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Astatotilapia calliptera can be found in entire Lake Malawi and it`s living there between the vegetation in shallow bays and in the shallow parts of the intermediate zones from rocks to sand. They can also be found in the rivers and streams which end in the lake or evolve out of it. A lot of times they also keep up under floating "vegetation fields" that sometimes float from the rivers into the lake.

At the end of the year 2008 I bought eight of these fish, offspring of the variant from Thumbi East Island. At that time they were very young and it appeared there were two males in this group, the rest were females. The males were coloring slowly so I was not quite sure about the rest but I assumed there were no more men in this group.
They grew up unequally, the one was growing faster than the other. At this moment - a few years later, february 2013 - the males are about 12 cm and the females about 8 tot 10 cm. I temporarily held them in a tank in our breeding room where they grew up, untill they were large enough to put them in my aquarium in our livingroom. Last year they moved to Thimo´s tank.

Most times they are quite tolerant against each other however in mating-season the behaviour of the male changes. Than he´s becoming more intolerant against similar species. Against the other inhabitants they are ususally more tolerant.

In this aquarium they are comfortable with any food. They take everything they get offered, like mysis, artemia, cyclops and shrimp-peas mix. Food rich of algae like spirulina pellets or flakes is very important to them so this must not be missing on their menu.

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