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Pelvicachromis roloffi


  1. Pelvicachromis roloffi
    by Phillip Ryti, MCA
  2. Pelvicachromis roliffi
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/> (Tue, 21 Apr 1998)

useless video stillmv by Erik Olson

Pelvicachromis roloffi

by Phillip Ryti, MCA

Obtaining some of the fish from the genus Pelvicachromis has been somewhat of a challenge for me. Pelvicachromis roloffi was no exception. Back in 1986 an article was written in TFH on Pelvicachromis pulcher. In it there were many pictures of the genus Pelvicachromis including species like humilus, roloffi, subocellatus and many of the color morphs of the taeniatus group. Since that time I have only seen a few stores carry these gems. However, I have never seen Pelvicachromis roloffi available for sale. Sometime in the month of July, I stopped by a store in Southfield, MI. I remember seeing a few rare fish but not like today. Dwarf Cichlids you see, have become somewhat of a fascination for me. I currently am working with 14 different species, five of which are Pelvicachromis. Out of about a dozen tanks full of dwarfs at the store, I chose a pair of wild Pelvicachromis roloffi. I watched the group of four fish in the 20 gallon tank. One dominant male kept the other three on one side of the aquarium. After talking over with the owner about how to sex them I bought the larger male and the bigger female leaving him with one pair.

The pair were introduced to an established 15 gallon with several flowerpots and stacked two levels high. Over the course of time the pair were fed flake, frozen bloodworms and baby brine shrimp. During this time the female changed in body shape and color. She slower developed a larger pelvic area that increased in hues of red and turquoise. The male looks just like the male in the Linke and Staeke West African Book. However the book shows no picture of a female specimen. The female I have is approximately 2 inches in length. She has a dark lateral band from her mouth to her caudal penducle. Her pelvic fins are dark black with a round belly just subsequent to spawning. The male has a distinctive red coloration over his eyes and his body is slender in form. The dorsal of the male is edged in white and continues at the top edge of the caudal fin.

The tank conditions were simulated to those found in the wild. The temperature was 78 degrees Fahrenheit, pH of 7, and a hardness of 10 PPM. The gravel in the tank was a dark fine natural stone. Java moss was growing throughout the aquarium.

Over the course of two months, the male would chase the female from his favorite flower pot. Then as she slowly became filled with roe she would flare at him through the plants. This subtle courtship went on for about two weeks. The pair then accepted each other and the female now would arc her body in a dancing display to get his attention. A few days later I noticed that her tube had dropped. I hoped that this meant that they would spawn soon. Another week went by and still nothing. Until today, I was in the process of doing my regular weekly water changes when I noticed the pair in the same flowerpot. I carefully rotated the breeding site around so that the opening of the home faced the front glass. The male swam out of the cave. I took my flashlight and peered into the hole and to my surprise EGGS. Pretty awesome I must say. Only downfall was that I could only see about 15 eggs or so.

About a week later I noticed the female was still guarding her cave. After close examination I noticed free swimming fry. I originally thought about pulling them but I just did not have a good spot to put the babies. A few more days go by and I look at the tank again a little closer. Looks as if the fry are gone because the male has the female cornered in the plants above. Only thing is he is guarding the cave now. Two more days go by and now the female is back guarding the cave. I peered closer to find fry swarming in the cave around their mother. This time I am not going to lose any fry. I pulled 13 free swimming fish and put the into a fish bowl. Two more weeks of feeding and daily water changes using water from the parent tank brought the fry to workable size to move to another grow-out tank. It is to be hoped that, in a few months I will be able to have young F-1 adults available for sale.

Pelvicachromis roliffi

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/>
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998
To: apisto/


I, too, have over 100 juvenile Pv. roloffi (Guinea) from two spawns.  Mine are a
little larger (older) than your fish.  One group, spawned at pH 6.3, appears to
be almost entirely males.  The other, spawned at pH 5.8, appears to be all
females (still too early to tell).  This is a problem with Pelvicachromis species
- pH is very important in determining the sex ratios in them.  Each
Pelvicachromis species has a different pH requirement that results in even sex
ratios.  This is why many of the Pv. species have been so hard to come by in the
past.  They've been bred in a pH that resulted in nearly all fry being one sex
and then lost to the hobby.  Pv. pulcher has an even sex ratio at pH 7.0 - 7.2.
That's why they're so common.  Hopefully your 6.0 pH will give you fairly even
sex ratios, but only time will tell.  I personally will not sell mine until I
KNOW they've sexed out.  Anyone who buys juvenile krib are buying them at their
own risk!

Mike Wise

Mike Downey wrote:

> I have about 50 roliffi from two pairs of wild parents that are 1"sl. They
> are very nice fish and would like others to have them if anyone is
> interested. Please e-mail private.
> I will trade for your fish or work out something. They grow to about the
> size of P. pulcher
> (trade name Krib) The females are purple and golden. The best pics are in
> Lexicon of the female. Linke has only the male. The males are yellow-ish
> tan and not too spectacular.  They spawn like the "krib" in any cave and
> are good parents. I keep them in rain water at about pH 6.0 and use Black
> water tonic to keep it soft.
> Thanks
> Mike

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