Electric Blue Cichlid – Sciaenochromis fryeri

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The Electric Blue Cichlid, or as some older aquarists might refer to as an Electric Blue Hap, is one of the most stunning African cichlids available in the trade and very common in cichlid setups. They are not overly aggressive and display as stunning blue colour that adds to any setup.

Electric Blue Cichlid - Male & Female
Electric Blue Cichlid – Male & Female

Common Name(s) : Electric Blue, Electric Blue Hap

Family : Cichlidae

Genus : Sciaenochromis

Species : Sciaenochromis fryeri

Maximum Size : 15cm / 6 inches

Lifespan : 10-12 years

Aggression Level : Moderately Aggressive (7/10)

PREFERRED WATER CONDITIONS

Tank Size : 60 Litres +

PH : 7.5 – 8.5

Hardness : Moderate to Hard

Temperature : 23 – 26°C / 73.4–78.8 °F

TANK SET UP

Coral Sand with some rockery is best to emulate their natural habitat.

SUITABLE TANK MATES

  • Other African cichlids (of similar size)
  • Clown Loaches, Featherfin Catfish, Cuckoo Catfish, Bristlenose Catfish, Plecos, Ghost Knives
  • They can also sometimes live with barbs, American cichlids, Larger Gourami’s, Eels, Silver & Golden Perch, larger sharks, silver dollar and yabbies.

DIET

The Electric Blue Hap is carnivorous – in the wild they prey primarily on the fry of other cichlids. In the aquarium offer them good quality Cichlid Pellets or Flake; supplemented with frozen Brine Shrimp with added Spirulina.

Electric Blue Juvenile Sexing
Electric Blue Juvenile Sexing

SEXING AND BREEDING

Sexing Electric Blue males is not too difficult when 6cm or so in size they are an iridescent bright blue colour all over their body with a yellow, orange or red anal fin.

Females are silver with faint vertical bars, though they can feature a shimmery blue when mature.

Most of the time aquarists buy Electric Blues from a shop they are juveniles of 4-5cm. Here you can pick the males by early signs of more blue colour splotched in areas of their body and also if you watch them for a few minutes you should see an alpha male show dominance in its current environment. Females are generally the ones not being bothered by an alpha male.

Electric Blue cichlids are maternal mouth brooders; the females take care of the eggs and fry. The average brooding period is 3 weeks after which the female releases her fry.