Polleni Starry Night Cichlid

African Cichlid | Polleni Starry Night Cichlid

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(Please note that the fish shown in the photo is only a representative of what an adult specimen would look like. The color may vary based on the age and sex of the fish you receive.)

Scientific Name: Paratilapia polleni 

Common Name: Starry Night Cichlid, Polleni Cichlid, Black Diamond Cichlid

Adult Size: 10 - 12 inches

Life Expectancy: 8 - 10 years

Habitat: Madagascar, Africa

Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons

Ideal Tank Conditions:

  • Temperature Range: 75 - 82°F
  • pH Range: 7.2 - 8.5
  • Water Hardness: 6 - 10

Temperament: Generally peaceful but can become territorial, especially during breeding. Keep them with tankmates of similar size and temperament.

Diet & Nutrition: Omnivore; in the wild, they feed on a varied diet of small invertebrates, insects, and plant matter. In captivity, provide high-quality pellets, flakes, supplemented with live or frozen foods such as brine  shrimp, bloodworms, and plant-based options.

Breeding & Spawning: Difficult to achieve in an aquarium but seems more accessible in an outdoor pond. A couple will form in a group of young fish. A male ready to breed darkens its color and digs a hole in the sand to accommodate the brood. When the female is ready, she deposits eggs there which the male fertilizes. Incubation lasts 48 hours. The parents watch over the eggs and then over the fry. They become very aggressive with intruders. The male should then be removed since the female can sometimes hunt the male and be too aggressive with him.

Gender: Males may exhibit more intense coloration, have extensions of their dorsal and anal fins, have rounder heads and tend to be larger.