a striking color change when thet are in the mood to bread. The side becomes a dark blue that shines with a metalic or neon glow. The yellow on top of the head and the entire dorsal fin turns a bright orange. Breeding is the only time when this fish becomes territorial and when aggression issues may arise. You can keep a group in a 160 liter/50 gallon tank using one male with three of four females. Do not keep this fish with mbuna.
Origin: Lake Malawi
Size: 16cm/ 6.5 inches
Temperature: 24-28°C/ 75-82°F
Feeding: Although it eats fish in nature, they accept all kinds of food in captivity. In order to maintain their health, provide regular feedings of meaty foods like bloodworms and chopped prawns.
Habitat: The most important things are keeping this fish in a tank with relatively high pH and providing them with a rocky outcrop that forms numerous caves and crevices. They do not need plants, but unlike most Malawi Cichlids, they do not destroy them.
Breeding: Maternal mouthbrooders. It is best to breed them in a species tank. T30 to 50 eggs are laid first on a flat stone and the mother then picks them up. She will carry the eggs for 4 weeks and not eat during that time. She will eat or spit out the young.

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